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Five Reasons to Consider Raising Meat Rabbits

Nutritional Facts - NZW Rabbits

Raising Rabbits for Meat.

While raising rabbits for meat is probably not what you had in mind when it comes to making dinner; did you know that meat rabbits provide five benefits that you don’t get with other livestock options?  It’s true, raising rabbits can be one of the best food choices that you can make for your home and family. Continue reading to find out why more and more people are beginning to raise rabbits in their backyard as a healthy source of protein for their families.

1 – Rabbits are Efficient

Rabbits can produce 6 pounds of meat while cows produce only 1 pound of meat on the same feed. This is due to the fact that the mother’s milk is so rich in protein that it allows young rabbits to grow extremely fast.

In fact, they’re so fast that you can have your rabbits ready to process within eight to ten weeks and this could mean dressing out 4 to 5 lbs. of meat.

2 – Rabbit Meat is High Quality

Meat rabbits produce nothing but delicious white meat.  In fact, the quality is so high that they have been regarded as the best source of quality food ever since the Middle Ages.

For example, rabbit meat contains only 10.2% fat and 20.8% protein. That means, it has less cholesterol and more protein than turkey, chicken pork and beef. It was dubbed by the USDA as the “Domestic Venison or the Healthiest Meat Known to Man.”

Another great benefit to growing meat rabbits is that since the taste bears a strong resemblance to chicken, they can be treated as a healthy chicken substitute. As a matter of fact, if you were to serve only the most discerning of food connoisseurs’, they would probably not even know that it was rabbit instead of chicken unless they were told otherwise. There are lots of rabbit breeds to choose from when it comes to producing the delicious white meat that has made them famous, however, the most popular breed for meat production is called the New Zealand White Rabbit.

3 – Rabbits Don’t Require Much Space

Compared to other livestock, rabbits don’t require nearly as much space. They can be kept in all wire hutches with a floor area of 2.5’x3’. Wire cages are convenient to use because they allow you to keep your rabbits clean and safe at all the times. Initially, it may be difficult to imagine keeping rabbits in these types of cages, however, it is probably the best thing to do if you plan on raising a decent number or meat rabbits. Of course, it goes without saying that they should be kept inside of a covered area such as a shed or garage to protect them from the elements.

4 – Comparing Rabbits to Other Forms of Livestock

Rabbits require low maintenance, as they can be raised in backyard or shed environments or even in the city (depending on local ordinances). When you compare them to raising cows and pigs, rabbits are very low maintenance. Cows and pigs need to be raised in isolated places or on a farm, away from populated areas and will almost certainly require agricultural or livestock zoning.

Additionally, rabbits do not bleat or cluck. The only noise you can hear from rabbits is when they are running around their cage. Rabbit urine does has some smell but it is mostly absorbed by the soil. Occasionally, breeders might need to throw some lime in the soil to help absorb the smell and of course you’d need to rake the poop about once a week. What this means is that unlike cows, pigs and other livestock animals; as long as you keep the surrounding area clean all the time, the smell should be very minimal.

5 – Additional Rabbit Perks

In addition to being a terrific source of protein, rabbits are also good for other things. For instance, rabbit poop can be used as fertilizer in your garden. As a cold manure, it can be directly thrown in the garden without burning the plants.  Other manures or hot manures like chicken poop, can damage flowers, plants and vegatables if put directly on them. Also being solid white, the fur of nzw rabbits can be tanned or dyed and used to make amazing handmade items.

You’ve just read five solid reasons to consider raising meat rabbits. Now that you have a better understanding of why you may want to raise rabbit meat, why not check out our page on Raising Your Own Rabbits so that you can see how easy it is to get started!

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