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Eat More Rabbit

March 6, 2013

Why rabbit? Why not rabbit? Many object to eating rabbits with childhood innocence – it’s Bugs Bunny or Roger Rabbit. Or the Easter Bunny! We can’t eat rabbit…and enjoy it!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe fact is many do, and chefs celebrate rabbit. It feeds rich and poor alike. Rabbit meat is lean, and not only healthy for you but I thought I’d take a look at how we price it, and what it is priced at commercially.  Some think it’s just a small animal – doesn’t eat much right?

It’s true rabbits are small, and eat less than a cow or sheep. But the rabbit is a 10-12 pound animal that can produce eight 5 pound fryers – that’s forty pounds of meat – every three months. She can easily do this four times per year, six if pressed. That puts her at 160-240 pounds of meat from a 12 pound animal in a year…if she weans eight kits. And that doesn’t happen on grass or without good nutrition.

The dressed rabbit in the photo is one of ours – wide and long bodied. Note the meat over the back and the muscle down the legs over the top. We took some photos during one butchering session last year to let people see what they can expect to get from our rabbit packages and farm shares with rabbit.

Rabbit is among the highest protein meat choices. From information from the USDA:

proteinRabbit

While we offer a variety of these food options, note rabbit is the highest protein, and with that (below) also great for those with cholesterol issues, because it’s lean.

Cholesterol stats credited to Alabama A&M University.

cholesterolRabbit

This puts it in a great position for those watching their diet, but does come with some challenges. Many say it’s just like chicken but it isn’t – it’s leaner than chicken and should be cooked accordingly.

With interest in protein and cholesterol it gets attention but another factor is calories. How does rabbit stack up?

caloriesRabbit

Again rabbit excels – but many are concerned with the cost. Yes it’s more per pound than other types of meat protein. It adds variety to the diet.

From a commercial buyer of meat, Pel-Freeze, their website lines out what they pay. Of course as buyers they have a perspective of what they want to buy.

Pel-Freez Price List

Pricing (Subject to Change)
New Zealand or Californian White Fryer Rabbits Between 4 3/4 and 5 3/4 lb Price per pound live weight
……….$1.45/lb
Roasters Over 5 3/4 lbs Price per pound live weight
……….$0.25/lb

Pel-Freez does not purchase overstressed or unhealthy rabbits. We do not buy colored rabbits or rabbits that are sick or deformed in any way, including wry necks.

An active Pel-Freez Grower Number is required before rabbits can be sold”

This disqualifies our rabbits because, no matter their meat qualities, they are not white rabbits. We, too, do not use sick rabbits for meat. Prices on the processed end are, of course, higher:

frozenrabbitprices

At $4.81 that puts a three pound dressed rabbit at $14.43 – ours are a little higher in price, partly due to processing costs, at $20 per rabbit, but are slightly heavier too. Additionally, you know where they were raised and how they were raised. We don’t seek to be necessarily more or less expensive than others, or compete with volume production. We look at our costs, the production of healthy meats that we enjoy and let people decide on their own.

Food options abound. Rabbit takes seasoning well – think curry or enchiladas or a variety of seasonings. Younger rabbits are tender, while older rabbits, at about 4-6 months, have a more “chewy” texture with firmer meat. Proper processing is important too.

Eat more rabbit! Talk to us about making it part of your food choices.

Also – apologies to regular readers…a glitch in posting caused this to attempt to be posted minus the graphs and info. Indeed it erased the post! Technology is great when it works! 😀

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. March 13, 2013 6:05 PM

    Reblogged this on Slow Money Food and commented:

    Rabbit meat is lean, high protein, low cholesterol…here’s some information about rabbit meat.

Trackbacks

  1. Why Do You Need Agriculture? | Food, Farm, Life Choices
  2. Customer Demand – How Others Influence Your Food Choices | Food, Farm, Life Choices

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