Raising meat rabbits is one of the most economical and healthy meats you can raise. Rabbit meat is lean, cheap and so much more. For those on the fence, these nine reasons to raise meat rabbits can help you make your final decision.
Not too long ago, my family changed from a regular diet to eating a gluten free diet. It was necessary for us to do so due to my health issues. It has been amazing and I have finally learned to love food as food was meant to be.
But if I were to be honest, I only mostly love it. Truth is, it can be hard to find real, nutritious food in stores without spending hundreds per month; especially when you are eating fresh produce and grass-fed meat mostly.
So while I mostly love it, I also hate it at the same time. I love how it makes me feel, but I hate the cost. Sure, I do what I can to save money on food but frankly, you can only do so much to save.
It is for this reason that I grow, raise, or hunt as much of our food as possible when I can. It is also the reason that I will be adding meat rabbits to my brood in a few weeks.
Making the Decision to Raise Backyard Meat Rabbits
It is well known among my friends and family that Steve and I are perfectly fine providing for ourselves. We are known for taking several days in a row and filling our freezer with fresh fish each summer. In fact, we are headed down to the Gulf in June to visit family and of course; fill our freezer with fish and crab varieties we can’t get locally.
We are also known as hunters when we can. Wild game meat not only tastes amazing but has some of the most nutrition you can find in a meat. I am partial to venison recipes while Steve loves the elk recipes I cook for him.
But one area that we are usually lacking in is small game. These are things such as rabbit and squirrel. I could not tell you the last time I seen a squirrel here so we simply don’t hunt it. For rabbit, we do not need to hunt it.
Instead, we will be adding backyard meat rabbits after we return home from the Gulf.
Why Should I Raise Meat Rabbits?
It may seem as if the meat is the only reason for raising meat rabbits, but honestly, there are a lot of reasons. If you have been considering it, take a look at the reasons to raise meat rabbits below. They may just help you make your decision.
Raising Backyard Meat Rabbits Has Low Start Up Costs
With other forms of livestock, there can be significant start up costs. For instance, Family Farm Livestock talks about buying cows in their article HERE. To get started with cows, you can expect to pay upwards of $1500 for the cow alone. That is in addition to feed, grazing land and so on.
Raising meat rabbits is much cheaper to begin with. The cost of a meat rabbit can be as low as $15.00 per rabbit depending on the area you live in. My own personal cost is $25.00 per rabbit as I have chosen a breeder with an excellent reputation and care processes. I am okay paying a bit more for rabbits who have been well cared for.
All in all, I will still pay less than the cost of one cow for several meat rabbits for what will amount to several hundred pounds of meat per year. Just three meat rabbits who have been bred correctly can net up to 600lbs of meat each year.
Meat Rabbits are Very Economical to Raise
In addition to having low start up costs, the costs of raising rabbits for meat is also very economical. Once your start up supplies are taken care of, the cost of rabbits boils down to feeding them.
In other words, for less than $40 a month and probably much cheaper if you really wanted to, you are able to feed meat rabbits. I don’t know about you guys, but my dogs eat more than that in food costs each month.
Rabbit Meat is Very Lean
Because my health and weight problems are exacerbated by the food I put in my body, we are very careful about what we eat. This means I love lean meats.
Rabbit meat is incredibly lean. In fact, it is so lean that you can not survive on rabbit meat alone. There’s not enough fat!
For those looking to cut fat out of their diet, it is the perfect option!
Rabbit is High in Protein
Another nutritional aspect of eating rabbit meat is that it is extremely high in protein. For me, this is extremely important. If you are eating a high protein diet, raising meat rabbits can help provide you with fresh, organically raised meat without paying high prices for it.
Yes, you can buy commercially raised rabbit meat. However, you will pay far more per pound than you would to raise it yourself. Believe it or not, buying rabbit meat can cost you more than $11.00 per pound!
Raising Meat Rabbits is Convenient
I love to hunt, but sometimes – as is the case for us with hunting rabbit – it is just really inconvenient. Backyard meat rabbits, however, are extremely convenient. Once they are bred, you are only a few weeks from the next round of fresh meat ready to go in your freezer.
Rabbits are Great for Small Spaces
We live at the edge of a town and while we do have a large yard, we do not have acres and acres of land to work with. Our small yard – and yours too – is perfect for backyard meat rabbits.
Rabbits are not like other livestock options. They require very little space to raise. It is best to have room for them, but at a minimum all you need room for is for your hutches and a small grassy area for them a small rabbit run.
Rabbits Provide an Amazing Garden Fertilizer
If you have a garden, rabbit droppings provide an amazing fertilizer. Rabbit poo – yes, rabbit poo – is a great way to fertilize your garden. It is no different than using cow or horse manure in your compost mix.
Rabbits are a Zero Waste Livestock that Can Earn Money
Spend any time around this site and you will notice that we live as zero waste as possible. My backyard meat rabbits will fit right in!
There are uses for much more than the meat when you butcher meat rabbits. Of course you will eat the meat, but the bones can be made to make rabbit broth or stock. Once you are done with that, you can also tan rabbit hides and of course, we have already discussed what to do with rabbit droppings.
Income from Your Homestead
An added bonus is that some of these ways to prevent waste can actually be used to earn money for your homestead! Depending on cottage laws in your state, you may be able to sell excess meat your rabbits produce.
You can also sell tanned hides for their fur and even their droppings! Yes! People who do not raise meat rabbits on their own homestead will pay you for the poo your rabbits produce!
All in all, they are a great way to help you save money on your homestead or to bring in some additional income; all while providing your family with fresh, organically raised meat.
Is raising meat rabbits something you and your family would do? I’d love to hear your thoughts! If you have meat rabbits already, leave me a tip? I’m so excited to get my own rabbits and can’t wait to hear what those who have more experience have to say!