Raising rabbits is something exciting for both the old and young alike. Proper planning is of the essence to achieve successful results rather than a string of disappointments. One of the many consideration when thinking of raising rabbits is what breed to choose. Having the right one can make a huge difference in how well you consider your decision. So consider carefully what you will expect from the rabbit before going out and spending money of the equipment and the rabbit itself. There are three primary reason people get a rabbit to start with; as a pet probably what most are familiar with, for wool/fur, and lastly for meat. Some may use the pelts but that is usually more of a by product of meat or fur production. The American Rabbit Breeders Association (ARBA) recognizes forty seven breeds, each slightly different than the next.
When considering rabbits as pets, the costs of feeding the rabbit and the amount of space it will need are very important. This will generally mean having a smaller breed is best, it will require less food and less space. The smaller the cage needs to be the less it will end up costing you. And lets face it most people find smaller bunnies adorable. If a pet rabbit is what you’re looking for many of the mini’s will suit you well. The mini lop, mini rex, or mini satin.
If you are looking for a fun hobby then maybe you should try your hand at raising rabbit for their fur. Have you ever heard of angora wool? Well many don’t realize that it actually comes from the angora rabbit not a sheep. This usually is the only breed to choose as the quantity and quality is the best. When choosing to get involved in wool production know that in order to get good wool these rabbits need special attention. The right food and grooming will ensure the wool you get is top quality. These rabbits luckily are not very big, usually 4-7 pounds so the amount of feed or space needed isn’t overwhelming.
Lastly many raise rabbits for their meat, I know many abor just thinking about it but what is the difference between chicken or rabbit meat? Not much except that rabbit is actually a bit healthier for you. In general larger rabbits make sense, but it isn’t always just about the end size that matters. You want a rabbit that gets big quick. That doesn’t always mean that it would grow to be the larger rabbit as an adult. Also you want one that dresses well, meaning that after butchered that the ratio between the starting weight and butcher weight stay as close as possible. These rabbits will usually require more space and will eat more, especially if you actually want it to put on size. The ones to look for here are the Flemish giant, Californian, New Zealand, and American silver fox. All would serve well.
Whenever going about deciding which purpose you want a rabbit and what your end purposes are, make sure to call around to rabbits breeders. Find out which breeds are more common in the area, since you may get attached to that breed. If in the future you want more you want to ensure that is a good stock available at a good price.