12 Best Rabbit Breeds for Meat (Giant Doesn’t Mean Good)

Want to get lucky? You’ve come to the right place! Thinking a rabbit’s foot will do you good? How about 12 pairs of that?

Here’s all that you need to know about the 12 Best Rabbit Breeds for Meat and how to take care of them until they end up in a pot or pan!

What to Know Before Raising Rabbit for Meat?

What to Know Before Raising Rabbit for Meat?

On a random perfectly fine day, while sitting on your lawn chair, sipping tea or coffee, you suddenly thought, “I have a large backyard” and instead of mowing, you thought to go get rabbits. 

And here you are, decided to raise rabbits. Well, there are a lot of things to consider first before raising, then eventually selling rabbit meat. Here are a few points to consider:

1. Legal Matters- Sure, having a rabbit as a pet poses no problem and is legal, but it’s another story raising them as livestock. Make sure to check with your local offices and secure all the necessary permits and ordinances.

2. Type of rabbit breed- Not all rabbits are suited for homestead and for meat. Some rabbits are only for show, and to be kept as pets (no, they don’t make good home security, trust me, I’ve tried). 

3. Sufficient space for Rabbit Pens and Hutches– Some rabbits (especially the giant ones), need to hop for at least a good 12ft in any direction, that’s almost as big as a regular room.

If they’re unable to do so, they develop sores on their paws.

4. The right equipment– Sure, some rabbits are low-maintenance, but these rabbits are the ones you don’t want to sell for their meat. The best ones are often the ones that eat around 70-90 dollars a week.

 5. Protection – Let’s admit it, rabbits are cute, and some might be tempted to steal them from your rabbit farm, this is why protection and insurance should be present at all times.

6. General knowledge– This includes your working knowledge about life cycles, diets, mating, how to take care of them, how to keep them clean, their hygiene, sanitation, health considerations, the butchering process, etc.

7. Dedication- Do you have what it takes to become a rabbit breeder? Rabbit breeding takes a lot of work initially from the start-up cost, but it sure is rewarding in the long run (well, hop).

Good Rabbit Breeds for Meat

Good Rabbit Breeds for Meat

Rabbit meat is consumed worldwide in stews, soups, barbecue, and several other dishes. They are considered white meat, with low cholesterol content and have less sodium with a high metabolism.

Several good rabbit breeds that are sought for their meat include New Zealand Rabbits, Californian Rabbits, Himalayan Rabbits, Floridan Rabbits, Chinchillas, Champagne D’ Argents, Silver Foxes, etc.

Are All Large Rabbits Good for Meat?

When shopping for meat, or ordering at a fast-food chain, we always go for the big orders.

After all, size does matter, and you guessed it, not all large rabbits are good for meat. When in fact there are even bigger rabbits, the giant breed.

When considering selling rabbit meat, large rabbits are usually the first thing that comes into mind due to being easier to take care of, lower maintenance cost, and they’re for beginners too. 

On the other hand, Giant Rabbits weigh about a whopping 5 to 10 kilograms, that’s heavier than your average dog.

Quick List Good Meat Rabbit Breeds

The average rabbit size depends on the breed that ranges from 2 pounds to 9 pounds, but there are at least more than 12 breeds that are larger that can reach more than 11 pounds.

These fluff balls range from 3ft to 4ft when standing on their hindlegs depending on the breed, and average on 2.5ft to 3ft in terms of length. 

For example, the Flemish giant is the largest purebred rabbit recognized by the American Rabbit Breeders Association (ARBA) that grows as long as 4ft and can reach almost 20 lbs.

These breeds of rabbits exceed all expectations as they regularly weigh between 15 to 17 pounds, yet it is also normal for them to reach 20 pounds or even more. Sometimes they’re even mistaken as dogs if they run towards you.

The Flemish Giant is also known as a “gentle giant” because of its good nature that makes it also a good household pet, but an even better source of rabbit meat.

Other Giant rabbit breeds also include giant angora, checkered giant, and giant chinchilla.

12 Best Rabbit Breeds for Meat (Pictures, Traits, & Facts)

12 Best Rabbit Breeds for Meat (Pictures, Traits, & Facts)

Looking for the perfect fluff ball that is the perfect household pet? Or perhaps known after its fur and meat? We’ve got you covered!

The table below shows 12 of the best rabbit breeds for meat (and is also good with kids, and for the whole family).

