Why Rabbit Meat is Not The Best Survival Food

Hello and thank you for visiting The Wannabe Homesteader. I wrote this article but the information in it is incorrect and I apologize. Rabbit Meat IS an amazing survival food- probably the best survival food- in a personal preparedness situation and I explain why here in Rethinking Rabbit Meat As a Survival Food. You can read both articles to learn about the debate regarding rabbit meat. The comments left by readers also contain a wealth of information. Thank you for reading.  

I was under the impression that raising rabbits for meat was a great way to supplement my family with organic meat, especially during a time of crisis where food may be in short supply.

Turns out I wasn’t exactly right.

The other day I was checking for rabbit recipes in my Nourishing Traditions cookbook and low and behold, there were none.

So, I checked the index to see if rabbit was mentioned anywhere in the book and it was:

Turns out rabbit meat is so lean that if a person ate it exclusively they could develop something called “fat-hunger” also known as “rabbit starvation.”

Rabbit eaters, if they have no fat from another source- beaver, moose, fish (or chicken, pork, or beef)- will develop diarrhea in about a week, with headache, lassitude, a vague discomfort. If there are enough rabbits, the people eat till their stomachs are distended; but no matter how much they eat they feel unsatisfied.

Some think a man will die sooner if he eats continually of fat-free meat than if he eats nothing, but this is a belief on which sufficient evidence for a decision has not been gathered.

-Vilhjalmur Stefansson, The Fat of the Land featured in Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon

If I were in a survival situation and had only rabbit meat to eat without any sort of olive oil, coconut oil, or lard then I would probably be in trouble.

But at the same time, if I were in a survival situation and only had rabbit meat to eat, you bet your butt I would eat it fat-free or not.

But the the issue remains- should a person include rabbit meat as a back-up plan for survival situations? 

No, there are better sources of balanced nutrition.

The reason rabbit breeding is popular among preppers (especially suburban and city dwellers) is because it takes so little space to do it and they breed well, like rabbits.

Before you know it, you’ll have so much rabbit meat in your freezer you won’t know what to do with it all.

Rabbits are easy to breed, maintain, kill (not like I’ve ever done it but that’s what I hear) and dress for cooking.

That’s why the hubs is so gung-ho about it. We don’t have the acreage for cows or pigs but we do have enough space and grass for rabbits.

But here’s the kicker- if you have a backyard  big enough for rabbits then you probably have a backyard big enough for a chicken coop as well. Heck, I’ve heard of people keeping chickens in their apartments.

And nutritionally-speaking, you get a lot more mileage out of chickens than rabbits.

With chickens you have the eggs, meat, liver, bones, and feet (for a nutrition-packed broth) all at your fingertips!

Meanwhile with rabbits, you get dangerously-lean meat and the livers. Oh, you can get furry rabbit feet for good luck which you may end up actually needing in a SHTF scenario.

Now That We Hashed That Out

My advice would be to put your efforts into keeping backyard chickens and if land is limited, find a local farmer to buy grass-feed beef and organ meat in bulk to store in your freezer.

You could also get a little boat and fish to help keep your protein sources varied.

 What I’m Going to Do

The hubs has his heart set on breeding rabbits so that’s still in the plan. And when I cook the rabbit meat, I will always make sure to eat it with some sort of healthy fat.

We are definitely getting backyard chickens, grass-fed beef in bulk and further down line we are planning fishing and hunting trips.

What about you? Are you going to take your chances with rabbit meat or are you finding other sources of protein?



  1. You are right about rabbits; you have to supplement fats. Plus, rabbits produce nothing but meat (maybe a little fur).  Chickens are the best. They produce the “perfect food” (eggs) almost daily and in the end they produce meat and by-products. They are extremely easy to keep if you let them free-range (little to no food provided in the summer); they always come home at night. If you free-range rabbits, you’ll never see them again.

    If you do chickens, control your rooster population. First off, they DO NOT crow at dawn; they crow any damn time they please… like 2 a.m. when passing headlights wake them up. Secondly, they are prolific breeders. With our first flock we couldn’t figure out why our hens were losing their feathers from their backs. An old farmer laughed and told us “ya got too damn many roosters”.  You can figure out the rest…

    But also, the roosters will – literally – give their lives to protect their flock. I have seen it more than once. So they are important to have around. Understand this: you and your rooster will have to work out who owns what part of the yard as they are VERY territorial. Our kids used to go to the swing set
    armed with a BB gun as the rooster considered the swing set HIS territory!

    Last comment: once you have have eaten fresh eggs you will never go back to store-bought eggs. I was in the grocery business for 30 years and I would not touch a supermarket eggs now. There is just no comparison. Nothing like going out to the coop at 6 a.m., grabbing half a dozen eggs laid that morning, and putting them in the skillet. It doesn’t get any better than that.

