In this video I cover the basics of raising meat rabbits. This was recorded from one of our regular online video live events where we discuss a variety of homesteading topics to help and encourage both experienced and beginner homesteaders.
List of Topics Discussed In This Video:
Reasons For Raising Rabbits For Meat:
- High meat to feed ratio – Roughly one pound of feed per three pounds of meat.
- Doesn’t require much space for high yields
- Easy to care for
- Tastes really good – I hate to say it but it really does taste a lot like chicken.
- Great garden fertilizer – Rabbit manure doesn’t even need to be composted, it can be put directly on the garden.
What Breed Should You Raise:
This is a list of the more common meat breeds.
- New Zealand
- American Chinchilla
Cages or Colony?
- I briefly cover this in this video but for more information see – http://smalltownhomestead.com/raising-rabbits-colony-or-cages/
- Wooden Hutches – Least favorite due to rabbits chewing on wood and difficulty in cleaning.
- Wood and Wire Combination – Better that hutches but rabbits will still chew on wood.
- Wire Cages – Best option for long lasting and ease of keeping clean.
Other Equipment You Need:
- Water Bottles – You can also use bowls and you may consider heated bottles depending on your climate.
- Feeders – Bowls can also be used instead but cage attached feeders make daily feeding easier.
- Hay Rack – These can easily be made instead of purchasing.
- Nesting Box – These also can be made with basic carpentry skills.
I use a combination of all of these feeding option and I explain why in the video.
- Pellets – Store bought feeding pellets come with all the minerals the rabbits need but if many desire to feed their rabbits in a more natural way.
- Forage – Through the warmer months foraging for your rabbit’s food is a great way to feed them and even save on feed costs. Mine receive a healthy dose of dandelion, plantain, mulberry leaves and even plain grass.
- Fodder – This is a great way to feed your rabbits especially in the winter months. This option provides them with greater protein and fiber and also helps with digestibility ofthe food.
- Hay – Rabbits will need hay to chew on regularly to help with digestion.
- I give a brief overview of the breeding process.
From Birth To Butcher:
- Time and Stages – Such as weaning, grow out cages and butchering age.
- Ear Mites – This is a common and easily treatable problem rabbits are prone to.
- Coccidiosis – A serious problem usually resulting in dispatching the animal, more common in colony raised rabbits.