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How To Raise Rabbits For Meat

Updated on August 3, 2013
You raise your rabbits in this portable cage that is open to the ground and can be moved around so rabbits get fresh grass and weeds to eat.
You raise your rabbits in this portable cage that is open to the ground and can be moved around so rabbits get fresh grass and weeds to eat.

How To Raise Rabbits For Meat

Young pan fried or deep fried rabbit is oh so delicious. I just simply love to pan fry my young rabbit and then in the pan where I fry it after I take the rabbit out I make my gravy and return it to the pan in the gravy and simmer it for a while before I serve it. You won't taste anything that tastes much better. You can easily pan fry young rabbits while older rabbits need to be parboiled first. Here on this Hub Page I'm going to teach you exactly hot to raise, dress, and enjoy your rabbits.

I like to raise my young rabbits in an outdoor cage like the one in the photo at the top of this page. At one end is a huge attached hutch with two doors so I can lock them with the rabbits inside if I need to. This cage works on the same principle as a chicken tractor. You let the rabbits eat all the grass and weeds sticking up through the bottom of the cage and then one night you lock the rabbits in the hutch and pull the outdoor cage to a new location.

Notice the outdoor cage has wood cross pieces across the bottom about every 3-4 inches. On the bottom you have hog wire across the bottom on the cross slats to slow the rabbits down on getting out by digging out and it stops coyotes, dogs, and etc from digging in.

I would use wire cages and wire nest boxes like in the video to keep my does and bucks in. When the baby rabbits are born and are six weeks old they go into the large outdoor rabbit cage. Put a band of rat wire all the way around the bottom three foot high to keep any young rabbits from getting out. You can use larger spaced wire around the top parts of the walls and the top. My outdoor rabbit cage is 12 foot wide and 36 feet long so the young rabbits have plenty of room.

I have water bottles around the bottom attached on the outside and two automatic feeders so the rabbits can eat all they want. Be sure to keep your feeders full and clean fresh water in your water bottles. This is very important. At each side on the end I have two big eye hooks inserted securely into the wood so i can attach ropes and pull the outdoor rabbit cage in either direction to where I want it.

Inside down on the walls low enough for the rabbits to get to them I have salt blocks for the rabbits to chew on. I have a thermometer inside the outdoor cage in a couple of locations so I can walk up and check the temperature easily. If the outdoor cage gets to hot I put a tarp over the top to give the rabbits some needed shade or I pull the outdoor rabbit cage under trees at the edge of my fields.

Always keep a close eye on your outdoor rabbit cage so you can see if any animal tries to dig under to get at the rabbits. If you watch it closely you can stop a problem before it gets started. Your outdoor rabbit cage has a top in it so you won't have to worry about hawks or other birds of prey from getting to your rabbits and making a meal out of them. You don't want anything eating your rabbits but you and your family.

You want to be sure to move your outdoor rabbit cage when the rabbits eat all the grass and weeds and you start to see bare spots inside the bottom of the outdoor rabbit cage.

You want to worm all rabbits on a regular basis. The best thing to do here is to talk to a local veterinarian and ask what you should be worming your rabbits with. Be sure to ask when is it safe to eat and consume the rabbits after you worm them. Be sure to tell the veterinarian that you are raising your rabbits for food and ask if there is anything special you need to do in your area.

Watch the three videos below and take careful notes on paper so you can refer back to them. You need to spend some time when ever you can to try to learn everything you can about rabbits. You need to find someone in your area to show you haw to tell the sex of rabbits. Once you learn how it will be easy.

I like New Zealand White rabbits but everyone has their own favorite. The New Zealand White are big meaty rabbits that have a lot of delicious meat on them and the mothers take great care of their young. If a mother rabbit loses her rabbits after they are born by having them on the cage floor give her one more chance and if she still doesn't take care of her young put her in a pot. Its time for a deep dish rabbit pie.

You can safely feed your rabbits the tops of onions, cabbage leafs, left over carrots and lettuce but don't overdo it. I give my rabbits a treat about once a week. Of course the young rabbits in the outdoor cage can eat grass or weeds when ever they like.

Be sure to watch the two videos on rabbits below. If you are going to be processing rabbits you need to watch the video on dressing and processing rabbits. Click Here to watch that video.

Urban Survival Livestock: Raising Rabbits Part 1

Urban Survival Livestock: Raising Rabbits Part 2

Checkered Giant Rabbits
Checkered Giant Rabbits

If Your Going To Eat Rabbits You Will Have To Kill And Dress Them.

If you raise rabbits for food eventually your going to have to kill the rabbit and dress it so you can use the meat. Its best that you or your children don't make pets out of rabbits that are going to be on the table this winter. It is best to keep small children away from the area where rabbits are being killed and dressed.

