Raising Meat Rabbits: Mistakes and Successes, by JEE

I don’t have a lot of extra time to make sure our rabbits are getting the right amounts of everything they need. However, we do supplement their pellets with things we grow in the garden, like lettuce, kale, and yes an occasional carrot. There are many books out there on how to feed rabbits without resorting to pellets, but for us, for now, it’s easier to go with the pellets. Rabbits are not compatible with all other animals. The second year we had meat rabbits, we got a dog, a beautiful black lab. That summer we couldn’t get our does to take care of their babies. They would have large kits, but within a day or two the babies would die. I finally called a friend who also raised rabbits and he told me it was our dog. The rabbits felt threatened by the dog and would abandon their nest…




Raising Meat Rabbits, by Pam N.

eighth edition of Rabbit Production by McNitt, Patton, Lukefahr, and Cheeke published by Interstate Publishers, Inc. We found valuable information on the American Rabbit Breeders Association (ARBA) web site. We talked to local rabbit pet/show breeders to get general information, but we did not find anyone locally raising meat rabbits. We also joined the Professional Rabbit Meat Association for the contacts that yielded. Nothing about raising rabbits was hard, but talking to someone who has done it successfully really helps. BREEDING STOCK: From internet research and talking to local 4H folks at the fair, we learned there were two major breeds of meat rabbits, Californian and New Zealand , both developed for meat production. Meat rabbits are small boned and heavily muscled and are rapid weight gainers. We eventually purchased rabbits from both breeds, but started with one Californian buck (male) and three does (females). We had a hard time…




The Best Way To Keep The Family Fed On Any Budget, by Tennessee Bob

…food supplies dried up. In the 1950s In the 1950’s rabbits again gained popularity as a primary food source during lean times. As anyone can deduce throughout history, rabbits have been and continue to be a highly regarded and valuable food source. Why Regarded As Valuable Food Source Here are just a few of the reasons why they are regarded as a valuable food source. Rabbits are one of the highest sources of protein of any animal. In fact most people who consume rabbit will be full after eating a very small portion, usually 1/3 of their normal total meal consumption. Also rabbits, when domestically raised, have a delicious taste and texture. Most people actually prefer rabbit to more familiar meats, such as chicken, beef, or pork. Americans tend to favor white meat; rabbits domestically raised only produce white meat, whereas wild rabbits are all dark meat. Easiest Digestible Meat…




Raising Rabbits for Meat , by Pete C.

In most industrialized countries, including the United States, rabbits are not commonly considered a meat animal. However, before a TEOTWAWKI situation arises, small retreats may seriously want to consider raising rabbits as a reliable source of meat to feed their family, to use as barter or charity. Rabbits are fairly easy to raise which makes them especially adaptive for small retreats (to include urban areas) where limited space for other livestock – cows, hogs, goats, chickens, etc., are just not practical. In addition, many localities may not consider rabbits as live stock since they are often pets. Thus they may be permitted where other animals would not be. If you keep the area clean and the smell down, neighbors might not even know that you have them. Picking your breed: Before you purchase your rabbits (or any animal), learn as much as you can about keeping and raising them. Books,…




Raising Angora Rabbits as Part of a Well-Prepared Homestead, by J.R.

Previous Survivalblog articles have focused on raising meat rabbits as part of a well-prepped homestead. Raising multi-purpose angora rabbits takes this aspect of preparedness to the next level. I’ll start with a quick review of the benefits of raising meat rabbits and then transition into the advantages of raising angora rabbits. Rabbits are indeed the most efficient of domestic livestock in converting feed to growth, meaning that it takes less feed per pound of mass produced to grow them out than it does for other animals. They are manageable in an urban situation, even an apartment, where other livestock are not an option. Rabbits produce just the right amount of meat for a family meal if refrigeration is not available. And because they are smaller, they are manageable for older people or children for whom wrangling a goat or cow is out of the question. As also mentioned in previous…




