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  1. For many years ,Fur Trappers starved to death on a diet of rabbit .Why? Because they threw away the fat (Known as Vell) which is a translucent jelly immediately under the skin. If you only eat the high protein meat of the rabbit then you will die as it takes more to digest than it provides,

    Dry rabbit faeces MUST be composted or they are no good as a fertilizer. When you are in rabbit country you will see patches of burnt ground where the rabbits defacate.
    the “Wild” rabbit referred to is what the English know as a Hare ,and yes it is a dark meat.

  2. Rabbits are a good source of protein, BUT one needs to know that there is such as thing that has been known for generations “rabbit starvation”. Also called protein poisoning and potentially dangerous. It occurs when there is a high intake of animal protein and LACK OF CARBOHYDRATES AND FATS in your diet. The medical term is “proteinosis”. Pork, beef, lamb all have fat, but bunnies almost none. So, stockpile enough long dated food with high carbs and fats to achieve the proper balance. Generally, gardening for most of us is beneficial with vitamins and minerals, BUT low in fat and carbs. One can buy Ghee and other sources of fat, and if living in a more tropical area, grow Avocados which are very high in FATS/Oil, and perhaps other such fruits. Someone raising hogs would have a very wonderful item to barter with. Feral hogs are in many of the 48 lower states and spreading, but using a firearm to hunt tells neighbors you are in the woods. If possible, learn archery and become a very good at it. After all, the Native Americans hunted all kinds of game with only bows/arrows and spears!

  3. Rabbits are unclean by Old Testament dietary standards. We now know that it isn’t safe to eat only rabbit because it is so lean. Anytime you eat high protein without adequate saturate fat (the only healthy fat/oil), you will develop a nutrient deficency for fat. It is called Rabbit starvation.

  4. I also raise rabbits, though not as many as TN Bob; I have a dozen breeding stock and breed them 3 times a year, producing about 64 rabbits during each breeding. I let them grow to about 8 pds before harvesting, which yields about 4 to 5 pds of meat, plus the hides which are made into slippers, hats, ear muffs, etc. to sell. Some years I will breed kits for Easter time and barter them for non-GMO animal pellets at the feed store.

    Yes, rabbits have a very lean meat and in a long term scenario additional fats would be needed for good health. I like to grind rabbit with beef or pork and a little extra pork fat and make meatloaf and sausage. Rabbit is also good in soups, stews, tacos and salads. In the spring and fall my back yard is full of chickweed and dead nettle, which the rabbits love. In summer I grow greens in my garden to supplement the protein pellets they are fed. Last night the coyotes came through my property and my Anatolian Shepards, Rottweilers and other outdoor dogs kept them far away protecting the rabbits and chickens.

  5. Your does will live longer and be healthier if you breed them 5 or 6 times a year. Domestic rabbits store their fat on the outside of the meat, so when butchering save the fat. Having Olive Oil and other good fats in your food storage pantry will help prevent Rabbit Starvation.

  6. The “fats” are a separate and different problem. The problem with rabbit meat is that it lacks an essential protein and all the fats in the world won’t give that to you.

    Having said that it is easy to add protein in your diet so unless the only thing you are eating is rabbit this should not be a problem.

    Rabbits are a good choice for getting closer to self-sufficiency I hope the author has a second article up his sleeve.

  7. I’ve considered raising them and had no idea about the problem with too lean. Thanks to every one who has pointed it out. Great article and I hope you expound on it as I’m sure you have more knowledge to share.

  8. Tularemia? No mention of tularemia? I understand that you have to look for this disease when eating wild rabbits. Do you also have to look for this in domesticated rabbits?
    If you eat tularemia in rabbit meat, what does it do to a person?
    I hope that TnBob has a second article on this.

  9. How difficult is hide tanning? Is it be done without harsh chemicals? Yes, could easily “let my fingers do the walking” through the internet but thought I would ask in this forum.

