You may have been considering raising chickens, geese, ducks, goats, sheep or other small livestock for meat, but once you learn how easy it is to raise rabbits, you’ll never consider another animal for a primary meat source.
- Rabbits have an extremely high reproduction rate. One healthy, mature doe can produce up to 1000% of her body weight every year. Owning just one female and one male can supply meat twice a week for a family of four.
- Rabbits need very little living space. Whether you’re living in a condo or out in the country, you can always find space to raise a couple rabbits. No grazing is required and they’re rarely classified as livestock which allows you to keep them virtually anywhere. How many apartment complexes would let you keep a chicken or goat in them?
- Rabbits are low maintenance. Check in on them every evening to feed, water and do quick health checks, clean their cages once a month and keep a simple breeding journal – that’s all you need to do! Females take care of the young themselves and the only special tools you’ll need are nesting boxes which you can even build yourself. No incubators or hand feeding required.
- Rabbits are virtually silent roommates. Aside from the mating shriek, rabbits are extremely quiet animals. They won’t reveal your location to anyone, even if you’re traveling with them. Who knows what a chicken, goose or duck is likely to attract, not to mention a rooster. If outdoor cages are well hidden and clean, neighbors may not even know they are there.
- A little rabbit feed goes a long way. When bunnies are being weaned (6-8 weeks old), they are large enough for consumption. This allows you to skip giving most of the bunnies feed as you gradually cull the young, leaving only the adults to consume expensive rabbit feed.
- Rabbits are the perfect sized meal for a family of four. Rabbits are compact and usually butchered at “fryer size” (3-5 pounds), so you don’t have to worry about storing or eating leftovers.
- Rabbit manure will make your garden love you. Rabbit manure is an excellent fertilizer for your garden that won’t burn plants. Plus, if you vermicompost, your worms can be fed the droppings which will make them love you too.
- Rabbit meat is very high in protein and extremely low in fat and cholesterol. Very few other meats have nutritional values like rabbits, and none of them can be raised in your living room. Doctors have actually been known to prescribe rabbit meat diets to overweight patients.
- Rabbit fur will make an incredibly warm coat and is a great bartering item. On a cold winter’s night, snuggling into a blanket made from rabbit pelts will keep your family warm long after the fire has gone out. You can also make hats or other accessories, and kids love getting a lucky rabbit’s foot.
- Rabbits are relatively easy to butcher and clean. No one likes doing it but if you’re going to eat them, they day will come eventually. Someone with experience can take a rabbit from cage to freezer in 15 minutes or less. No plucking is needed and there’s very little cleanup.
Learn everything you need to know about starting your own rabbitry and raising rabbits for meat and fur production in the ebook Raising Rabbits to Survive!