If you are raising rabbits for their meat to feed your family and invited guests, you may wonder how much meat you get off a rabbit and how many people one rabbit feeds. After all, rabbit meat is highly nutritious and can make a delicious meal.
So how much rabbit meat or how many meat rabbits do you need per person?
The typical serving size of rabbit meat is 3 ounces, so if you buy a 2.6-pound whole rabbit and roast it, you can feed a family of 4 (provided you add some veggies and potatoes or rice). Buying a pack of boneless rabbit loins that contains 3 loin pieces at 8 ounces on average will feed 3 to 6 people.
Ready to learn more about rabbits feeding you and your family and what are the best meat rabbits to breed?
How Much Meat Do You Get off a Rabbit?
How much meat you can get off a rabbit depends on the rabbit. You’ll get a lot more meat off a medium, large, and giant size rabbit when compared to a small or dwarf rabbit.
A 4-pound rabbit, for example, can produce around 2 pounds of meat.
A rabbit’s carcass weighs just more than half of its live weight, with the edible parts weighing 85% of the dressed weight (carcass weight). The edible parts include the kidneys, liver, and heart, which are seen as a delicacy.
A Silver Fox, Californian, or New Zealand rabbit that’s butchered when it’s 8-10 weeks old can produce 3-4 pounds of meat.
You can raise your rabbits until they are older before butchering them to get more meat, but rabbit farmers believe the cost of feed to meat ratio isn’t worth it.
How Many Rabbits Should a Family Eat?
A family shouldn’t eat too much rabbit meat.
If you consume too much rabbit meat, you are at a high risk of developing protein poisoning (also called rabbit starvation).
The reason for protein poisoning is that rabbit meat is high in protein and low in fat.
However, if you don’t consume enough fat in your diet from other protein sources or foods like avocados, butter, and oil, your body struggles to digest the protein.
Chances are, if you survive on rabbit meat for a few days, you’ll be alright since the fat stores in your body can be broken down to digest the rabbit meat.
But after a while, you’ll suffer from diarrhea and your body will be getting rid of important minerals and vitamins too.
To stay clear of rabbit starvation, it’s best to eat rabbits only a few times a week.
5 Best Meat Rabbits You Can Choose
Not sure which are the best rabbits for your rabbitry? Here are the 5 best rabbits for breeding. Or choose the meat of these rabbit breeds if you are buying your rabbit meat from a butchery or online shop:
Satin rabbits are a large rabbit breed. An adult weighs around 12 pounds when it’s mature.
The commercial body of the Satin rabbit means it is ideal for rabbit meat production because there’s a good ratio of meat to bone.
At 8 to 12 weeks old, these rabbits weigh 5 pounds and you only need 85 pounds of feed to get the bun to this weight.
Cinnamon rabbits are medium-sized rabbits, weighing around 9 pounds when mature. Some of these rabbits can weigh between 8.5 to 11 pounds.
The rabbits also have a commercial body type, meaning they are great for meat rabbit production.
New Zealand Rabbits
One of the most popular rabbits to breed for its meat is the New Zealand rabbit.
The New Zealand rabbit breed is medium to large in size, weighing 9 to 12 pounds when they are mature.
At 8 to 9 weeks, these rabbits generally weigh at least 5 to 8 pounds, and their carcass at a bit more than half their live weight can yield 55% meat.
The fancy breed Californian rabbit is a large rabbit that weighs between 8 to 11 pounds.
Like the New Zealand rabbit, the Californian rabbit also reaches between 5 and 8 pounds when the rabbit is 8 to 9 weeks old.
American Chinchilla Rabbits
American Chinchilla rabbits have a commercial body shape, and easily weigh between 9 and 12 pounds when the rabbit is mature.
These rabbits are considered to be one of the best rabbit breeds for meat production in the world.
How Many Rabbits Does a Family of 4 Need?
How many rabbits a family of 4 needs depends on how many “big eaters” around the table there are and how often you consume rabbit meat.
Another factor that decides how many rabbits a family needs per meal is what is included in the meal.
Your family will likely eat more rabbit if it is roasted, even if you add veggies and rice or potatoes. You’ll need fewer rabbits if you make a soup, stew, or casserole as there are veggies, starch, and sauce too.
In general, a family with 2 adults and 2 small children needs 1 rabbit per meal, while if your family are big eaters or there are hungry teenagers in the house, then you’ll most likely need 2 rabbits per meal.
How Much Is a Serving of Rabbit?
The recommended serving of rabbit meat, according to the FDA Reference Amounts Customarily Consumed (RACC), is 3 ounces, or 85 grams per serving.
A 3-ounce serving of rabbit meat contains:
- 147 calories
- 3 grams of total fat
- 0 grams of carbohydrates
- 28.1 grams of protein
- 104.6 milligrams of cholesterol
- 38.3 milligrams of sodium
- 291.6 milligrams of potassium
- And various amino acids, vitamins, and minerals
My Last Rabbit Meaty Thoughts
You can easily set up a rabbitry in your backyard if you want to regularly feed your family rabbit meat, which has a high protein content while being low in sodium and fat.
There are various rabbits that are good for rabbit meat production.
The Satin rabbit is one of the best. The fryers will reach their ideal weight before being butchered.
They only need about 15 pounds of feed less than a New Zealand rabbit to reach the same weight, even though it may take a few weeks longer before the Satin fryer is ready to be slaughtered.