By Diane Schivera, M.A.T. Raising rabbits for meat is an increasingly popular farming operation in Maine. Rabbits don’t take a lot of space to raise and are efficient feed converters, with a feed-to-meat ratio for fryers of 4:1, or 20 pounds of pellets to 5 pounds of meat. Broilers’ ratio ranges from 2 to 6:1,
The rabbitry at Rabbit Hill Farm. All photos by Cheryl Wixson. By Cheryl Wixson For the urban gardener or homesteader, domestic rabbits can be valuable livestock. Rabbit meat is an excellent source of protein; the pelts can be used in numerous applications including hats, lap robes, cushion covers, vests and coats; and rabbit manure is
Rabbits on pasture. Photo courtesy of www.cuniculture.info/Docs/Phototheque/Materiel07.htm By Diane Schivera, M.A.T. Raising rabbits on pasture allows the animals to exercise, engage more easily in natural behavior, and improve their overall quality of life, while giving the farmer a way to move or manage rabbit housing easily. Rabbits raised on pasture produce more meat and meat
Nyla Bravesnow of Many Hands Farm in Thorndike picks rose hips. Many Hands focuses on homesteading and permaculture on 2 cultivated acres. Photo by Sue Smith-Heavenrich. By Sue Smith-Heavenrich If you visit Many Hands Farm in Thorndike, the first thing you notice is the abundance of flowers: sunflowers, coneflowers, beebalm and calendula. Lots of calendula.