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Rabbits, the ultimate self-sustaining food source

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posted on Jul, 21 2010 @ 10:47 PM
For a while I debated which animal to breed for food. I considered chickens, rabbits, ducks, geese, and a few larger types like goat.

I live in a suburban neighborhood with a 1/4 acre backyard.

chickens I ruled out because frankly they are too noisy. Sure I could go without a rooster and just eat eggs. But ultimately thats not sustainable as the hens will eventually die. theyre also really messy. hens die easily too. I have a friend that tried to breed them, a constant battle to keep them alive.

ducks and geese like water so I would need a kiddie pool or a pond. They also like to dig mud up and put it in the water, thus making for a messy muddy yard. There is also the need to clip their wings so they dont head for canada. they require more space than a 3x4 cage

goats or other medium size animals will eat your lawn, require more space, be noisy so more chance to be detected, and consume more food than they produce.

So I finally settled on rabbits. Im very happy with the results.

Rabbits are very cheap to raise. My initial investment was $150 for 3 cages with water bottles and pullout trays for easy cleanup. One cage is for the breeding male. One is for the momma. and the 3rd is a nesting cage for when she has babies. once the babies are a month old i move the mother back to her cage and let the dad visit. after a month she is ready to birth another litter.

at this point the babies from the previous litter are 2 months old and rdy to eat. my first litter of 5 rabbits made it to 6-7 pounds each. thats 30-35 pounds of meat per month.

feeding them is so simple. i feed them grass clippings from my yard as their main diet. i toss in leftovers from my garden, things like lettuce, tomatoes, and cucumbers. i did buy some rabbit feed but its more or less just dessert for them. basically it costs me almost nothing to feed them.

Its a learning process, Im still unable to determine their gender lol. Right now that doesnt matter as I eat all their young. Eventually though I will want to keep another breeding pair as backups and to replace the current mom/dad. Im told they will easily breed for 5 yrs+.

the pelts are really warm. I took several to a local seamstress who made me 4 pairs of gloves for free (gave her a ton of extra pelts in exchange). Im not sure if rabbit pelt is worth any money but its a commodity nonetheless and worthy of trading for other things.

fyi dont be intimidated by killing and skinning a rabbit. its extremely easy to do. Hold the rabbit by their feet so they dangle upside down. A quick blow to the back of their head easily dispatches them. cut their head off. then simply peel their skin from the neck downward to their feet. remove and discard their innards, although the liver is pretty tasty (makes a nice paste for crackers or fried)

So far it seems the average litter is 4-6 rabbits per month. and thats for one breeding pair. they dont make a sound so its safe from noisy neighbors. theyre pretty self-sufficient. they live for years. they can live on yard waste. you can put them in outdoor cages in most environments (i live in idaho where it reaches 100 in the summer and 0 in the winter).

in my opinion, the ultimate self-sustaining meat source around !

+2 more 
posted on Jul, 21 2010 @ 11:05 PM
Not trying to bug you
I hope this saves your life one day
It takes more calories to digest rabitt then you get from them...

always carry a survival kit with snare wire,” you say, “so I’ll catch rabbits and ground squirrels to eat.” Sorry, but that’s another thing that’s misunderstood. Eat-ing their lean meat is like taking poison, and in a matter of three or four days you will be sicker than a dog. Diarrhea, vomiting, irregular heartbeat, low blood pres-sure, and chronic weakness—it’s called “rabbit starvation,” and the more you eat the hungrier you will get until your belly gets so bloated that you’ll look seven months pregnant. Early explorers learned the hard way to leave these little critters alone.
It takes two things to stay alive in the outdoors—fats and carbohydrates. Tak-ing the carbohydrates first, that presents a problem in itself, since it means you must find edible berries, nuts, and roots as soon as you can. For those who worry that they can’t do it, I’d like to remind them that if the Neanderthals could do it, why can’t you? Blueberries, cranberries, raspberries, arctic willow roots, cattail shoots, dandelions, pine nuts, wild rice, and fireweed are all possible sources of food. And there are just as many things in desert regions. Buy a book, take a hike, and make it a game to learn as much as you can about the plants you find in your surroundings. It’s not as hard as you think.
Finding fats is an entirely different challenge, since Native Americans from day one knew how to harvest deer, elk, and moose that had stores of fat along their backbones.

Im not kidding man, learn how to eat pine trees.
They don't taste too bad and they will solve your calory problem.
They are very easy to catch...

edit: they also prevent scurvy

[edit on 21-7-2010 by Danbones]

[edit on 21-7-2010 by Danbones]

[edit on 21-7-2010 by Danbones]

[edit on 21-7-2010 by Danbones]

posted on Jul, 21 2010 @ 11:07 PM

Originally posted by Danbones
Not trying to bug you
I hope this saves your life one day
It takes more calories to digest rabitt then you get from them...