  10. Tularemia is caused by a bacteria, which lives in ticks and deer flies. Animals living in forested areas are more susceptible to these bites, but the infection may found in rabbits, squirrels, cats and dogs that roam local woods or people who hike and camp in wilderness areas. Some of my relatives who camp and hike in Utah and Colorado have been infected from bites of ticks; they were treated on an outpatient basis with standard antibiotics for about 10 days and recovered easily. Everyone now wears caps and long sleeve shirts, sprays with deep woods off repellent or uses essential oil repellents before hiking in the woods.

  11. My wife wanted rabbits just for the manure (bunny berries). They can be put directly in the garden and WILL NOT burn your plants. Also, put some in each hole when transplanting. When one is harvested, if not eaten right away. Keep in cold water in the fridge at least 24 hrs, to get past rigor mortis. It will be much more tender!

  12. Many other blogs have called BS on the rants about dying from Lapine protein poisoning. Look at the thousands of people dying in actuality from cardiac disease from too much fat in their diet.

    So I call BS on all the above commenters who immediately leaped to fear monger. It is not a significant source of death. Rabbits make an excellent source of protein. My poor parents fed me on it the first several years of my life. Based on the results here is a bigger fear for you: children fed on rabbits may reach a height of 6 feet 2 inches and retire as lieutenant colonels who are God fearing Christians that raise responsible children to adulthood. Yep blame rabbit protein poisoning.

    I challenge all the above fear mongers to name even a single person they personally know who has died of rabbit protein poisoning. None? OK now name all the people you know who have been killed by other sources such as stroke, heart attack, lung cancer, gunfire, car wreck.

  13. There is also significant high quality fat around kidneys of domestic rabbits.
    I agree with Wheatly Fisher, and second the BS call.
    Also the author is not advocating rabbits as ones sole food source.
    I notice if an article is not “10 Free Easy Survival Hacks You Can Do Without Leaving Your Sofa”, then the Professors of Can’t descend.

    1. I second your assessment as I too, as well as 4 siblings, 7 aunts and uncles as well as parents and grandparents were raised on rabbits for many years. My family and I are very healthy with grandparents living well into their 90s. Parents are still alive and well. I am not considered young either. Have zero health issues.

  14. You can become intoxicated and in rare cases die from drinking too much perfectly healthy and clean water in too short a time ( hyponatremia ). The author is providing a good alternative protein source with great barter value . A balanced and varied diet is always good policy . I have been researching and saving supplies to try my hand at small scale rabbit raising. Initially I hope to provide for our own use and some barter.
    Thank to Tennessee Bob and keep up the good work. Hope you will provide more articles.

  15. In England in the 1940”s rabbits were recommended as a source of protein (see 1940’s house on PBS).

    However you miss the chicken and egg problem. Which nutrients? Eggs have lots of vitamins and protein, and the egg laying optimized breeds are one a day. You can get tired of omeletts, but nutritionally, they are also very efficient.

    Basically you need livestock that turns grass and insects into protein. Chickens are fairly nasty pieces of work and will debug your garden. Rabbits are pure herbivores, but their foods are generally more available (given the number that I encounter in my tiny and half urban plot of land).

  16. I have a concern about the advice to hang cages that allow all the bunny poop to fall through metal mesh. Domestic rabbits need to eat the cecotropes (one of two types of bunny poop) to prevent malnutrition. It contains beneficial bacteria, fungi, and nutrients needed for proper metabolic functioning. The other kind of bunny poop (fecal pellets) are end waste products and are not needed by the rabbit, but they do make a great addition to the compost pile. Many rabbits will eat their cecotropes as they are ‘exiting’ the rabbit, however some expel them and eat them later. For this reason, I litterbox-trained my rabbits and found it very easy to clean up after them. They quickly learned to do all their business in their litter box (lined with some newspaper and hay). The litter box contents could easily be dumped into the compost pile and the tub then hosed off and replaced in the cage.

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