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Old 12-15-2009, 08:42 PM
Malaz Malaz is offline
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Default Raising Rabbits to eat



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Is it cost-effectively to raise rabbits to eat?

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Old 12-15-2009, 08:57 PM
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I dunno. Quail would be another option.
Old 12-15-2009, 09:14 PM
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Yes, rabbit meat costs about $14.00 for a whole rabbit dead and cleaned. It costs me about $2.90 to raise till 8 weeks and that is if I use store bought feed.
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Old 12-16-2009, 06:05 AM
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Too many variables to really answer the question. The biggest among them is time. What's your time worth?

The short answer is yes. But if you work for yourself (for instance) and can spend the time you would be spending raising the rabbits to make more money to buy meat, then the answer is no.

Not trying to complicate things, but it always seems like with answers to questions like this nobody ever mentions time. Unlike money, time can only be spent once and can never be re-acquired.
Old 12-16-2009, 10:45 AM
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Man, I wanna move to NC and raise rabbits! I just get $6 a piece around here.

I grow a bunch of what I feed to my rabbits and I have the luxury of having an alfalfa/clover hay field so feeding rabbits for me is'nt were the cost comes in unless you count the fuel, the sting, the maintainence and time of baling hay(plus my aching back, LOL). Rabbit cages, even if you make them yourself cost money, if you use bowls for water, those break and or get chewed on so you have to spend more money to replace them. I use the nipple waterers, they fit on 1 liter pop bottles. But, winter weather freezes those and occasionally they break as well. Bowls for feed, again see above, I use the auto feeders, they cost around $6 each here.

It's like any project you take on, the initial costs are gonna be there and the time you'll have to spend every day to keep them healthy and producing. The benefits are great tho, you have a steady supply of high protien, low fat meat plus a nice supply of the best fertilizer money can't buy! Rabbit poo can be used fresh, it doesn't burn your plants and gives you immediate growth from whatever you put that poo on.

You do need to keep your rabbits protected from heat, direct sunshine, wind and cold but I think it's worth it. I keep 4 breeding does and a buck all the time here.

Your biggest feed cost will be from weaning to butcher size as a full grown breeder rabbit does well on about a cup(8 oz) of feed a day. Of course you don't want to restrict your babies in any way and pouring the feed to them so they grow is what kills you.
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Old 12-16-2009, 09:02 PM
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I've been thinking about raising rabbits as well and I remember reading (somewhere, I have no idea) that 1 buck and 3 does can produce offspring that will give you 450lbs of meat per year.
Old 12-16-2009, 10:02 PM
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Production rates vary. I would expect about 125 lbs of processed carcass from the offspring of two does and a buck in a year. That is taking it easy on the does. You might double it if you push the production. Generally you can't save money raising meat vs. buying bulk chicken at Sam's club. However, if you want increase self sufficiency , than you have to practice self sufficiency.
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Old 12-17-2009, 09:24 AM
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mmwb, you've missed the whole point. If we wanted to buy meat that was full of growth hormones and steriods(commercially produced chicken) we wouldn't be thinking about or actually raising rabbits.
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Old 12-17-2009, 01:42 PM
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There are several sites that address the economics of raising rabbits:

http://www.wholefoods4pets.com/rabbit%20meat%20info.htm

Quote:
Rabbits will produce 6 pounds of meat on the same feed and water as a cow will produce 1 pound of meat on the same feed and water
Old 12-18-2009, 11:32 AM
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The cost of raising one lb of beef is supose to equal to 6 lbs of rabbit. If your rabbit is producing, you can adv. up to 32 bunnies a year (I have read). Quality of meat, easy of raising in urban area, low cost upkeep, small area needed, no regulations on a local level on most cases. This is why I have 3 does and 2 bucks, NZ giants & Calif Whites. Have them in a 10x10 shed, individual cages, clean area, and easy to maintain.
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Old 12-18-2009, 11:48 AM
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Others have cited the same reasons, but I'll join the choir.
The main reason most folks raise rabbits, chickens, turkeys, etc. is to know what went into the meat they're eating. If you added up all the chemicals in commercial meat products, you could open your own drug store!
My turkeys cost me almost $1.50/lb to raise, but they're "organic", for sure.
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Old 12-18-2009, 12:16 PM
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If I had the space... I'd do it in a heartbeat. I concur that the chemicals and additives going into our food these days (not just meat) is pretty disheartening.