Rabbit Breeds for MeatsAppearanceWeigh
Cinnamon RabbitMedium-sized rabbits and known for the rare color of their fur with smoky gray shading around the vertical ears, snout, and paw.>9lbs
Champagne D’ ArgentKnown for its silvery pelt, full shoulders, deep hindquarters, and medium- to long-sized upright ears>9lbs
Belgian HaresIt has a long, beautiful body with strong sides, and well-rounded hindquarters, and it most closely resembles a  hare.>9lbs
Himalayan RabbitsThe only known breeds with a cylindrical shape, and black markings on its ears, nose, and snout.>9lbs
Palomino RabbitsHas coarse, short to medium rollback fur with well-rounded hindquarters, have big, upright ears, and brown eyes8-10lbs
Standard Rex RabbitsThese rabbits have velvety-textured coats, short, soft, plush fur, and a broad head, with upright ears.8-10lbs
New Zealand WhitesRather than being lopped, the ears stand straight up. The fur is regular length and has a “flyback” appearance.8-12lbs
Satin RabbitsA thick coat of fine, silky, medium-length hair covers these rabbits. Their coat has a satin-like feel and is smooth and lustrous.9-12lbs
Californian RabbitsVery stocky, slander and white fur, with black spots on the nose and the ears.>12lbs
French LopsShort bodies, and have medium-length ears that hang down on either side of their head10-15lbs
Giant ChinchillaThese rabbits come in slate gray or blue-toned colors that boast a flyback coat; they have high hips and low shoulders.12-16lbs
Flemish GiantGlossy and dense fur, possess semi-arch type rabbit with its back arch behind the shoulders and carrying through to the base of the tail15-20lbs
12 of the best rabbit breeds for meat

Cinnamon Rabbits

Cinnamon Rabbits

These rare ground-colored rabbits are a hit for every family!

They have a luscious coat renowned for its distinct color but are still low maintenance even with their stunning coat.

Priced at $30 regardless of their rarity, as they are mainly bred for show and their meat (no, they’re not cinnamon-flavored despite the name, trust me, I’ve tried).

They’re rather heavy even with their medium-built bodies and upright ears, along with their calm, and docile natures, which make them perfect for first-time rabbit breeders.

These rabbits produce tender and a moderate amount of meat.

Champagne D’ Argent

Chefs consider them as the “Black Angus” of rabbit meats.

These large rabbits are commonly known as “French Silvers” and were first developed in 17th century Champagne, France, hence their name, Champagne D’ Argent Rabbits, but breeders often called these fascinating rabbits simply, “Champagnes” (Cheers, bud).

Their silver-colored coat usually begins appearing at 6-8 months old, but it requires a full year for them to completely mature.

These rabbits are multipurpose as they could be sold as meat, or sell their wool, and even be a household pet!

The Champagnes have not only high amounts of meat even with their small build, but the best tasting rabbit meat around in town! They’re also good with other rabbits and for single senior citizens, and first-time owners.

Palomino Rabbits

Palomino Rabbits

Throughout the decades, these meat rabbits have been famous in the market.

This breed of rabbit reaches a mature weight of eight to eleven pounds and has been a popular meat rabbit for decades. They have a superb meat ratio and are excellent meat producers.

Generally golden or lynx colored in appearance, Palomino rabbits are very easy to raise owing to their pleasant disposition, but they do demand patience because they develop a little slower than other meat rabbits.

Just like any other rabbit, the Palomino rabbits consist of 70% high-quality hay (Timothy, and alfalfa), and a good mixture of leafy greens, pellets, fruits, and vegetables. 

Standard Rex Rabbits

Standard Rex Rabbits

You’ll love this rabbit for its velvet-textured coat!

The Rex is a rabbit breed with silky fur that is sometimes characterized as velvety in feel.

In 1919, the breed was developed in France and was creatively bred throughout the years by fanciers, enthusiasts, and the fur business from a litter of wild gray rabbits.

The term “rex” refers to the distinct characteristics of an animal’s “relaxed” fur; rex fur lacks the longer guard hairs typical of the more common short-furred animal, which makes them popular as pets, and show rabbits.

They’re also famous for their fur, and their meat production in the market as they produce large amounts of meat as well but considerably slower than other meat rabbits.

Belgian Hare

Everyone’s going crazy for this heritage rabbit!

The Belgian Hare is a luxury and household rabbit that has come a long way from numerous selective breeding, because of this, it closely resembles the beauty of a wild hare.

These rabbits are believed to be the only rabbit that has a chestnut, or reddish-brown coat, and is oftentimes bred for show. However, don’t be fooled!

They still have a high meat ratio even with their small size and produce a scrumptious flavor.

The Belgian Hare can be difficult to take care of given their stature and has a relatively different diet compared to other meat rabbits, but the reward is sweeter for those who work for it (and they make really good pets too!)

