Rabbit meat is quite popular as it is very healthy for the consumers as well as tasty. For homesteading, rabbits are an excellent choice as their white meat is not only in demand but also their skin and fur are as well. So, if you plan on homesteading rabbit breeds, you’ll need to know which breed of meat rabbits taste best.
It is said that Californian and New Zealand whites are the two-best kinds of meat rabbit breeds. These breeds are low maintenance but provide plenty of meat which makes them popular with homesteaders.
In this article, I am going to talk about the best meat rabbit breeds for homesteads. I will also try to give you accurate information on which tastes the best. Even though I have already given you two common breed names, I still recommend you go through this entire article to acquire proper knowledge on this topic before making a decision.
5 Best Meat Rabbit Breeds for Homesteads
There are several breeds of rabbits that need to be taken into consideration before settling on a specific breed. So, here I’ll be discussing some of the most common ones that are popular for their meat by homesteaders.
Californian rabbits are the cross-breed amidst New Zealand Whites and Chinchillas. These rabbits can be distinguished by their black spots and admirable white fur. They are famous for the amount of meat they provide and their good-sized litter. Californian rabbits are quite large and they weigh around eight to twelve pounds.
Another beneficial fact is that these rabbits tend to grow quite fast. They reach the slaughter age faster than other breeds that too within six months.
Californian rabbits are very effortlessly manageable as they are friendly, gentle, calm, and affectionate. The female rabbits of this breed have impeccable maternal instincts and are proven to be good mothers.
They don’t require much maintenance due to having short, soft, and thick fur. But before going for this breed, you should know Californian rabbits require enough space so that they can exercise and keep themselves healthy.
New Zealand Whites
New Zealand Whites are one of the most famous breeds of rabbit meat that can be used in various dishes. These rabbits are not only chubby and cute but also, they come in various colors like red, black, brown and white. This is why New Zealand Whites are also used for exhibition use and pets. These rabbits are also used for commercial purposes.
New Zealand whites, like Californian Rabbits, are also a breed that reaches the slaughter age quite early. Within eight to twelve weeks, they are all ready to provide you with meat. Before they reach this age, they need to be with their mother for their growth, health, digestive system, and immune system. So, at least for the first 8 weeks, they need their mothers.
Their meat weighs around nine to twelve pounds. So, the meat to feed ratio they provide is also exemplary. This is why this breed is one of the first choices when deciding on which breed to get for homesteading.
Another thing that attracts the homesteaders is that the rabbits of this breed don’t require much maintenance due to not needing any extra grooming. Also, their sweet, affectionate, quiet nature makes it easier for the homesteaders to manage them.
American rabbits, also known as German Blue Vienna rabbits, are quite popular due to their flavorful meat. Their meat can be used in all sorts of delicious dishes. They are mainly used for homesteading rather than commercial purposes.
American rabbits can weigh up to 12 lbs. They are used for their meat, fur, and exhibition purposes. They are also excellent as pets because of their friendly, docile, and tame nature. This breed comes in two colors white and blue. Another thing that attracts people is their silky-smooth fur.
They are an excellent choice for homesteading due to being easily manageable and of low maintenance. Even if you are new at dealing with rabbits, this breed of rabbits won’t cause you any trouble.
American rabbits are likely to have large litters. They also have fryers that tend to grow a lot faster and thus make the rabbits achieve marketable weight very quickly.
Silver fox is the cross-breed among American Blue Rabbits, Checkered Giants, and Champagne D’Argents. Silver fox refers to the fox like fur this breed of rabbits have. Due to their look, they stand out among all the other breeds of rabbits. But their looks aren’t the only reason behind breeding them, they also provide us with a delicious chunk of meat.
This breed is used not only for their meat and fur but also for show purposes. They make excellent pets too and are great for homesteading due to not being very hard to manage as they are calm, docile, and friendly.
Silver fox breed rabbits have adequately sized litter. Just like a few breeds mentioned above, the rabbits of this breed also need to be with their mothers for at least 8 weeks for their growth and health and also need to be fed by their mothers.
Though it is an excellent choice, this breed may need a little more maintenance than others. This breed of rabbits needs to be groomed every three weeks. They also need proper space for exercising and a balanced nutritional diet. So, among all the other breeds, the silver fox may need more attention.
The name Cinnamon Rabbits refers to the color of the breed. This breed is the cross-breed between New Zealand male and Chinchilla female and is quite rare. But the meat of this breed tastes more like New Zealand Whites.
Cinnamon Rabbits are great for homesteading. They have a great bone to meat ratio. They are calm, quiet, and docile as well as low maintenance. They weigh between nine to eleven lbs. Their growth is quite fast. Besides meat and fur, this breed of rabbits is also used for commercial purposes and also as pets.
Cinnamon rabbits are great for first-time owners as they are very easily manageable and don’t require much attention. They only require a little space to run and use up their energy. But they do make a great breed for homesteading.
Which Breed of Meat Rabbits Tastes the Best?
Rabbit meat is very popular as it can be used for making several delicious meals such as – stew, pies, soups, casseroles, etc. They are a great low fat protein source and are low in cholesterol as well.
The breed of rabbit that is considered to taste the best is the Silver Fox. Some may not notice the different tastes among various breeds of rabbits. But the fact is the taste mostly depends upon how they have been raised and the diet they’ve been given.
Due to having deep loin, rabbits that are of this breed can provide a good amount of meat. Silver fox breed is believed to provide the best meat because of its meat being of high quality with not only taste but also with great texture.
When it comes to choosing the right breed of rabbits for your homestead, you have plenty of options. Whether you want the breed that produces the most meat or the one that breeds the fastest, there’s something for everyone.
In this article, I have provided you with all sorts of information on several meat rabbit breeds for homesteaders and also have talked about which breed of meat rabbits taste best. I hope this article was of help to you.