Raising gentle giants for food and pets has given me a better understanding of nature as well as my own nature. Inspired by a combination of New Englander self reliance and Joel Salatan style systems, I have set out to raise Giant Chinchilla Rabbits because from a standpoint of both beauty, size and temperment, they seemed to be the only, best choice for a "multipurpose animal".
Why raise rabbits? They do not require acres of land, nor do they smell bad or annoy the neighbors with strange noises at odd hours. They are quiet, responsive animals that have a subtle affection for thier owners. Giant Chins get to be about the size of beagals, but they never seem to bite or act neurotic. They are cool.
The flavor of rabbit I feel is unique, the smell fantastic and the meal lower in fat than almost any protien you will find. Ours is an odd country, since while we think of this as exotic, most of the rest of the world thinks of it as a staple. Raising an animal to consume it doesn't mean you treat it like meat, on the contrary; you owe it respect, you can love it, take care of it, and eventually eat it. As Temple Grandin said 'Nature is cruel, we don't have to be".
I am also a gardener, and find that the manure is perfect and instantly appliable to both vegetable and flower beds. It doesn't have an unpleasant smell, and the earthworms thrive on it. I also like having farm pets that do not have to eat cans of meat made goodness know where. They eat local hay and alfalfa pellets. They have big, well, GIANT wooden framed cages, some with levels, padded with a ton of hay. I start the day by feeding and watering. I cannot think of a better way to start the day.
If you are looking for these rabbits, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org .