Very true, maybe the OP should look at the wild pig that is sustainable without any effort, and they have fat..

posted on Jul, 21 2010 @ 11:07 PM
Good for you. There is an old book called "possum living" which details breeding rabbits. You might be able to find a free copy on the net, but I notice I cant find one anymore.

What you may or may not be aware of is something called "Rabbit starvation" or protein poisoning. This is only relevant if rabbit is your ONLY source of fat in diet. If you eat ONLY high protein, low fat, with no carbohydrates, such as rabbit, you can die of "malnutrition" but more accurate, you die of diarrhea because of the lack of fat aka rabbit starvation.

Don't let this discourage your plans. Again, this is only relevant in survival situations where you are relying on very low fat-content meat. Your bred rabbits are going to have a higher fat content than wild rabbits depended on in a survival situation.

Good luck thanks for sharing.

posted on Jul, 21 2010 @ 11:16 PM
When I was growing up, for long stretches rabbit and deer were the only meat we had. There were times that the only food we had in the house was rabbit and flour. Somehow, we lived. None of us got fat though. To this day none of us will eat rabbit or venison.

posted on Jul, 21 2010 @ 11:27 PM
reply to post by Danbones

Yep your better off with chickens or pigmy goats If your going to raise animals to eat. Rabbit will do in a pinch but not long term

[edit on 21-7-2010 by hawkiye]

posted on Jul, 21 2010 @ 11:36 PM
reply to post by christianpatrick

I hate to admit it but if the SHTF I am going to miss burgers and steakes, and cheese and ketchup...

And hey OP, this is a good thread...
Don't be discouraged, just take the wisdom shared, and modify, and be wise, thats what's cool about ATS...and we all face this and survive...

learning plants is cool they provide all the missing things..
burned coltsfoot ash- salt
dried ground juniper berries- pepper
Yarrow - stops gangrene, and food poisoing, and absceses, and infection
willow - asprin

we eat condiments with various meats because they cancel out the faults of that particular meat...

Google Jamea A Duke he was the US army's top plant guy awesome books on plants for food and medicin...

pine trees

and then there are the teas

what Hawkiye said:
goats are cool, mint goes just right with goats, and they can be milked and cheesed....I would think they are good fertilizers and they eat anything...and theylook so hilarious standing on the picknic table or when they wander up and bite the book you are reading...

[edit on 21-7-2010 by Danbones]

[edit on 21-7-2010 by Danbones]

[edit on 21-7-2010 by Danbones]

posted on Jul, 21 2010 @ 11:38 PM
You are misinformed. Chickens are very quiet compared to dogs or horses and most that near city folks consider as farm animals. Without a rooster the birds still get up with the sun and go to bed at dark. They rarely make a noise. A roaming dog or cat can stir them up but wouldn't you expect that?

The best survival food that I can find as Cost/Beneficial Calorie is insects. They are easily raised and reproduced. Unlike a beautiful garden of lettuce, spinach, zucchini and tomatoes , a garden of edible insects will be dismissed by would be robbers!

Lol Life invisible and considered extreme living.

Living off of the grid with an easy crop? Why not

posted on Jul, 21 2010 @ 11:39 PM
Rabbits are an okay for survival IF they are not your only source of food. See Rabbits do not contain enough fat they are pretty much a protien only rich food, so a diet of just rabbit would kill you. You must eat a fair amount of carbs and animal fat too. Not to bust your bubble, rabbits are a good idea to suplement with just not for soul survival. Melissa101

posted on Jul, 21 2010 @ 11:39 PM
reply to post by Danbones

thanks for posting that, I mentioned this on ats just the other day , i am amazed more folk havnt heard of this , colonies of miners dying out because of reliance on rabbit as main foodstuff, crazy how it come s up again ...

posted on Jul, 21 2010 @ 11:44 PM
reply to post by Danbones

My survival kit will be upgraded tomorrow to include fishing string.

In my wallet is my survival card.. I have a safeway club card wrapped in 9 ft of duct tape. I also have a razor blade and paper clip on the card. I don't do drugs. I do like being prepared in case of # happens.
I keep extra water in my truck to drop off with. Ignorant Desert visitors.
NOt Stupid people. Just busy trying to keep life in their lives.

posted on Jul, 21 2010 @ 11:45 PM
I like rabbit best. Easy to care till eating and easy to kill and clean. The only item that needs to be kept in mind if you're cooking rabbit in a stew or baking in the oven is that rabbit don't have any fat per se. While the rabbit meat is better in protein for eating than meat or chicken, its lack of fat makes it a meat that has to be prepared with that small item in mind.

While most stews or chili's are full of seasonings and such, oil will be needed or butter to help cook or bake a rabbit and it come out decent enough to eat and or share with someone.

Rabbit is good to eat and easy to prepare. Portion size can be regulated to age of rabbit rather than breed, but in my mind, nothing like wild rabbit stew with some wild rice and green beans to make a meal uh-hm uh-hm finger licking good.

