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Author Topic: Meat rabbits in Scotland  (Read 16270 times)


  • Joined Feb 2011
  • South Wales
Meat rabbits in Scotland
« on: March 09, 2011, 09:07:06 pm »
We are thinking of having a few meat rabbits on our small holding, west of Glasgow.

Is there anyone out there who could show us their set-up & advise us if this is a good idea ... ?

Thanks folks

 :pig: :chook: :dog: :bee:

Tunkey Herd - registered Kune Kune & rare breed poultry -


  • Joined Aug 2009
  • North East Fife
Re: Meat rabbits in Scotland
« Reply #1 on: March 09, 2011, 10:27:36 pm »
I think if you are looking to raise/breed rabbits for personal eating, or friends etc, then they are a good venture, though how big a commercial enterprise they would be i don't know.
I think the most common method of keeping meat rabbits in in wire cages allowing thorough ventilation(correct me if i am wrong somebody), i have even read some people having mesh floors to cages allowing any poo&wee to fall through so the rabbit is not sitting in it. Having never reared rabbits for meat i cant guarantee being correct.

When i was breeding rabbits, i had several breeding "pens", and birthing "pens" in one shed, then another shed divided in two, with females on one side, and males on the other. I did not feed ad-lib, and do not believe you do with rearing rabbits, provie them with a high protein diet, allowing them to grow slightly faster, and be healthy, supplemented with greens etc.

Sorry i can't show any pics, or offer much advice, someone else out there will most likely correct what i have said, but hey, it's a start


  • Joined Feb 2011
  • South Wales
Re: Meat rabbits in Scotland
« Reply #2 on: March 10, 2011, 01:41:58 pm »
Thanks Cameron  :wave:

Just looking at something small-scale for personal/possible local butchers to supplement income from our small holding.

Not sure if I like the idea of the wire cages - sounds a bit "battery henish" - I'm afraid I'm a real softy where animals are concerned, never make a  :farmer: living from holding me - too soppy  :'(  all our animals are spoilt rotten!

 :pig: :chook: :dog: :bee:
Tunkey Herd - registered Kune Kune & rare breed poultry -


  • Guest
Re: Meat rabbits in Scotland
« Reply #3 on: March 11, 2011, 07:02:34 pm »
i prefer breeding rabbits keep in 3 tier wooden hutches. ours were temporarily in a wire cage but they were peeing down the wall and spraying, which stunk.
we made a large indoor run for the youngsters with wood and chicken wire (6ftx6ft) which we kept in garage and used heat lamp during winter (massive elect bill tho!!) and had deep shavings bed.
i thought about selling to a butcher but was told they mite only pay 1-2 each. so complete loss 4 me. but mine arent meat breed so u may do better.


  • Joined Jun 2008
Re: Meat rabbits in Scotland
« Reply #4 on: June 03, 2011, 05:04:26 pm »
I am breeding a few , i recently got back into them after many years , i find i get a better return when i sell them to mates , work mates etc , i get 2 each, but most guys take 2 and give me a 5, i also barter a few with with a couple of mates one of whom makes cider , the other is a baker.
 I keep mine in an old garage 16ft long  x 10ft wide , i have made 2 runs on each side of the garage 8ft x 3 ft which is where i keep the youngsters , above them i have 5 cages each side 3ft x 2ft6ins where the does are kept , my  2 bucks live outside in a double tiered hutch this eliminates the problems of spraying  urine and the smell that goes with it, at present i have 8 does and two bucks , i think i might up the does as and when demand proves necessary, i intend to use a couple of ark type hutch's on grass to rest the does in between pregnancy's, fortunately i manage to "glean " a lot of feeding from an allotment site ,a greengrocers,fruit from a school, and my baker mate, only feeding corn to the does when nursing youngsters, and in the 7 days prior to mating.   


  • Joined Sep 2010
Re: Meat rabbits in Scotland
« Reply #5 on: June 08, 2011, 05:40:17 pm »
To house my rabbits, I have three 'houses' making one house of three sections per rabbit. I have housing of similar size for the offspring, and two secure galvanised mobile runs outside which can be moved about on the grass. Result: Happy bunnies.



  • Joined Jan 2011
Re: Meat rabbits in Scotland
« Reply #6 on: June 11, 2011, 08:05:33 pm »
We are in East Yorkshire - we have 2 does and 2 bucks and various young stock (all NZWx Californian).  We tend to breed in the winter as reduced risk of myxomatosis. We have 6 6ft hutches in the garage, 2 6ftx3ft runs for the lawn and also a number of other 5ft hutches with permanent access to runs.  In my opinion the wire acges donot meet the welfare requirements of rabbits.  However, rabbit have provided us with ample meat over the last 8 years.

We are considering giving up on the rabbits to concentrate on our other animals if you are interested in some stock / hutches.


