Raising Rabbits At Home For Food, Fur & Doomsday Survival
Domestic Rabbits Are Very Easy To Raise Completely Hidden From Outsiders.
Raising Rabbits - More protein than beef, chicken, pork, and lamb with fewer calories than all other meats
Domestic rabbits are very easy to raise completely hidden from outsiders. If you are a prepper or survivalist, raising rabbits to sell can be profitable while you also build a sustainable source of food in the event of a long term disaster.
Domestic rabbits are highly valued for their low fat, low cholesterol and high quality proteins. They are entirely white meat and mighty good to eat. Rabbit compares very favorably to chicken, turkey and some fish for its beneficial health virtues and its adaptability.
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Did You Know That Most Wild Rabbits Live For Less Than One Year?
Why you might want to raise rabbits
Rabbit meat has more protein than beef, chicken, pork, and lamb, and has less cholesterol, lower fat percentage and fewer calories than all other meats. The most popular rabbit breed for meat in the United States is the New Zealand White. New Zealand Whites and Californians have consistently been the best breeds offering superior feed conversion, disease resistance, fertility, litter size and better overall performance. In recent years the Florida Whites have proven to be an exceptional breed for home rabbit meat producers.
If you are looking to raise a reliable meat source, there is no better animal to raise than rabbits. They may seem small, but because rabbits reproduce so quickly, one rabbit can provide anywhere from 125-250 pounds of meat per year depending on how frequently the doe (female) is bred and how many kits per litter.
If you raise domestic rabbits as pets and take care of them, they can live up to 8 to 12 years compared to a wild rabbit which can live up to 2 years best case but most don't make it to 1 year old due to predators.
Even though a domestic rabbit can live up to 12 years, it is important to know that when raising rabbits for food, the older the rabbit gets, the tougher the meat will be. The perfect butchering age of the domestic rabbit is around 8 weeks of age. This means you will want a larger breed, like the ones we list below so it will be a decent size by the 8-week mark.
If you are raising Rabbits for profit, you can typically make considerably more money selling rabbits as breeding stock. Selling Rabbits to laboratories makes less money than selling breeding stock, but typically makes more money than selling rabbits for food. If you sell rabbits for breeding stock, it is especially compelling to raise the smaller breeds as the profit per space and lower feeding cost is better.
Below is a list of the best rabbit breeds for meat, plus where to get supplies that you'll need to get started. We also provide four excellent YouTube videos below where the NewSurvivalist uses techniques he learned from Storey’s Guide to Raising Rabbits which is the the classic, comprehensive, essential reference for raising rabbits.
Best Rabbit Breeds For Meat
The following are the best rabbit breeds to raise for meat.
New Zealand Whites
This is a favorite choice among meat breeders because of their long and slender body. They are quite healthy compared to some other rabbit breeds. They also make very good pets and are often used in laboratories. New Zealand Whites are the most common rabbit breed used for meat in the United States. They have white fur and weigh 9 to 12 pounds.
New Zealand Whites
These were developed by crossing of Chinchilla and New Zealand Whites. They have white fur with black spots and weigh around 8 to 10-1/2 pounds. This breed was developed to be a good meat breed with a good blocky meaty body that also has a good quality pelt.
The Florida Whites are a smaller rabbit that grow rapidly, and are pound for pound unsurpassed in dressout quality. This is a small but plump rabbit, which is quite popular for its meat and weighs 4 to 6 pounds.
The fur is white with good density and texture, and they have a compact, meaty body, short neck, and small head. This breed is perfect for raising on the homestead and where space is limited.
Champagne D Argent
This unusual rabbit has a coat that changes gradually from black when very young to silver when adult. They have white, creme and brown fur and weigh 9 to 12 pounds. This is very attractive rabbit that commands huge premiums over the value of a standard rabbit pelt.
Great for meat and fur production perfect for homestead. These rabbits are very loving and docile, and make for good family pets. They love human attention.
Champagne D Argent
Another endangered rabbit breed, the American Chinchilla is an efficient rabbit for fur and meat. Its body type has a desirable meat style, with a deep loin and broad shoulders. This is one of the best Rabbits for food and weighs up to 9 pounds.
This breed, as the name suggests, has an excellent coat of soft fur that has a glossy tone which can reflect light. Satins are raised primarily for their fur, but do well as a commercial meat breed. These medium large sized Rabbits are available in blue, black, copper, chocolate, red, Siamese and otter colors and weigh 9 to 10 lbs.
These rabbits are easy to breed, grow quickly, and are excellent mothers, which are all favorable conditions for meat breeding. They are also great to raise for food on the homestead.
These rabbits make a great homestead rabbit. This breed is also very rare and may weigh 9 to 12 pounds. As the name suggest, they have silver body with black shading. Silver Foxes make great pets and are excellent for their meat and fur. They have a great temperament and have a high dress out percentage.
This is a cross bred between the New Zealand White and American Chinchilla. Having the physical appearance and sturdy body of both of the breeds, this Rabbit breed produces a good quantity of meat and are bred commercially for meat.
These soft and plush Rabbits are raised primarily for their awesome fur and meat is the byproduct. When mature, they may weigh around 8 to 10 pounds and may come in a variety of blue, amber and spotted patterns in their color. The Rex is a nice rabbit for raising on the homestead.
These are good meat rabbits for the homestead and are also bred commercially for meat. Paliminos take a little longer to grow out than other breeds and weigh 8 to 11 pounds. They have a good temperament.
As the name suggests, these Rabbits are monsters in size and sometimes weigh above 20 pounds. They have a large body with broad skeleton structure and according to this size they also eat more.
