If you’re looking to raise meat rabbits, choosing the breed that will produce the best meat is essential.
Some species are explicitly created to be small and meaty, while others are bred large and muscular with as little fat as possible (which often results in tough rabbit meat).
Whether you’re raising rabbits for your family or for profit, here are the top 15 best meat rabbit breeds you can grow at home.
1. Altex Rabbit
Altex rabbits are one of the best meat rabbit breeds for homesteaders. They are a hardy breed resistant to disease and adaptable to different climates. Altex rabbits proliferate and have large litter, making them ideal for meat production.
They also have a high feed conversion rate, requiring less food to produce the same amount of meat as other breeds. The best thing about Altex rabbits is their size – because they’re not big animals, it’s easy to handle them and harvest their meat.
Plus, unlike other breeds, you don’t need special equipment or training to slaughter an Altex rabbit. This breed has two downsides: because they’re not very agile or fast, if you want a breeding pair for showing or exhibiting your rabbits, this might not be the best choice.
2. Florida White Rabbit
The Florida White Rabbit is one of the homesteaders’ best meat rabbit breeds. They are a hardy breed that can withstand hot weather and have a high reproduction rate. Florida White Rabbits are also good mothers and will take care of their young.
The downside to this breed is that they do not have a lot of meat on their bones, but they make up for it in flavor. Another con is that these rabbits are tiny. But with an average weight of five pounds, you’ll be able to use every part of them when you’re cooking!
3. Palomino Rabbit
The Palomino rabbit is a beautiful, golden-colored breed initially developed in California in the 1920s. The Palomino is a medium-sized rabbit weighing between 4 and 6 pounds. These best meat rabbit breeds are known for being friendly and docile, making them great pets.
But they also make great homestead rabbits because they are good meat producers. Palominos typically have litters of between four and eight kittens. The best way to tell the sex of your baby rabbits is by looking at their genitals.
If you can see an opening from which urine comes out, it’s a boy; if no gap is visible, it’s a girl. One downside to owning Palominos is that they’re more susceptible to diseases than other breeds because their coat doesn’t offer much protection against bacteria or parasites.
4. Rex Rabbit
The Rex rabbit is a large breed that can weigh up to 12 pounds. They are known for their soft, velvety fur, which can come in various colors. Rex rabbits are calm and easy to handle, making them a good choice for first-time rabbit owners.
They are also prolific breeders and can have litters of up to 12 babies. These best meat rabbit breeds are a good all-around homesteading and make an excellent meat rabbit.
Its calm nature and high breeding rate make it perfect for any small farm or homesteader who wants to keep chickens.
It’s also important to note that this breed has much less aggressive tendencies than other breeds. A very productive breed due to its high fertility rates, the downside is that it does not produce as much meat per pound as other species on this list.
Despite being smaller than most breeds, the Rex rabbit will still require you to keep plenty of food on hand!
5. Satins Rabbit
A Satin is a beautiful rabbit breed with a unique coat. The coat is so shiny and sleek that it looks almost like satin fabric. This breed was initially developed in the United States in the early 1900s.
Satins are one of the best meat rabbit breeds because they increase and have a high yield. They also have an excellent feed conversion rate, meaning they convert food into meat efficiently.
I highly recommend this breed if you want to raise rabbits as a sustainable protein source. The only downside to Satins is their price; they tend to be more expensive than other meat rabbit breeds.
6. Dutch Rabbit
The Dutch are one of the most popular meat rabbit breeds, and it’s no wonder why. These best meat rabbit breeds are of the giant breeds, averaging between 8 and 12 pounds. And they multiply, reaching butchering size in just 6 to 8 months.
But it’s not just their size that makes them suitable for meat production; they’re also known for being prolific breeders. A single doe can produce up to 40 offspring per year! The downside is that Dutch rabbits don’t have many spots or markings on their coats.
7. Belgian Hare
The Belgian Hare is an ancient breed developed in Belgium in the early 1800s. They were initially bred for sport, but their meat quickly became popular. Today, they are still prized for their meat, which is lean and tender.