    1.  Wow! Thanks for your comment- a lot of great info here! I think we were gonna try and go the roosterless route. We live in a neighborhood and we’re not exactly sure if keeping chickens is against some code or not. But there is a bird that lives somewhere behind us and is incredibly loud. A rooster honestly couldn’t be any more annoying than this bird. 

      That is so funny about the swing set! I had no idea they were that territorial. 

      I am so excited to have fresh eggs coming from my own backyard. I’ve been looking forward to getting chickens for 3+ years now. 

      1. It should be relatively simple to find out if you’re “allowed” to have chickens where you live.  Look up your city’s website online and look for the city code.  It should specify how many chickens you’re allowed to have within the city limits, the size requirements for the coop, the setback rules about the coop, if you’re allowed to have other animals, if there’s a licensing fee for your chickens, etc.  We live in the downtown limits of a small city and are allowed up to five hens, no roosters.  We’re supposed to pay $10 each to license our birds (supposed to…!), and the only other animals we’re allowed are cats and dogs (and small critters in cages).  No goats in our town!  It’d be wise to at least know the laws in your locale to be aware of where you stand before you get a knock on your door!  Also, if you live in western WA and want some fresh brown eggs, we sell ’em for twenty-five cents each!  😉

        1. Thanks for your comment, Mysticaluna! Lot of great info here. I will check out the codes just for information’s sake but honestly, we’re probably not gonna pay any licensing fees either. 😉 Thanks for the offer on the eggs too. If I didn’t live clear across the country, I’d take you up on that!

        2. Our city just approved “backyard chickens” within city limits-four per household. YAY! BUT, if you live in a housing development like I do, your HOA covenants supercede the city laws. Therefore, no backyard chickens until I either a.move or b.get everyone in our huge development to petition the board to change the covents. Neither option seems doable because, anyway, if you move , most of the homes available and being built are in housing developments. Not small acreages are available to build on, either; all the land is being bought up by developers.

      2. Oh, and roosters will mate with every hen, every day, and the hens don’t see it coming (ever see a hen peck the ground for food?  Her tail goes up and her fanny points out and that’s when the rooster strikes!)  Multiple roosters means your hens get raped multiple times, every day.  Pretty dumb birds so I suppose its a necessary means of keeping the species going…but we prefer rooster-less, too.

          1. Anyway, I think I would prefer raising ducks, so how was it with yours? Did you have more? I like duck eggs, and also duck meat; also, I think maybe they would make less racket and I could get away with a few in a coop/Chicken tractor in my backyard (enclosed by tall stockade fence) without raising as much suspicion from the neighbors.

          2. I have a hen starting to lay more eggs right now. I’ll let her lay on them to allow us to have more .

            Coturnix quail are another option…and you could possibly pass them off as “pets”, they take up very little room and are very quiet, making noise like songbirds, not chickens.

        1. I have never had a problem with any of my roosters being territorial with the exception of one that someone gave me. Everything I have raised has turned out to be very good natured. I bought a grown rooster once and it did go after my husband. He gave it a very good kick and chased it with a stick for about five minutes. It never went after anyone again. I think if they are too pestered by kids or handled too roughly, they become mean.
          Most hens are very submissive. I have one though that will attack roosters when she gets tired of them. She is half game. Best hen that I own. I use her to set and raise my peacocks in the Spring. As she hatches them, I tend to take them away from her and put them in another pen and add some more eggs for her to continue to hatch. When she finally gets up, she knows every baby she has hatched even though she hasn’t seen them for several weeks to a month. If I add one that she didn’t hatch, she will wind up killing it unless I keep it penned next to her for her to see every day. They aren’t quite as dumb as most people think. I have seen them run to me when they see a hawk/predator. A very trusting bird, I guess, that is why they are called dumb.

    2. If you free range chickens.in the country without a livestock guardian dog ect you will lose them so fast to foxes , hawks ect. I had over 300 rabbits this yr. I’m down to 2 chickens . Both are kept in 10x 10 kennels at night but since rabbits are caged predators don’t get them. Not true with chickens.

    3. German Angora rabbits really make sense for the homestead. They are the most productive Angora in the world producing 11oz of super warm soft fiber ever three months. AND they are a meat breed bred for a meat body type.
      They are also very hardy in cold weather and do better in the heat than I would expect. Just have to make sure they are in full shade.

      So really for the homesteading situation they are ideal. They give you tons if wool in which you can make warm clothing and they give you meat.

  2.  I found this article regarding the nutritional aspects of Rabbit meat http://riseandshinerabbitry.com/2011/10/15/health-benefits-of-rabbit-meat/

    Any thoughts?

    1. Hi Devon! It’s good to know that rabbit meat is so digestible and high in all these vitamins. However, I still have a problem with it because it’s low in fat. Even though saturated fat has been demonized in our current day, I think it’s still VERY important to good health. Check out my reply to FloridaHillbilly. Thanks for sharing your links with us- they are were pretty informing.

