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Author Topic: Raising Meat Rabbits  (Read 862 times)

Offline The15thMember

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Re: Raising Meat Rabbits
« Reply #20 on: August 28, 2019, 01:46:48 pm »
@ Member
How are things coming along with the rabbits? Also how is your family?s puppy?s that you mentioned in the topic My Friend Tuff a few months ago?
We actually had a change in schedule, Phillip.  Our male goats that we purchased a few months ago ate through their pasture faster than expected, and it became more of a priority for my father to work on putting up fencing for their rotating pasture than to work on the rabbit tractors right now, so the rabbit thing got put on hold.  As you mentioned, we got a male Anatolian shepherd puppy in January and also got a female Anatolian puppy in February.  She is the one who found the baby mouse.  The female, Nova, is 7 months old, and the male, Mason, is now 10 months old and he is absolutely huge!  We have never had a large dog before, our other dog is about 60 lbs, and Mason weighs 96 lbs already!  We have found them to be wonderful dogs, so sweet and very even tempered.   

Rabbits are VERY hard to sell. American culture can't get past the fact that rabbits are seen as pets. And their kids especially have a hard time understanding why their parents want to butcher cute things. This was why rabbit farming has never taken off. The meat is wonderful, and can be stored. Also the pelts can be used and turned into leathers or used for stuff but just the mental block of having people buy them for meat is something that everyone who has experience with rabbits will always say that this is why 'rabbit farming' never takes off because they have a hard time turning these wonderful products into cash. (And time and time again everyone still agrees that they can make great products, yet they always still also agree that turning them into cash becomes difficult right back at the main dead end.)

Another thing that people have trouble with in comparing ducks, rabbits, and chickens against each other is that with the other two you get eggs right away but rabbits haven't figured out how to 'can' eggs yet. So for some people they think there's less return on investment than these other things that use similar space, which deliver a food product early on.

And the funny thing is when you look at the numbers on a graph of the gains of rabbits and how fast they produce meat it doesn't make sense why people don't use them more. (Especially with chickens having recent diseases and being raised in poor conditions.)

         
We aren't concerned with the saleability of rabbit meat, we really just want the meat for our own consumption.  We have chickens for eggs primarily, but the better egg-laying breeds, and really even the multi-purpose breeds, we weren't very happy with the quality of the meat we were getting from them, and we really wanted to start raising more of our own meat.  So instead of getting meat chickens, we are going with meat rabbits, since it's more cost effective and not as much work to butcher.   
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Offline Anonimo22

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Re: Raising Meat Rabbits
« Reply #21 on: August 29, 2019, 09:27:14 pm »
Great.

I hope it works out for you. I like the rabbit idea. And them being quiet animals is neat too.

Let us know how it goes!

Offline The15thMember

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Re: Raising Meat Rabbits
« Reply #22 on: August 30, 2019, 02:03:13 pm »
Great.

I hope it works out for you. I like the rabbit idea. And them being quiet animals is neat too.

Let us know how it goes!
I'll keep you all posted on the progress.  Oh, and if we were concerned about quiet animals we wouldn't have gotten goats.  Remember that screaming goat meme that was all over the place a while back?  That's real life with goats.  :cheesy:
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Offline lastfling

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Re: Raising Meat Rabbits
« Reply #23 on: August 30, 2019, 06:05:02 pm »
I don?t raise meat rabbits per se, but then again any rabbit you eat could be considered a meat rabbit - right. Haha.

At any rate, I got into showing rabbits about 7 or so years ago and currently maintain a herd of about 25.  Most of my culls go into the freezer.  While more a fancy breed than a meat breed they yield approximately a 2 lb carcass which I find a good size for me.

Usually when butchering I debone.  I usually save the ?wings? (front shoulder /leg) for grilling and simmer the remaining carcass for broth and pick the meat from bones for
Rabbit salad.  Good stuff!!  Not to mention the liver - which if you haven?t had - you don?t know what you?re missing.  Fried rabbit liver beats any other I?ve had hands down. 




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Offline Anonimo22

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Re: Raising Meat Rabbits
« Reply #24 on: September 07, 2019, 11:09:45 pm »
Wondered about this recently while thinking about this thread;

Is it true that rabbits can get more natural protein from pasture grasses, or less protein than chickens, quail or ducks?

When researching small herding, I'd heard others say that quail and ducks need slightly more protein than chickens.

And it seems like there's some people that can do rabbits just in pastures without other addictive food materials. Some people only pasture them and just move them around. But they seem to think you have to hit a target protein percentage or egg production drops with the others. (Which lends more credibility to the rabbit option possibly?)

