Small meat animals...besides chickens and rabbits.

BarkerChickens

Microbrewing Chickenologist
12 Years
Nov 25, 2007
3,508
19
244
High Desert, CA
We have chickens already (that's what got us all here to begin with, right?
) 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.


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.
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!).
 

luvmychicknkids

Canning Squirrel
11 Years
Mar 6, 2008
5,679
28
261
Floresville, Texas
And we are going to learn all about how this cow makes meat......


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

CrimsonRose

Songster
11 Years
Nov 7, 2008
212
11
111
Southern Ohio
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!
 

BarkerChickens

Microbrewing Chickenologist
12 Years
Nov 25, 2007
3,508
19
244
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

That is what I was thinking about the "educational purposes".

Squirrels and guinea pigs seem like a lot of work of a few bites.
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.​
 

gypsy2621

Songster
11 Years
Jun 29, 2008
3,409
3
201
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.
 

WoodlandWoman

Crowing
12 Years
May 8, 2007
5,717
67
283
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.
 

MissPrissy

Crowing
Premium Feather Member
12 Years
May 7, 2007
24,434
104
371
Forks, Virginia
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.
 

BarkerChickens

Microbrewing Chickenologist
12 Years
Nov 25, 2007
3,508
19
244
High Desert, CA
Quote:
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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