      1. Hello, i hope you don’t knock rabbit meat completely. You can use their bones for broth as well as use the liver and heart. And saving their fur and tanning it means you can make blankets fur lined coats and boots and a plethora of other things. Rabbit starvation only comes about if you only eat rabbit. You also don’t have to breed them till you have too much meat. I breed mine selectively so i have just enough. I would suggest to go on ahead and also do chicken and duck. Duck is very high in fat. And rabbits still breed with better results than chicken and duck. You can also grow fodder and feed it to your chickens ducks and rabbits for a much cheaper price then pellet feed. I wish you luck. Every persons situation is different and what works for me may not work for you.

        1. Hi Emily! You are exactly right. Rabbit meat is a wonderful addition to any preparedness plan and backyard. I was totally wrong in the article. Live and learn! Thank you for your kind comment. Some readers have not been so kind. 🙂

  3.  Here is another with a complete chart of vitamins minerals in rabbit http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/lamb-veal-and-game-products/4650/2

  4. I believe there are some misconceptions here regarding rabbit starvation.

    Since I too live in Florida, and am working towards a “homestead” in town, I’ve lurked a bit. I also raise rabbits for food. When I saw this article, I took it to heart.

    Not trying to be offensive, I hope I don’t come across that way. I just have a different point of view regarding rabbits as food (I am definitely FOR it).

    I posted about it here:

    And btw, I LOVE your blog…we have a lot of views in common…that makes me happy 🙂 Some of my friends think I’m crazy for raising my own food…I think they are for NOT doing so…

    Let the hubby raise those rabbits, and don’t sweat “Rabbit starvation”…they will be plenty fat enough to prevent it.


    1. I’m still going to do the rabbits because with all the other fats we will be eating, it will not be a problem.

      But in Steph’s defense if I “HAD” to choose between chickens and rabbits, I may have to lean towards chickens, mainly because of eggs. But I think having both is the best way for a suburban homesteader to supply a family with meat and protein.

      I’m almost thinking if done correctly, you could easily feed a family from a nice flock of chickens/herd of rabbits.

      1. And don’t overlook quail! I would consider them BEFORE chickens in many urban locations – quieter, less space, and a faster turnaround in both meat and eggs.

    2. Hi FloridaHillbilly.

      The basis for my opinion came from this article
      http://www.westonaprice.org/traditional-diets/guts-and-grease. I adhere (as much as I can) to the principles of the Weston A. Price Foundation regarding health and real food (I just signed on to the Real Food Media Blogging Network) and (I’m not sure how familiar you are with them) they advocate traditional and nutrient-dense foods that are high in saturated fat.

      According to the WAPF, traditional peoples, like Native Indians, ate rabbit only on occasion and when they did they prepared the WHOLE animal- even grinding down the bone and eating it as well. They recommend duck, goose, pheasant and quail but not rabbit, at least they offer no recipes for it in their cookbook, Nourishing Traditions. Maybe the WAPF thinks modern families aren’t going to grind bones so they just left it out of the “nutrient-dense foods” category?

      But, as you pointed out, our situation is a little different. You’re right, the rabbits that we would produce in our backyards would not be running and surviving like the rabbits the Indians were sometimes forced to eat. And as your post explains, they seem to provide plenty of fat which honestly makes me feel a lot better about the whole situation.

      But just for me, I still think chickens are better. Personally, I’m used to chicken meat and am excited about making broth from the bones and feet. (I’m not sure you can make broth from a rabbit carcass, I guess you could but I’m totally unsure of the nutritional factors). You can get 3 batches of broth from one chicken carcass, which I think is a pretty good return.

      I’m still learning though, hence the “wannabe homesteader” part. Thanks for the compliment and mentioning me in your post- I learned a lot from it.

      Yeah, I think your friends are crazy for not wanting to grow their own food, too. 🙂

      1. WAPF site is down for maintenance as I write this 🙁

        Also, in reviewing all the other posts here and the resources listed in
        them, everything keeps mentioning “rabbit meat” not a rabbit carcass.
        That may be the whole issue with low-fat. Yes, the meat is lean…much
        like venison, rabbit meat tends to dry out if you treat it as though it
        weren’t lean. But if you use the fat that lines the shoulders and the
        body cavity, I’d say it would definitely change the “low-fat” reading on

        When I cook the sausage I make (with the hearts, kidneys, livers, belly
        trimmings (meat) and the body cavity fat), the meat sears in its own
        grease…sometimes worse than my home made pork sausage!

        Just a thought…

          1. Yep, your right. I was reading more about rabbits in traditional cultures and I remember reading the Native Indians used to dig deep holes and keep rabbits in them (the first domestic rabbits, maybe?) and feed them. As you’re well aware, this eliminated the “lean” problem.