Keep your rabbit food in a large barrel with a tight fitting lid so it doesn't draw rats and mice. If you leave it out where anything can get to you it will quickly draw a huge population of rats and mice. So keep your rabbit deed in the barrel with a tight fitting lid.

Health Problems With Rabbits

There are several diseases and problems that can happen to a rabbit but if you will keep their cages and enclosures clean and feed them an adequate diet of rabbit pellet type food and plenty of clean water you should not have any problems. If you start noticing rabbits acting droopy or shaking take the animal to a veterinarian to see if you can find out what the problem is. Ask your local veterinarian if there are vaccinations your breeding stock of rabbits should have.

Be sure you check your rabbits teeth every other month or so to be sure they are not having any teeth problems. If you see anything unusual take the rabbit to the veterinarian to see if the problem can be corrected.

Fryer Rabbits

Fryer Rabbits are between 70 to 90 days of age and they will weigh from three to five pounds each before they are dressed.

Roaster Rabbits are 90 days to six months of age and weigh five to eight pounds each before they are dressed.

Stewing Rabbits are over six months of age and weigh over eight pounds.

You can even make rabbit sausage which incidentally is delicious.

Rabbit Sausage Recipe

If you have one of the hand turned sausage grinders you can easily make some delicious rabbit sausage. Here is the recipe.

1. One Pound Rabbit Meat cut off the bone.

2. One Fourth Cup Rabbit Liver.

3. Four Bacon Slices.

4. One Fourth Cup Onions Diced.

5. One Tablespoon Minced Fresh Garlic.

6. One Teaspoon Ground Rosemary.

7. One Teaspoon Ground Oregano.

8. One Teaspoon Thyme.

9. One Teaspoon Parsley.

10. One Half Teaspoon Ground Cayenne Pepper.

11. One Teaspoon Ground Black Pepper.

12. One Teaspoon Ground Sea Salt.

Run the rabbit meat and rabbit liver through a metal meat grinder. Mix everything else up in a food processor. Mix everything up together in a large bowl. Make out into patties between layers of wax paper. When your ready fry your rabbit sausage golden brown. We make about 100 pounds of rabbit sausage every fall and people beg for it when they know we are making it. It really is that good.

Keep A Journal About Your Rabbits

Each doe you have should have a page in that journal where you write down her name or number, her approximate age, when she is turned to the buck, estimated day she will give birth, number of young she has and how well does she take care of her young. As soon as she gives birth she can be turned again but I usually wait until the baby rabbits are four weeks old and the doe rabbit always goes to the males cage. He never comes to her cage.

You can cut up your dressed rabbits and put them into zip lock gallon bags for the freezer. Be sure you date your bags of rabbit and write what it is on the bag. Have a place in the freezer for each type of item.

Most rabbits will carry her young from 20-22 days. She will pull hair and put it in the provided nest box and you need to leave her along with her new babies for at least 24 hours. Don't touch the baby rabbits unless you absolutely have to until they are four weeks old. Any time you touch a rabbits babies sprinkle your mama rabbits nose and your hands with talcum powder or baby powder so she won't know what is going on. The powders will hide your smell from the mama rabbit.

Your rabbits will be most comfortable in temperatures from 50 to 72 degrees. If you fear your rabbits are too hot give them frozen water bottles and freeze big clean rock so you can give them to your rabbits on very hot days. If you see rabbits hanging close to a frozen rock then they are way to hot. Try giving them frozen water bottles just slightly thawed and provide them with plenty of shade.

I want to thank you for reading my Hub Page on , " How To Raise Rabbits For Meat ". I hope I have given you information you can use. Thanks for taking the time to read my Hub Page. if you ever have questions, tips, or suggestions, please post them below now.

Please Post Your Comments, Tips, Suggestions, Or Questions About , How To Raise Rabbits For Meat. Thanks For Reading.

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    • profile image


      11 months ago

      Do you have a blue print for your rabbit tractors?

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      I used the recipe above for rabbit sausage yesterday, oh man is it ever more wonderful! Thank you for sharing. We butchered 6 rabbits that were 5 months old and followed the directions. I ended up with 21 pounds of sausage. It is so tasty I can't wait to make breakfast this morning.

    • crazyhorsesghost profile imageAUTHOR

      Thomas Byers 

      7 years ago from East Coast , United States

      Thanks for the comment. I appreciate it. I changed the video on processing the rabbits to a link so it can be clicked and you can watch the video.

    • sgbrown profile image

      Sheila Brown 

      7 years ago from Southern Oklahoma

      My dad raised rabbits for meat when I was just a child. I have eaten rabbit in a variety of ways, but not in years. I remember it being very good. However, as I get older I find that I cannot eat anything I have raised. My husband hunts deer and turkey, but I don't want to see them before I eat them. I guess I am getting soft in my "older" age. This is a very informative hub. Voted up and useful. Have a great day! :)


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