Small meat animals...besides chickens and rabbits.

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by BarkerChickens, Mar 19, 2009.

  1. BarkerChickens

    BarkerChickens Microbrewing Chickenologist

    Nov 25, 2007
    High Desert, CA
    We have chickens already (that's what got us all here to begin with, right? [​IMG] ) and we've thought about getting rabbits for meat. Well, we live in the high desert of Southern California, which has very cold winters and VERY hot summers (winter lows in the teens, summer highs commonly 100+). Even the shade can be 90+. Well, I found out bunnies don't like heat, so I guess that is out. [​IMG]

    So what other small animals are good for meat? (and not too loud)

    We live on a half acre in a semi-rural area that tries to be a small city. We are surrounded by other 1/2 to 3/4 acre lots, so noise is an issue. Our zoning is bizarre...we are allowed 4 dogs OR 3 dogs and a pot-bellied pig. [​IMG] Weird, but definitely better than many areas I have heard about. We are allowed other "farm" animals except bohemiths such as cows (except for educational purposes...again, bizarre!).
     
  2. luvmychicknkids

    luvmychicknkids Canning Squirrel

    Mar 6, 2008
    Floresville, Texas
    And we are going to learn all about how this cow makes meat...... [​IMG]

    Squirrel......small, excellent meat, quiet. Ummmm.......can you raise them for meat? I just don't know. [​IMG]
     
  3. cwc362

    cwc362 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I saw a youtube video a while back where a guy raised guinea pigs for meat . Don't know how they would do in your climate though. [​IMG]
     
  4. CrimsonRose

    CrimsonRose Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would still go with the rabbits... It gets pretty warm here at times too and our bunnies do fine... Just make sure you have plenty of air flow through their cage... If at worse put a fan on them or give them frozen carrots to munch on during the hottest part of the day... It gets high 90's here too we keep ours in the shade and they do fine...

    Meat rabbits don't have long fur so they don't over heat like the angoras would...

    Another meat animal I would suggest is coturnix quail... some states require a permit but they aren't too loud and supper easy to raise... They are full grow ready to eat at 8-10 weeks plus they are mature at that age... They start laying eggs as early as 6 weeks so you have a fast turn around if you have an incubator...

    As for your zoning could you get pygmy goats? they are small but fat so they make good meat goats (or so I've been told I don't raise them myself)

    I can't think of any other critter right off hand that are small and can be raised for meat but I would be interested in what other raise!
     
  5. BarkerChickens

    BarkerChickens Microbrewing Chickenologist

    Nov 25, 2007
    High Desert, CA
    And we are going to learn all about how this cow makes meat...... hu

    Squirrel......small, excellent meat, quiet. Ummmm.......can you raise them for meat? I just don't know. hu

    [​IMG] That is what I was thinking about the "educational purposes".

    Squirrels and guinea pigs seem like a lot of work of a few bites. [​IMG] I think we are allowed goats. I need to recheck...they changed our zoning from residential rural to single-family residential. I've had goat meat before...it is YUMMY!

    If we can "fan" the rabbits and give them frozen carrots, that'd be great too. hmmm...I'll need to check into that more.​
     
  6. nzpouter

    nzpouter Chillin' With My Peeps

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    pigeons, ducks, quails, guinea fowl....
     
  7. gypsy2621

    gypsy2621 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 29, 2008
    New Hampshire
    Quote:frozen water bottles instead of frozen carrots.
    frozen carrots as a once in a while treat only, too much natural sugars,

    Ceramic tiles put in the freezer for a few hours and slipped in at the hight of heat. are much better alternatives.
     
  8. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Overrun With Chickens

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    May 8, 2007
    Wisconsin
    Many people raise their chickens for meat only at certain times of the year, to avoid the worst of the heat. Either earlier and butcher before it gets too hot or after the worst of the heat is over. This is because the Cornish cross meat chickens don't take the heat well, especially as they get closer to butcher time.

    It's not unheard of for people to butcher more of their rabbits and only carry a few of their best breeding stock over the winter.

    In your case, maybe you can time more of your rabbit production to avoid the worst heat, since heat is a bigger problem for rabbits than the cold.
     
  9. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    I have californiain meat rabbits. The summers here are always 95+ and into the 100's. The humidity tips the scale at 97% and higher most of the summer. My rabbits do fine. Yes, they perfer the cooler temps but with management they can and do survive the summer heat. Make sure they have lots of fresh water and a place to strecth out and catch a good breeze.
     
  10. BarkerChickens

    BarkerChickens Microbrewing Chickenologist

    Nov 25, 2007
    High Desert, CA
    Quote:[​IMG] We seem to have similar high temps in the summer, but that humidity would kill me! We have VERY low humidity here. If they an handle your climate - humidity and all, then they should be fine here, I'd imagine! I really like the frozen ceramic tile idea! I guess if a major heat wave comes (about once or twice a summer we get a couple days of 110+ temps), we could always bring them in the house and put them in the dog kennels for the day (keep them separated obviously), and put them back out at night. I guess the heat thing can be worked around. Thanks, Miss Prissy!

    It's not unheard of for people to butcher more of their rabbits and only carry a few of their best breeding stock over the winter.

    In your case, maybe you can time more of your rabbit production to avoid the worst heat, since heat is a bigger problem for rabbits than the cold.

    That would be our plan. Just keep a couple does and a buck over the hot months, but not breed them until the cooler months. From what I understand our winter tems won't be a problem for them at all.​
     

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