Ultra fat rabbits on scraps

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GBov

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Living now where veg are affordable we get to eat lots of it and have heaps of peelings left over so my four buns have only had pellets about once a week, if even.

The rabbits get all of it, veg, fruit, potatoes, the lot.

My cages are large enough for them to get lots of exercise and they lived in pairs so could play together.

Having bought three new and beautiful Rex some space had to be made so I processed the two 11-month-old dwarf-cross bucks and put the older mutt buck with their sister - in the fading hope of kits from her - to make room for the new buns.

With feeding them mostly scraps I was constantly low level worried about them having enough, even when they felt just fine but OMG I was totally unprepared for the amount of fat on them.

Packed with fat, both inside and out.

As fat is the best part of meat for us, I am THRILLED!
 

GBov

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michaels4gardens":1ycn1cgv said:
Love it, and congratulations...
I have had the same results..[as long as I fed some root crops]

Thank you :D I am LOVING being able to buy 4 pounds of carrots for less than 50 cents or an entire rutabaga for the same.

It means I can feed everyone and have loads of leftovers for the buns. <br /><br /> __________ Tue Jan 12, 2021 7:47 pm __________ <br /><br /> OMG, I just counted my stars! Oh, my stars, how have that many years gone bye so fast?!?
 
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Would fat rabbits taste better? When people say their like white meat chicken I remember that I hate white meat, dry and mostly flavorless. You have to do so many things to get tender chicken breast and it still has low flavor. Would fattening up the rabbits add more flavor in a finished dish? Or just make meat really greasy?

Also, hi I'm new.
 

eco2pia

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Would fat rabbits taste better? When people say their like white meat chicken I remember that I hate white meat, dry and mostly flavorless. You have to do so many things to get tender chicken breast and it still has low flavor. Would fattening up the rabbits add more flavor in a finished dish? Or just make meat really greasy?

Also, hi I'm new.
I think the thing is the fat on a rabbit is either just under the skin, or in the abdominal cavity. with the organs. Rabbits do not marble, like beef. If you want fat for rendering it may be that there is some, but I would assume that wont change the flavor of the meat much. I have yet to try it, but I think brining the meat might be a winner with rabbit. That experiement will have to wait a few more weeks...

A little off topic, but I found that you are better off add a lot of flavor to compensate for the lack of crispy skin and fat. For instance, grilled rabbit lavished with multiple layers of brushed on bbq sauce, rather than a dry rub. I also boned out the loin and butterflied it and made a roulade out of it with mushrooms and onions or whatever herbs, etc that I had on hand, or braised it in mustard sauce...now I am hungry, lol. Rabbit fried, rabbit enchiladas, rabbit pie....
 
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I think the thing is the fat on a rabbit is either just under the skin, or in the abdominal cavity. with the organs. Rabbits do not marble, like beef. If you want fat for rendering it may be that there is some, but I would assume that wont change the flavor of the meat much. I have yet to try it, but I think brining the meat might be a winner with rabbit. That experiement will have to wait a few more weeks...

A little off topic, but I found that you are better off add a lot of flavor to compensate for the lack of crispy skin and fat. For instance, grilled rabbit lavished with multiple layers of brushed on bbq sauce, rather than a dry rub. I also boned out the loin and butterflied it and made a roulade out of it with mushrooms and onions or whatever herbs, etc that I had on hand, or braised it in mustard sauce...now I am hungry, lol. Rabbit fried, rabbit enchiladas, rabbit pie....
Rabbit hand pies, pot pies.... what is a roulade?
 

MaggieJ

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The main reason white meat chicken is so bland is the type of chicken used and the diet they are given. Free range, heritage breed chicken has a delicate flavour much like partridge. It can be dry due to the lack of fat, especially if the bird is a young, active cockerel. Cooking at a lower temperature with moist ingredients can help.

The same with pellet-fed fryer rabbit meat. It's going to be a bit bland without a bit of help from additional ingredients. I was amazed at the difference once we transitioned the rabbits to a natural diet. Because they do grow more slowly, the flavour of the meat is more like a roaster.

