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I have pretty much every type of farm animal for meat, but have yet to venture into the rabbit world. Which rabbits make the best meat rabbits?
 

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IMHO, there is nothing wrong with meat mutts. But I prefer white furred red eyed rabbits. New Zealand Whites, Florida Whites and Californians are my top three picks. They have fine bones, a good sized carcass a good feed conversion ratio, are hardy, breed well and the white fur is worth more than non white fur. For a smaller rabbit, I would recommend a Dutch. They have the same characteristics (except for the white fur), while making a smaller meal than a larger bun.

Avoid the giants, as the feed conversion is less than with the normal size breeds.

Peace,
Curtis
 

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Silver Fox makes a wonderful meat rabbit.
Any rabbit can be a meat rabbit, but it then goes to how fast they grow, how much meat to bone, how little feed it takes to make meat, etc.
Google meat breeds of rabbit and many will show up. There's a very big list and it keeps growing. Many heritage breeds were for meat as well.
 

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if you are squeezed for space the mini lines do fine. The mini rex is good except they get sore feet on wire bottoms. I grow mini satins which dress out at a little less than 2 lbs, which is fine for me and my wife.

with the mini satins you have to be careful to not get any does or bucks with the dwarf genes. Then tend to be on the smaller size and if both the buck and doe carry the gene you might have half of your litter not survive if the kits get the genes from both parents.
 

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BTW, the conversion of feed to meat, and time to meat will far outperform most any other farm animal. The specially bred chickens that mature at six weeks might give them a run but that is about all.
 

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Do you want any common meat breed, to support a rare breed, good pelts, interesting pelts, smaller size, larger size..? There are dozens of breeds but they each have their strengths and some aren't very consistent due to being found in isolated pockets around the country. Some people just keep adding useful breeds they find locally until they have their own blend.
 

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I've raised dutch in the past, nice smaller rabbit. I've also had new Zealand's, good sized rabbit.
I currently have a NZ buck and a pair of california does. I haven't bred them yet, but plan to start towards the end of winter.
 

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I have a breeding pair of blue Americans in central az if anyone is close and wants some kits let me know and I will pm you when I have some ready to go


Thanks
Troy

I breed American blues and New Zealand reds for meat. I have also started this year with raising chickens and doing all sorts of other off the wall survivalist/ homesteading projects.
 

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There are many different breeds of great meat rabbits--the MOST important thing to remember is are they BRED for producing meat. In any different breed there are great lines and duds. Chose the breed you like and find meat lines in the genetics-talk to the breeder- how fast do the offspring reach the 41/2-5 lb mark? I could have the best rabbit in the country--but if it is a meat breed and doesnt reach 5 lbs until it is 6 months old what use is it really? (I'm talking Cals and NZ here)...
I have a meat line and a "show" line--both are required to grow, but the show lines I have grow about a week or a week and a half behind. We are working on that issue...
Our meat lines have knockout growth--and I do really mean thick loins-some measuring 4-5 inches across at 4 months. We show these also, but they tend to be low in the shoulders --we are working on that also. BUT..I refuse to cull my meat line to win at shows----I insist on meat breeds producing meat, and doing it fast and efficiently---watch your breeding. Once these old time lines are gone, they are gone forever. Good luck in your search for rabbits-I wish you the best! Americans are beautiful!
This picture is of a 14 week old Jr Cal doe--those are adult hands, trust me---she has a HUGE loin --she usually took 2nd place at the shows to our other "show" line doe-at 4 months old she weighed 9 1/2 lbs.---she is now a brood doe-cant wait to see what she produces!
 

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We raise Rexes because of we fell in love with the "velvet" of the fur. We had always raised meat breed rabbits, so we wanted to stick within the commercial class. We dont show, but I am a big proponent of keeping breeds pure. We have selectively bred for a quicker gain to 5lb, which right now we can get to between 10-12 weeks which is probably as good as we are gonna get in this breed. We do keep the fur, color, etc in line with this weight gain too, but weight gain is our main strength because meat was why we got into rabbits.

From the show side, this does cause some of our adults to be heavier than the standard might allow, but again we dont show and when we sell, we do inform buyers, in case they do.

The main thing is to record, record, record. Then stick to the motto "keep the best, cull the rest". Culling could be freezer camp, selling.
 

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Rabbit is high in protein, low in fat...even more so than chicken or turkey. They are very prolific...do not take much space, are easy to care for, and have very high feed to weight conversion. In my opinion...they are also MUCH easier to dress out than poultry!!
 

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Rabbit is high in protein, low in fat...even more so than chicken or turkey. They are very prolific...do not take much space, are easy to care for, and have very high feed to weight conversion. In my opinion...they are also MUCH easier to dress out than poultry!!
Yes!!!! We are no longer going to raise meat birds every year--I'm completely sold on the rabbits--cleaner, less work, less smell, less hassle, less everything!
Try them and see if you like them--forewarning...don't play with the ones that are going to be food...we still cannot kill our own after a year of trying, once they are dead we can butcher them however.
We NEVER eat our brood does or breeding bucks...needless to say we have a "few" retirees...
 

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The rabbit that appeals to you might be the best choice, unless you grow sentimental over it.

My understanding is that one should avoid the Flemish Giants, as they have much more bone, and the feed to meat conversion is low. From experience, I would not recommend the wool breeds, as I find the wool seems to get all over the carcass, and is a pain to completely rinse off.

I was given some meat mutts about a year ago that were very satisfactory. The off-spring also came in a lot of fun spots and colors. The only thing I didn't like about them was that the males came into sexual maturity at a young age while they were still fairly small. I would have preferred to let them grow out more, but the young pesky bucks made the social order in the pen too chaotic.

That was a very productive doe, however. 8 to 9 healthy kits each and every month. I still have her, but she is on a deserved vacation.
 
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