Looking for Something New to Add to Your Garden? Why Not Rabbits?
Hello, again, decent people of Eat Drink Better! We’re back with more post-apocalyptic food articles from Insteading, but this time it’s something a little more conventional than bug eating and/or cracking each others’ heads open and feasting on the goo inside. It’s rabbits, which are cute, cuddly, and – if you believe my fellow Insteading writer, Walt Nekrosius, tasty.
Here’s the article – enjoy!
A few days ago, Jo asked you to imagine how you’d get adequate protein and calories in a survival situation. He came up with bugs, because he’s ridiculous. I came up with something better, because I am Walt: rabbits.
Rabbits are cute, cuddly, meaty, and reproduce like- well, rabbits! Because of this, rabbits could definitely help save your life in a survival situation- or (because we’re doing this now) in case of a zombie-fueled / alien-invasion style breakdown of society. At least, that’s what Nick Klein, owner of Hostile Hare, certainly thinks.
After working with rabbits for several years, Klein noticed that rabbits provided a lot of meat, and also reproduced at a rapid rate while requiring a minimal amount of space and food. This allowed Klein to breed large numbers of rabbits (and generate a huge quantity of meat) in a much shorter period of time than, say, cattle. “Rabbits are the key to efficient food production,” explains Klein. “Your canned goods will eventually be used up or expire, with no grocery store to replace them. You’ve got a time limit. Rabbits will produce 320 lbs of live offspring per female and only require six square feet of living space … in a 6′ × 4′ area, 8′ tall, I can produce over 4,000 pounds of live rabbits a year.”
That 6′ x 4′ x 8′ space? Klein calls it a “Live Food Storage System”, and his Hostile Hare company will sell you everything you need to start farming your own rabbits in short time, and on a limited budget. The systems are small enough for urban farming installations, and even try to help you tackle the steepest part of the learning corve, with automatic feeders, waterers and waste pans built right in. Assuming you could feed and care for the rabbits, such a system would allow for an almost unlimited supply of food.
All of this made me start thinking about New Zealand white rabbits, which have red eyes and tend to look like fictional vampires. New Zealand might not have any big mammals, poisonous snakes, or good pizza for that matter, but we have fearsome rabbits.