Rabbit fat tends to be be quite neutral. A little added to the recipe is nice, but moisture and additional flavour -- to my way of thinking -- are enhanced with things like apple or apple juice, herbs, even a slice or two of bacon. A dash of sherry works nicely too.

Since you don't get the crispy skin with rabbit, you might want to try a homemade coating of the "shake and bake" type. Fine cracker or bread crumbs with your own seasonings. Dip in milk or beaten egg, shake it in the mix, and bake.
 

eco2pia

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Rabbit hand pies, pot pies.... what is a roulade?
just a meat pinwheel. this one is made with turkey and I stole it shamelessly from the internet. I made one tuesday with pork, stuffed with wine poached apricots and garlic. it looks fancy but is pretty easy really, just one more step than a normal roast and SOOOO much better.
delish-191016-turkey-roulade-0207-landscape-pf-1572371614.jpg
 

MaggieJ

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just a meat pinwheel. this one is made with turkey and I stole it shamelessly from the internet. I made one tuesday with pork, stuffed with wine poached apricots and garlic. it looks fancy but is pretty easy really, just one more step than a normal roast and SOOOO much better.
View attachment 28076
Oh, my goodness, Eco, that looks scrumptious!
 

Zee-Man

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I find that cooking with the appropriate fat enhances a dish. Tallow with beef, lard with pork, schmaltz with chicken. I prefer bacon for eggs, but when that is scarce, schmaltz to the rescue! I don't know of a special name for rabbit, but it follows suit. While the meat isn't marbled, cooking with the fat adds that something extra in flavor. Rabbit meat is naturally lean, hence survival thinking is to caution against "rabbit fever" or malnutrition due to low fat diet. Folks that like extra virgin olive oil can have it. They seem to love it, but I find it adds nothing to a dish.

For rabbit longevity we seem to think about keeping our animals on a lean diet. Now, my rancher clients also tend to keep their steers on a lean diet until it is time to get them ready for market. I'll have to remember that when next a have grow outs.
 
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I find that cooking with the appropriate fat enhances a dish. Tallow with beef, lard with pork, schmaltz with chicken. I prefer bacon for eggs, but when that is scarce, schmaltz to the rescue! I don't know of a special name for rabbit, but it follows suit. While the meat isn't marbled, cooking with the fat adds that something extra in flavor. Rabbit meat is naturally lean, hence survival thinking is to caution against "rabbit fever" or malnutrition due to low fat diet. Folks that like extra virgin olive oil can have it. They seem to love it, but I find it adds nothing to a dish.

For rabbit longevity we seem to think about keeping our animals on a lean diet. Now, my rancher clients also tend to keep their steers on a lean diet until it is time to get them ready for market. I'll have to remember that when next a have grow outs.
Sooo, is that a yay or nay for bun-bun chubsters? I don't get that virgin,
I find that cooking with the appropriate fat enhances a dish. Tallow with beef, lard with pork, schmaltz with chicken. I prefer bacon for eggs, but when that is scarce, schmaltz to the rescue! I don't know of a special name for rabbit, but it follows suit. While the meat isn't marbled, cooking with the fat adds that something extra in flavor. Rabbit meat is naturally lean, hence survival thinking is to caution against "rabbit fever" or malnutrition due to low fat diet. Folks that like extra virgin olive oil can have it. They seem to love it, but I find it adds nothing to a dish.

For rabbit longevity we seem to think about keeping our animals on a lean diet. Now, my rancher clients also tend to keep their steers on a lean diet until it is time to get them ready for market. I'll have to remember that when next a have grow outs.
The main reason white meat chicken is so bland is the type of chicken used and the diet they are given. Free range, heritage breed chicken has a delicate flavour much like partridge. It can be dry due to the lack of fat, especially if the bird is a young, active cockerel. Cooking at a lower temperature with moist ingredients can help.

The same with pellet-fed fryer rabbit meat. It's going to be a bit bland without a bit of help from additional ingredients. I was amazed at the difference once we transitioned the rabbits to a natural diet. Because they do grow more slowly, the flavour of the meat is more like a roaster.

Rabbit fat tends to be be quite neutral. A little added to the recipe is nice, but moisture and additional flavour -- to my way of thinking -- are enhanced with things like apple or apple juice, herbs, even a slice or two of bacon. A dash of sherry works nicely too.