            I am gonna write another post about this but I’m waiting to get our rabbits. I really want to try cooking with them myself so I can experience first hand what I’m dealing with.

      2. I think in a survival situation, you’ll want to be able to produce whatever food you can in whatever manner you can. Surviving and homesteading are 2 different things. Rabbits breed prolifically. Chickens will sometimes not sit on their eggs so if you don’t have a way to incubate them, relying on them to reproduce naturally may be futile, and in a survival situation, you probably won’t have electricity to power your incubator. Ancient humans survived on nuts, seeds, berries, and game meat. Wild game is all pretty low in fat, not just rabbit. If fats are an issue, hickory nuts and various seeds are readily available just about anywhere. Fishing will also provide healthy fats. A Homestead should probably have a variety of protein sources which is where having chickens and other livestock will be helpful, but getting a cow or pig to butcher weight takes a long time, especially on a grass diet. Rabbits get to 5 pounds in 10 weeks and each litter from a meat breed will be 6-14 kits. You can produce 6 pounds of rabbit meat on the same food and water it takes to produce 1 pound of beef. I’ll take my chances with the rabbit meat.

        1. Hi Mike. You are completely right and I was wrong in the article as I have since learned. Thank you for your kind words and thorough explanation.

          1. Stephanie,
            Good to see your 2017 updates. Are you planning to write an updated entry on it? Are you raising bunnies again? The last entry from 2015 stated you guys got rid of them due to a bear attack. Would love to read about all that you have learned since!
            Take care and thanks for the great read,

  5. I’ve never heard this about rabbit. I remember as a kid we ate rabbit a time or two. As an adult though I stick mostly to the clean and unclean meats listed in the bible. Is it SIN to eat an unclean animal? No. Certainly not. But there is wisdom in how God created certain animals for food and some for other purposes.

    1. You have a good point Amanda. If someone consumed wild rabbit continually they would have a problem because they’re so lean. That’s probably why God didn’t recommend it.

      But as FloridaHillbilly pointed out, bred rabbits seem to have a lot of fat compared to wild rabbits who are running for their lives a lot of the time.

      Personally, I think rabbits are ‘good’ survival food but to me, chickens are the ‘best.’

      Thanks for your comment.

  6. Wow, this is not something I’d heard before and is very enlightening to those trying to figure out next steps in food security/self-reliance/homesteading – it’s great to learn from each other.
    I’d like to add my 2 cents on a couple of points that were touched on.
    I think rabbits are a very valuable addition for their hides (think earmuffs, bed throws, fur collars on coats, chair covers…) and also consider that rabbit cages situated over worm bins (the red wrigglers used for fishing bait, or nightcrawlers- also for bait), would provide instant usable manure for the worms to seek out their own sustenance from (they don’t ‘eat poo’ they eat the microbes and bacteria in it), and produce ‘worm castings’ which is the most excellent planting soil ever, and you can make ‘manure tea’ as an added punch for fertilizer, not having to wait for the heat cycle of manure break-down as you do most other animal waste. Plus it’s not smelly.
    Raising worms, (because of the rising cost of grains/chicken feed), is an excellent way to subsidize your chicken feed needs; and reduce cost! So you get more than 2 for 1 when raising worms, and the rabbits of course for whatever you deem valuable on top of their help in raising worms. (Worm bins have to be kept at 40 degrees or more or they quit producing).
    I am considering raising rabbits for fur/hides, and over worm bins IN my chicken coop- all the animals should help keep it warmer through winter along with a heat lamp. If that doesn’t work out then I’ll try overwintering in the greenhouse. If that doesn’t work, I’ll try raising them in our utility room (keeps pretty warm, maybe too warm for rabbits). But rabbits are quiet animals and House Rabbits (as pets) are very fun -as long as they have a little box to use like cats and you keep PC wires out of reach!
    Good luck in your endeavors!
    Illoura recently posted..Updates – the size of an EggMy Profile

    1. Hi Illoura!!
      Wow! What great insights! You brought up so many good points that I never considered, of course I am the newbie of all newbies! haha
      Thank you so much for commenting and good luck to you too on your rabbits 🙂

  7. Late to the discussion, but I’ve been raising Rabbits for about a year and a half now.

    I use it for a lot of my chicken soup/crockpot recipes, and while it does require learning to eat around a different bone structure, we’re sticking with it so far.

    Yeah, it’s an adjustment, and yeah we have chickens (but just for eggs), but we decided to stick with rabbits because they’re plain easier to produce and process year round (tho we definitely keep them busier in summer than winter.)

    We bought a homegrown pig from a friend this year, so I have a bunch of lard I rendered from that experiment, and figure between the pig and the rabbit we’ll come out even.

