Fall Harvest – Plentful Crop Of Wild Rabbits This Year

With the onset of Fall and cooler weather, it will soon be the season to harvest one of natures most plentiful and delicious wild meats – Rabbit.

Rabbits are prolific breeders that without hunters harvesting surplus rabbits they can and will soon over populate an area that favors feed, water, cover and nesting sights for rabbits. An over population of rabbits will result in many rabbits dieing of disease and starvation. Heavy populations of rabbits will also attract undesirable predators like coyotes, fox, skunks and racoons that will attack and kill your poultry and small or young livestock.

**Caution: Read, understand and comply with all of your states hunting and trapping regulations before you begin harvesting any wild game. Some states have specified rabbit hunting seasons and daily bag limits, others do not.

Wild rabbits will in general weigh much less than cage grown domestic rabbits, sometimes as little as 1/2 the processed weight of domestic cage grown rabbits. However other than their processed weight being lighter they are highly recommended as a supplemental meat supply for you and your families table.

Rabbit meat is a very health meat. It’s lean and can be used as a chicken substitute in almost any recipe that calls for chicken.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture proclaims rabbit as the most nutritious meat available. Rabbit is an all white meat that’s lower in cholesterol than chicken or turkey (164 mg of cholesterol in rabbit vs. 220 mg in chicken), has just 795 calories per pound (chicken has 810 calories per pound), and rabbit has the highest percentage of protein and the lowest percentage of fat of any meat. In short, meat doesn’t get any healthier.

Wild rabbit is leaner than tame rabbit, and as long as it’s properly dressed, is only slightly gamey. The gaminess may be minimized by soaking the meat in salty water, vinegar water or milk overnight in the refrigerator. As with tame rabbit, the younger the animal, the more tender the meat.

General cooking tips For safety, cook rabbit as with all meats, until it reaches 160 degrees F. Excellent rabbit seasonings include parsley, rosemary, sage, bay leaf, lemon-grass, coriander, and basil. Rabbit may be soaked in a marinade of sugar or honey, red wine, or olive oil seasoned with herbs.

Cooking Rabbit 101:
Roasting rabbit To roast a rabbit, rub it down with olive oil and chopped herbs and place it in a roasting pan. It may then be baked just like a chicken, at about 350 degrees F. (A 2 pound rabbit takes about 1 – 1 1/2 hours to cook at this temperature.)

Braising rabbit Begin by browning the rabbit in a little olive oil. Then place the meat in a pot and cover it about a quarter of the way with water. Cover the pot and allow the meat to simmer for about an hour.

Stewing rabbit Chop the rabbit meat into small pieces (about one inch square). If desired, roll in flour or seasonings. In a preheated pan with a little olive oil added, brown the meat on every side. Place the meat in a large pot and cover with boiling water. Cover the pan with a well-fitted lid and simmer for at least two hours, or until meat is tender. Add vegetables to the last hour of cooking.

Sautéing rabbit Thin cuts of rabbit (no more than one inch thick) are suitable for sautéing. First, preheat a pan and add a small amount of olive oil. Place the rabbit in the pan and brown both sides, cooking until it reaches 160 degrees F. Note: If you add a bit more oil to the pan, you can also pan fry rabbit, giving it a crispy outer layer.

A collection of rabbit recipes! About 45 recipes.

Rabbit Recipes This is a 30 page pamphlet full of rabbit recipes. It is in PDF format so you can view it in line, download or print this PDF file.

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3 responses to “Fall Harvest – Plentful Crop Of Wild Rabbits This Year

  1. Pingback: Your Questions About Vegetable Gardening - How to Vegetable Garden · How to Vegetable Garden

  2. I told you about my Dad going to go into the rabbit raising business….after the first kill for market, all cages and hundreds of rabbits went for $20!!
    I do have a question: How can you know that wild rabbits don’t have a disease, like rabies or such? I know rabbits sustained our ancestors as many times their only meat, way before the USDA so I am definitely not against hunting them. Without culling, they can take over a farm in no time like rats or mice but I just wondered about the incidence of disease. As always, I enjoy your blog.


    • Re: jsnapp62 – raising rabbits or poultry is not for everyone. It’s a lot of work raising and processing small livestock. Without a place to ‘free range’ feeding, feed cost in very expensive.
      As for rabies in rabbits, Rabbits, hamsters, squirrels, chipmunks, guinea pigs, gerbils, opossums, rats, and mice are hardly ever affected with rabies (Birds, fish, bugs, amphibians, & reptiles don’t get rabies either.)
      Any wild animal that does not act natural ‘attempts to avoid contact with humans’ should be considered a diseased animal and should be avoided.
      I hope you find this info useful.
      Have a happy spice filled pumpkin pie Halloween


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