Rabbits were the second animal we purchased on the homestead. One day I went up the road to buy a silke hen but ended up with a rabbit instead. I brought her home and my hubby gave me the look. He asked me where I was going to put a rabbit?? Just so happens I found a cage in our woods while walking with the boys….true story! So really if you think about it it was meant to be 🙂 Then I asked hubby if he could build me a hutch because GUESS WHAT?!?! shes pregnant!
He promptly asked if I knew anything about rabbits giving birth? I said nope but I have 21 days to figure it out. He smiled shook his head and built me a hutch. I am so lucky to have such a patient man 🙂
Raising rabbits have many benefits. If you could never imagine eating rabbit meat that is ok their manure with change your world! They make great pets too. Our Stella is a hit on our homestead and everyone loves to play with her. Below are some benefits for raising these cute little creatures.
Rabbits take up little space and can be feed many scraps. They love lettuce, apple, carrot, celery etc. They are super easy to maintain. If you build a rabbit tractor or run your feed cost goes down even more because they will dine on grass. We tractor our rabbits in the summer. TIP – Make sure it is secure because chase rabbits around the yard is not fun. I say this from experience!
We raise California New Zealand rabbits. They are a big rabbit which is perfect for raising for meat. They are great producers and they grow quickly. You can have a good sized 5-6lbs of meat in just 10-12 weeks. Rabbit meat is an excellent source of protein, it is low in cholesterol, and low in fat. The meat tastes very similar to chicken. We use it as we would use chicken. Rabbit a la king on homemade biscuits is delicious! The heart, liver and kidneys can all be eaten and are never wasted. The bones are used to make nutrient packed broth. Waste not want not.
Rabbits have the best manure for your garden. Rabbit manure is packed with nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, and many minerals, lots of micro-nutrients, plus many other beneficial trace elements such as calcium, magnesium, boron, zinc, manganese, sulfur, copper, and cobalt… PHEW!… that’s just to name a few! It is considered a cold manure so you can use it without aging it. It is one of the few manures that will not burn your crops. Worms LOVE rabbit manure and the manure will add a nutrient boost to your garden any time of the year.
Rabbit fur is beautiful. We keep all our pelts for future crafts on the homestead. For example I would love to make some moccasins, mittens, and hats.
As you can see nothing is wasted. Rabbits are a great addition to any homestead.