Rabbit – A Sustainable Meat Source
Rabbits may be cute and furry, but they are also an excellent, sustainable food source. Rabbits are a high protein, low-fat meat and have a high meat-to-bone ratio with only 7% of the rabbit being bone. One rabbit can produce 60-100 pounds of meat per year and has a very mild flavor profile, often mistaken for pork or chicken. Many doctors will recommend rabbit meat for several health conditions such as heart disease and weight loss.
Rabbits can breed year-round and can produce a liter every 31 days. They are also able to produce close to 1000% of their own weight in offspring, setting them above other farm animals in terms of meat production. Rabbits can usually start reproducing at around 4-6 months old and can have 500 or more babies in their lifespan. They do very well in the cold and have fairly predictable cycles.
Every part of the rabbit is useful and nothing has to go to waste. Rabbits have a much smaller carbon footprint than most farm animals. They are easier to slaughter and process and also easier to care for without taking up as much space as their other farm friends. Rabbit manure is one of the best fertilizers for the garden. It is considered a cold fertilizer and does not burn plants when applied directly to them. It is also generally odor free when kept dry. Their fur can be used for clothing, blankets, or pet treats. Rabbit fur is lighter and warmer than most other animal fur and it also provides nutrients to pets that consume it. And, of course, rabbit feet have been a symbol of good luck for centuries.
So, as you can see, rabbit husbandry is an excellent choice in this day and age with its environmental concerns and limited resources.