Are Backyard Rabbits Safe To Eat

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The short answer is yes! Rabbits are an excellent source of protein, and they don’t require any more care than a common house cat. However, you should be cautious about eating them because some diseases can be transmitted through their meat. Rabbits are usually safe to eat if you cook the meat thoroughly.

There are many different types of rabbit meat that are perfectly safe and delicious to consume. The long answer is more complicated than it seems at first glance. Here’s what we know about eating rabbits:

Which Backyard Rabbits Are Safe To Eat

Raising backyard rabbits for meat is a popular pastime these days. If it’s what you’re looking to do, make sure that you go with the best breeds!

Rabbits with the most desirable meat would be Silver Fox, French Angora, and American Chinchilla. If you are considering eating rabbits for their fine taste or health benefits then these rabbits should be at the top of your list to hunt down.

Silver Fox: This breed is a great choice for those looking to raise rabbits. If you’re worried about the meat, don’t be – they are known for having large litters and will provide safe but tender rabbit meat if healthy enough.

American Chinchilla: The American Chinchilla is a breed of domesticated animal that has become popular due to the meat produced. This muscular and stocky creature will provide you with more than enough savory, sweet meat!

French Angora: The French Angora breed’s rabbits hardly come with enough meat. On top of that, the rabbit fur is vulnerable to matting. This means you’ll need to keep brushing it from time-to-time and watch out for an attack by the fever virus as well!

Really, any domestic meat rabbit breed are safe to eat. It’s just a matter of preference.

The two inspirational alternatives from the wild are as follows.

Cottontail Rabbits (both mountain and desert): While they are small in size, these rabbits have shown to be fantastic meals. Their delicious and high-quality flesh will swiftly capture your attention. Due to their nocturnal nature, you can usually hunt them in the evening.

Eastern Cottontail Rabbit: This rabbit is America’s most hunted, and it’s not hard to see why. The cotton ball tail and ruddy brown coat are some of the characteristics that make this creature distinct. Because they are nocturnal, hunting them in the evening would be ideal.

If you don’t want the rabbits to escape your yard when you aren’t home or unable to catch them, check out this low-cost, efficient spring-loaded trap on Amazon to set up in your backyard for easy trapping and prevention of their flight.

How To Tell If a Rabbit Is Safe To Eat

In most cases, wild rabbits will be flea-infested and have parasite infections. Though these might not be a danger to people, the pests and parasites can cause long-term damage. Therefore, it is important to keep an eye on rabbits with fleas and ticks.

There is also a risk of Tularemia in rabbits, which can be severe. Aside from that, you’ll need to verify for Tularemia, commonly known as rabbit fever. This sickness may be fatal both to people and pets, and prompt medical care usually works.

A rabbit must be eviscerated before you can determine whether it is safe to eat. You’ll need to check for tiny lumps on the liver during this time. These little irregularities or lesions indicate that the rabbit isn’t suitable for human consumption.

What Are the Dangers of Eating Rabbit Meat

From how delectable rabbit meat is to how readily available they are, it will be difficult to avoid eating them. However, there will always be some precautions for you to bear in mind.

You can get sick if you do not address these concerns. These are the two primary hazards of consuming this livestock.

Tularemia: This disease might have a significant effect on your health. When skinning the rabbit, as it is passed into contact with contaminated tissues and blood, you will generally get this illness. You may expect to experience fever, shivers, and aches in your body. Antibiotics should be sufficient to treat this disease.

De-Populating Wild Rabbits: While rabbit numbers are good, over hunting may cause the decline of certain species. As a result, you should be careful about when and how you hunt in order to avoid causing any damage. Perhaps keeping an eye on state laws regulating rabbit hunting might be beneficial in the long run.

Stomach Upsets: This problem only occurs when your meat is not cooked adequately. According to experts, the ideal temperature for cooking beef is 160 degrees Fahrenheit. The meat will be not only soft but also free of various pathogens in this manner.

Can You Eat Rabbits in the Summer

The majority of the time, rabbit meat may be eaten at any occasion. However, because parasites are so easy to transmit in the summer, so you will want to be aware of that. During the summer, most rabbits pass worms and infections to other bunnies, as opposed to during the winter when temperatures drop.

However, all you have to do now is follow the precautions listed above. When you find a worm, it will be a lot simpler for you to detect its presence. If you discover one, refrain from eating the meat.

Is It Safe To Eat Jackrabbits

Did you know that jackrabbits are distant relatives of cottontails? Although this is the case, jackrabbits are generally hares.

It implies that they are unlikely to be healthy for you to consume, especially if not properly cooked. If you cook it as directed, there is no need for concern.

With their stringy meat, take your time when cooking it to ensure that it’s properly done. You should also aim for an internal temperature of at least 160 degrees Fahrenheit.

By doing this, you can be confident that all of the parasites, and other diseases that may be on the jackrabbit will be eliminated.

Helpful Tips To Know If Backyard Rabbits Are Safe To Eat

Knowing when rabbits are safe to eat is a common concern for those who hunt or farm them.

It is important to consider the presence of liver lesions, as well as other health problems related to parasites like worms under the skin.

Here are a few more telltale symptoms of illness in your rabbit:

  • Sudden stasis instances are dangerous and often involve digestion problems, gas, cramping, or tooth issues.
  • If the rabbit’s foot is raw or inflamed, it means your pet has sore hocks and that its meat could be dangerous.
  • The presence of deerflies and ticks on the coat of your pet rabbit could be a bad sign. Not only does this indicate that you may have some health issues to worry about, but these parasites can also compromise your lifestyle in every way possible.

Final Thoughts

The safety of your rabbit delicacy depends on how you prepare it. You should wear gloves when handling the meat and cook it thoroughly to stay safe from parasites, which can make people very sick.

So, are you ready to eat tasty backyard rabbit? Well then, take the time to observe every precaution!


Shanna is the 2nd half of Top Outdoor Survival. Like Forest, she has a passion for guns and knives. They love to go on a survival trip at least once a year. They love to go camping, hiking, and traveling.

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