Thursday, September 23, 2010

Very Local Meat

I just came across this excellent article about raising rabbits entitled, amusingly, Backyard Bunnies Are the New Urban Chickens.

Backyard is pretty much as local as it gets.

Raising rabbits is tempting. I've also thought about raising guinea pigs for meat, as 98% (!) of rural households do in the Peruvian Andes (according to this article).

Rabbits and guinea pigs eat scraps, peels, and other by-products of human cuisine. You can use their waste as fertilizer. Their quick reproductive cycles make it easy to get started. And they are silent, unlike chickens.

Comments from any rabbit-raisers out there?

9 comments:

Emerald Green said...

wow. thanks for sharing! it is tempting, but I just have visions of hunny bunny, my little golden rabbit from childhood, and as a middle school English teacher, I've read Watership Down too many times. But the greener side of me says WooHoo! Go for it! I'd have to try a nice rabbit dish first though. Many of my Portuguese friends, and a farm I stayed at in Italy were raising rabbits and raved about it.

Virginia said...

Rabbit raiser here! Attended my first butchering today where I did help a little. I will butcher my first four rabbits in the next 2 weeks and our breeding doe is pregnant again (hopefully).

There's a community in S. NH raising Creme D'Argent heritage breed rabbits if you're interested in getting in on this community. I can recommend a stellar breeder and tons of knowledge from others raising Cremes! Pics of my bunnies here: http://livinglocalnh.blogspot.com/2010/09/around-homestead.html

Virginia said...

Oh we're in a subdivision on a .5 acre lot (no HOA or covenant) and no city laws from what I can find....so it's definitely the way to go for us. We don't have the space to raise meat chickens.

Alex Lewin said...

Great to hear from you guys!

I think rabbit cooks about the same as chicken.

Be aware that rabbit is very lean, so you may want to supplement your recipes with bacon, lard, or perhaps heavy cream!

Virginia said...

Of course! Fat is good! Yum!!

Venu Javarappa said...

Every single rural household I visited in Peru had a posse of guinea pigs being raised for, um, lunch. They are rather tasty too.

Alex Lewin said...

Venu, I don't suppose you have a picture?

alexis said...

My parents tried this when I was little and we all got traumatized by eating our pets. Those cages were empty after the first butchering. Rabbit is tasty, though -- just gets tricky with kids.

Alex Lewin said...

Alexis, hahahah! That's funny. Sort of.