Rabbits.....Considering

Discussion in 'Rabbits' started by Suburban Farm, Jun 27, 2006.

  1. Suburban Farm

    Suburban Farm Farmer Wannabe

    Messages:
    47
    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2006
    Location:
    Washington State
    I have eaten rabbit in the past but it was back when I was little and rabbits were to cute to eat. I am considering raising them again, but I want some advice.

    What is the best rabbit to eat for meat?
    Angora rabbits, what do you think of them?
    Can you buy meat rabbits all year round or is there a, sorry, rabbit season.
    Tell me your experience, good and bad, so it will help with my decision.
    Anything I should look for or be watchful of?


    Thank you
    Cheryl
     
  2. susieM

    susieM Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,117
    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2006
    Location:
    France
    Don't name the ones that you are planning to eat.
     

  3. holleegee

    holleegee Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,040
    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2005
    I raise english angora rabbits. I don't eat them because they are more valuable alive (I can sell their wool which is harvested about every 3-4 months.) I know the french angora is sometimes raised as a duel purpose breed (wool/meat) The angora rabbit requires more time because of the grooming (which I enjoy doing.)

    There is no "rabbit season" they breed year round.

    Meat rabbits - we have californians but there are other "meat" breeds


    www.arba.net

    www.angorarabbit.com
     
  4. Suburban Farm

    Suburban Farm Farmer Wannabe

    Messages:
    47
    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2006
    Location:
    Washington State
    Hahaha. That doesn't bug me much since my hubby is a butcher. I have gotten used to it. Told the kids we couldnt name the chickens because he was soup....My son said ok this one will be named Baked, this one Honey mustard.....My kids are desensitized. :p

    Too funny. Thank you. I needed a laugh. SOmetimes I get scared on these forums to post freely, butcher humor, because of lurking animal rights activists. I feel restrained to say somethings. Is it just me? Not baiting anyone. I have just seen to much stuff with my hubby a butcher.
    Cheryl
     
  5. Suburban Farm

    Suburban Farm Farmer Wannabe

    Messages:
    47
    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2006
    Location:
    Washington State
    Thank you for the info on angora. I thought about raising it for the hair too. I love to knit and thought about spinning my own wool but don't have room for a sheep. At what age do you butcher? Can you butcher older rabbits that are the breeders or do they not taste as well?
    I will check out the sites.
    Thanks
    Cheryl
     
  6. x_xbirdie

    x_xbirdie Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    155
    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2006
    my mom and i butcher around 8-12 wks, usually not older than that, but if we have a speical dish, we use an older one. Olders are too tough for me, until its slow cooked.
     
  7. twohunnyz

    twohunnyz Pacific Northwest

    Messages:
    220
    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2006
    Location:
    NE Washington
    There is a wonderful Yahoo group called MeatRabbits; there isn't even a possibilty of offending any of us there with "butchering talk"! Rabbits are so fun and there are so many breeds to choose from. They are terrific for kids, too. We just started raising Satins this year and are already thinking about which breed to add later! Most breeders do raise more than one. They're addicting! I have compiled a lot of the info I found in my research before we bought our stock and got set up, plus there is info about rabbit meat itself.

    Enjoy your journey into the wonderful world of rabbits! :baby04:
    Krystal
    Two Hunnyz Rabbitry
    http://www.freewebs.com/twohunnyzrabbitry
     
  8. Suburban Farm

    Suburban Farm Farmer Wannabe

    Messages:
    47
    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2006
    Location:
    Washington State
    I used to have a Yahoo account but it got hacked into and Yahoo since it was a free account didn't care much. So I am to afraid to go back to yahoo. They hacked me through the messenger and took my account. Frustrating.

    Cheryl
     
  9. Bernadette

    Bernadette Enjoying Polish Rabbits

    Messages:
    1,219
    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2004
    Location:
    Northern Ontario
    Twohunnyz - could you please explain how to get to the Yahoo group? I am 'group' illiterate and couldn't find it! Thanks.
     
  10. susieM

    susieM Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,117
    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2006
    Location:
    France
    Older ones make good paté or stew. Or confit.
     
  11. Suburban Farm

    Suburban Farm Farmer Wannabe

    Messages:
    47
    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2006
    Location:
    Washington State
    My mom in law told me when she was a kid she used to eat rabbits. Now she has a terrier dog so she said she can't or she would. So that makes me feel better about raising rabbits for food. I am going to buy a book on it. Sounds like something I can do.