So this seems like an interesting consideration with possible grain and corn shortages?

Curious what others think on this, and feel free to correct me.

Online Ben Framed

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Re: Raising Meat Rabbits
« Reply #25 on: September 18, 2019, 01:23:26 am »
Wondered about this recently while thinking about this thread;

Is it true that rabbits can get more natural protein from pasture grasses, or less protein than chickens, quail or ducks?

When researching small herding, I'd heard others say that quail and ducks need slightly more protein than chickens.

And it seems like there's some people that can do rabbits just in pastures without other addictive food materials. Some people only pasture them and just move them around. But they seem to think you have to hit a target protein percentage or egg production drops with the others. (Which lends more credibility to the rabbit option possibly?)

So this seems like an interesting consideration with possible grain and corn shortages?

Curious what others think on this, and feel free to correct me.

I do not know, but I do know that wild rabbits love pasture grass. They also like oat fields when the sprouts are young and tender; they seem to like an large assortment of vegetation. I would not think their city raised cousins would be that much difgerent?

Offline The15thMember

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Re: Raising Meat Rabbits
« Reply #26 on: September 23, 2019, 07:33:29 pm »
My parents just finished the first rabbit tractor today.  Here's a picture of it.  We got the plans from Living Traditions Homestead. 
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I come from under the hill, and under the hills and over the hills my paths led.  And through the air, I am she that walks unseen.

Online Ben Framed

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Re: Raising Meat Rabbits
« Reply #27 on: September 23, 2019, 11:19:22 pm »
My parents just finished the first rabbit tractor today.  Here's a picture of it.  We got the plans from Living Traditions Homestead. 
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Nice!!

Offline The15thMember

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Re: Raising Meat Rabbits
« Reply #28 on: November 14, 2019, 06:59:16 pm »
We picked up our breeders today.  We found a guy nearby us who raises New Zealands, so we got 2 does and 1 buck.  The does are young, and have never been bred.         
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We have the cages on the back of our garage, which is right up against a hill, so they are sheltered from the wind, and we put up an awning to protect them from the rain.  (If you are wondering about the caution tape on the edge of the awning, it's a warning to my dad, because he is really tall, and he keeps hitting his head on the awning.)  Our plan is to let the bunnies get settled in and let us get used to caring for them and such, and we'll start breeding in the spring.     
I come from under the hill, and under the hills and over the hills my paths led.  And through the air, I am she that walks unseen.

Online Ben Framed

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Re: Raising Meat Rabbits
« Reply #29 on: November 16, 2019, 09:11:40 pm »
Very nice Member! Yall did a good job with your cages. Good lookings rabbits also. I will give you the same advise that Michael Palmer gave concerning queens and getting too attached, Just don't name them.   :grin:

Phillip

Offline The15thMember

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Re: Raising Meat Rabbits
« Reply #30 on: November 17, 2019, 05:20:12 pm »
Very nice Member! Yall did a good job with your cages. Good lookings rabbits also. I will give you the same advise that Michael Palmer gave concerning queens and getting too attached, Just don't name them.   :grin:

Phillip
Thanks!  We toyed around with making cages, but we ended up purchasing them, and we are really happy with the ones that we chose.  We actually did name the rabbits, but don't worry, we figured out a way to name them and not get attached.  We decided to name all the bucks and all the does the same thing, that way they're not really individuals, but we can still call them something.  We named the buck Chainsaw, which is a reference to the movie Leave No Trace.  My younger sister just finished Watership Down, (No spoilers, please.  She liked it so much, I'm going to read it too.) so she named the does Thathuthinang, just to make us all tongue-tied!  :cheesy:                 
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Online Ben Framed

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Re: Raising Meat Rabbits
« Reply #31 on: November 17, 2019, 06:21:24 pm »
Very nice Member! Yall did a good job with your cages. Good lookings rabbits also. I will give you the same advise that Michael Palmer gave concerning queens and getting too attached, Just don't name them.   :grin:

Phillip
Thanks!  We toyed around with making cages, but we ended up purchasing them, and we are really happy with the ones that we chose.  We actually did name the rabbits, but don't worry, we figured out a way to name them and not get attached.  We decided to name all the bucks and all the does the same thing, that way they're not really individuals, but we can still call them something.  We named the buck Chainsaw, which is a reference to the movie Leave No Trace.  My younger sister just finished Watership Down, (No spoilers, please.  She liked it so much, I'm going to read it too.) so she named the does Thathuthinang, just to make us all tongue-tied!  :cheesy:                 

You have the right idea about naming the rabbits, (all the same name), that is how Michael Palmer names his queens. lol  that helps reduce the attachment.  :wink:
Phillip