Rabbits at FeF
- John's cages (45 square feet, separated into six compartments
- Wood frame holds cages 4' off the ground
- Compartment to catch manure
- New Zealand
- Litter size = 7-10 kits
- Average harvest weight = 4-5 pounds
- Yield percentage = 48%
Droppings can be used to fertilize plants - no need to compost it first. The fur is useful too.
A good tip from Mike Oehler: Keep them in a wire cage, but cover the floor with about an inch of dirt. This way the rabbits don't have to walk on the wires, which must be unpleasant for them. To clean the cage, you remove the rabbit, lift the cage and shake it. The earth, fertilized by rabbit droppings, falls through and you gather it for gardening.
You can make delicious rabbit marinade by putting it in a pot with red wine, chives, pepper and other spices, soaking it like that overnight in the fridge and then roasting it slowly.
Rabbits are best harvested at 8-12 weeks of age. See How to skin & prepare a rabbit
Want to see a creepy survivalist guy giving you good advice on how to raise rabbits? I thought so. Check out these YouTube videos:
- Part 1, mostly about cages
- Part 2, mostly about breeding and birthing
- Part 3, showing how fast they grow
- Part 4, slaughtering and skinning them
- Part 5, butchering
According to this guide (which is packed with useful information), "the New Zealand White rabbit holds the title for being the top breed to raise for meat purposes due to overall practicality for both the processor and the grower, and closely followed by the Californian. This determination is based on size, growth rates, feed conversion ratios, dress-out weights and meat-to-bone ratios."
The New Zealand White is fertile year-round and has a gestation period of about one month.
- Rabbit fur can be harvested ethically :
- Good article on pros and cons of rabbits for meat - 
- Wikipedia: Rabbits
- Peace-Corps: A Complete Handbook on Back-Yard and Commercial Rabbit Production
- books on raising rabbits