They are also very active and have a high metabolism, so they require more food than other breeds. Many people believe that this rabbit’s long ears give it an expression of constant curiosity.
There are three varieties of Belgian Hares: Flemish Giants, or Flemish Giants, Flops (or King of Belgium), and Bunnies (also known as Antwerp Giants).
8. Cinnamon Rabbit
The Cinnamon Rabbit is a medium-sized breed developed in the United States in the 1960s. They are one of the most popular meat rabbit breeds known for their docile nature and high reproduction rate.
These best meat rabbit breeds have short, reddish-brown fur and weigh between 4 and 6 pounds.
They are good mothers and make excellent meat rabbits. If you are looking for a reliable, productive meat rabbit breed, the Cinnamon Rabbit is a great choice.
9. Champagne D Argent Rabbit
The Champagne D Argent is a heritage breed developed in France in the 19th century. They are medium-sized rabbits weighing between 5 and 7 pounds. They are known for their silver-gray fur, which is why they are sometimes called the Silver Fox Rabbit.
The Champagne D Argent is the best meat rabbit breeds because they have a high rate of reproduction and overgrowth. They also have a high feed conversion rate, meaning they convert feed into meat efficiently.
The Champagne D Argent is an excellent option if you’re looking for the best meat rabbit breeds to raise on your homestead.
10. Silver Fox Rabbit
The Silver Fox Rabbit is a large breed that can weigh up to 12 pounds. These best meat rabbit breeds are known for their striking silver-gray fur and long ears. Silver Fox Rabbits are excellent meat rabbits and make great pets too!
If you’re looking for a delicious, nutritious, and sustainable source of meat, the Silver Fox Rabbit is a great option. Plus, these furry animals make great companions!
11. Blanc de Hotot Rabbit
The Blanc de Hotot is a beautiful, pure white rabbit with black pupils. They are an old French breed and were once known as the White Pearl of Hotot. The Blanc de Hotot does well in confinement and is a good meat rabbit.
They grow to about 8-10 pounds and have 4-6 kits of litter. They are intelligent rabbits and usually figure out how to get what they want through observation alone.
12. Flemish Giant Rabbit
The Flemish Giant is a large breed of domestic rabbit originating in Flanders, Belgium. These best meat rabbit breeds are enormous rabbits in the world and weigh between 11 and 20 pounds.
They are excellent meat rabbits, and their large size means they can provide a lot of meat for your homestead.
Flemish Gi isn’t a good choice if you are looking to breed your rabbits as they are only fertile during very short windows.
In general, they don’t make great companions and should not be kept as pets—only about two percent of pet owners keep them for companionship.
13. American Chinchilla Rabbit
The American Chinchilla Rabbit is a beautiful blue-gray color. They are known to be excellent mothers and make great pets, and they are also one of the best meat rabbit breeds for homesteaders.
They have an excellent temperament and are very prolific breeders. The average doe will produce about 10-12 offspring per year.
The does are docile and easy to handle, making them an ideal choice for those who would like to raise rabbits in an urban setting. They tend to weigh between 3-5 pounds when fully grown.
14. New Zealand Rabbit
The New Zealand Rabbit is a commercial meat rabbit breed developed in California in the early 1900s. These best meat rabbit breeds are giant, white rabbits that weigh between 8 and 12 pounds.
They have long, floppy ears and are known for being docile and easy to handle. New Zealand rabbits are good mothers and produce large litters of up to 12 kits. The average New Zealand doe has about 4 pounds of meat per year.
15. California Rabbit
The California rabbit is a large breed that was developed in the early 1900s in, you guessed it, California. These best meat rabbit breeds were created by crossing several different types of rabbits, including the English Lop, Flemish Giant, and American Blue.
The California rabbits are suitable for homesteaders because they are good mothers, have high fertility rates, and are overgrown. Plus, they produce a lot of meat!
Overall, the best meat rabbit breeds are those that overgrow, have high survival rates, and dress out nicely. However, your best breed may vary depending on your specific homesteading needs and goals.
Be sure to research and choose a breed that will be a good fit for your situation. Thanks for reading!