How to Raise Your Own Meat

Here we go.

Rabbits

Food – Alfalfa pellets, basic greens like kale, spinach, chard, leaf lettuce (NOT iceberg, cabbage or broccoli), alfalfa, timothy, and Bermuda hays, carrots, even small quantities of raspberries, tomatoes and strawberries.

Shelter – Rabbit hutches or colony living with buried wire with shade/cover to protect from weather.

Gestation period – 28 days – up to 14 babies

Male rabbits go sterile in severe heat and all rabbits need a cooling system in Arizona in the summer time. Frozen water bottles, fans, misting systems, in a cooler shelter, etc. are all good ways to keep your rabbits cool.

Uses of Rabbits – Meat, bones for broth, leather, fur, manure

A few of the meat breeds of rabbits for meat, Rex, New Zealand, Californians, American Chinchilla, Silver Foxes, Flemish Giants

Related: How to Raise Rabbits in Your Apartment

Chickens

Dual Purpose Chickens are the best egg-laying hens combined with the best meat chickens. The truth of the matter is that there are plenty of chicken breeds that are good for both purposes.  Includes Rhone Island Reds, wynnedottes, barred rocks, Orpingtons, Jersey Giants – all full-sized chickens. For smaller meat and egg production Bantams or (mini chickens) lay smaller eggs and are about half the meat size of a regular chicken.

Food – Layer, seed, oyster shells/ground eggshells for extra calcium, bugs, produce/greens, kitchen scraps (no meat)

Shelter – Coop to protect, layer boxes with hay, ground shavings/hay

Incubation times – Bantam 19-21 days, Full-sized chickens – 20-22 days

Uses of chickens – Meat, bones for broth, feathers, fertilizer, insect control, garden prepping.

Waterfowl

Birds including ducks and geese, heavy and medium weight ducks typically are raised for meat production. The main breeds are the Pekin and the Muscovy. Around 90 percent of the duck meat produced in the United States is from the Pekin. Commercial producers are able to obtain a duck weighing 7 to 8 pounds in seven weeks.

Food – Layer chow, oyster shells/ground eggshells for extra calcium, bugs, produce/greens.

Shelter – Coop to protect, layer boxes with hay, ground shavings/hay, swimming pool/pond

Incubation times – 28 days

Uses of waterfowl – Meat, bones for broth/soup, feathers, fertilizer.

Quail

Fast-growing animals for meat and eggs. In 8 weeks they are full-grown and laying eggs between 8-10 weeks old.

Food – game bird chow, oyster shells/ground eggshells for extra calcium, bugs like mealworms, produce/greens, excess eggs – Quail need at least a 25% protein to lay.

Shelter – Smaller rabbit hutches work great for quail.  Or larger enclosed coops

Incubation times – 16-17 days

Uses of quail – Meat (mainly breast meat), bones for broth/soup, feathers, fertilizer.

Related: How to Naturally Keep Your Chickens Cool

Game Birds – Chukars (Partridges) and Pheasants

Food – gamebird feed and cracked corn in the winter for all your birds. You can also give them treats like fruit, veggies, mealworms, peanuts, and wild birdseed.

Shelter – Large enclosed pens with a coop.

Incubation times – Chukar – 23 days, ring-necked pheasants – 24-25

Uses – Meat, bones for broth/soup, feathers, fertilizer.

Originally posted 2019-06-19 01:57:38.