It's no wonder we've all got ailments and other life threatening diseases like cancer.
Old 12-18-2009, 01:10 PM
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90% of our Red Meat is Venison for the very same reason. We live by a code here, spring and summer we are putting up fresh veggies. Fall and Winter, is the time to hunt, and put up as much wild meat as we can harvest. Once we fill our freezer with ground meat, roasts, sausage of several types and such, we know we have our needs met for most of the year. Hopefully our rabbits will substatute some of this meat supply next year. Chickens are our spring plan, for eggs at this point. With all the supplements going into the commercial meat, there is no telling what you are eating or what effects you could be taking a chance of having.
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Old 12-18-2009, 01:28 PM
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I love a beef steak, on the grill, with lots of crispy fat. But has anyone ever had that "red meat hangover"? I never get that from venison, or elk, or bison (not farm raised).
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Old 12-20-2009, 03:00 AM
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Rasing rabbits is cost effective on a number of levels. Some that have been mentioned already.

Another is startup costs. It is astronomically cheaper to get started raising a sustainable group of rabbits in comparison to Beef, Chicken, or Goats. So you save big on startup.

Other savings include feed. Many breeds that are known as meat breeds like Champagne de Argent are well suited to eat vegetable scraps and grasses from the yard. So feed costs versus other meat animals is far lower.

One cost of raising animals that is often not accounted for is health. Beef health costs can get quite high depending on ailments. Horse healthcare can at times rival that of humans. Goats are not too bad. Chickens if properly cared for are low. But all are high in comparison to rabbits. A clean cage and proper nutrition will generally keep a rabbit healthy. Increasing sustainability and reducing cost.


As far as the order of operations of getting started raising meat producers I would use this order.

Rabbits
Chickens
Goats/Sheep
Turkey
Miniature Beef
Hogs
Beef

Just taking into account cost and time required to maintain a successful herd and the amount of knowledge required for success and sustainability.
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Old 12-21-2009, 03:11 PM
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What does a bunny rabbit taste like?
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Old 12-21-2009, 03:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by real wowwee View Post
What does a bunny rabbit taste like?
It tastes like guinea pig.
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Old 12-21-2009, 03:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by real wowwee View Post
What does a bunny rabbit taste like?
Seriously, if you can imagine.... it has the texture and taste of dark meat turkey, but not so 'birdy' or greazy( depending on how it's cooked). We most always do a roasting bag with apples and onion( for flavor and moisture...they're very lean-not fat), or a crockpot in wine, unless we simmer it in a gravy( dark or white....we've had it for dinner and breakfast). It has more protein and less fat than chicken, it's the other good meat.
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Old 12-21-2009, 03:47 PM
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I will have to give it a try. I have eaten rabbit, squirrel, possum, coon when I was real young but that was long long ago. I think there is a market near by I can acquire my experiment. I ran it by the wife and kids and they all gave me are you crazy wrinkled nose ewh looks. I have been informed I will be cooking and dining alone
Old 12-21-2009, 03:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by letsgetreal View Post
Seriously, if you can imagine.... it has the texture and taste of dark meat turkey, but not so 'birdy' or greazy( depending on how it's cooked). We most always do a roasting bag with apples and onion( for flavor and moisture...they're very lean-not fat), or a crockpot in wine, unless we simmer it in a gravy( dark or white....we've had it for dinner and breakfast). It has more protein and less fat than chicken, it's the other good meat.
Quote:
Originally Posted by real wowwee View Post
I will have to give it a try. I have eaten rabbit, squirrel, possum, coon when I was real young but that was long long ago. I think there is a market near by I can acquire my experiment. I ran it by the wife and kids and they all gave me are you crazy wrinkled nose ewh looks. I have been informed I will be cooking and dining alone
I agree with LGR. That's a fair comparison. Being so lean, any cooking method that adds, or preserves, the moisture content is good.
Pan frying is probably the last choice, if you want a fair test. Rabbit can be substituted for chicken in nearly any other recipe. If you do oven baked chicken, try the rabbit, and your family may change their minds.
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