    Speaking of lean meat: I grew up on moose, and that’s pretty lean, too. I’ve never heard of Moose-starvation, and no one I knew growing up saved the organs. We just cut/ground/ate it like urban folk eat beef.

    This site was a cool discovery. Glad to have found you 🙂
    Amy Jane (Serendipity ScrapNook) recently posted..Basic Steps Toward Healthier LivingMy Profile

    1. Hi Amy Jane,
      Yes, the whole “starvation” thing I mentioned could happen but under very different circumstances. You could technically become “fat starved” if you ONLY had WILD rabbit to eat, but if you’re raising them yourself that won’t happen. I suppose the same thing could happen with moose, but I’m not positive. If you’re eating these leans meats but are including oil, butter other meats, etc then you’ll be fine. I really need to do a follow up post to this explaining why I am wrong. 🙂
      Thank you for stopping by and commenting!

  8. we’re lucky enough to have room to do lots of different animals, including rabbits and chickens, but if we were limited, I would go with rabbits, simply because you can produce a good amount with limited space and they are less work. even if you had, say, 6 chickens, that is going to provide very little meat over the long run compared to rabbits, because they take so long to mature, and even longer if you are planning on breeding them yourself.

    but either way, its so great to be producing your own food, it brings such an awesome independent feeling!

    1. I still say that if you want eggs and meat, Coturnix quail are a better option than chickens…just much smaller eggs.

      But I agree, if I had to pare down to a single animal…it’d be rabbits. And nothing can compare to setting down to a meal that is 95% food you grew yourself, be it meat or fruits, or veggies.

      db recently posted..Product Review: Ozark Trail Camp CotMy Profile

      1. You guys could very well be right, in all actuality rabbits could be the best survival food. We are doing both, rabbits and chickens just because we’re newbies and nothing says ‘homesteading’ like chickens 🙂 When we become a little more experienced, we will probably try quail too.
        Thanks for visiting guys!

        1. Well, best of luck to you! we just moved onto our 5 acres a few years ago, and are learning as we go along. lots of mishaps, but that means learning. we are just getting started with rabbits ourselves.

        2. Well the facts are quite simple, even wild caught rabbits, that are fattened up in a cage/pen before eating will solve the fat starvation issue. If you live “near” any kind of open space a simple trapping trip in a SHTF situation will get your started raising nutritious caged rabbits. That makes your hubbies plan to “Learn” rabbit husbandry a solid part of your plan even if your were forced to leave your urban homestead due to the hordes of “Hunger Maddened Zombies” 😉 that would simply take all your food.

          My recommendation to your husband is to “also” learn how to trap live rabbits and build wilderness cages in the event you are forced to leave your homestead even for a few months. Knowledge is after all the key to good health in any situation where health sustaining food is either overabundant or extremely scarce.

          With the added advantage of

        1. VERY edible…and they taste like…eggs. I’d bet 9 out of 10 folks eating them wouldn’t know the difference if they were scrambled….sunny side up might be easier to tell though…they are about 1/3 the size.

          The only caveat is that they are tougher to open due to size and the interior shell membrane. I’d suggest getting a quail egg opener like I showed here:

          db recently posted..Mammoth BasilMy Profile

          1. An egg a day, mostly….space-wise and feed-wise, quail outperform chickens.
            Taken from here (http://floridahillbilly.com/?p=21)

            A friend got me interested in coturnix quail, and I found that not only is their feed-to-egg ratio better than chickens, their space requirements and maturing time is less.

            Chickens take 21 days to incubate, 4-6 months of feeding, care and housing before producing a single egg.
            Quail take 17 days to incubate, 6-8 WEEKS of feeding, care and housing before producing a single egg.
            Chickens produce 180-300 eggs per year
            Quail produce 300+ eggs per year
            Chickens, per bird, need 3-4 square feet inside, plus a run or free ranging, or 10 sqft if coop kept.
            Quail, per bird, need 16-25 square INCHES
            Chickens require three pounds of feed for a pound of eggs
            Quail require two pounds of feed for a pound of eggs.

            Quail need less space, less food, and less time. Add in the fact that they are relatively quiet, and when they ARE heard, no one says, “HEY! Someone has livestock over there!” It was a no-brainer. The only downside is that they require an incubator for raising each new generation. (But then so do most chicken breeds!)

            And if you can FIND quail eggs, they are about $0.50 EACH, making a dozen $6, about the same price as a dozen decent free-range eggs…only FAR harder to locate. And sushi restaurants would be interested, they charge as much as $1.50 per quail egg on sushi dishes!

            Hope that helps 🙂

            (And its making me want to ramp up my quail production!)

  9. Love the discussion. We just got two New Zealand White’s (Rabbits) and currently have five chickens. Has anyone tried running quail with their chickens? There is something to be said about simplicity with chicken eggs, the standard cooking recipe is much easier to follow. But I would love to add a few quail.