  • Joined Sep 2010
Re: Meat rabbits in Scotland
« Reply #7 on: June 12, 2011, 09:18:48 pm »
In my opinion the wire cages do not meet the welfare requirements of rabbits.

I don't like the look of the wire cages either, have never used them (remind me of battery hen cages).



  • Joined Jun 2008
Re: Meat rabbits in Scotland
« Reply #8 on: October 03, 2011, 07:07:41 pm »
I have just been given the use of two old wooden garages, 16ft x 12ft, they are bit rough ,and the owner wants to knock them down in 3years time and build a wooden chalet on the site when he retires . In return i will just keep an eye on his bit ground for him and grow some greens on the ground to help feed my bunnies , i have run a wire net around the inside of the garages to stop any ideas of chewing an escape route , and have  split the sheds in 3 giving me 12ft x 5ft pens and run my rabbits deep litter , i have made a 6ft x 5ft wire framed door inside the original doors , and a wire framed panel the same size at the other end, hopefully giving me plenty ventilation, and i can close the doors on the one end if the weather is rough, at the moment i have 11 does but next year i would think with this set up i could go to maybe 18, my problem has always been somewhere to fatten them , but that should be solved next spring , in the meantime i have 20 young bantam cocks  residing in one of them getting ready for the freezer !


  • Joined Sep 2010
  • Livingston
Re: Meat rabbits in Scotland
« Reply #9 on: December 04, 2011, 12:50:12 pm »
I think the idea of wire cages is a spin off from mink farming na dcommercial furfarming.  The droppings would pass through the bars as a by product but as far as I am aware the real reason was to circulate air to maintain coat density, don't want them getting to comfy! :bunny:
'And the crowd called out for more'


  • Joined May 2012
Re: Meat rabbits in Scotland
« Reply #10 on: June 07, 2012, 12:46:35 am »
I have never raised rabbits so have no practical experience but am considering it.  From what I have read, it seems raising them on wire is the most sanitary and healthy way for the rabbits.  Even wood framed wire cages absorb urine and collect manure which can cause some diseases.  Sometimes the wire cages are suspended from the rafters by wires in order to avoid that problem.  This may be a project for next spring. :bunny:

Mel Rice

  • Joined Sep 2011
Re: Meat rabbits in Scotland
« Reply #11 on: June 07, 2012, 06:40:39 am »
Here in Germany there are no wild rabbits, but lots of people keep bunnies for meat (some use the fleeces too)
Most bunny houses are blocks of flats! ie a set of 6 or 9 cubes , wooden with wire fronts(doors)
Most people (as I do) feed purly grass, a few bits of veg leftovers/peelings too. And them suplement with a bought in pelleted feed in the winter or around birth. They have access to hay all the time in little hay racks (the local shops sell them) I give water daily but mine do not have access to runs....except when they get out! (then they rarly go far as the outside world is a bit strange!)
They cope with the cold (and it gets VERY cold here) well its the wet that harms them, My boxes are covered in a couple of layers of waterproofing with a big overhanging roof.
The coats seem fine as long as the bedding ...or at least the top layer of bedding stays dry.
Bunnies are only pregnant for 28 days and then produce fairly big litters. Lots of people eat bunny near me but have given up keeping their own. I get 5 euros at least each. but I mainly keep them for my own use. Make sure you can use/sell all the meat as numbers can grow very quickly.
They are an easy meat stock. I would recomend can have fun playing with coat colour combinations too....they taste nice even the smaller ones!


  • Joined Jul 2011
  • Pilton
  • Caution! May spontaneously talk rabbits!
Re: Meat rabbits in Scotland
« Reply #12 on: June 07, 2012, 09:55:25 pm »
Rabbits are extremely clean animals and take to a litter tray easier than a cat does!
For a retiring diurnal burrowing animal I personally think it is downright cruel to keep them in wire cages, especially for the sake of cleanliness :'(
People have campaigned for years to abolish the battery cage for hens, rabbits are no less sentient.
Meat rabbits lives may be short but at least give them the benefit of an enriched enjoyable one.
I am a self confessed rabbitholic, but have no issues with other people eating them so please don't misunderstand me. I will however beg people to shun wire cages.
We'll turn the dust to soil,
Turn the rust of hate back into passion.
It's not water into wine
But it's here, and it's happening.
but passive.

Bring the peace back

in the hills

  • Joined Feb 2012
Re: Meat rabbits in Scotland
« Reply #13 on: June 11, 2012, 08:51:45 am »
Agree totally, Colliewoman. And given the chance to be clean they will naturally be so.


  • Joined Jun 2008
Re: Meat rabbits in Scotland
« Reply #14 on: June 12, 2012, 12:30:40 pm »
I have mine deep litter , and i have plastic trays (old drawers from  school desks ) about 400mm x 300mm and i find that they use these great for litter trays .


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