What do rabbits need to survive?
Rabbits are very resilient creatures and if you leave a few of them alone on a desert island for a while, you will have hundreds of them hopping all over that pristine beach in no time. To survive rabbits really only need a few basic things: food, lots of clean water, shelter from the elements (especially sun and heat) and protection from predators (whether that’s a place to hide or a cage in your backyard.)
Feeding your meat rabbits is definitely the most expensive part of raising them but you’ll still get more bang for your buck than you would if you were raising other animals for meat. What you put into your rabbit will be directly reflected in what you get out. Quality, not quantity, is the key.
Rabbits are vegetarians but a large portion of the meat rabbit’s diet needs to be proteins and amino acids. However you try to combine them, there’s no way that a meat rabbit could ever get the protein needed to produce it’s fullest capacity and be in top health by getting these amino acids from salads alone.
If you’re not focusing on the goal of high production, rabbits can easily survive on grains, vegetables, lawn clippings, or garden and table scraps. Give them the tops of carrots, salad hearts that aren’t used in the salad itself, pumpkins and more. Subscribe to the Meat Rabbit News mailing list on the side of this page to get a whole list of fruits, vegetables, herbs, tree cuttings, leaves and flowers which are safe to feed rabbits for free.
During the Great Depression and in some third world countries, people still raise rabbits on a diet of scraps and grains alone. The rabbits continue to produce and grow just fine, but their litters are smaller and grow more slowly. Not optimal if you’re raising meat rabbits. The rabbits may also lack protein, salt and other nutrients that they normally consume from feed pellets. Using a good store-bought feed pellet just simplifies your feeding routine and keeps you from spending a lot of time mixing together your own feed. An over- or underweight doe is more susceptible to disease and may have trouble breeding and kindling.