  10. Have you seen how your chickens establish hierarchy? Quail wouldn’t stand a chance.

    I had a dove get caught in our coop a few years ago.
    The chickens ate it.

    Cotournix quail take up very little space (16 – 25 square inches per bird). Make them a small cage, keep them in that. I have a 2ftx3ftx10inches cage that houses as many as 20 birds without any problems. The only time I see issues is when I put in a pan of dusting sand – they fight over whose turn it is.
    The only real drawback for quail, to me, is that they will not hatch or brood their young – they’ve become completely dependent on humans to perpetuate the species.

    As for recipes, substitute 3-4 quail eggs for each chicken egg, you’ll be fine…

    Unless you are talking about deviled eggs…

    Hope that helps,
    db recently posted..Countertop MushroomsMy Profile

  11. I think it is plain silly to say don’t raise rabbits because they don’t have enough fat. That is like saying don’t stock salt because it doesn’t contain enough sugar. For another comparison, nobody says plant a garden but don’t plant watermelons in it because you can’t stay healthy on watermelons alone. By all means, plant them but plant other things as well. 🙂
    A more appropriate stance would be to say that everyone should include variety. I raise both rabbits and chickens in my back yard along with being able to hunt and fish for more variety yet.

    1. Hey Roger. Yep, you’re exactly right. Moderation and variation is key.

      But let me ask you a hypothetical question: If you had to choose ONE- chickens or rabbits- as your only source of animal protein in a SURVIVAL situation, which one would you choose? (And when I say “survival” I mean, food is scarce and you do not have many options for nourishment..)

  12. And also keep in mind that the rabbit starvation, happens over time of not having any fats to eat, its not like in a week of trying to survive. Some people say it would need to be somewhere closer to 3-4 weeks. I am sure in that time you could find some other fats if you needed and looked. 🙂

  13. Rabbits are great. Don’t worry about the fats or lack there of. Chickens are great and a wonder to any small farm.

    But before the days of electricity, chickens were hard to preserve unlike the other meats . And chickens were kind of precious, people who had chickens kept them for eggs, eating only the older ones, and the roosters not needed for breeding.

    I would recommend keeping both chickens and rabbits if you can. But if you only kept one, either would be good.

  14. smoked rabbit tastes a lot like smoked ham and it definitely has fat on it, not as much as ham of course, but I would say knowing how to smoke rabbit is the only recipe you need! yum!

  15. Having raised both chickens & rabbits…. I’d have to go with the chickens also. But as far as rabbit recipes… if you an do it with a chicken why can’t you do it with the rabbit…cause everything taste like ‘chicken’ in the movies. I always just fried our rabbit when we actually ATE them. Later pets were called, names like “Hot Biscuits” or “Gravy” & died of old age. As we grew older instead of raising more animals for meat, we grew too fond of them. NEVER name an animal you think you are going to eat. I had a territorial rooster as did my late grandma & I learned from her how to manage the buggers. Chicken Dumplings or Chicken Noodles for Sunday dinner. I guess we never had any problems with starving from eating rabbits since I not only fried them but we did not make a steady diet of them.
    Our neighbors raised both chickens & rabbits in their back yard. It is illegal but unless someone complains about the crowing, animal control is too busy to bother. If someone complains, you will be told to get of them in a couple of days BUT they never check back. So I got rid of my entire flock instead of just the loud mouths but my neighbors did nothing & kept theirs…. If I ever quit raising cockatiels in my aviary I may just gets some pullet chicks & use the aviary for them.

  16. You fail to do all your research
    And don’t get me wrong I like Chickens to.
    But i am really offended by this article.

    If you are looking at a S.H.T.F scenario

    Rabbit meat Does have FAT more than most people think.
    The fat is on the outside of the meat like a deer and not laced in the meat like a cow.
    If you eat as much of the rabbit as you can like eyes, brain, silver skin and globular fat on top of the silver skin that would be the best.

    You cant live off beef alone ether. Are body’s need a variety of food.

    1: The loud rooster will give away your chickens, your position and everyone who is around will steal them. Rabbits = quiet

    2: If you have no electricity and it is winter you cant keep a heat light on and your chickens will stop laying eggs. Rabbits = mine are good to -20 with litter and good bedding

    3: If you have no electricity you wont be able to run a brooder to hatch the eggs.
    Rabbits = don’t need a brooder

    4: Rabbits can handle the cold weather far better than chickens.

    5: Rabbits are easier to pack if you have to get out of an area fast, than chickens.

    Here is another post –

    The Rabbit Starvation Myth

    Author: Pennsylvania on Wed, 2012-03-21 23:08
    I’ve seen the old “you can’t live on rabbit meat” myth surfacing here a couple of times, and thought it was time to put it to bed.