Rabbit can also be done up in a jerky or sausages but that's another big subject better suited for a thread of its own.

Rabbit rules in my neck of the country. Rabbit is way up there with fat squirrels and fat fish.

Thanks again.

posted on Jul, 21 2010 @ 11:56 PM
reply to post by admriker444

Another Idahoan! Woohoo! Lol

I've also heard that if you lived on rabbit meat alone, you would starve to death since they take more calories to digest than they provide. I've personally never had rabbit.

Also, about feeding them grass clippings----that could go badly. We used to have a horse when I was little, and I tried to feed it grass clippings. I got a sound spanking, and my parents told me that lawn clippings from the mower leave particles of metal in the grass that could potentially kill the horse.

posted on Jul, 21 2010 @ 11:57 PM
reply to post by MaxBlack

fat fish now you are talking....
where I am at we have pike, bass, perch, pickerel, bull heads, and channel cats and trout...

white oak acorns for flour
just wash the tannins out of the nut meats...

why wait for TSHTF...
no pesticides, herbicides. fertilizers, not GMO, and nutritionally dense...

partridge wild rabbits and squirells can be taken with a decent air rifle too.
a nice ,22 air rifle with a few thousand pelletts would be had for a couple hundred bucks...quiet light you can practice

[edit on 22-7-2010 by Danbones]

posted on Jul, 22 2010 @ 12:12 AM
We raise quail, quiet and easy to feed, lay eggs at 6 weeks old and their breast is a meal. We also pick wild rose hips and preserve them for winter, makes a great tea and loaded with vitamins and minerals with alot of health benefits.

Great thread, I love self survival and hearing about what others do.

posted on Jul, 22 2010 @ 12:15 AM
Great post admriker444!!

as said earlier you are misinformed about chickens if you take the time like you are with the rabbits they are very easy and quiet, will eat all your bugs too, keep your plants growing as-well as fertilize them my rooster goes off every once in a while but it is welcomed not annoying maybe once or twice a day,
I could go on and on about hens you get the right breed for laying hens and the right breed for eating. you can control their breeding very easily unlike rabbits they get outta control trust me I have plenty of rabbit here, the damn coyotes dont even come and get them.

this is a small system but if you browse the tube you can see indoor warehouse Aquaponics systems this is the deal right here.
it may not be pure survival but I know you will dig it Aquaponics!!!

I didnt watch this video before posting Damn its funny!!!
youll get the idea LOL.

[edit on 7/22/2010 by -W1LL]

posted on Jul, 22 2010 @ 01:10 AM
What happens when it is your turn to be the rabbit on this planet?
If you know life is eternal, we all have roles to model, what will you do, when you embody the rabbit, or the rabbit embodies you? Cause and affect.

posted on Jul, 22 2010 @ 01:24 AM
reply to post by admriker444

Good post OP! its good to know that you found rabbits to be an efficient source of meat.

Even when you consider what danbones said. I believe this seems to be a viable method for protein production, as long as its part of a diet full of the other necessary parts.

since you are low on space I want to share this technique with you. It is a cheap and easy way to grow lots of vegetables and conserve space.

Its called the Three sisters method and deals with Companion planting which is something else i would research.

So basically the three sisters method is planting corn, beans, and squash all in the same space. So your only using 1/3 of the room it would normally take to plant this quantity of plants.

posted on Jul, 22 2010 @ 01:46 AM
thanks for the responses.

Oh and yes Im very familiar with rabbit starvation. I cook all rabbits in vegetable oil so it does add some fat. And I didnt mean to reference rabbits as a sole source of survival food.

I dont mean to say chickens are totally bad but in my case they werent possible. I live in a neighborhood ruled by an association with rules. Heck we arent even allowed to have gardens, not that its stopped me. But my nosey neighbor spies chicken coop and Id find myself being sued. So rabbits worked best because the cages are small and easily hidden on the side of my house where prying eyes cant see them.

Im not raising rabbits in case of martial law or all-out war. If that happens I'd bug out and bring my supply of freeze dried food and seeds and fishing gear and hope for a speedy resolution. this is more about not wanting to stand in line at some govt food camp if the grocery stores ran out because of a gas strike.

considering that in mind, Ive tried to grow things to supply my family with some supplemental food. I love asparagus, its one of the few perennial vegetables around. I also have 2 almond trees and an apricot tree. and then my 4 6x4 above ground gardens that supply us with tomatoes, corn, cucumbers, lettuce, and red onions.

Im more concerned about food shortages and hyperinflation increasing prices. If martial law is declared, it wont matter if your raising chickens or rabbits because the soldier knocking on your door will find both and confiscate them.

posted on Jul, 22 2010 @ 01:51 AM
Hell, admriker, I learned that from Elmer Fudd when I was a wee lad

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