Homesteading is becoming more and more popular wiht each new day. Whether it is gardening, composting, raising chickens or woning bees, people are choosing to limve off their land no matter how little they may own. Many people new to backyard homesteadng start small, maybe a small garden and a few chickens and move from there. If you're intereested n living off of your land, raising rabbits for meat may be a good option for you.
Raising meat rabbits is becoming more wide-spread. Not only is rabbit meat lean, nutritious, and tasty, rabbits are fairly easy to keep. They are quiet, docile, provide great manure for the garden, and they are able to reproduce year around.
Here are eight reasons to consider raising rabbits for meat:
A rabbits rate of reproduction is high and quick. A trio of rabbits (one buck and two does) can produce more than 600 pounds of meat a year. A rabbit has a gestation of just 30 days and can be bred back within days of giving birth. The young can be left with their dam up until she is ready to kindle again or the young are big enough to butcher.
Rabbits need very little space. The average meat rabbit needs a cage that is 2 1/2 feet by 3 feet by 18 inches high.
Low maintenance and easy to care for. Most rabbits raised in clean surroundings stay healthy and need little grooming. A quick check at feeding time will let you know if any of your rabbits need any extra care.
Rabbits are quiet! They make no sound unless there is something wrong and they will not bother the neighbors.
Minimal feed required According to the USDA a rabbit needs about 4 pounds of feed to make one pound of meat.
Rabbit manure makes a great addition to your garden soil. No need to compost just add to the soil. Or if you like fishing raise earthworms in the manure and onec the worms are removed the soil is even better for the garden
Nutritious, delicious meat Rabbit meat is an excellent source of protein, and has less cholesterol andfat than chicken, beef, lamb or pork. Also one rabbit equals one meal for an average family of 4 so there is no concern for storing surplus for those homesteaders that do not have a freezer.
Rabbits are easy to butcher. There are a variety of humane ways to slaugher a rabbit cleanly and effectively. Some choose to use a heavy stick and hit the rabbit in the back of the head, knocking it unconscious, other choose to break the rabbits neck.
So if you are looking for a small meat animal to add to your homestead and don't want to deal with feathers give rabbits a try!
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