New Zealand Whites

This very popular and common breed is loved around the world!

New Zealand rabbits are said to account for 90% of all rabbits bred for meat. One reason might be that this rabbit breed quickly gains weight and has a high meat-to-bone ratio, and New Zealand Rabbits also develop quickly.

The New Zealand rabbit, despite its name, is an American breed that goes back to the early 1900s. For backyard homesteaders, they are great meat rabbits.

Sold for $10 per kit given their abundant population, and they’re really easy to breed, and they have life expectancies of 5 to 6 years. These rabbits can extend their life span to a maximum of 10 years after spaying and neutering.

Satin Rabbits

Satin Rabbits

These rabbits are best-loved for both meat and fur.

These rabbit breeds are one of the largest and heaviest breeds of rabbits weighing about 12 pounds fully grown.

With a stocky, and broad build, the Satin rabbit produces a fair and considerable portion of meat.

Satin rabbits are cold, hardy meat rabbits, and have a calm and docile temperament, making them generally peaceful livestock, low maintenance, and can even be good companions for all families.

Satin rabbits sell from $50 to $100, these rabbits may not be expensive, but their maintenance costs some extra money.

Himalayan Rabbits

The oldest breed of rabbits, and the longest loved too!

This breed of rabbit is the longest breed of rabbit around town and has similar markings to a Californian Rabbit, but they’re the only breed to have a cylindrical shape body.

These rabbits are bred for their high-quality, and superb meat ratio as well as a quick-growing rabbit making them perfect for homesteaders, and for those who want to make a quick buck at the rabbit market.

Californian Rabbits

Californian Rabbits

The second most popular meat-producing breed in the world!

Generally bred as a meat rabbit, this breed is stocky and fast-growing, despite being known for its fancy fur. They supply a plenty and considerable amount of meat when harvested.

California rabbits have a mild temperament, which makes them simpler to raise compared to other rabbits despite their large size that grows to an average of more than 12 lbs.

These rabbits are priced at $40 for every buck or doe, that has a life span of five to ten years.

French Lops

A French Lop will stick by your side wherever you go.

Their diet consists of the usual rabbit diet, 70% hay and 30% mixed vegetables, greens, and pellets.

At first, these rabbits were known for their tender, and mild meat, but later was popularly adopted as household pets given their docile, and pleasant temperament.

They are known to be sociable which makes them popular among children and can even get along with other domestic pets such as cats and dogs.

There’s more to these fluff balls in general, as they produce high-protein and fewer calorie types of meat and are prized for the tender meat that they bring to the table.

Giant Chinchilla

People prize this breed for its “Flyback” coat.

The Giant Chinchilla is the product of cross-breeding a Chinchilla with white Flemish Giants, New Zealand whites, and an American Blue.

This rabbit took the 1922 Kansas City Rabbit show by storm due to its quality fur, and meat qualities that are favored by chefs around the world!

Due to their luxurious blue, black, or silver and tan coat, they require modern grooming (generally twice a week), and at least an hour of exercise daily, but they are easy-going, and have a laidback personality, making them perfect as household pets!

Because they require medium care, they give it back ten-folds with meats priced at around $50 per kilo. This rabbit is as big as the fortune it gives!

Their life cycles usually span from 5-9 years but with proper care, it may easily exceed this time.

Flemish Giant                      

These “King of Rabbits” are huggable for all ages!

These rabbits typically have different colors such as black, blue, fawn, sandy, and white, and gray colors.

According to the National Federation of Flemish Giant Rabbit Breeders (NFFGRB), Flemish Giants typically reach an adult size of 20 pounds.

Several cases are known to reach weights as heavy as 50 pounds.

This is because high protein diets accompanied by small amounts of apples, cabbage, or broccoli are needed to reach the maximum bone mass and muscle mass.

Because of its popularity, not only are they sought after for their meat, as they produce the highest meat ratio of all the rabbit breeds (good thing they’re not endangered), and they’re also pretty common at the market.

These rabbits are typically priced at $20 depending on stock, age, gender, season, and location.

What To Feed Rabbits For Meat?

What To Feed Rabbits For Meat?

A healthy fluffball is a healthy buck. Keeping rabbits healthy depends on a lot of factors such as temperature, hygiene, and even breed! But most of a rabbit’s health comes from what they eat. 

What they eat sometimes depends on the breed, but rabbits are normally herbivores, so they eat plants, greens, and vegetables but their diet should be around 70% Hay, 30% combination of vegetables, leafy greens, and other wet or moist veggies.

