*Rabbits as Livestock*
By: AFarmer
09 May 2005

New Zealand Whites are the most common meat rabbit - and most common Easter bunny. These are the plain white rabbits that are most often seen in pet shops.

You could also look into Flemish and Checkered Giants. The furs of the giants are usually mottled brown or black on white - and the animals are about twice the size of a New Zealand. The downside is that for the extra weight of the giant breeds, there is also more bone. You'd have to wait a bit longer to dress them too - to let them fill out a bit more. When pennies count - go with the standard - the New Zealand.

As far as furs go, nothing beats the Satin or Chinchilla. Those are breeds of rabbit, so named for the feel of their fur. Almost like sable or mink. Incredibly soft. Not too surprisingly, the cost for the bunny will be higher - as it is sought after by showmen and the pet industry.

But if your intentions are for a fur coats for yourself and your family or fur quilts - go with the standard - the New Zealand. You have options for color of fur as there are New Zealand Reds and New Zealand Blacks as well as the more common white bunny. Excellent meat, excellent fur. Perfect for the homesteader.

If children are present, designate one or two bunnies as pets for them and them alone - and all the rest as livestock. You might even have to designate one baby bunny from every few litters as that of your daughter's (or son's) pet.

On the pet side, they can be house trained to use a cat litter box, walk on a leash and do dog tricks like sit up and beg. For more information and local clubs, see the American Rqbbit Breeders Association at the below link.


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