Backyard Rabbits

PictureWhen I moved to upstate NY I wanted a healthy and sustainable option for meat.  I chgives you beneficial vitamins and minerals such as B12, B3, selenium and phosphorus.  While being nutritious rabbits also produce poop, a lot of poop.  Rabbit poop is different from other manure that it does not need to age before being added to your garden.  In the summer all the rabbits waste (urine, feces, and any extra food scraps) falls into worm bins.  We mix the bins 50% peat with 50% waste and add about 500 worms per bin.  These bins are turned throughout the summer and sit over winter.  In early spring we spread this over our garden and till it into the soil.  This helps to keep the garden soil very healthy for my summer plants (giving me no excuses when they all die because I didn’t water them). ose rabbits as they were the best choice for our home for countless reasons.  Rabbit meat has the highest percentage of protein, at 20%, with the fewest amount of calories, at 795 calories per pound.   The cholesterol level of rabbits is also lower than both chicken and turkey, as well as being easier to digest than most other meats. One ten pound doe can produce up to 300 pounds of rabbit meat in one year while consuming less feed per pound than other meat producing animals.  Eating rabbit meat also We chose to raise Giant Chinchillas. This breed was developed in the US and are similar to the light grey Flemish Giant.  I find that the Giant Chinchillas have a better meat to bone ratio than the Flemish and the kits grow out nicely.  We usually process around 11 weeks or once they reach around 7 pounds.  One litter of 8 kits provides us with about 30 pounds of meat.  I find the Giant Chinchillas to be very easy to work with.  These rabbits tend to be very calm and easy to handle.  In the winter we bring the rabbits inside the garage to protect them from the harsh NY winters.  Inside the garage they are all litter trained which makes them very neat and easy to clean up after.  This also allows me to individually add additional heat to any particular doe who may be having a new litter. In the summer the rabbits are housed outside in raised hutches.  My husband built sides and roofs to protect them in the summer from any rain or severe winds.  All of our adult rabbits know their names and enjoy being handled.  Our rabbits run around the garage when we are out their even with our dogs.


     I welcome any discussion or questions on this post  I also realize raising rabbits for meat is not for everyone.  I encourage you to do what is best for your family as I do with mine.

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