Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Urban Homestead Livestock a.k.a. putting meat on the table.

This is Handsome, our two y.o. Flemish mixed breed buck bought for $5. He is quiet, eats almost anything I throw at him such as garden weeds along with his rabbit feed.
Right now he is giving me the look since I had actually touched his lady Chocolate. The look says "You know better".
Come winter I set up my portable greenhouse moving their pen in. They both sleep in a big hay filled nest box.
The plan is two or three times a year Handsome jumps the fence and has a tryst with our meat rabbits does.
The after about 16 weeks the results are sent to freezer camp.
Rabbit isn't our primary meat source on our menu so we don't grow more than say 10 fryers of 5 lbs. weight a year. Often it's less than that which is fine for now.
Raising meat rabbits is more or less a two fold benefit on our urban homestead.
First is the bunny poop which is the greatest manure ever since there is no need to age the poop before application. Here is a nice site http://www.rabbitfarming.com/manure.htm
Better garden production = more harvest = less $ spent on food = extra income.
Second is that raising this type of meat is very do able both in cost & location wise.
Can't buy a beef cattle for under $25 and pasture it in your backyard.
So if the worst case scenario does happen be it a version of Red Dawn or simply that money is tight we can still eat.
Rabbit is good eating. Delicate white meat that can be cooked anyway you would chicken.
I can directly control what my rabbits eat.
Resulting in a healthy meat that isn't laced with hormones or antibiotics. Or jammed pack with preservatives.
The care & welfare of my livestock wasn't trusted to a multinational company who's bottom line will always be profit, think pet food or peanut butter. Or the latest- Sara Lee products.
Good site on raising backyard rabbits http://www.rudolphsrabbitranch.com/rrr.htm
~~ pelenaka ~~

Urban Homestead Livestock

This is Chocolate a pig who is after a year the common law pen mate to my Flemish mixed breed rabbit, Handsome.
What can we say it works for them.
He protects and warms her on cold winter nights in their nest box and she signals for more food with a glass shattering squeal.
Chocolate came to us about six months old from a home that had two big dogs. Her cage was on a small table in a dark hallway. She was a bundle of nerves to say the least. She isn't real social, dislikes being held, but will take feed from your hand now.
Last time she was weighed she came in just under a bit over a pound.