    The myth says that since rabbit meat has no fat in it, and fat is required for proper digestion (Dissolution of many vitamins and minerals) and brain function, rabbit meat is bad for you…

    Response number 1.
    If you’re on a survival diet you should be eating nuts, which are high in fat and available in every climate and are cheap (energy wise) to gather, portable, long lasting, and filled with good fat, minerals and calories.

    Response number 2. The brain is almost entirely fat. The liver is a huge source of fat. If you eat the organs as well as the meat, you’ll get plenty of fat. (Also bone marrow)

    Response number 3. Rabbit is not “entirely lean”. In fact, it has roughly the same fat content of white-tailed deer and most other wild game meat.

    Though Rabbit Starvation now is no longer just for rabbits. There was a bloke who had a theory you could live on strawberries alone, and ended up with the coined term Rabbit Starvation.

    That’s the problem with the myth. You don’t starve from eating rabbit. You starve from not eating anything else. Just like the strawberry bloke, or anything else. Humans are not designed to live off of one food type.

    If rabbits are all there is to eat, be sure you’re eating the liver and/or brain. The amount of fat required by the human body is tiny. It could be covered by a handful of nuts every day, or a tablespoon full of olive oil.

    In a post apocalyptic scenario, chances are good that you’ll be able to find some sort of oil or canned food that will have enough fat to keep you alive. A can of Chef Boyardee Raviolis has enough fat to keep you healthy all winter. Certainly a can of tuna, sardines, oysters, vienna sausages, potted meat, soup, whatever will suffice.

    Lastly, in order to be plagued by rabbit starvation, you have to have no fat stores of your own. Even if you’re just 5 or 10 pounds overweight, you have enough stored fat in your body to remain healthy through an entire winter of eating nothing but rabbit.

    Now some more Facts for regular use.

    Rabbit Meat

    Rabbits have been used for meat as far back as 1500BC
    Their Meat is the highest in protein%. (U S D A circular # 549)
    Rabbits raised off the ground are one of the cleanest meats.
    Rabbits produce 6 lbs of meat on the same food & water as a cow produces 1 lb.
    A doe rabbit that weighs 10 pounds can produce 320 pounds of meat in a year!
    That is more than a cow and it takes around 2 acres to raise a cow.
    Rabbit has only 795 calories per pound.
    As compaired to Chicken 810, Veal 840, Turkey 1190,
    Lamb 1420, Beef 1440, Pork 2050. ( U S D A circular # 549 )
    Click Here for Recipes Using Rabbit from the Meatrabbits Group.
    The office of home economics, state relations of the U S Department of Agriculture has made extensive tests and have stated that domestic rabbit meat is the most nutritious meat known to man.

  17. Rabbit Meat Information
    31 Facts for Survival and Everyday use.

    1: Rabbits have been used for meat as far back as 1500BC

    2: Our four fathers whether Native American or Settler ate rabbit meat.

    3: Rabbits raised off the ground are one of the cleanest meats.

    4: Rabbits produce 6 lbs of meat on the same food & water as a cow produces 1 lb.

    5: A doe rabbit that weighs 10 pounds can produce 320 pounds of meat in a year! That is more than a cow and it takes around 2+ acres to raise a cow.

    6: Rabbit Meat is the highest in protein%. (U S D A circular # 549)

    7: Rabbit has only 795 calories per pound. As compared to Chicken 810, Veal 840, Turkey 1190,
    Lamb 1420, Beef 1440, Pork 2050. ( U S D A circular # 549 )

    8: Cholesterol level in rabbit meat is much lower than chicken, turkey, beef, pork. (Alabama A & M University 1989)

    9: Rabbit meat is seasonal any month of the year and is especially recommended during the hot summer months, as it does not contain the heating properties of most all other meats.

    10: Rabbit meat is easily digestible. And fills you up faster than most meats without weighing you down.

    11: Rabbit meat has been used and is suitable for special diets, such as those for heart disease patients, diets for the aged, low sodium diets, weight reduction diets, etc.

    12: Baby rabbits feed of mothers milk so rich that they can double their weight in 6 short days as compared to a pig at 14 days, calves 47 days, and humans 160 days.

    13: The first recorded rabbitry was in early Roman times, There rabbits were kept in walled rabbit gardens for food. This saved waste over bigger animals because the rabbit was all eaten. and there was no refrigeration.

    14: Sailing ships distributed rabbits on islands around various sea lanes to be used as a source of food by sailors.

    15: As the worlds human population grows there will be less land and water to raise food. The rabbit will play a more increasing role in this supply. Rabbits can and do grow well on food items that do not compete with food items, grown for humans.

    16: France is the world’s largest producer and consumer of rabbit meat. In Hungary there are rabbitries with over 10,000 does producing rabbits for export to Italy.

    17: Rabbits are quiet and easy to keep without anyone else knowing you have them. So people will be less likely to steal them in times of turmoil.

