meat rabbits

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by picklespickles, Nov 2, 2007.

  1. picklespickles

    picklespickles Songster

    Oct 27, 2007
    i have been told that having one buck and two (or three) does will create the equivalent amount meat at the end of the seaon as a cow. does anyone have practical experience with raising rabbits for food. thanks.
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2007
  2. spock78

    spock78 In the Brooder

    Apr 21, 2007
    I just recently bought rabbits for meat also. So, by no means am I an expert. I was told by the person I bought mine from that each doe will conceive up to 8 kits per litter. Probably less on their first litter. Depending on mortality rate, you could be having a lot of rabbit meat after 8-12 weeks of raising the babies.
    We got 2 bucks & 2 does. Originally we were only getting 1 buck & 2 does, but, my wife fell in love with a 5mo redish/black New Zealand buck.
    Sorry if I got off subject.
    1 buck will happily breed 3 does. With the potential for 24 kits, you will need more cages, & a bigger freezer. LOL!!
  3. picklespickles

    picklespickles Songster

    Oct 27, 2007
    you're not off topic at all.

    what made you want to get into it?

    what did you pay for your stock?
  4. NewGuineaChooks

    NewGuineaChooks Songster

    Aug 24, 2007
    San Antonio, Texas
    We just started the 'meat rabbit' project in August. Got the rabbits as a birthday present for BIL. We've got 2 does and 2 bucks right now. California&NewZealand

    One doe is proven, and has 10-12 kit litters. The other is brand new (6 months old) so we'll try breeding her soon. We are waiting for the first litter....should be in 2 days!! (we tried about 6 weeks ago, and never had anything happen)

    We did estimates, based on the 8 kits/ litter, and thought is was reasonable enough to try to replace all our chicken consumption with rabbit meat. (we don't grow meat chickens, so we buy that meat from the store). It looked like 3 does and 1 buck would work nicely for that purpose, but we just bought what we could find locally, for starters.

    They ranged from $15 for the young, unproven one, to $24+1hr.driving cost for the proven doe.

    Edit: We've heard that rabbits squeal horribly when you kill "sounds like a child's scream". This could be a big draw-back. We won't know if we can deal with that for another 4 months or so.

    We chose plain white and plain black rabbits...we figure if all the kits look exactly the same, we are less likely to get attached to them and want to keep them as pets instead of food.
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2007
  5. picklespickles

    picklespickles Songster

    Oct 27, 2007
    thanks for the info. i don't think i'll be starting this year, but next year i think it might work out well for me. i heard one person say that they went from mostly chicken meat to mostly rabbit meat as it was so much easier.

    so, i was thinking maybe keep rabbits regularly, my few basic chickens and then maybe meat birds once a year to stock the freezer.

    also, from what i understand they are super easy to skin, like a sock.

    i had a lady who wanted to sell me her whole set up a few months ago but i just had no money to do all that at once, no matter what a good deal it was.

    i am trying to get in the mindframe of i could sell extras to people who wanted them for pets, too. emotionally, i think it might be hard to mix the too. but i guess i will find a way over it.

    do you know about how far down they dig. for instance three feet or ten feet or ?

    i was trying to think if i could just have a certain sized rabbit yard with fencing put down however far into teh ground. or possibly digging out the dirt and having metal under the dirt?

    i am the type that likes to put in the effort at the start and then have things run themselves. having a bunch of holes and little chaos would not bother me at all if i could just make a seperate safe yard for them and only have to hut them during certain times.

    will the buck eat the babies? the mom? how long should they stay with mom?

    i would think let her have some time between breedings for her health?

  6. spock78

    spock78 In the Brooder

    Apr 21, 2007
    We got into it for several reasons. First & foremost, I LOVE FRIED RABBIT!!! LOL!!

    I do think they are easier to clean than a chicken, but not by far. I just don't like the smell of wet feathers.
    In all reality, I believe chickens are easier to raise than rabbits. I just let them out to freerange in the morning & close them up at night. They go to their coop on there own at dusk.
    With rabbits, I have to clean their cages daily, water & feed at least once a day. I have big feeders & waterers. LOL!!

    Ours cost us $10.00 each. 3 of them are 2 1/2mo. & the NZ buck is 5mo. so it will be a while for breeding yet.

    Rabbits are very easy to skin. Just as you said. Like a sock peeling off. Plus, if you tan the hides, you have some very nice quilts & blankets.

    Not sure how far they will dig, but I've seen wild rabbits make some pretty deep holes.
    If you are going to put fencing down that far, you probably should just lay some fencing on the ground so they can't dig through it.

    They can squeal horribly but if you just crack them in the back of the head with a good club, you won't be hearing many squeals. Sorry if that sounds sick but I've found that to be the best way to dispatch rabbits for meat.

    Hope this helps with your coming adventure. Good luck!!
  7. lacyloo

    lacyloo Cooped Up

    May 26, 2007
    north florida
    shot them in the head with a 22. we did that to one of my rabbits that was acting weired...
  8. picklespickles

    picklespickles Songster

    Oct 27, 2007
    you know, my gma used to shoot chickens in the head. alot of people thought it was weird but she thought it just got it over with. i wonder if that would be better for me, too.
  9. lacyloo

    lacyloo Cooped Up

    May 26, 2007
    north florida
    yea the rabbit dint make a sound.
  10. AK-Bird-brain

    AK-Bird-brain I gots Duckies!

    May 7, 2007
    Sterling, Alaska
    if you use the club method you hold them by their back feet (so they hang upside down) and give a swift downward blow with the club to the back of their skull. if you dont kill with the first hit you have a squirming, writhing animal in your hand making a high pitched blood curdling scream. (sometimes they start the screaming when you pick them up)sorry if thats to graphic. when your profecient at it I beleive it kills quicker than shooting them. so if your going to be doing alot of this you should try both methods or atleast have someone show you how properly.
    Good luck

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