Meat Rabbits

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					Best Breeds to Raise as Meat Rabbits

There are many breeds of rabbit, but if you want meat rabbits, the most popular two breeds would be
the New Zealand White or the Californian. It's quite common for rabbit farmers to cross-breed these
two because their offspring tends to be hardy and mature faster than either of the parent breeds.

Another breed that is rising in popularity is the Florida White, but this breed is not as widespread as the
other two. Despite the name, the New Zealand White was developed in the US, just as the Californian
and Florida White breeds were.

The New Zealand White rabbit grow to the fryer stage by two months old, with large average litter
sizes, so they are the leading choice for many. When fryer size, the rabbits weigh between four and
five pounds. Full grown, the New Zealand White is from ten to thirteen pounds. With 8-10 kits per
litter, this is a good choice for those raising meat rabbits as production is high. Although White is part
of the name, these animals can also come in other colors, but the white are most popular for meat

The Californian, on the other hand, comes in just the one color. These rabbits are white, with black
extremities. Full grown, this breed is slightly smaller than the New Zealand White, at only nine to ten
pounds. They also breed smaller litters on average, with only 6-8 kits per birth. One thing that helps
maintain their popularity amongst meat rabbits is that they have smaller bones so there is more meat
per pound.

The Florida White is the smallest of the good meat rabbits, weighing in at only four to six pounds fully
grown. They're still great for production, though, in the fryer market as they have meaty bodies. This
breed does live up to its name in that it only comes in the one color.

There are other breeds that are also suitable as meat rabbits such as the Champagne D'Argent, Beveren,
Palomino, American or the Cinnamon. All of these breeds are large with meaty bodies, with mature
weights in the eleven to twelve pounds range. Each breed has different advantages and disadvantages
so you will need to compare them before deciding on which breed or breeds to work with.

If you are raising rabbits purely for household meat production, then choose whatever breed you prefer.
Meat production on a larger scale will mean that you are most likely going to be working with a
processor and in that case, you should contact the processor about preferred breeds. Most of them will
have a preference and only buy certain breeds.

Dani Schaeffer is the Publisher of The Pioneering Parent, an online blog for “Suburban Survival
Families.” The Pioneering Parent features articles on microfarming in suburbia, and covers topics on
microfarming, including backyard chickens, rabbit farming, and tilapia farming, as well as gardening,
cooking, preparing and storing food, alternative energy and financial planning.

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