Rabbits eat an assortment of grains, greens, roots, and shrubs in the wild to receive the nutrition that they require.

But we’re breeding domestic rabbits, and they are given a balanced feed that provides essential nutrients. 

Feed is a significant part of raising rabbits as it totals about 75 percent of your total production costs, so it is important to keep in mind what to feed our fluffy friends and keep them healthy.

Several feeds can be green feeds which consist of dark, leafy vegetables, root crops such as sweet potatoes and turnips, milled feed, and cereal grain like corn, oats, wheat, bran, middling and shorts, and protein sources such as soybeans, and peanut meals.

Vitakraft Menu Vitamin Fortified Pet Rabbit Food

Tip: Timothy is the best hay that you can give to your rabbits, keep in mind that all of these feeds can be given, but it is also important to keep your rations always round for rabbits to have a healthy appetite.

Other important nutrients such as carbohydrates, lipids, minerals, and vitamins should be consulted with your local vet and invested in rabbit pellets as these provide the quality content that your rabbits need and are trusted worldwide.

The quantity of food to be fed to your meat rabbits rely on a range of aspects and factors. Several things to be taken into consideration are:

●      The ration or feed composition.

●      The temperature of the environment.

●      Rabbit breed

●      Size and age of the rabbit.

●      The stage of the rabbit’s life cycle.

A feed conversion ratio of roughly 3:1 should be achieved by commercial meat-type weanling rabbits on a well-balanced meal (3 pounds of feed to produce 1 pound of weight gain).

This vital aspect of rabbit production can be harmed by an uneven ratio or too much-wasted feed.

For rabbits, water is the most vital nutrient. Make sure your rabbits have access to clean, fresh water at all times.

The quantity of water a rabbit need is determined by the amount of food it eats, the composition of their diet, and the temperature of its environment.

When it’s hot outdoors, rabbits will drink a lot of water in a short length of time.

During winter, the temperature reaches freezing point, so it is important to regularly check on your rabbits’ water supply to make sure they have drinking water readily available.

Note: A medium-sized doe and her 8-week-old litter, for example, may consume a gallon of water each day

2 in 1 Food Hay Feeder

How To Kill A Rabbit Humanely

All good things must come to an end, farewell, fluffy friends.

In raising rabbits (and selling them for profit), the end goal for these rabbits is in a pot or pan, here are three good (humane, and clean) ways for painless and quick lights out for rabbits:

Broomstick Method

On the rabbit’s neck, a broomstick or other straight rod is placed. The rabbit’s head is secured to the ground by the broomstick, while its rear legs are pushed upward at a 90-degree angle.

It’s a simple, painless procedure that’s practically guaranteed.

The Arterial Bleed

This is the manner of killing prescribed by the Bible. Despite this, it is not that advisable to use this approach, as it does not result in a quick death.

This method is slicing the rabbits by the neck and bleeding them out.

The Fatal Blow

When a strong strike to the base of the skull is delivered appropriately, the rabbit dies instantly. The blow disarticulates the neck, which results in death.

The Fatal Blow is quite humanitarian but there is a greater possibility for operator mistakes.

(A severe hit to the top of the skull renders the rabbit unconscious is a version of the Fatal Blow. The rabbit can then be broomstick and killed right away.)

Killing rabbits humanely is very important not just for legal and moral standards, but any stress during the butchering process or errors can result in a sudden release of adrenaline of the rabbit and can toughen or affect the flavor of the meat.

How Long Does It Take for Raising Meat Rabbits?

People say that good things take time, well this is true, but not so far for rabbits. Did you know that it only takes about 10 weeks to raise a meat rabbit for profit?

Well, the ideal age is between 10 and 12 weeks. Until week ten, the proper sort of meat-rabbit will grow at a quick rate. It will also grow quite quickly in comparison to the amount of food it consumes.

The rabbit consumes more and develops much more slowly after week 10. So, the best time to butcher a rabbit is during week ten.

Note: Remember that the life cycle and the breed of a rabbit are also important in determining the right time for lights out, then cooking to end up in a stew.

Wrapping Up

Homesteading rabbits are both a fun and rewarding job. They’re low-maintenance and surely worth every expense for their highly sought-out wool, and slowly becoming popular meat around the world.

There are more than 12 rabbit breeds for meat, which you can use their wool as a by-product as well.

Not to mention, they breed relatively quickly and are not as demanding compared to others when compared to other livestock.

Just remember, a rabbit is a friend, they make good pets, and if you’re interested in low-cost but high-profit businesses, a rabbit’s foot is surely the thing for you.