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Don’t Hunt? No Chickens? Try Raising This Meat Instead

Don’t Hunt? No Chickens? Try Raising This Meat Instead

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.

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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.

View Comments (100)
  • As with raising any animal, if you don’t do your homework you’ll have more trouble than meat. New Zealand Whites are so pretty that most people won’t have the heart to kill them. If you feed them the wrong thing they will get diarrhea and die. If you let them get out and can’t catch them they built tunnels (boroughs) under the ground you’re walking on. You have to keep your breeding stock’s teeth filed down. I’m just trying to tell you that raising rabbits is NOT as easy as this article leads people to believe. AND you have to have a pretty good sized room to put the cages inside or out. So rabbit farmer beware.

  • great advice….is there any written guide for raising per your well-stipulated warnings?

  • I’m raising Moscovy ducks. If you don’t know what you are eating you might think it is beef.

  • Anoesis’s comment holds some truth. But she makes raising rabbits sound far more more complicated than it actually is. I raised rabbits for 2 years in the early ’80s. Mostly New Zealand Whites but also a few of another species whose name I forget. It was after all about 35 years ago. As many as 16 adults at a time. 1 buck and 7 does of each species. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist. I did it with zero health problems over 2 years with no more education than a book I bought in a used book store for $0.50. That book taught me how to build the cages. What size to make them. Everything I needed to do it successfully for 2 years. And no…you don’t have to file your breeding stock’s teeth. WHAT RUBBISH! Mama and Mr. get 18 months to breed then they get knocked on the head and replaced with one you saved from an earlier litter.

    Paul Smith’s comment “Youtube is your friend” is true. But over the course of raising rabbits for 2 years almost never a week went by that I didn’t refer to my book. So while youtube is good I urge buying a book on the subject so that every time you have a question you don’t have to sit through watching several videos. Youtube is a good start, But BUY A BOOK!

    If you are going to raise rabbits they CAN’T BE PETS!! No cuddling. No feeding them a carrot treat by hand. No petting them. No letting them out of their cages except when you move the buck to the doe’s cage for probably 45 seconds and then move him back before she kills him. BE SERIOUS PEOPLE. If you are going to raise these critters for food you are going to have to lift each rabbit up by the hind legs, smack it on the back of the head with a hammer, let it twitch a bit then go on to the next one. And you are going to do that to between 8 and 12 at a time. Then you have to skin, gut and freeze them. Can you do that to your pet cat? I didn’t think so. THE RABBITS CAN’T BE PETS IF THEY ARE MEANT FOR FOOD.

    All in all rabbits are a delicious, low-maintenance and inexpensive source of food that take minimal space to raise. I find the predictions of 5 lbs at 8-10 weeks to be a touch high but I never weighed them. Maybe they were that big. I just knocked them on the head when they looked the right size. Usually 8-9 weeks.

  • OH, so now they are going after the Easter Bunny and Bugs Bunny for din-din, absolutely obscene…before you degenerates slit their throat and bake them, look into their eyes and ask yourself “Whats up Doc”.

  • You could get the same feeling looking into the eyes of a cow or a sheep or even a chicken that you’ve raised. These animals should not be raised as pets but as food.

  • True, I am guilty as millions of others that enjoy chicken, beef, pork, lamb, and high protein meats. Striving to become a vegetarian, but then I will be accused of not looking into the eyes of a carrot, potato, eyesparagus,…just can’t win!

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