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Old 02-02-2013, 06:59 AM   #1
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Raising rabbits

For meat. Anyone do this? DH and I are looking at moving to a few acres and I want to start with egg chickens and perhaps a milk goat. I've researched raising rabbits for meat and just wondered if anyone else does it. Do/did you have a problem butchering them?
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Old 02-02-2013, 07:59 AM   #2
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Re: Raising rabbits

I only had a problem with one rabbit. She was a red, I think angora, don't quote me on that it was 20 years ago ... Of course, I named her Red Mama as she was supposed to be only used for breeding purposes. I would feed and water twice a day and pet Red. When my husband (now x) was being mean which was almost anytime he was home, I would go outside pet Red and tell her my problems. X caught me once talkin and crying into Red's fur. He decided Red would be killed with our 12 week old butcher rabbits.
I had/have never had a problem butchering an animal.that we were raising for meat... But I DID have a problem butchering a breeder.
Sorry, sounds like a little pity story...
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Old 02-02-2013, 08:16 AM   #3
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Re: Raising rabbits

My husband has been talking about breeding them because you can sell them for a decent amount, especially around Easter time. Then, if you want, what you don't sell you can eat, or you can sell the meat. Which, I've also heard is a pretty penny. I'm slightly interested, but I feel like me and DS would become attached.
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Old 02-02-2013, 08:51 AM   #4
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Re: Raising rabbits

THAT is the reason I told you the sad story about Red. It was to explain how important it is to NOT get attached to them like they are cute little bunnies, you would have to distance yourself and feed and water them as if they were ferocious dogs or whatever works for you. It's especially fun when when the cute little bunnies are born. Any brand new baby is adorable. My children and I did play with the babies, but once they were almost weening age, we had to stop because the babies would soon be put into the butcher cage to fatten them up.
Yeah, its a pretty good way to make money, but don't forget to factor in how much feed costs... It seems like you are going to make super amounts of money and not have to hardly do anything, but factor in the food bill and the fact that somethings for no reason, the mama kills her whole litter... I'll stop now... But factor in all the things that COULD happen, and that's the reason we quit raising rabbits.
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Old 02-02-2013, 09:13 AM   #5
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Re: Raising rabbits

We have raised them for meat before. I could not do the actual killing part (too sad for me!), but I didn't have issues cleaning the carcass afterwards. My DH would butcher and I would clean then pack into freezer bags. Rabbit meat is delicious
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Old 02-02-2013, 09:14 AM   #6
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Re: Raising rabbits

Rabbits are like dogs or cats, they have spirit and personalities and heart. Raise them for meat if you must but please don't raise them to breed and sell for Easter, the majority end up abandoned to fend for themselves outside, which as domesticated animals they cannot, or in the pound ready to be euthanized. Check out rabbit.org or binkybunny.com for more information on how truly amazing these animals are.
Also, I have a "meat" rabbit, a Flemish giant who is just a sweet incredible love, and she eats a TON. We buy in bulk for this one animal, and granted we feed her nutritionally well whereas breeders tend to feed to fatten, but she isn't cheap. I can't imagine how anyone makes money on rabbits with the amount of pellets, hay and veggies she eats. She's a house rabbit with her much smaller bonded mate, litter trained, comes when she's called, does a few tricks, goes to bed at night...
Anyway, I am all for homesteading and hopefully after this babe life will settle and I can come back and pump you all for chicken information, but I'm pretty passionate about bunny rights and felt the need to post. I hope no one takes offense!
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Old 02-02-2013, 09:34 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Tris View Post
Rabbits are like dogs or cats, they have spirit and personalities and heart. Raise them for meat if you must but please don't raise them to breed and sell for Easter, the majority end up abandoned to fend for themselves outside, which as domesticated animals they cannot, or in the pound ready to be euthanized. Check out rabbit.org or binkybunny.com for more information on how truly amazing these animals are.
Also, I have a "meat" rabbit, a Flemish giant who is just a sweet incredible love, and she eats a TON. We buy in bulk for this one animal, and granted we feed her nutritionally well whereas breeders tend to feed to fatten, but she isn't cheap. I can't imagine how anyone makes money on rabbits with the amount of pellets, hay and veggies she eats. She's a house rabbit with her much smaller bonded mate, litter trained, comes when she's called, does a few tricks, goes to bed at night...
Anyway, I am all for homesteading and hopefully after this babe life will settle and I can come back and pump you all for chicken information, but I'm pretty passionate about bunny rights and felt the need to post. I hope no one takes offense!
I'm in definite agreement. I would be raising strictly to feed ourselves. I know the cost of feed is something to consider. But based on what I've read, they're still cheaper than buying meat from the grocery, plus you know what's going in to them,, its healthier, delicious, and IMO, more ethical. It wouldn't have to be our sole source of meat, a buck and 2 does maybe, a litter every other month. Just enough to make a few meals each week. I definitely feel that id get attached to the breeders, but wondering if I would be able to distance myself from the babies enoughto be able to eat them. Also wondering how to teach children about this??
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Old 02-02-2013, 01:40 PM   #8
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Re: Raising rabbits

How about 4H?
http://www.4-h.org/resource-library/...um/4-h-rabbit/
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Old 02-02-2013, 02:02 PM   #9
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Re: Raising rabbits

This is something I'm interested in doing in the future. We are no where near our homesteading goals right now. We have a lionhead rabbit and she is so awesome! We keep her in the house and just let her run around for most of the day. SHe really has a great personality. Now that we've had her for a while I am having a harder time imagining myself raising rabbits to butcher. I would say be very careful not to get attached. Maybe don't overly socialize the meat babies so it's not so hard to butcher them if they aren't all cuddly and snuggly.
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Old 02-02-2013, 02:32 PM   #10
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Re: Raising rabbits

We had a rabbit farm until I was 13. There were pets that lived in the house and the rest lived in a barn (in appropriate sized cages.) I cleaned cages, helped with deliveries (we sold to duke for research.)

As a farm kid, I just understood that some animals were for food and not pets.
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