Breeding rabbits for meat: the pros and cons
Raising meat rabbits as a small backyard operation could be a positive experience for a family that wants healthy, drug-free meat. Such a project can involve all members of the family and provide them with exceptional meat/protein quality compared to what is found in the supermarket. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of this practice.
* Rabbits are good for rural or urban areas. They are very calm animals and are not considered livestock like chickens, turkeys or ducks. So they are allowed when those other animals are not.
* They do not require a large initial investment of money to set up and you can start with just a couple of rabbits. You can build a large pen to let them run free from the cages and let them eat grass.
* Rabbits are fairly easy to raise, there is no need for special equipment, and they multiply very, very quickly. In addition, its meat is low in cholesterol and fat and rich in protein.
* It will cost as much money to produce a pound of rabbit meat as to buy any meat in the supermarket. It may be unrealistic to expect large monetary returns from such an operation.
* Very few veterinarians have good knowledge of rabbits. So if a health problem arises among your rabbits, it might be difficult to get help. Also keep in mind that many predators will be after your rabbits.
* Many people, especially in the US, are considering rabbits as house pets. Pets are considered part of the family, people would never eat their dog or cat, or their pet rabbit.
* Rabbits are very sensitive to overheating. The hot summer months could be fatal to their lives. Therefore, do not install such operation in a hot climate area.
People who want to keep rabbits for meat should obtain a lot of documentation on this practice before beginning. Word of mouth advice is never enough to acquire all essential knowledge and should be taken with a grain of salt.
Since rabbits can multiply very quickly, some people woke up with far more animals than they could physically and financially handle. As a result, the rabbits were neglected and lived in miserable conditions, and animal shelters became overwhelmed.