Survival Preparedness - Create Your Survival Homestead

A Survival Preparedness Plan - Creates Peace of Mind, Saves You Money, Ensures You Get The Job Done

Everyday more people discover that more freedoms have eroded and much of what they depended upon is in danger of not existing tomorrow. Retirement funds lose substantial value as politicians ask for more from citizens and then give it away to questionable recipients. People want to know what they can do to survive the uncertain future looming on the horizon.

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 Raising Meat Rabbits

Survival Preparedness - Create Your Survival Homestead

A Survival Preparedness Plan - Creates Peace of Mind, Saves You Money, Ensures You Get The Job Done

Everyday more people discover that more freedoms have eroded and much of what they depended upon is in danger of not existing tomorrow. Retirement funds lose substantial value as politicians ask for more from citizens and then give it away to questionable recipients. People want to know what they can do to survive the uncertain future looming on the horizon.

Start preparing with a simple plan...

» Prepare to Survive an Uncertain Future Through Self Reliance

- See more at: http://www.survival-homestead.com/#sthash.gCyIflVM.dpuf

Survival Preparedness - Create Your Survival Homestead

A Survival Preparedness Plan - Creates Peace of Mind, Saves You Money, Ensures You Get The Job Done

Everyday more people discover that more freedoms have eroded and much of what they depended upon is in danger of not existing tomorrow. Retirement funds lose substantial value as politicians ask for more from citizens and then give it away to questionable recipients. People want to know what they can do to survive the uncertain future looming on the horizon.

Start preparing with a simple plan...

» Prepare to Survive an Uncertain Future Through Self Reliance

- See more at: http://www.survival-homestead.com/#sthash.gCyIflVM.dpuf
Raising rabbits is often proposed as a way of providing meat in the event of a post-SHTF world. When supermarkets are no longer the source for food, feeding one’s family will entail changing how one “shops”. There will be basically two choices: hunt for food or raise it, or some combination of these two.

I raised rabbits for about five years and thoroughly enjoyed it...or most of it. I did NOT enjoy the butchering part of it, but I recognized that I needed to be able to provide animal protein in the event I couldn't get to the grocery store some day.

I'm going to be sharing some of my experiences with raising rabbits in Texas as side notes. ~ CL Hendricks

All About Rabbits

If you are thinking about raising your own meat animals, two that are most often discussed for the small backyard farmer are chickens and rabbits. When comparing cost, efficiency and productivity of the two meat-producers, many prefer rabbits over chickens for the following reasons:

  • A female rabbit (doe) can produce a food to body weight ratio of 1000%
  • Chickens need room to roam, while raising rabbits in confinement is best
  • Chickens require light to reproduce, which rabbits can reproduce anytime
  • Raising rabbit food is easier than raising chicken feed
  • Predators are less of a threat to confined rabbits
  • In the same length of time you can raise one chicken for the table you will have 5 rabbits ready to butcher
  • Rabbit fur can be used for clothing, for bandages and for barter
  • Rabbit poo is a great fertilizer for the garden
  •  Live rabbits can be useful as barter items

NOTE

I raised both chickens and rabbits, and experienced loss to predators with both chickens and rabbits. With the chickens, since they ranged around the yard during the day, it was to  dogs. Being out in the country, people would drop off unwanted dogs, and inevitably they formed a pack. I finally took losing almost half of my flock before I was able to get the county animal control to put out traps.

I like dogs, BUT when it comes to MY FOOD, I come first!

I lost at least one baby bunny to a snake, that managed to slip between the wire of the cage. Unfortunately for said snake, swallowing said bunny, he was unable to get out of the cage. He ended up pay the full price for his meal.
If you are considering raising rabbits for food, then there are a few other rabbit facts that you might want to consider:

  • Being small, rabbits can be butchered on an as needed basis, which can be helpful in the event of a lack of refrigeration
  • Rabbits are quiet and won’t attract attention in the event you desire a low profile
  • By 6-8 weeks old a rabbit is “fryer size”, which means if you butcher them as soon are they are weaned, you’ll only be feeding the breeding adults.
  • Rabbits require very little effort to care for; daily - basically a few minutes every morning and evening to feed, water and do a quick wellness check; then monthly a hour or so to clean the cages as well as keeping breeding records
  • Rabbit meat is very lean and considered by many to taste like chicken*
  • Butchering rabbits is much easier than chickens as you don’t have the feathers to deal with.**
**
Known as the "Rabbit Cervical Dislocation Tool" this is the best, easiest, and, above all, most humane way to dispatch rabbits. I got one and was extremely pleased with the way it worked. What I like best it that it was quick.

I NEVER like having to dispatch (kill) any animal for food, but I always tried to remember how the Native Americans, after killing an animal would thank its spirit. While that might seem silly to some, it helped me to say "thank you" and in that way honor the animal.

Common Problems With Rabbits


There are also some problems that are common with rabbits that you should be aware of if you are thinking of raising rabbits. For the most part by keeping a good eye on the rabbits and ensuring they have a clean cage you can prevent many of the problems. However, there are still things to look out for:

  1. Ear mites - quite common, showing up as a scaly growth on the inside of both ears. You can buy a medicine from the vet to clear up the mites. You can also employ a do-it-yourself cure by covering the affected ear by a thin layer of mineral oil. This smothers the mites, killing them. Make sure you take care of the problem as soon as it’s spotted otherwise the rabbit will begin scratching which could lead to cuts and infections.
  2. Sore hocks - caused when the rabbit’s foot gets raw, often from standing on a wire floor. Giving them something clean and dry to stand on will allow them to heal.
  3. Cannibalism is when the doe eats her young. Give her two chances and if it continues put her in the stew pot.
  4. Illness - All too often rabbits get the sniffles and soon die. The cost of vet bills can be cost prohibitive, so it is often the best policy to just kill the sick rabbit before it infects the others. Make sure you disinfect the cage and all cage accessories before using the cage for another rabbit.
  5. Temperature - raising rabbits in Texas presented a challenge due to the heat. At first I had regular outdoor hutches, over which I stretched a tarp for additional shade. That wasn't enough. I lost one pregnant doe to the heat. Finally I turn a small room off my workshop into a rabbit barn; tarped off the one end, added a door, then cut out a place on the opposite wall and installed a small air conditioner. That place stayed perfect in the summer and I never lost another rabbit after that due to the heat.