Meat Rabbits

cws451

In the Brooder
6 Years
Mar 18, 2013
87
3
43
East Tennessee
hello everyone i am planning on getting some new zealand rabbits for meat. I have read that they can produce over 350+ pounds a year. But i was watching a youtube video and the NZ that was processed was only 2.5 pounds. Is that the normal weight after being dressed? I know they can grow up to 10-12 pounds. I would have to cook 4-5 for a dinner if thats all they weigh. is it worth it?
 

Happy Camper

Chirping
7 Years
Jul 19, 2012
347
11
98
Puerto Rico
hello everyone i am planning on getting some new zealand rabbits for meat. I have read that they can produce over 350+ pounds a year. But i was watching a youtube video and the NZ that was processed was only 2.5 pounds. Is that the normal weight after being dressed? I know they can grow up to 10-12 pounds. I would have to cook 4-5 for a dinner if thats all they weigh. is it worth it?
I raise Californians for meat (they are very similar to NZ) and yes, that's about the average weight when they have been processed. It also depends at what age you are planning to slaughter them. The thing is that fully grown adults will reach 10-12 pounds, but it is more cost effective to slaughter before they reach that size. You'd spend lots of money feeding rabbits for 6-8+ months to get more or less the same amount of meat you would get if you processed at 4 months.

I read everywhere best processing time is 11-12 weeks but my Californians are way too small at this stage to slaughter. I Do it around 16 weeks. The thing is rabbit meat (for some reason, at least for me) renders a lot more than other proteins when you stew, shred or ground it... All meat is white so is like having 3 pounds of breast meat (which you can't get from a single chicken)...

I also raise chickens, ducks and turkeys for meat and love by far my rabbit meat production than that of the birds.

Also, the amount of time you have to wait for a nice sized litter is so short, you can really rely on a constant supply of meat for your family.

Hope this helps.
 

cws451

In the Brooder
6 Years
Mar 18, 2013
87
3
43
East Tennessee
makes sense. i guess when i thinking about doing this i was going to have 8-10 pounders in the over lol. Thanks for all the advice
 

SA Farm

Crowing
8 Years
Mar 11, 2013
3,688
611
436
Ontario, Canada
I am getting a trio of new zealands this month and would love to hear any advice as this is my first time breeding and butchering
thanks
It would probably be better to start your own thread, but I'll answer anyway.
Basic advice:
The does should be at least 6 months old before you breed her.
Make sure the buck falls over when he's doing his business.
Always bring the does to the buck or the buck will waste his time checking out her home and there's a good chance she'll get territorial and beat him up.
If she hides in the corner or won't let him breed, try again tomorrow.
If she lets him breed, bring her back again an hour or two later to hopefully get a bigger litter. Litter size can be 1-12 or more (I've had 15)
Gestation is 30 days give or take. On day 27, add the nest box.
Rabbits produce both soft and hard droppings. If you're using an all wire cage, it is recommended that you put a board in for the sake of the rabbit's feet and so it can eat the soft droppings (they get nutrients and water from them). Just clean off/ replace the board every so often.

My advice to anyone who has rabbits (or other animals):
Add 1 tsp Apple Cider Vinegar/gallon of water. This helps prevent algae in the water, diarrhea and coccidiosis, improves coat condition, and also seems to help with doe mojo (for lack of better term).

Good luck
thumbsup.gif
 

Happy Camper

Chirping
7 Years
Jul 19, 2012
347
11
98
Puerto Rico
makes sense. i guess when i thinking about doing this i was going to have 8-10 pounders in the over lol. Thanks for all the advice
lau.gif
Don't feel bad cause I thought the same when I started. Let me give you an example... I make/sell empanadas filled with shreded rabbit meat. I put around three tablespoons of meat in each and I can make 2 and a half dozen empanadas with one rabbit.

I never weigh them but this gives you an idea of how much meat you can get from a rabbit that size. I began with one buck and three does. If you plan well, after a while you will have a couple nice sized bunnies in your fridge for sure.

My kids looooove rabbit meat!!! and they enjoy having baby bunnies around the farm all the time.
 

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