Since you don't get the crispy skin with rabbit, you might want to try a homemade coating of the "shake and bake" type. Fine cracker or bread crumbs with your own seasonings. Dip in milk or beaten egg, shake it in the mix, and bake.
So pellets ARE unnecessary! Ha! Called it. They never would have had enough of the buns in WW2 to be so heartily sick of the animals by the end of the war if they were not. I rabbits were farmed without them then the they can be now. And will most likely be better for it. I know my pocket book will be at least, with the money saved from the expense I could get wild edibles seeds and figure out my own special rabbit greens fodder for extra nutrition and grow my OWN gosh darn hay dangnabbit!!!! So there. ( It's a double edged sword that consumerism. Can start or own business and decide how you want to live, but also can fall into just buying things ppl tell you you need to live just cause they said so. Not because you need it. Or is that capitalism??? Not sure..🤨)
Besides the research sounds like fun. Thanks for the inspiration!!! 😊
 

MaggieJ

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Sooo, is that a yay or nay for bun-bun chubsters? I don't get that virgin,


So pellets ARE unnecessary! Ha! Called it. They never would have had enough of the buns in WW2 to be so heartily sick of the animals by the end of the war if they were not. I rabbits were farmed without them then the they can be now. And will most likely be better for it. I know my pocket book will be at least, with the money saved from the expense I could get wild edibles seeds and figure out my own special rabbit greens fodder for extra nutrition and grow my OWN gosh darn hay dangnabbit!!!! So there. ( It's a double edged sword that consumerism. Can start or own business and decide how you want to live, but also can fall into just buying things ppl tell you you need to live just cause they said so. Not because you need it. Or is that capitalism??? Not sure..🤨)
Besides the research sounds like fun. Thanks for the inspiration!!! 😊
Certainly you can raise rabbits well without pellets. Pellets were not commonly available until after WW2. People have been raising rabbits since Roman times. The advent of pellets meant a lot of old practices fell out of use. But there is still enough information available to recreate natural feeding.

Your point about people eating a lot of rabbit in Britain during WW2 is a good one. Here's one study from back then:

We did buy hay from a local farmer and whole grain and a mineral block from the feed store. But our acres provided just about everything else.
 

Zee-Man

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Sooo, is that a yay or nay for bun-bun chubsters? I don't get that virgin,
That would be a "yay" from me. I would like to get a better idea about fat content. Using chicken as an example: White meat lacks fat and is ,therefore, less palatable (i would say less healthy but that is a different discussion). But thigh meat, a more fatty part, doesn't have any noticeable marbling like beef or pork does. Given that rabbit fat is mostly subcutaneous and cavital, as is with chicken, do certain parts of rabbit have muscular fat? I'll have to start noticing that. Maybe, fatting could be something that would be good for meat rabbit acceptance.

My favorite easy to grow fodders and that my rabbit really enjoys are, mulberry, mustang grape, sunchokes, sweet potato. Include dandelion, dead or purple nettle, chickweed (spring time only though), violets.I'll add bishop weed once it gets really established. For me, only the sunchokes and sweet potato are planted, the rest are wild.
 
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Certainly you can raise rabbits well without pellets. Pellets were not commonly available until after WW2. People have been raising rabbits since Roman times. The advent of pellets meant a lot of old practices fell out of use. But there is still enough information available to recreate natural feeding.

Your point about people eating a lot of rabbit in Britain during WW2 is a good one. Here's one study from back then:

We did buy hay from a local farmer and whole grain and a mineral block from the feed store. But our acres provided just about everything else.
Mineral block? Like a salt lick for deer? (Part of my post got deleted now it doesn't make sense..) didn't know rabbits would use one of those.. is growing hay a lot of work? Can hay grow vertically? I don't have the money for a farm yet. But I want to start a micro farm. Regardless of the fact that I am stuck for now in California (probably one of the most "Can't Do" places in the US.😡) I want to start supporting my self now rather than later.
 
