Rabbit rearing for meat is probably one of the best ideas you will have if you have plans to improve your own food production. On top of having and maintaining your own vegetable garden, you can have a rabbitry running in the backyard with at least one of the best meat rabbit breeds.
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Rabbit Meat Production
Rabbits produce white meat which is clean because of how they are raised off the ground. The meat is among the highest protein rich meats you can get. Nutritionally, it ranks highest in protein and lowest in fat. Rabbits have excellent meat conversion rates, low start-up costs, healthy meat, they do not require much space. Rabbits have managed to adjust to nearly every climate that the earth has to offer giving people the world over a chance to have sustainable food production. Rabbits multiply rapidly and can, in the end can produce up to 90kgs of meat a year depending on your herd and the amount you breed. Before venturing in raising any of the best meat rabbits’ breeds, you need to pay attention to the following matters.
Where to raise them
For you to raise a good breed, you have to make sure that the rabbitry is big enough to accommodate your herd and that the sexes are separated to avoid fraternizing, or to promote it, depending on what you prefer. The rabbitry should be safe with good bedding as well as food and water. Waste management is of great importance and you need to have a plan for it.
You can easily have a rabbit for a pet in most parts of the world, however, raising them for meat is different. Check with the authorities of the area you live in to make sure that by raising the bunnies you are not breaking any laws and heath regulations.
Meat rabbit breeds are different from the typical grey and brown hares, they are longer, fatter and fluffier.
Listed below are some of the breeds that are raised for meat. It is interesting to note that although rabbits for meat can be found almost anywhere in the world, most of them were bred in America and Europe.
Palomino rabbits make one of the best meat rabbit breeds because of their smaller bone structure which means that the breeder has a superior meat ratio. If one is to breed them for business, anywhere in the world, they are guaranteed huge returns because of their size and how they reach a slaughtering age earlier. Palomino rabbits have a large strain with weight ranging between 3.5 and 5 kgs.
New Zealand Whites
This is one of the most popular of the best meat rabbit breeds. The New Zealand white does grow to be between 4.5 to 5.5 kgs which is a bit bigger than the bucks that grow to be between 4 to 5 kgs. Although they are called New Zealand whites, they were originally bred in America. Their fairly large and white bodies produce meat half the weight of their carcass. They have a significant size, a broad body and rounded hunches with short powerful legs.
Champagne de ’Argent
These common rabbits are highly appreciated as one of the best meat rabbit breeds, they have solid meat and fat. The mid part of their bodies is wide, compact and meaty, holding a lot of flesh down each side all through its entire body span. Their thigh is also wide and deep, with as much flesh as possible and is balanced closely with their hips which are also well rounded and packed with weighty and solid flesh. The lower sides of their hips are also well developed. Champagne de ’Argents have a good bone structure which allows to produce more meat and their average weight is about 4.3 to 5.5 kgs. This breed has a very high meat to bone ratio making them suitable for commercial rabbit farming.
The chinchilla is easily one of the best meat rabbit breeds although they were initially meant for fur trade, with their fur looking like that of a chinchilla. They are a fusion of three different breeds and the American Chinchilla Rabbit was produced from large Standard Chinchilla Rabbits in order to produce a meatier rabbit and they are considered to be large breed animals due to their weight and are popular for having good meat bone ratio. The does have a standard weight of 4 kgs and the bucks 3.8 kgs, both genders sometimes go up to as far as 5.4 kgs.
These rabbits have a consummate meat rabbit body, a record of the smallest bone to meat ratio, muscular with silky and soft white coats which qualifies them to be one of the best meat rabbit breeds. They are a cross breed of the Chinchilla and the Himalayan. When compared with New Zealands, Californians weigh slightly less and the white coat has dark markings on nose, tail, feet and ears. Their does, like many other breeds, are heavier than the bucks. They are very suitable for commercial production as they are also used for fur. Californians can survive in all climates although they are originally from Southern California.
Silver fox rabbits
These rabbits have a dual purpose, they make good fur as well as meat. they are very suitable for commercial farming. Their high ratio of muscle to bone makes them very good for meat production.
Although they make one of the best meat rabbit breeds, silver fox rabbits are a rare breed, they can be very difficult to acquire.
The Satin Rabbit breed has a long, well-built body, with elongated ears and a wiggling snout. These rabbits are highly meat and fur productive and very suitable for commercial farming. the Satin Rabbit breed is recognized as one of the best rabbit meat breeds for its meat with a great commercial value.
Breeding rabbits for meat is a big venture to undertake in the beginning and almost everyone can do it if they have all they need to know like the cost, requirements, and all the other responsibilities that come with building a small backyard rabbit farm.
Before diving in, ask yourself if you are ready for the commitment, the work and the time. these are all questions and considerations that you must answer for yourself.
This comprehensive guide about the best rabbit meat breeds, you now feel better equipped to make the right decision about which breed to raise or to ask for when buying rabbit meat.
The former decision is one that will have you regret-free and saving money on your groceries.
Or, you could even make a little money raising rabbits for meat too!