Some Tips and Tricks on Raising Meat Rabbits, by Christine W.

fun and safe toys for rabbits to play with. Rabbits get bored too and can start destructive behavior! But be careful, a few rabbits will actually bite through the metal. If you have one of these then take the can out and try something else. Always provide a mineral salt lick for rabbit health. Make sure its “mineral” not plain salt. And stock up, they are cheap right now, but may be unavailable later. Keep rabbit food secure from mice. They carry diseases! Give pregnant and nursing females oats (about ¼ cup per day), they love it and it helps build up fat stores for good baby production. Also give to babies to fatten them up for dinner! Kindling/Baby Problems This is the most problematic aspect of rabbits. You will devote more time to kindling (rabbit birth and newborn babies) than anything else in rabbit care. While rabbits are easier…




Doing Versus Studying–Wherever You Live, By Fanderal

…20″ underground to prevent escapes. An acquaintance of ours had the foundation of their house ruined by their colony of pet rabbits that they let loose.] The time I spend with my rabbits is much more rewarding both in a practical sense, and an emotional one, than the description I have written here. Especially when I am standing over my grill with a quartered rabbit being barbequed. Rabbitry Links Rudolph’s Rabbit Ranch (Mary-Frances R. Bartels) The Rabbit – Husbandry, Health and Production Effect of housing system (cage versus underground shelter) on performance of rabbits on farms The Practice Garden I can’t give you as much detail about the Garden as I have about the Rabbitry, because; 1) gardening is easier, 2) the details of gardening vary more depending on exactly what you are growing, and 3) raising Rabbits is the newest skill for me, so I have more details in…




From The Memsahib: Raising Rabbits as a Protein Source for Tough Times

butcher. Rabbits are one animal you can start raising right now. A generously sized rabbit pen is two feet square. You will need at least two pens. One for the male rabbit (buck) and one for the female (doe) and her babies. (Adult rabbits are extremely territorial and will kill each other in defense of their territory.) I have a number of friends who raise their rabbits inside their homes. But most people raise them in a shady spot in the back yard. Rabbits are the only small livestock you can raise in a suburban neighborhood. They make no sound, unlike hens that cackle and roosters that crow. Rabbits can be very prolific. I will write more about selecting prolific rabbits in a subsequent blog post. A doe can produce five litters a year. An average litter is eight bunnies butchered at eight weeks old. Most people feed rabbits commercial…




The Care and Processing of Small Livestock on the Gulf Coast, by Jessica S.

…fare. If allowed to range after they’ve learned where “home” is, they will pretty much take care of themselves. Rabbits: Rabbits are small, relatively easy to keep livestock. The meat is lean, if that is a concern for your family, and the hides can be tanned for either fur or just skin. There are many breeds of rabbits. I do not suggest the long haired breeds for at least the Gulf Coast unless you intend to keep the animal as a pet or in an air conditioned facility. Californians (white rabbits with dark colored ears, nose, and feet) and New Zealands (mostly found in solid white, but sometimes red or black as well) are the two most popular “commercial” breeds. They mature fast and are fairly prolific. The does I kept often had litters of eight kits or more. I also raised Satins, which are so named for the satin…




Rabbits for a Stable (and Staple) Protein Source, by S.F.D. in West Virginia

of iron, phosphorus, and potassium.  Additionally, 6 ounces of rabbit meat has about 300 hundred calories – though not a problem for most Americans these days, this could be a possible issue in a TEOTWAWKI situation where calories are likely being burnt at much higher rate than most people do in a typical day at the office in these fatter times.  A larger herd of rabbits could be the answer to that issue. Raising rabbits takes very little space and 6lbs or 7lbs of rabbit meat can be raised on the same amount of feed that it takes to produce about 1lb of beef. Rabbits are also much quicker to be ready for consumption.   A “fryer” rabbit is harvested three months after being born and when served-up with some easily stored pantry food likes beans, greens and rice you have a well-rounded, filling meal – the bones can then be…