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That would be a "yay" from me. I would like to get a better idea about fat content. Using chicken as an example: White meat lacks fat and is ,therefore, less palatable (i would say less healthy but that is a different discussion). But thigh meat, a more fatty part, doesn't have any noticeable marbling like beef or pork does. Given that rabbit fat is mostly subcutaneous and cavital, as is with chicken, do certain parts of rabbit have muscular fat? I'll have to start noticing that. Maybe, fatting could be something that would be good for meat rabbit acceptance.

My favorite easy to grow fodders and that my rabbit really enjoys are, mulberry, mustang grape, sunchokes, sweet potato. Include dandelion, dead or purple nettle, chickweed (spring time only though), violets.I'll add bishop weed once it gets really established. For me, only the sunchokes and sweet potato are planted, the rest are wild.
The grapes themselves or the vines and/or leaves? What about grains or seeds? In winter?
 
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Certainly you can raise rabbits well without pellets. Pellets were not commonly available until after WW2. People have been raising rabbits since Roman times. The advent of pellets meant a lot of old practices fell out of use. But there is still enough information available to recreate natural feeding.

Your point about people eating a lot of rabbit in Britain during WW2 is a good one. Here's one study from back then:

We did buy hay from a local farmer and whole grain and a mineral block from the feed store. But our acres provided just about everything else.
I read the article, the numbers and percentage when right over my head. But I guess I got the gist of what was meant...Not sure which group was best. Although, I got that feeding foraged weeds expended too much energy for the person by having to spend so much time on daily gathering enough weeds to give the rabbits. Only for too little return of expended energy, by eating the rabbit. So I suppose feeding them a small amount of weeds to a large amount of potatoes was better???? Why not grow the weeds from seed in a sprouting system with all recycling water, with the seed spread out on long flats until they are at the proper size. Then the long plant mat is cut to portions for each rabbit and fed to them with a grain of seed ration, raw (cooked?) fodder beets, and other vegetable scraps, with the potatoes??? And hay? If available. Sure it would need to be tweaked for the individual household but it could be a improvement on the original study...
 
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MaggieJ

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I read the article, the numbers and percentage when right over my head. But I guess I got the gist of what was meant...Not sure which group was best. Although, I got that feeding foraged weeds expended too much energy for the person by having to spend so much time on daily gathering enough weeds to give the rabbits. Only for too little return of expended energy, by eating the rabbit. So I suppose feeding them a small amount of weeds to a large amount of potatoes was better???? Why not grow the weeds from seed in a sprouting system with all recycling water, with the seed spread out on long flats until they are at the proper size. Then the long plant mat is cut to portions for each rabbit and fed to them with a grain of seed ration, raw (cooked?) fodder beets, and other vegetable scraps, with the potatoes??? And hay? If available. Sure it would need to be tweaked for the individual household but it could be a improvement on the original study...
It was wartime Britain. The era of rationing and also scrap drives for anything that could be used for the war effort. Gathering greens is not so much work for a small backyard rabbitry if you have a good mix of greens in a field nearby and you know what you are doing.

Growing fodder as you describe can be done, but you can lose whole trays to mould very easily unless everything is spotlessly clean. There is a lot of info on growing fodder on RabbitTalk. If it interests you, do a search to find other people's experiences.
 

MaggieJ

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Mineral block? Like a salt lick for deer? (Part of my post got deleted now it doesn't make sense..) didn't know rabbits would use one of those.. is growing hay a lot of work? Can hay grow vertically? I don't have the money for a farm yet. But I want to start a micro farm. Regardless of the fact that I am stuck for now in California (probably one of the most "Can't Do" places in the US.😡) I want to start supporting my self now rather than later.
Many people raising rabbits on a natural diet offer a mineral block. I used the one for general livestock, but likely one intended for deer would be acceptable. In a colony just put a block in a dry accessible place. If your rabbits are in cages, knock pieces off the large block with a hammer and offer them in a small heavy crock so the salt doesn't rust the cage wire. Some rabbits will use the minerals quite regularly; others hardly at all. But they are a cheap way to make sure the buns' have what they need.

Just about everything you need to know has been posted one time or another. I can't possibly take the time to answer every question multiple times. Try out the search function to get a variety of experiences.
 

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