Well, I can say I’ve finally mastered the art of natural rabbit rearing. Our rabbits have been commercial rabbit pellet-free for over a year now. They are growing well, reproducing like, well, rabbits and they taste pretty darned good! The problem I have now is more rabbits than I have a market for. So, into the freezer they go, in all shapes and forms. The larger rabbits I bone, using the meat for sausage and the bones to either feed the dogs or reserve for stock. The smaller rabbits are either cut-up or left whole. Wally and I will not starve and what better meal for farmers than naturally-raised rabbit?
Rabbit does take a little bit of skill to cook, but it’s not so bad: really! It tastes way better than chicken too! Unfortunately (I guess) rabbits do not have breasts like chickens, but chicken breasts from factory-farmed chickens have no taste. Heritage breed chickens raised on pasture do not have much for breasts either. Breasts are a man-made thing.
Funny how animals have been bred to have parts that are more attractive to people. Those poor Cornish X factory farm chickens that have breasts so big that they about tip over.
Like heritage-breed chickens, our rabbits are considerably older when they are of size to process than their commercial counterparts – New Zealand and Californian. Like chickens, I believe they develop more taste as they age. The way we raise our rabbits, they get lots of exercise, fresh air and sunshine.
Can rabbits be raised sustainably? Heck yes! But not on a large scale unless you have a lot of property and equipment to harvest grains. Can they be raised on locally-grown whole grains, hay, weeds, pasture grass, etc. Heck yes! Except for the alfalfa pellets which are coming from Canada (non-GMO) all of the grain that our animals consume is grown locally.
We are in the process of cutting way back on our rabbit population — and once that happens, I’ll have people knocking down my door for them. Sometimes farming is incredibly frustrating. People only want what you do not have. Wally and I are taking a break from the Hickory Farmer’s Market for numerous reasons. There are major changes on the horizon. I cannot share them yet, but if you are reading this, say a prayer that it works out for us. It’s something we’ve been waiting on for a long, long time.
Instead of going to the market, I am making two deliveries to Hickory and one to Lincolnton during the week. Quite frankly, this works a lot better for us than going to the market or having people pick up at the farm.
Off to milk, do the rest of the chores and then get into the garden for a while. Got a crop of heirloom green beans to pick.
Until later …