Rabbitry – Food for Thought
I have a lot of ideas. Some of them work out, some of them don’t, and some of them just take me a long time to get started for reasons. Here is another project which is on an extended timeline for completion though I may be able to start this one in a bit more earnest.
Rabbitry for Dummies
Yes, as the title and header proclaim, I’m looking into getting into rabbitry. Why? Mainly because I want a source of meat other than the grocery store and the buy-in for rabbits is pretty low. For ~$60-75USD I can have a trio of breeders start producing kits for my herd. Of course, I have to buy the cages, feeders, waterers, feed, hay, heaters, etc. to really be ready to start this entire project. Probably looking at $500-600 total if I buy all new. First, however, I still need to make the room. My wife has already agreed to let me take over the carport since it’s really oriented inefficiently for us to use it for much else.
Everything I’m reading and watching on rabbits suggests that, while it’s time-consuming, it’s rewarding in terms of outputs (meat, maybe some show-quality buns to sell as breeders to someone else, etc.). Of course, meat is the primary concern, according to one source, with a good setup I could see 1500lbs of meat a year just from rabbits. That’s a lot of meat if you ask me. And from the setup described, if I can expand it I could have even more. Meaning I could even process some meat for sale (though I may find selling breeders more profitable, which is fine if I can fill up my freezer with delicious bun-bun). This makes me happy because that means less reliance on frail systems. Of course, I want to try tractoring but I think I’ll mostly stick with cages/hutches, collecting their ‘waste’ to add to a garden which I hope to be able to supplement our grocery trips with. The instant compost would make a fine addition to the raised beds I’ve talked about in the Discord community, and will be a fine supplement to the humanure compost I still want to get started in producing.
I feel like if I can get involved in rabbitry and make my initial investment back in terms of sales of breeder/show rabbits and meat, I can put all future profits into savings toward chickens (still want to raise those, too) and whatever projects I want to invest in going forward. Small steps, baby steps. Then take over the world, right?
I am going to leave you with some links to all of the rabbitry resources I’ve currently found, including a YouTube playlist I’m building specifically about rabbitry. Feel free to comment here or in the Discord or on Telegram (links below) with any additional resources you think may help.
Teal Stone Homestead – I found her on YouTube, a great resource especially if you’re going to raise silver foxes for your meat rabbits, though I think the general principles can apply to any rabbit.
BHA Rabbitry – This is a link directly to some blank records they offer for print out. They also have a lot of other useful resources for rabbitry.
A System for Ear Numbers – Discusses the importance of good record-keeping and some suggestions to get you started.
Raising Meat Rabbits: Lessons Learned Back to Front – A great resource and the article that finally sent me fully down this rabbit hole (see what I did there?).
Tennessee Rabbit Breeders – They also list for other states, so could be a good resource for sourcing your first buns (so many delicious food jokes).
Hopper Popper – This looks like a really simple, straight-forward tool for humanely dispatching your rabbits. I’m not necessarily endorsing this per se, but it does seem like a good resource. I’ve seen these devices in other people’s videos on meat rabbits so I thought I’d include a link to them here.
The Survival Podcast – Raising, Butchering and Cooking Rabbits with Nick DePuy – Jack is always a spot on source of information and this podcast episode is no different. It’ll provide more information and another perspective on raising meat rabbits and really gave me the confidence to put this project on the go-ahead list.
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