Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: Rabbits  (Read 1967 times)


  • Joined Jul 2012
  • South Shropshire
  • A country lass who loves it all!
« on: April 21, 2024, 06:34:23 am »
Ok so we're trying to incorporate different types of meat to sell to the public along with our lamb, & have been looking into rabbits & poultry, the poultry side I've found more info on & we know the rules & regs & we've done xmas geese for years.

But we've been considering doing rabbits for a while now for both meat & using things like the fur afterwards & ears for dog treats ect, I've got no problems in dispatching them but wouldn't know where to start, Normally I'd go out shooting wild ones but there don't seem to be many. I've also struggled to find information on legislation on things like slaughtering & meat labelling & what we need to put in place before we start.

Also guidance on what to feed rabbits going into the feed chain - I've had pet rabbits before & know you can give them vegetables & grass & hay & pellets from the pet store but those rabbits have never been intended for human consumption so would pet store pellets contain stuff that could contaminate the meat? & what ratio would be best?

Housing wise as well I've seen a few different set ups - some people free ranging them in pens outdoors with under floor wiring & others I've seen people have wooden sheds for them with different pens. Sorry if this all sounds like a lot of questions but I'd rather try & do things right before we get started.


  • Joined Dec 2011
  • Gascony, France
Re: Rabbits
« Reply #1 on: April 21, 2024, 10:29:52 am »
Perhaps the most important thing will be your market for them? Sure plenty of people will try it once, but selling the meat over a period of time to re-coup your investment might be a problem?

Something we see infrequently here now. Even our specialist butcher doesn't stock much, so it seems to have gone out of fashion in the last 10 years. Any meat here is now very expensive, except for pork. Chickens are all free-range and command 12/Kg- same price as beef, but you pay for the chicken bones as well, so it works out very expensive and I expect rabbit to be even more?


  • Joined Sep 2020
  • Norfolk
Re: Rabbits
« Reply #2 on: April 22, 2024, 08:24:45 pm »
Breed and rear Californian Whites. Big bu**ers that grow quickly. Feed them the same as any other rabbit - ad lib hay and veg. if you do find rabbit meat in supermarkets chances are it will be domestic rabbit eg CWs. Butchers tend to sell wild rabbit.

Like supermarket chicken v home reared free range chicken, the same breeds can be used but the way you rear them can make a great deal of difference to the taste.  Buy in a breeding pair of CWs and see how you get on. Domestic rabbit is pretty mild taste wise so perhaps good to start customers off with. You can introduce wild rabbit later on if you have customers that show an interest.

Sorry can't help with the legislation stuff.


  • Joined Nov 2015
  • Kernow: where 2nd-home owners rule !
Re: Rabbits
« Reply #3 on: April 29, 2024, 02:43:45 pm »
I suspect Chris Mahon is right about rabbit meat going in and out of fashion - e.g. there was a period when rabbit frequently appeared on cookery prog's such as Masterchef, but I can't recall bunny-bounty appearing on the menu for quite a while now.  Personal experience:  bought rabbit just once from butcher across the road in London (1980s) and have never been inclined to eat again since !  Father-in-law regularly netted rabbit, but that way of living was ingrained because his parents were so poor that they used to catch/eat songbirds when he was a youngster - protein intake by any means possible!  Now! - you mention rabbit ears for pet food: even animal "bi-products" are a real money-spinner in the pet-food/treats market. Go check the per kilo pricing of some pet foods/treats:  I have found some at 80/kg !!!!!!! so that might be something to look at perhaps (?)   


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