    Cheryl
     
  12. TerriA

    TerriA Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    205
    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2004
    Location:
    Nebraska
    I raise French and English angoras.. have had up to 50 including babies in my barn at a time. Finding time to groom them properly when I had that many was a challenge <G>

    Anyway, I spin the wool but mix it with wool... makes the wool softer and still has the halo of angora. Yummy stuff!!

    I wouldn't consider EAs meaty enough to eat... (too cute besides! LOL!) But the French (if decent) have NZW bodies under all that fluff and are truly dual purpose.

    I have never tried breeding in the summer before but due to test breeding for colors, etc I am trying it this year... just bred one Monday and another today and another one tomorrow.. hopefully will have one last one bred by the end of the week but have to do the breeding EARLY in the morning when it is cool enough out that they don't tucker out <G>.

    I have also bred in the winter. I believe both summer/winter breedings have their own sets of problems due to the weather. My fondest wish is to have a climate controlled barn someday.. :dance:


    Go back through the previous messages and there are a lot of good hints and tips!
    Terri
     
  13. Suburban Farm

    Suburban Farm Farmer Wannabe

    Messages:
    47
    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2006
    Location:
    Washington State
    Thank you all for your suggestions and advice. I will buy a book first on raisin rabbits. I really appreciate your time and will be leaving this thread.

    Cheryl
     
  14. Tucker

    Tucker Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    321
    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2005
    Location:
    NC


    Hi ,, I'm not Two but heres the site ,,, you have to ask to become a member and your first few posts are moderated but its a real nice group ,, real friendly and helpful ,,

    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Meatrabbits/


    Tammy
     
  15. rabbitgal

    rabbitgal Ex-homesteader

    Messages:
    1,508
    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2005
    For a good introduction to raising rabbits, try reading "Your Rabbit: A Kid's Guide to Raising and Showing" by Nancy Searle...or "Storey's Guide to Raising Rabbits" by Bob Bennett. The content is very similar...I like Your Rabbit a bit better even though it's designed for like 4-H kids. Storey's Guide has some advice I disagree with (routine antibiotics treatment?!), but goes into more detail on butchering and cage building.

    Both of those books would be a great introduction to raising rabbits for food...the MeatRabbits yahoo group is another good place to ask questions. I also have a bunch of meat rabbit-related links on my website at www.geocities.com/cremerabbits/links.html and pastured rabbit stuff at www.geocities.com/cremerabbits/pasture.html.
     
  16. CountryHaven

    CountryHaven Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,376
    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2005
    Location:
    Donovan, Illinois
    Thanks for posting that link for the yahoo group. That's really nice.

    To the original question, for me there's no better breed for meat production than the californian.
     
  17. seedspreader

    seedspreader AFKA ZealYouthGuy

    Messages:
    11,456
    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2004
    Location:
    NW Pa./NY Border.
    New Zealands seem to work for us. (we have black does and a white buck).
     
  18. susieM

    susieM Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,117
    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2006
    Location:
    France
    A Flemish Giant buck, and ordinary-sized does work, too. But sometimes, clients think that the rabbit is too old, and don't realize that the size is due to the mixed breeding.
     
  19. crystalniche

    crystalniche Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    880
    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2005
    Location:
    Connecticut
    I know people who raise French Angoras but keep a NZW, Palomino or Cal buck. When they want a meat litter they breed their Angora doe to the meat buck and get their meat bunnies. Works if your area is saturated with Angora bunnies and you want to breed them for meat. They don't have all that wool to deal with. The bunnies make good pets if you are so inclined.
     
  20. rabbitgal

    rabbitgal Ex-homesteader

    Messages:
    1,508
    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2005
    Well, any breed can be eaten, but generally, New Zealand White or Californian rabbits are considered to be the "best" to raise for meat. Depending on the line, they're usually hardy, fast-growing, good mothers, etc. It's really important to get quality foundation animals though...there's plenty of people out there who have no clue what they are doing when they try to sell you meat rabbits.

    That being said, there's definitely a place for some of the rarer breeds...you might want to go with a larger wooled breed like a German/Giant Angora or French Angora if you also want to raise rabbits for food.