Getting Meat Rabbits

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by Lloydc, Jan 7, 2015.

  1. Lloydc

    Lloydc Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 7, 2015
    I'm planning on getting some meat rabbits at the end of the year. Still cant decide between NZWhite, Flemish Giant or Standard Rex. Situation is:
    -Nearly no pet market
    -Same with meat market
    -Will be the only one eating it
    -Heard stories that it stinks before during and after cooking
    Any hints, tips, etc. will be grately accepted and feel free to say what you like.
     
  2. N F C

    N F C dem crazy bones Premium Member

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    Wyoming
    We started raising meat rabbits this past March. We have 2 breeding pairs, NZ Whites and Californians. So far, we have had 2 litters from each. I can only relate what our experience with these has been, I'm not an expert on rabbits by any means.

    Our CA have had somewhat larger litters than our NZ. The 1st litter broke down like this: 8 for the CA and 3 for the NZ. The 2nd litter was this: 7 for the CA and 6 for the NZ.

    With the 1st litters, we sold a few and processed 6 for ourselves. With the 2nd litter we sold all but 2. You may be surprised at the response you get with an ad from Craig's List, we were.

    We didn't notice a horrible smell with the processing or cooking. They DO smell while they are growing because those little guys are eating machines! Be prepared to provide a lot of feed while you are growing them out. We spaced out the processing time of them between 8 and 12 weeks.

    The meat is lean so while you can use it for any recipe you would normally use chicken for, we found we like it best slow cooked in things like soup, stews or main dishes that have a gravy/sauce cooked with it.

    Hope that helps.
     
  3. MrsKemmerlin

    MrsKemmerlin Chillin' With My Peeps

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    DO IT! [​IMG] We have been raising meat rabbits for a short while and love it compared to raising meat chickens which we have done in the past. We have a breeding trio of two NZ does and a Cali buck. They are easy keepers, which is a plus. They are easy to grow, process and cook. The meat is great- we cook it as we would chicken- bake it, grill, crockpot, roast it, etc.. haven't had a bad meal on it, always very tender and juicy. My three year old daughter even prefers it over most other meats.

    We don't have trouble with them smelling... the only time you can smell any type odor from ours is if it has recently rained and we are raking under the hutch, but it's nothing repulsive or lingering. We rake under them once a week and it goes into the compost. The buck will mark things in his space, maybe that is where people are saying the smell is coming from? But if you minimize their exposure to a wooden frame/hutch, I wouldn't see how you'd smell much more than we do...!

    If you have raised meat chickens, you will be thrilled over the amount of food rabbits consume, I know we were/are! The only time they go through food like maniacs is when you have babies... but that is expected... more mouths, more food [​IMG]

    And I agree with NorthFLChick, you will be surprised on the people that show an interest in purchasing your rabbits! We didn't expect to sell any when we started, and weren't really heartbroken over the idea since they were just going in the freezer anyways, and now we have people that keep up with when they are bred so they can purchase kits when they become available!
     
  4. Lloydc

    Lloydc Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 7, 2015
    Thanks but what breed do you recommend?
     
  5. MrsKemmerlin

    MrsKemmerlin Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We greatly enjoy our NZ Whites, Californian and the NZ/Cali crosses we get from them. They have good size, they are sturdy and have an appealing amount of meat on them. From our experience, I would suggest them to you [​IMG]
     

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