Not too many people raise rabbits for meat, and it’s sort of a shame. There are many upsides to raising rabbits, and one of our favorites is certainly the nutritional benefits. Better than beef and better than chicken in many ways, rabbit is both nutritious and delicious. Lots of people overlook the upsides of eating rabbit because there is stigma around the animal; many people keep them as pets. This, however, doesn’t change the fact that they are easy to raise and harvest ethically.
When compared three ounces of rabbit meat to the meat of other animals that we like to eat, the calories are slightly less and so is the amount of fat. The protein content is higher and it can be easier to digest than the meat of other animals. Rabbit meat contains high levels of potassium, phosphorus, and even calcium, while the sodium levels are relatively low.
Rabbit has a pretty mild flavor so it isn’t offensive to many palettes, and there are lots of tasty ways to prepare it. Rabbits are typically ready for harvesting around three months of age. These animals can weigh up to three pounds and offer mild white meat that dresses up nicely like chicken. The rabbits that are allowed to mature to around eight months of age offer darker meat with a richer flavor. This meat can be prepared in dishes similar to those made with beef.
Ethical Rabbit Management
Chickens like to roam in the sun for grubs. Cows like to move about in search for grass, and pigs like to forage. Rabbits, on the other hand, seek out small spaces to hide in. Large, comfortable housing units can be built so the backyard farmer can raise rabbits without confining them to small cages like the big operations do, but at the same time, provide them the shelter that they long for.
When providing the right shelter and care, rabbits can easily be raised ethically and harvested for their highly nutritious meat, which is good news for backyard farmers. Just like with chickens, there are plenty of different kinds to choose from, and you have lots of options available to you—at least one will be a good pick for your farm and your family.
Rabbits And Sustainable Farming
This tiny creature is especially convenient for city farmers or farmers with smaller homesteads as they are quieter, cleaner, and easier to manage than your average chicken. That’s not to say that chickens are a bad option, but the growing desire for rabbit meat makes rabbits a more appealing than ever before.
They use feed more efficiently, and although the yield may seem small in comparison to other farm animals, the benefits are large. Nutrition and ease of care are just two good reasons to start raising rabbits for meat. In previous years, Americans have not embraced the idea of rabbit as other countries around the globe have, but we are beginning to see a change in ideology that will put rabbit farmers back on the map.