I recently had a conversation about breeding rabbits for food after TEOTWAWKI. The gentleman I was talking with was somewhat skeptical about breeding rabbits for meat, because he had heard about rabbit starvation. Now rabbit starvation is a condition that occurs from a lack of fat. People eating only wild rabbits and no other foods have been known to stave from the lack of fat. Now these are wild rabbits, not the fat lazy ones you are raising. Yours have fat inside their bodies and in their organ meat. Plus you should be eating other foods.
Rabbits are a good source of protein for the prepper. Starting with one buck and 3 or 4 does, you can raise enough meat to feed a small family for the year. You will need to clean cages, and gather grass and weeds for them. But they are among the easiest animals to raise and butcher.
The best three breeds for meat that I have encountered are the Californian, New Zealand, and the American Chinchilla. Now I know there are other breeds that may be as good or better. So if you are considering breeding rabbits, talk to a local breeder and see what grows well in your area.
13 reasons for breeding rabbits
- Rabbits take up very little room; They can be easily hidden in a outbuilding or behind a fence.
- Rabbits are quiet
- Rabbits can be butchered as needed; you can use the meat in one day so there is no problem with spoilage.
- Rabbits sexually mature at about 5 to 6 months.
- One buck can breed up to 10 does.
- Each doe can produce up to 45 to 50 kits per year. At 3 lbs of dressed out meat each, they can produce up to 150 lbs of meat in a year.
- Rabbits have a very short gestation period of 31 days and can be bred 2 weeks after giving birth.
- Rabbit manure is good fertilizer.
- Rabbits are herbivores and can eat plants that you could not. They won’t compete with you for food.
- Rabbits can be raised in many different climates. Talk to a local breeder to see which breeds are best for your area.
- Rabbit fur is great for making hats, mittens, blankets, coats etc!
- Rabbit is delicious and can be cooked in many different ways, such as frying, baking, roasting, smoking it, and more.
- Cages can be made with easily available materials, here a link to 12 Free Rabbit Hutch Plans and Designs
To sum it up breeding rabbits is easy, economical and can be done in a small area. It is a good meat source for preppers.