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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
One of my female rabbits had another litter last week. :) They are a week old now. I raise meat rabbits, but have been selling them as pets lately as well. Almost zero upkeep with rabbits. The majority of their food is from my yard - weeds, grass, and leftover raw vegetables from our garden.

If you are looking into raising livestock for food, I highly recommend rabbits. They take up very little space, cheap to care for, and they produce more meat pound for pound in a year than any other animal.

Not to mention the rabbit droppings are excellent fertilizer in my vegetable garden.
 

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Yup. These guys will be put in the freezer Saturday.

I have four does and two bucks. But you certainly do not need to have that many breeding rabbits. Two does and one buck are plenty for the average family.

I usually time the birthrate to have about 8 to 12 bunnies every month. This is more than enough for the two of us and we always give some to our Mutual Support Group.

We have 7 adults (three families) in our MAG and we all share our bounty all year 'round. With cows, pigs, chickens, goats, ducks, and 4 very large gardens we almost never have to buy raw materials at the grocery stores. We're getting more and more into grinding our own grains but with our old equipment it takes a lot of time and effort. Did I say old equipment? It's more like antiques.

Oh yeah, we now have 2 alpacas, 4 angora rabbits, an antique bulk carding machine, and 2 spinning wheels in our group. I'm rebuilding another spinning wheel so we'll soon have three. I'm even getting into spinning. It's a way to pass the time on cold winter nights and the knitting and crocheting makes wonderful and very warm shirts, sweaters, socks, etc. One of our ladies is looking into buying an old weaving loom.

If you have the time it's a lot of fun to learn the old-timer's skills and it gives us a feeling of self sufficiency. It also gives a person a good perspective on how hard our settlers and pioneers had to work to stay alive. Whew!
 

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Raising rabbits is a great idea, only problem is, I'd never have the heart to kill one, and even if I did, my wife wouldn't allow it. Now, with that being said, that is today, where I can hop in the car and drive to the supermarket, if things changed for the worse, I am sure I could do it.
 

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When I was young I was told that Fluffy and Buffy got loose and ran away.

Then the dark stew dish they called Hasenpfeffer was dinner that night.
 

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Well, having been a chicken person, and doing the deed on a chicken, I suppose I can do the deed on a rabbit. We are going to diversify due to the issues with avian flu. Not just H7N9, but also the other avian flu. It's possible I would have to cull my whole flock, then what? I am hoping that doesn't happen, but you never know. I am going to try to isolate my birds more, but, our house is the place where my grandchildren will shelter, so, I won't mess around with anything that could be risky for them, if there is an avian flu issue. So, I guess hubby is agreeing to get rabbits. I have raised them as pets before, and felt they are fairly easy. What breed do you recommend for meat? Have any of you saved the pelts? What is involved in 'tanning' a pelt? I have seen some pretty good devices for dispatching the rabbit, are they worth it? I don't think I am strong enough to do it, but hubs is. He does in the chickens (neck slit) while I hold them, (they are tied and hanging upside down--seems they almost are asleep in that position, very calm) and then I hand pluck and gut them. I read one woman just uses a pellet gun or air gun to the back of the head of the rabbit, is that workable and humane? I have cooked and eaten wild rabbit, and didn't find it bad at all. I would love to talk hubs into a few goats, (we have the space) but, I think I'm pushing it with the rabbits. :/
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Very simple to butcher rabbits. There are videos on youtube. Rabbits don't take a lot of space either. I have three cages and they probably take up 30 sq feet.
 

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Raising rabbits is a great idea, only problem is, I'd never have the heart to kill one, and even if I did, my wife wouldn't allow it. Now, with that being said, that is today, where I can hop in the car and drive to the supermarket, if things changed for the worse, I am sure I could do it.
Try imagining that the rabbit insulted you or scratched your car door, I usually give them a small spear or similar edged weapon to make it fair. Hey! Its not my fault they don't have an opposable thumb... I'm just say'in

