Raising rabbits for meat can be simpler, less expensive and more lucrative than raising other livestock. Rabbits are easy to care for and inexpensive to feed and house. A single doe can produce 1,000 times her body weight in food each year. Because rabbits are raised in cages, space needs and threats from predators are limited. Rabbits are opportunistic breeders. In addition to the meat, rabbit fur can be sold as well.
Prepare housing facilities for your meat rabbits. Install covered hutches or banks of cages in a shed or barn. Each cage should be three feet square and two feet high.
Purchase four does (females) and two bucks (males) as initial breeding stock. Popular meat rabbit breeds are New Zealands and Californians. Keep each adult rabbit in a separate cage.
Feed timothy hay and a high-protein (14 to 16%) pellet feed. Fruits and vegetables can be fed once daily. Remove uneaten fruits and vegetables from the rabbit cages before they spoil. Provide a constant source of clean water.
Breed the rabbits. Put the doe in the buck's cage until they have mated, then move the doe back to her own cage.
Place a nesting box in each pregnant doe's cage three weeks after breeding. The gestational period for rabbits is approximately 30 days.
Wean the kits from their mothers when they are two months old. Move them into individual cages. Provide kits with a constant food supply.
Sell kits when they reach four months old and 2.04 Kilogram or more.
Does can be bred again once the kits are weaned. Each litter will produce between six and ten kits.
Do not touch newborn kits for at least seven days; otherwise, you may change the way they smell, causing the mother to stop feeding them.
Tips and warnings
- Does can be bred again once the kits are weaned.
- Each litter will produce between six and ten kits.
- Do not touch newborn kits for at least seven days; otherwise, you may change the way they smell, causing the mother to stop feeding them.