If you are a vegetarian and you want to go off grid, then you’ll, obviously, want to focus on skills for growing and gathering food. But most people in the United States aren’t vegetarians, and they want meat in their diet. For some it’s about taste. For others it’s about protein. Whatever your reason, though, if you don’t hunt or raise chickens, then getting meat for the dinner table could be a challenge.
On the other hand, you could try raising rabbits.
Now, you may not be familiar with eating rabbit meat, so you may not know that you can prepare rabbit in any of the ways that you prepare your other meats. You can bake it, fry it, braise it. You can make stew with it, glaze it, or make pot pies with it. It can be your all purpose meat when you’re living off grid in a long-term disaster situation.
You may ask yourself: why would I want to raise rabbits? And the answer is for very practical reasons. One reason, obviously, is that you don’t need large amounts of space compared to some other meat animals. Cows and sheep require fields. Rabbits require cages.
Another reason is that rabbits grow to a perfect size for eating in about 10 weeks. This means not having to wait a few years to enjoy a good meal, and you can start from scratch or plan for a family gathering, for example, with less notice to make sure that you have enough meat on hand. Anthony Okrongly gives us details:
The reason people raise California and New Zealand rabbits for meat is because they are very good at growing to five pounds in 10-11 weeks. If you are growing rabbits and they only grow to three or four pounds in 10-12 weeks, then you should cull the breeding stock and replace it with better stock.
If I had ten great does, instead of ten dud does, and each had thirty babies per year, but each baby grew to five pounds in ten weeks, how much rabbit would I have made? I would have made 1,500 pounds of pre-slughter rabbit per year.
Think about that. 1,500 pounds meat per year works out to approximately four pounds of rabbit every day. That’s not all meat, but that gives enough meat to feed a few people some every day. How would that change your self-sufficiency plans if you could depend on that kind of meat production?
What animals have you kept for meat production? Tell us below.