Rearing rabbits have gotten increasingly popular. Not only is rabbit meat higher in protein and lower in calories and fat compared to chicken, but it’s also incredibly versatile. You can cook it in stews, bake it, fry it, barbecue it — that sky really is the limit! What’s more, rabbits are easier to rear than you think! And, it doesn’t require much space at all. Even if you’re backyard is no bigger than 30 square feet, you can rear enough rabbits to supply you with over 200 pounds of meat every year! If you’re interested in rearing rabbits, or if you’ve already started doing so but are looking for more tips, then you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we’ve compiled some of the top tips you need to know when rearing rabbits. So, what are you waiting for? Keep reading to find out more!
1. Recognize Your Market
There’s one main reason why people choose to rear rabbits and it’s for their meat. So, before getting started, it’s important to know the exact quantity of meat you can get with the number of rabbits you’re going to rear. In general, one female rabbit will produce a litter of around nine babies, or kittens, six times a year. When each kit reached eight weeks of age and is ready to be butchered, they’ll weigh a little less than five pounds. After they’ve been field-dressed, their meat will weigh around two and a half pounds. Hence, one doe rabbit will produce around 60 pounds of meat per year.
Besides rabbit meat, rabbit innards can also be eaten so you don’t have to throw them out and waste them. A popular method of cooking the innards is simply to deep fry them and serve them with beer! Alternatively, rabbit liver also makes a good sandwich spread. All you have to do is chop them up, cook them, and spread them over bread.
When rearing rabbits, you get more than just food. Their pellet-sized manure is a great all-natural and organic fertilizer for plants and vegetation. You could also start your very own worm farm by installing a bin under your elevated rabbit hutches. Lastly, you could even make your own winter clothes and jackets with rabbit fur. Rabbit fur is super soft and insulates heat well.
Featuring a peaked roof and integrated outdoor run, this hutch has insulated outer walls, roof, and tub. Plus, mesh windows and ventilation holes; the ideal size for a small breed of rabbits.
Rabbits need their daily supplements and vitamins as well. This all-natural supplement promotes normal digestion, and defends against stress as well general microbiome support.
Ideal for rabbits, dogs, and small livestock, this feed pan is completely crush, crack and freeze-proof; suitable for all climates indoors or outdoors. It is also made out of corded rubber.
2. Build Your Animal House Well
At the beginning of this article, we mentioned that you don’t need a lot of space to rear rabbits. While this is true, rabbits still need an adequate amount of space to grow up healthy and produce good-quality meat. As a general rule of thumb, each adult rabbit’s hutch should be a minimum length of three feet. The hutch should also be about two feet high and two and two and a half feet deep. You can use chicken wire to form the roof of the hutch but you’re going to need sturdy galvanized wire for the hutch floor. You’re also going to want to elevate the hutches so they don’t touch the ground.
Rabbits are able to withstand the cold but don’t do well in extremely hot weather. Prolonged exposure to high temperatures can be fatal to rabbits so, during the hot summer months, you need to ensure that the hutches are shaded.
3. Know What A Normal Animal Looks and Feels Like
Another important thing you need to know when rearing rabbits, or any animals for that matter, is how to identify healthy rabbits. This will be needed not only when you’re picking out your seed stock from breeders, but also when you’re rearing them and need to treat sick or injured rabbits. The insides of a rabbit’s ears should be free of scabs. Scabs are often caused by ear mites so if a rabbit has dry scabs in their ears, this is a sign that they might suffer from ear mites. Also, a rabbit’s feet shouldn’t also have any sores and its nose shouldn’t be runny or wet. If you’ve started rearing rabbits, you should look out for rabbits that produce runny droppings as this is another sign that they may be ill.
100% all natural, fresh orchard grass for rabbits, it is pelletized without additives, preservatives, pesticides or GMO products. Plus, it is rich in fiber, vitamins and minerals to promote good health.
If you plan to keep your rabbits outdoors, constructing a hex netting could be a good idea. This is great for making small animal cages and has light reinforcement and support. The rolls are 75 ft.
4. Choose the Best Animals
At the end of the day, when rearing rabbits, you obviously want to get good-quality meat. One way to ensure this is to make sure you get does and bucks that have good production records. Another way to tell to gauge the quality of a doe or bucks’ offspring is by feeling them. As most of the meat you’ll get from a rabbit comes from the hind legs, feeling them will give you a good indication of how meaty or tender their meat will be. Aside from this, you’ll also want to do a ‘squeeze test’ on the animal’s loin muscles. To do so, gently squeeze the area between the rabbit’s ribs and pelvis. Its loin muscles should feel solid and long.
5. Feed the Critters Correctly
Last but not least, ensure that you’re feeding your rabbits correctly. As the saying goes: You are what you eat. To ensure that the meat that you get from your rabbits is top-quality, you need to ensure that they’re being fed well. When choosing feed, make sure that you choose one that’s high in protein. Protein is an essential part of a rabbit’s nutrition as it affects both growth and reproduction. Protein should make up at least 12% of an adult rabbit’s diet while kittens and nursing female rabbits require at least 20%. You can also feed your rabbits some greens, hay, and root crops from time to time. However, do note that green vegetables give young rabbits diarrhea so be careful not to give any to them. Last but not least, always ensure that your rabbits always have access to clean water. Female rabbits and their young drink around a gallon of water each day to remember to refill their waters whenever it goes empty.
With that, we’ve come to the end of this article. Now that you’ve gained some idea on rearing rabbits, it’s up to you to decide whether you’re cut out for the job! Or, if you’ve already starting rearing them, hopefully, this article has proved you with some fresh insight into how to raise them well.
|1||Trixie Natura Insulated Rabbit Hutch|
Featuring a peaked roof and integrated outdoor run, this hutch has insulated outer walls, roof, and tub. Plus, mesh windows.
|2||HealthyGut Probiotics for Rabbits|
Rabbits need their daily supplements and vitamins. This all-natural supplement promotes normal digestion, and defends against stress.
|3||4qt Rubber Feed Pan|
Ideal for rabbits, dogs, and small livestock, this feed pan is completely crush, crack and freeze-proof; suitable for all climates.
|4||Viking Farmer Orchard Grass|
100% all natural, fresh orchard grass for rabbits, it is pelletized without additives, preservatives, pesticides or GMO products.
If you plan to keep your rabbits outdoors, constructing a hex netting could be a good idea. This is great for making small animal cages.