Three Letters Re: Some Tips and Tricks on Raising Meat Rabbits

strangers in the area, whether human or critter. When raising fryer rabbits, I always bred does on Tuesdays so that they would kindle over the weekend. I would then be around to be sure no one wandered into the barn. Aas CW mentioned, another trick for keeping rabbits cool is to put frozen 2 liter water bottles in the cages. Rabbits will lay up against them! I raise my fryers from weaning to butcher in outside cages on the ground. We live in a high predator area, so the cage must be tight. I use 2×4 utility wire for a “floor” which keeps the rabbits from digging out, and allows me to move the cages to clean ground every day without removing the rabbits. One tip though: Don’t make the mistake I did! I have a 4×8 cage, which is wonderful until it’s full of 20+ rabbits at 5-6 pounds…




Raising Rabbits for Meat, by L.L. in Missouri

one rabbit per week as I butcher a litter of rabbits every ten weeks.  Rabbits usually have 7-12 bunnies per litter. When we butcher the rabbits, we prefer to can the meat now, as opposed to freezing it.  We do still freeze some, but the canned rabbit has such a wonderful flavor and it is also extremely tender.  We have chosen the raw pack method with the meat still on the bones due to it being simpler and more time saving.  Cut up your rabbits so that you have good size pieces.  Add those to your quart jars.  Add one teaspoon of salt to each quart.  Do not add any liquid.  Allow a 1-1/4” headspace per jar, add your lids and bands and process for 75 minutes at 11 pounds of pressure in your pressure canner.  The flavor and texture is completely different from fresh or frozen to canned rabbit. …




Low Maintenance Animals That Work For You: Chickens, Rabbits, and Goats

…eye opening.  There’s a reason why the first kill turned a child into a man in primitive societies, now I know I can do what it takes to feed my family.  One final note, the skills you acquire from these kinds of things are far more important than the stuff you collect.  You can’t expect to try something new for the first time in a crisis situation and have it succeed.  My first chickens were killed by our dog(we no longer own him).  My first gardening attempt was a dismal failure because my soil was bad and I didn’t know to fix it, I do now.  My first litter of rabbits died because the doe didn’t get her milk in and you can’t bottle feed rabbits successfully, now I’m growing herbs that increase milk production to feed to my rabbits and goats.  And the first two goats I bought had…




Letter Re: Raising Meat Rabbits

Dear Editor: Pam N. wrote an excellent addition to the blog that was posted on December 24th. Their is a couple of points I’d like to add. Be careful keeping rabbits in an area without a lot of ventilation. Rabbit urine puts off an ammonia type smell that evidently can damage their health. We regularly get freezing weather in the winter and then as high as 110 in the summer and our rabbits stay outside all year round. While it’s made very clear on the package not to use it on anything other than cattle, Ivomectrin is very helpful in treating rabbits. We have used it on dogs and rabbits for over a decade. The VetRX rabbit product should be in the vet kit as well. Rabbits do require protein for good growth as Pam pointed out. However they will eat most any of your vegetable and fruit scraps, cut…




Retreat Owner Profiles

…in both short and LR and all the Parkerized 12 gauges, the bolt action shotgun because of the adjustable choke and I’m having a larger magazine made by a gunsmith friend and the 20 gauge ) Stored ammunition: Roughly 15,000 rounds packaged with silica gel and about 10,000 in powder, bullets, shot and casings. Most in 12 Gauge, .22, .22 LR and 38 Special, and .357 Magnum . This will significantly increase after completing the move and the decision of caliber and reloading supplies. (I’ve got all the 12 and 20 gauge equipment.) Fuel Storage: Regular utilities now but will be solar and underground storage tank with asphalt coating. (We had a 1,000 gallon diesel tank that we left for the new owners) Improvements: TBD Annual Property Tax: TBD but significantly more than in the northwest (definitely a con here) Livestock: Will get back into raising rabbits, chickens and goat(s)….