Can you live off of rabbit as your only meat source?
DH and I are seriously considering raising rabbit for our meat source. On our quest to become self sufficient, I was wondering... Is it healthy to eat ONLY rabbit for meat? Our current living situation does not allow us to raise chicken or cow for meat purposes (though that is a dream of ours!) but we can do rabbit.
Not sure if we'll actually do this or not, but I was wondering if it's possible and a healthy option for us and our kids. If we can do it and get out of buying meat from the store, I'm all for it :-)
Rabbit starvation only occurs if the rabbit is your only food source. If you have a well balanced diet with vegetables and fruits and grains and dairy as well as rabbit, you would be fine.
The only cases of rabbit starvation on record is in dogs that were fed only rabbit, and no other food.
Rabbit is a good source of protein, but so are beans and nuts. If you eat a balanced diet, you can safely eat rabbit meat for a protein source. Plenty of people live just fine eating no meat at all. Warning, it's quite boring after awhile.
Yes you can as long as you have a balanced diet. You could not live of rabbit alone because it is a lean meat and can not supply the body with required fat. I use rabbit to replace any chicken recipe. We don't buy chicken any more. Curry, sweet and sour, soups, stew, pasta, BBQ, whatever your heart desires.
We do not buy chicken anymore. rabbit is our main meat. We do buy hamburger meat and link sausauge. I make breakfest sausage patties out of rabbit too. I do a variety, not only rabbit. Although thats mainly what we eat. Just fix in so many different ways to not get boring. It's amazing how much cheaper our food bill got. For example I butchered one older doe and one older buck. Stuck them both in our countertop roaster with a little water before bed. In the morning I let cool then picked off meat and stuck in 2cup measurements in freezer bags. I was able to get 5 meals off those two rabbits! I think I made rabbit pockets (condensed soup, peas and other seasonings wrapped up in a biscuit pouch then baked. WONDERFUL also made two rabbit pot pies (one to eat now one to freeze), then quesadillas, and then a rabbit ceaser salad. 5 meals! Actually you could count the pouches as more than one meal since I planned to put part in the freezer but hubby got a hold of the tray while they were cooling! I think I'll go post the full recipe in the recipe thread in case anyone wants it.
The lack of fat must be the reason why my brother and a few of his buddies insist there is no nutrition in rabbit meat-- i say heck-- if that were the case, they would not be such an intregal part of the food chain in Nature.... We don't need to get all our fat from meat--plenty of that to be found in other sources-- like the fat we put on our baked potatoes!!!!
So many people equate fat and calories with nutrition- that they tend to forget, DIVERSITY is the key to just about everything. We were not intended to be specialists when it came to our diets- even our lean rabbits make up in one area what they could not find in another---
Living in the present is staying ahead of the past.
I think most reports of "rabbit starvation" refer to wild rabbit, in times when other foods are in short supply. Domestic rabbit does have some fat - in the body cavity mainly, especially around the kidneys - and if one feels the need for it, it can be cooked with the meat. I think though that with dairy, healthy unprocessed carbs, eggs and vegetables in one's diet that the chances of "rabbit starvation" are slim to none.
I've heard rabbit meat is low in several essential ammino acids, so I don't know if it's suitable as your only source of meat.
Humans do not need to get the essential amino acids from meat. Ever heard of the concept of complementary proteins, put forth by Francis Moore Lappe? Combining proteins is how vegetarians are able to eat complete proteins.
For many years, like 20, I have only eaten chevon, goat meat, also a very lean meat. I have a background in nutrition. Eating a balanced diet is key. I see nothing wrong with eating only rabbit. But like one poster wisely mentioned, it can be boring. I finally had to start eating other meats, because I was craving anything but chevon
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Might I ask what you're doing for dairy? If you don't know yet, I'd say try goats... and butcher the wethers that result from kidding out your does every year to supplement the rabbit meat.
Also, cornishxrock chickens only live 6-8 weeks and need VERY little space to raise as they are so LAZY, lol, so they may be an option for you. And I've raised both heritage breeds and the cornishx's (looked down upon by some becuase they're an extremely fast growing hybrid) but I really like the cornish x's better because they are not tough and actually have a quality and quantity of meat WORTH butchering for. My heritage New Hampshires, well, suck.
The only reason I suggest them is because eating just rabbit would get AWFUL boring, IMO.
I am no expert on rabbit, but I do know that eggs are a "perfect" source of protien, meaning that they have every essential nutrient you can get from meat. I have a friend who is a vegetarian chef and he says that you can get them all from different sources, you just have to know what nutrients are in what protiens and get a good mix. I say if you're eating rabbit and eggs you'll be perfectly healthy!
We just bought a house in a small town and can only have rabbits in hutches and birds in cages, so we're planning to do rabbits and chickens in a portable hutch-run type situation. My parents farm cattle, so we will not hurt for good beef, but we wont be having chicken or pork, so I wanted something else to provide variety. I wonder if chickens in a hen house/run combo would work for you?
Last edited by GoddessKristie; 10/03/07 at 11:50 PM.
if you cant keep chickens, I'm guessing that goats aren't an option either. But, how about finding a like minded animal raiser and trading? I think that rabbit meat alone would get boring as the other posters have pointed out. Bu tyou may be able to locate someone that raises other meats, and would be willing to trade some for rabbit that you raise.