    18: Most meat rabbit breeds can withstand cold weather down to -30 as long as they have hay or straw to burrow in. So electricity isn’t necessary to raise them.

    19: Rabbits are easy to pack out if you need to leave an area fast.

    20: If you are stuck out in the woods and get lucky enough to get a rabbit. They are the highest in protein and vitamin B12 and it may just give you enough energy to get out of the woods alive.

    21: Rabbit meat Does have fat, more than most people think.
    The fat is on the outside of the meat like a deer and not laced in the meat like a cow.

    22: If you eat as much of the rabbit as you can like eyes, brain, silver skin and globular fat on top of the silver skin that would be the best in a survival situation. The brain is almost entirely fat. The liver is a huge source of fat. If you eat the organs as well as the meat, you’ll get plenty of fat. (Also bone marrow)

    22: Rabbit is not “entirely lean”. In fact, it has roughly the same fat content of White-tailed Deer and most other wild game meat.

    23: That’s the problem with the Old Rabbit Starvation myth. You don’t starve from eating rabbit. You starve from not eating anything else. Humans are not designed to live off of one food type alone. You can not live off beef alone ether.

    24: The amount of fat required by the human body is tiny. It could be covered by a handful of nuts every day, or a tablespoon full of olive oil.

    25: In a post apocalyptic scenario, chances are good that you’ll be able to find some sort of oil or canned food that will have enough fat to keep you alive. A can of Chef Boyardee Raviolis has enough fat to keep you healthy all winter. Certainly a can of tuna, sardines, oysters, Vienna sausages, potted meat, soup, whatever will suffice.

    26: In order to be plagued by the rabbit starvation myth, you have to have no fat stores of your own. Even if you’re just 5 or 10 pounds overweight, you have enough stored fat in your body to remain healthy through an entire winter of eating nothing but rabbit.

    27: Adding rabbit meat to your meal plan gives you a big boost in vitamin B-12 — each 3-oz. serving provides 117.6 percent of the recommended daily intake. Vitamin B-12 plays a critical role in the function of your central nervous system and metabolism, as well as the formation of red blood cells. Your body has the ability to store a few years’ worth of vitamin B-12, so eating rabbit supplies you with not just your daily requirements, but a little extra as well.

    28: Rabbit also serves as a rich source of vitamin B3, containing 35.8 percent of the amount your need each day. This vitamin, commonly known as niacin, aid in converting carbohydrates to energy and manufacturing a variety of sex hormones.

    29: Rabbit meat contains quite a bit of selenium, a mineral your body uses to make antioxidants and stimulate sperm production; each 3-oz. portion of meat contains 46.8 percent of the recommended daily value of selenium. MedlinePlus reports that some physicians may recommend incorporating more selenium into your diet to combat hardening of the arteries, as well as cancers such as stomach, lung, prostate and skin cancer.

    30: A 3-oz. serving of rabbit also provides you with 22.4 percent of the phosphorus you need in your daily meal plan. This mineral accounts for 1 percent of your total body weight and influences your body’s ability to use carbohydrates and fats, as well as the repair of cells and tissues.

    31: The office of home economics, state relations of the U S Department of Agriculture has made extensive tests and have stated that domestic rabbit meat is the most nutritious meat known to man.

  18. Someone mentioned that one would no want to devil quail eggs. I just wanted to put in that instead one would want to ‘pickle’ them. An easy thing to use one’s pickle juice for after the pickles are all gone.

    1. I didn’t say you didn’t want to devil quail eggs, I’ve done it many times, and they make for some great conversations at parties! I was saying its just a lot of work for each little bite.

      But I’ll agree with pickling them, a FAR better (and easier) way of preparing them…though I’m partial to pickling quail eggs in the leftover juice of pickled jalapenos.


  19. If lack of fat from eating rabbit can injure or even kill you if eating rabbit exclusively, WHY NOT EAT RABBIT FAT?

    Is rabbit fat toxic?

  20. When my Father was a young boy during the Great Depression of the 1930’s,
    Rabbit meat was the ONLY meat they had –

    My grandfather and the older sons hunted and raised them –
    This was when farmers and city workers all around the world
    – including Germany, Britain, Australia, and New Zealand –
    were starving and homeless.

    My Aunt published a book about this – ” Living Arrows ” –
    a copy is in the archives of the Iowa State Historical Society.

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  23. If rabbit starvation was really a thing then a lot of us would be sick from the low-fat no fat craze of the 1980’s. I spent 30 years eating as little fat as possible which fell around 20 grams a day. We now eat a high rabbit diet and thrive on it. I’m fairly certain this old wives tale has been perpetuated for far too long. There is no scientific evidence to support such claims. But if you want to supplement fats in your diet, try growing some nut trees. They are full of healthy fats and a great homesteading food.

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