Why We Love Rabbits
The Benefits of Buns
Rabbits were once a widely farmed animal in the US, with at least one trio living on small family farms, providing food and garden compost throughout all seasons.
Now with reemerging interests in gardening and healthy living, more and more people are turning back to rabbits as an economical, environmentally healthy and humane way to put food on the table.
It is no secret that with the onset of the Covid pandemic, food supplies and worries about food scarcity were a paramount concern. Imagine the sense of peace and security you would have knowing that your rabbits would provide you with meat as well as compost for your home garden during trying times.
Rabbits are clean, quiet animals that can be kept in small areas and fed at a relatively low cost, and 100% of the waste from a rabbit setup can be used to create a healthy, vibrant garden. They reproduce quickly and can go from birth to table in less than three months.
The First Steps
So you're interested in adding some meat rabbits to your home, what to do next?
DO begin by investigating your local laws and ordinances. A good breeder is a responsible breeder! Many cities have regulations on how many rabbits you may keep, or how manure must be handled. Local regulations will have the biggest impact on how you raise your rabbits.
DO NOT tell everyone who will listen that you intend to start farming rabbits. Many people see rabbits as "pets only" and refuse to see the benefits of raising meat for personal use on a small scale. While you do not need military-style security when housing your rabbits, "out of sight, out of mind" is a helpful phrase to keep in mind.
DO set up your housing before acquiring animals. You will need a cage for each breeder, an extra cage for quarantine purposes, and a pen to keep growout rabbits in.
DO NOT go out and buy all the rabbits you can with the intentions to "figure it out" when you get home. Rabbits need clean, sanitary living conditions. Keeping them in any other conditions, even for a short period, can be detrimental to their health.
DO have a plan for feed resources and manure management before getting started. Take time to investigate where you will get your feed, since running out of feed and having to switch brands suddenly can have negative impacts on even the healthiest rabbits. Manure, while extremely beneficial in the garden, will add up quickly.
DO NOT begin breeding rabbits you acquire before having a plan for what to do with the babies. Plan how much rabbit you would like your family to eat, how much you can spend on feed, etc, before the first breeding.