They were raised for food many years ago and this breed does well being raised on the homestead. Their fur may be white, black, gray, blue, tan, or brown and grow to be huge in size.
The Tan is a smaller breed that requires minimal space and eats about 1/2 the amount of food that a New Zealand White requires. The Tans come in four varieties of color: black, blue, chocolate and lilac and they weigh 4 to 6 pounds.
Tans have energetic personalities and are an excellent choice for someone who prefers a small and lively rabbit. Tans are mostly raised as a fancy rabbit for show. They are visually striking because of their unique markings, contrast and intensity of their coloration.
Best Book On Raising Rabbits
Storey’s Guide to Raising Rabbits is as essential to the owner of pet rabbits as it is to the farmer raising rabbits for food or fur. Breed selection, year-round care and feeding, safe housing, humane handling, and disease prevention and treatment are all addressed.
Rabbit manure can also be created using techniques shown in this book. This is the classic, comprehensive, essential reference for all rabbit raisers. If you are a prepper or survivalist, having this book and getting started raising rabbits for food will be valuable for your long term survival planning.
Check Current Price & Availability:
Amazon carries Storey’s Guide to Raising Rabbits.
Selected Amazon Feedback (click to expand)
"Absolutely the best rabbit book around! This guy has been raising rabbits since he was a little kid and he really knows his stuff. He has a wonderful concept (and I haven't seen this anywhere else) for building and setting up rabbit cages. He talks about things (like raising earth worms beneath the rabbit cages) that other people don't even mention. He has excellent advise about the nuts-and-bolts of raising rabbits (how often to breed, how to kindle in cold climates, how to feed, etc). If I could only have ONE rabbit book this would be it..."
"I love how practical this writer is! He covers rabbits being great for so many purposes and how to enjoy the benefits of each of those purposes..."
"If you're searching for a book on how to raise rabbits, you'll come across Bob Bennett's name frequently, because Mr. Bennett is the absolute authority on raising these animals. Whether you are just starting out or a skilled rabbit rancher, Storey's Guide to "Raising Rabbits" is a must-have book for your library..."
"One of the best Rabbit books of all time. This book was exactly what I was looking for. A good descriptive book that talks to the reader like they are right there. Bob takes you through his years of experience in rabbit raising. He tells you how to start right, and how to make your rabbitry something that you can enjoy for years to come. It is a very good beginners book as well as an expert book. No matter where you are in the proccess of raising rabbits, Bob talks about the modern ways that you can improve."
"This book covers any questions a beginner might have for his/her rabbitry. I had done countless hours of reading and research on the internet and still found valuable information in this book for beginning my own rabbitry. Half of the information I had read online I was unable to go back and find again. This book has everything I had read online plus tons more of information, and I now have a copy to refer to whenever I need it..."
"Well written, detailed guide to raising rabbits, I will be following all it's recommendations as I start my rabbit herd. I will be recommending this book to friends."
"This is a great reference for beginners! I respect the Storey books which played a large part in my decision to buy this title. I was not disappointed-the information was comprehensive and the illustrations and photos were good. Add this to your homesteading library with confidence!"
"This book is full of information. We really look forward to raising our own rabbits - this book provides information and inspiration!"
"Nicely arranged information. Easy to read and apply."
Recommended Rabbit Supplies (click to expand)
Little Giant 24 inch X 24 inch X 16 inch Rabbit Hutch (You can build your own cages from hardware cloth using instructions in Storey's Guide to Raising Rabbits)
Miller Manufacturing ACC1 Wire Cage Clips, 1-Pound Bag (Clips for building your own rabbit cages)
Wire Clip Pliers (These pliers are needed to build your own rabbit cages)
20 Pack Water Nipple Drinker Rabbit Gravity Style System (If you have multiple rabbit cages, you can build your own gravity fed watering system with hosing and a bucket)
Hardware Cloth Needed to construct your own cage (Watch the first YouTube video below for construction details):
1" x 2" Mesh for the top and sides of the cage
1" x 1/2" Mesh for the floor
1" x 1/2" Mesh for the Nesting Box
1" x 1/2" Mesh for the "Baby Saver" around the lower sides of any cages that house female rabbits. This is for the bottom 2" High to 2-1/2" High on each side to keep the baby rabbits from falling out of the cage.
Great Source Of Rabbit Feed & Supplies
If you decide to raise Rabbits, Blain's Farm & Fleet is a great "one stop" place to get all of your bulk food & supplies for your Rabbits.
The following link is a direct link to Blain's Farm & Fleet's more than 100 products for rabbits including many kinds of Rabbit Food, Rabbit Treats, Rabbit Feeders, Rabbit Water Bottles, Heated Rabbit Bottles, Rabbit Hutches, Rabbit Runs, Rabbit Pan Liners, Hay, Carrots, Alfalfa, Rabbit Bedding, Rabbit Litter, & Rabbit Odor Control.
The Classic, Comprehensive, Essential Reference For Raising Rabbits
In the following video, the NewSurvivalist shows the advantages of raising rabbits for food, keeping them hidden from everyone but you, his preference for the Florida Whites breed, cage building, watering and feeding, and building nesting boxes.
In the following video, the NewSurvivalist shows how to breed rabbits and birthing the bunnies.
In the following video, the NewSurvivalist shows how fast your bunnies will grow.
In the following video, Ozzie Reviews demonstrates how to skin and butcher a rabbit. Warning: Graphic video.
Other Recommended Raising Animals For Food Books
The Resilient Gardener: Food Production and Self-Reliance in Uncertain Times (Includes important information keeping a home laying flock of ducks or chickens; integrating them with your gardening, and growing most of their feed).
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