There are many breeds or varieties of meat rabbits across the globe today that can be raised for homesteading or business. Precisely, there are about 17 meat rabbit breeds out of 45 rabbit breeds in the world. They qualified to be in this class because of some physical features or characteristics they possess, making them preferable for meat production.
General Characteristics of Meat Rabbits
- They have a naturally muscular body
- They possess higher meat-to-bone ratios
- They are easy to maintain and care for
- Their furs are of good quality
- They have a fast or quick growth rate
- They have a large body size
Some Meat Rabbit Breeds
1. Flemish Giant Breed
Flemish Giant is the most popular meat rabbit breed in the world. This particular breed of rabbit is suspected to originates from Patagonia in Argentina. The rabbit comes in grey, white, black, blue and fawn steel grey. Flemish Giant is the most popular meat rabbit breed simply because the rabbit possesses large, long body shape and superb muscles. They can weigh as high as 12.5 kg or 28 lb while the lowest weight is not less than 5.5 kg or 12 lb. The litter size is within 5 – 12 kits. So if you want maximum yields and profits in your rabbit farming enterprise or business, I will recommend this breed.
2. New Zealand Breed
New Zealand is another popular meat rabbit. This rabbit breed comes in different colors: white, red, blue, black and broken. The white variant of the New Zealand breed is popular because it possesses a little more meat than other variants. New Zealand rabbits have large body weight. As adults, they weigh about 3.6 kg to 5.4 kg (8 lbs. to 12 lbs.) as adults. Their litter size is usually around 8 – 10 kits. The kits can be slaughtered as early as two months old. This rapid growth including the big litter size and meaty bodies are the reasons why this breed is recognized as a meat rabbit today.
3. Californian Breed
The Californian Rabbit breed comes from (crossbred) the New Zealand white rabbits along with Standard Chinchillas and Himalayans. This breed looks just like the Himalayan rabbits, with white bodies, black nose, ears, tail and feet. They weigh about 3.5 kg to 4.75 kg (7 lbs. to 10 lbs.). Their litter size is usually around 6 – 8 kits. While Californian rabbits are a medium-sized, they have an excellent bone structure and meatiness that makes them so popular.
4. Florida White Breed
The Florida White is another popular meat rabbit breed. They also have white, thick and well-textured fur. This rabbit breed reaches about 1.8 kg to 2.7 kg (4 lbs. to 6 lbs.). Their litter size is usually around 5 – 8 kits. While this is smaller than the average meat rabbit, it is larger than most rabbits in that size range.
5. Palomino Rabbit Breed
This is another meat rabbit breed, though less popular. Palomino rabbits are of two different types. The ones with a golden coat and the ones with a lynx coat. The golden rabbits are brown to orange in color while the lynx rabbits are grey to silver in color. This rabbit breed reaches about 3.6 kg to 5 kg (8 lbs. to 11 lbs.). Their litter size is usually around 6 – 12 kits. What makes these particular meat rabbits popular for meat production is that they are very fine-boned, which guarantees more meat per kilogram.