punch
 

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I imagine we will have rabbits shortly. At worst, we get a few furry pets for the kiddies, at best, we have meat, and maybe a cool jacket or hat....and when I was a kid, we had those lucky rabbit's feet key chains, lol. And there will still always be rabbits for the kiddies. You know, I wouldn't raise an animal for just fur, but, when you eat the meat, give the innards to the dogs, and make something from the pelt, I feel it is an acceptable use of an animal. I didn't always feel that way. It beats the hell outta GMO and acrylic. I am still hoping that there is some way to keep chickens safe from avian flu, perhaps culling my flock way back to 8 to 10 chickens and keeping them in a coop inside a shed, with a covered roof for a run may work. If they don't have a flu now, they won't get one unless they pick it up from migratory birds, or from contact with contaminated environment. I am going to work on that too, confining them. It's sad, because they are only semi confined at times. They have a good life, free ranging around our land. They only get confined with the hawk is on the warpath, and they have several 8 by 8 foot pens to peck around in when that happens. But they don't have roofs, and they are not birdie poop proof. We live in a very windy area and if stuff isn't built strong, you find it a half mile away the next day. Right now, it seems there are so many expenditures to really thoroughly prep, that, the expense is getting to us. I haven't asked my kids to pitch in, altho my son has additional weapons and ammo and a generator which would be brought to our place. Because we sort of homestead, we have a lot of stuff for that kind of life, but, it depends what kind of SHTF scenario one feels they need to provide for. I thought I had enough food, and this week I was really into organizing, and was mortified that I didn't have nearly what I thought I had given the number of people that could end up here. :/ I am hoping I can pick up some rabbit cages at a flea market or swap meet for cheap, disinfect them and use those, otherwise I am going to have to drop several hundred bucks on the set ups.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I got my rabbits at an animal auction - paid almost nothing for them. If you want to purchase any animals go to one of these. They have everything. The cages I picked up for almost nothing on craigslist. Two cages were free, I paid $25 for my large cage.
 

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We have some New Zealand Whites and some Californians. Our next door neighbor down the road has some NZ Reds and they are very good rabbits to raise for meat, too. I really do not see any difference between the three breeds. We eat rabbit twice or three times a month.

I have been experimenting with smoking the rabbits and it seems that they will be preserved very well if cold smoked properly.

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i just traded my last 4 NZ kits for a pecan tree. i have 1 male and 2 females, they have a really hard time here in Florida the heat and high humidity is really tough on them. they lay in the cage panting most of the day.i got a Florida white male and he is doing fine, although alott more skiddish than the NZ's. i also just picked up a lion head and a mini rex i'm gonna try and sell some of them see how it goes. and like op said they are really cheap to raise. i feed mine 80 % wild weeds and about 20% pellets. a really good resource online is riseandshine rabbitry.

Rise and Shine Rabbitry | Raising Meat Rabbits To Save The World!
 

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Mule13 - thanks for that link. I had stumbled across that site several years ago but somehow lost touch with it. Lots of good stuff there.
 

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Around here God provides all the rabbit you could want. He feeds them also. 4H and FFA with children growing up rabbits Chickens ,Goats pigs, sheep it can be a lot of work but worth while also.
 

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you are welcome dr prepper, and yes that site has alot of great info. he also sales comfrey roots through the mail. i planted them and about 2 days later they were sending up sprouts and a few weekss later they are huge :) wondering how they'll do here in Florida over the winter.
 

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I have contemplated rabbits, since they are quiet. I will go open that link, and do some digging.
Do you keep the males and females seperated?
Being I have two households, only I will be eating these fellas, so I guess one male and female, how many babies is kinda normal, or does breed have a lot to do with it?
 

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I have contemplated rabbits, since they are quiet. I will go open that link, and do some digging.
Do you keep the males and females seperated?
Being I have two households, only I will be eating these fellas, so I guess one male and female, how many babies is kinda normal, or does breed have a lot to do with it?
Deebo, I would start with 1 buck and 2 does. that way you can alternate breeding between them and keep yourself in rabbits. males need to be kept separate because of a few reasons. the worst are that they will eat the babies or cause mom to because she is nervous. Second is that does will still breed even if pregnant. So your doe could have a litter followed by another younger litter 2 -3 weeks later. very hard to save any of them if this happens. Don't doubt this can happen. It happened to me several times. I also have made the mistake of thinking I had a doe bred and then not seeing the kits born when I thought they should be bred doe again and then having the kits born a week or 2 later followed by another set within 3-4 weeks.

currently have 26 does and 3 bucks. always have plenty for meat and sell about $500 worth monthly if not more. pays for itself in many ways
 

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Thank you. I am serious, and the daughter says she loves eating rabbit.
 
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