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Home · Book Reports · 2023 · Storey's Guide to Raising Rabbits

Published: March 27, 2023 (11 months ago.)
Tags:  Animals · Permaculture · Rabbits

The book in...
One sentence:
A rather easy, though not super cheap, potentially a fun hobby for the right person (not for me excepting meat).

Five sentences:
Overall it seems as easy as... wire cage, water, food, ventilation, cool but not too cold. If it is your goal, you can produce a lot of meat in a short time - they do, afterall, breed like rabbits (the book doesn't go into as much detail on this aspect as I would have liked to see). Fixed costs are reasonably cheap but not so much when considering start up costs and buck/doe costs. There is a business possibility here, but with so little profit I would not pursue with the exception of maybe selling a life junior a few times a year to minimize expenses. I only care about meat, but there seems to be a lot of people who simply love raising rabbits, showing rabbits, and making money (albeit very little) from rabbits; this book touches on all of these aspects.

designates my notes. / designates important. / designates very important.


He goes on and on about how registered and pedigreed breeds are the only way to go. Sounds like some totalitarian bullshit. People have bred animals for a long time with no such systems. That said, I have been convinced that you would be better getting your first 3-4 breeders from a reputable place that keeps records. After that, if you are planning to eat them as I am, there seems to be little reason to register them. Still you would keep records for the ones you keep for breeding. If you want to sell breeding stock, then I think excellent records would be a necessity.

Wire cages aren’t harmful to the feet and allow the best circulation. Also the waste drops through to keep the cage clean with little effort on your part.

Presents a 4:1 feed conversion for the typical rabbit. In other reading I have done I see 3:1 for New Zealand’s. This makes sense since the New Zealand’s are bred for meat production. Using 2023 prices for pellets and a 3:1 ratio, one should expect to pay about $1.33 per pound for fryer meat. This does not include the costs associated with keeping the bucks/does.

Pushes pellets only for fastest growth. I would tend to agree, but I am wondering how much money could be saved supplementing them with grass/etc with the knowledge that they will grow slower. For me, producing 2 dozen rabbits a year to eat would be more than enough. If I could lower my costs and still hit this number, I don’t really care if they take 16 weeks instead of 8 weeks (for New Zealands) to reach fryer size.

Table of Contents

Part 1: Getting Started

· Chapter 01: Why Start?

page 2 (pdf 19):

· Chapter 02: The Right Rabbit

page 7 (pdf 24):
page 9 (pdf 26):
page 11 (pdf 28):
page 12 (pdf 29):
page 20 (pdf 37):
page 21 (pdf 38):
page 22 (pdf 39):
page 23 (pdf 40):

· Chapter 03: Obtaining the Right Foundation Stock

page 27 (pdf 44):
page 31 (pdf 48):
page 35 (pdf 52):
page 36 (pdf 53):

page 44 (pdf 61):

IDEAL WEIGHT: 9 pounds (4.0 kg)
FUR TYPE: Normal; all white except for black nose, ears, and feet
MARKET: Number-two meat rabbit; often crossed with New Zealand White

Despite its black nose, ears, and feet, for all practical purposes this is a
white-pelted, pink-eyed, normal-furred breed with an excellent reputation as a
meat producer.  Its fine bones make for an efficient meat breed, and its meat
is second only to the New Zealand White in popu- larity on the table. The depth
of the body should equal its width, and the ideal specimen is plump with well-
developed shoulders. The hindquarters are deep, round, and smooth, the loin is
broad and deep, and the overall picture is one of roundness.
page 45 (pdf 62):
Champagne d’Argent

IDEAL WEIGHT: Buck, 10 pounds (4.5 kg); doe, 10.5 pounds (4.8 kg)
VARIETIES: One; the French word argent means “silver,” and that is the only
FUR TYPE: Normal. The adult body color is a bluish white, interspersed with
long jet-black hairs, from a distance giving the effect of old silver.
MARKET: A superb meat rabbit

The French word argent means silver, but if you see a preweaned litter of
Champagnes you might wonder, because they are adorned with jet-black normal
fur. They gradually change to the champagne color over the first months of
life, with only their muzzles remaining black. A superb meat rabbit, this
breed has a better dressout than New Zealands and Californians because of its
extremely fine bone.
page 46 (pdf 63):
New Zealand

IDEAL WEIGHT: 10–11 pounds (4.5–5.0 kg)
VARIETIES: White, Black, Red, Broken
FUR TYPE: Normal
MARKET: Number-one meat and laboratory rabbit (White); with fine bones
efficiently converts feed to meat; produces most consistently of all breeds.
Widely available: a great first choice; a great only choice

Almost every big white rabbit you encounter will be a New Zealand, or at least
one with New Zealand breeding behind it. But New Zealands also come in Black,
Red, and the relatively new Broken. The White is the number-one meat and
laboratory rabbit; the Red is the original; the Black has been around for
years. The Broken variety is largely white with blotches of either red or
page 48 (pdf 65):

IDEAL WEIGHT: 8–9 pounds (3.6–4.1 kg)
VARIETIES: Amber, Black, Black Otter, Blue, Californian, Castor, Chinchilla,
Chocolate, Lilac, Lynx, Opal, Red, Sable, Seal, White, Broken
FUR TYPE: Rex, or short and plushlike; like velour or velvet.
MARKET: Meat, primarily; fur, secondarily, if raised to maturity when pelt is

An excellent meat rabbit, the plushlike Rex comes in 16 varieties, representing
almost all recognized colors of domestic rabbits. Velour or velvet come to mind
when stroking the fur. The pelt, with hair 5⁄8 inch long when prime, can bring
attractive prices at certain times. The Rex has the build of a meat rabbit, but
poorly furred footpads make it prone to sore hocks when raised on wire floors;
look for  well-furred footpads.

Part 2: Housing, Feeding, and Breeding

· Chapter 05: Housing and Equipment

page 69 (pdf 86):
page 78 (pdf 95):
page 79 (pdf 96):
page 81 (pdf 98):
page 90 (pdf 107):
page 91 (pdf 108):
page 92 (pdf 109):
page 93 (pdf 110):
page 95 (pdf 112):
page 96 (pdf 113):
page 103 (pdf 120):
page 103 (pdf 120):
page 104 (pdf 121):

· Chapter 06: Feeding Rabbits Right

page 107 (pdf 124):
page 108 (pdf 125):
page 109 (pdf 126):
page 110 (pdf 127):
  1. Mix oats, wheat, sunflower seeds, barley, and kaffir corn.

  2. Feed one part of this mixture to three parts of pellets daily.

page 111 (pdf 128):
page 112 (pdf 129):
page 113 (pdf 130):

· Chapter 07: Breeding and Producing Rabbits

page 115 (pdf 132):
page 116 (pdf 133):
page 117 (pdf 134):
page 123 (pdf 140):
page 124 (pdf 141):
page 125 (pdf 142):
page 130 (pdf 147):
page 134 (pdf 151):

Part 3: Marketing and Miscellany

· Chapter 08: To the Best Market: Selling Rabbits

page 143 (pdf 160):
page 144 (pdf 161):
page 146 (pdf 163):

· Chapter 09: Rabbits and the Home Garden

page 165 (pdf 182):

· Chapter 10: Preventing Problems

· Chapter 11: On to the Rabbit Shows

· Chapter 12: Rabbit Associations and the Future of the Industry

· Chapter 13: Cooking Rabbit

page 227 (pdf 210):