If you’re starting to consider raising any type of small livestock, raising meat rabbits should be at the top of your list for many reasons. Meat rabbits will create more meat per pound of feed than any other livestock, including pigs and cows. Not to mention they require a whole lot less living space than their counterparts. So if you’re looking forward to learning even more reasons why raising meat rabbits is the best choice for your homesteading needs, let’s get started:
- Meat rabbits are easier to raise and butcher than chickens, geese, goats or other small livestock.
You only need to check on rabbits once in the evening to feed and water them, and give a quick health check to make sure all is ok. You’ll rarely find yourself needing to raise the young and the only special equipment you need for breeding are nesting boxes, which can even be substituted with cardboard boxes if necessary. There are no feathers to pluck after culling meat rabbits and an experienced breeder can take a rabbit from the cage to the bowl in about 15 minutes.
- Meat rabbits are very efficient producers of meat and can achieve great results within a very small space.
A single female rabbit (or doe) can produce up to 1000 times her own body weight every year. A 10 pound doe can produce 320 pounds of meat living on less than 15 cubic feet of space within 12 months. A cow will produce less meat and needs more than 2 acres of space.
- Rabbit meat is insanely healthy for you.
Rabbit meat has only 795 calories per pound. Compare that to other meats: chicken has 810 calories per pound, veal has slightly more than chicken at 840 per pound, turkey has 1190 calories per pound, lamb 1420 calories per pound, beef has 1440 and pork a whopping 2050 calories per pound. Rabbit meat has less fat per ounce than chicken, turkey, beef, and pork. It has been used and is suitable for special diets, such as those for heart disease patients, diets for the aged, low sodium diets, weight reduction diets, etc.
- Rabbit manure is the best free fertilizer for your garden that you can find…and you’ll want to grow some delicious vegetables to cook with all the meat you’re going to have!
Droppings from meat rabbits can be collected in a tray right under the cages and then dumped directly into your garden. No hassle or fuss is necessary to make the droppings ready for your garden. It will never burn or over-fertilize plants. They just absorb what they need and the rest biodegrades. If you are also vermicomposting with worms, you’ll find that they also love the droppings.
- Meat rabbits are the perfect sized meal for a family of four.
You’ll never have to think about the word leftovers again when you raising your own meat rabbits…but you might wish you did because dinner was just so good. Meat rabbits are compact and usually butchered at “fryer size” (3-5 pounds), so you don’t have to worry about storing or eating leftovers.