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Flavor of domesticated rabbit

 
pollinator
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Location: Nevada, Mo 64772
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I took care of a friend’s rabbits a few months ago, and he gave me a couple of butchered rabbits. He said they were past fryer size but still young. They had a mineral/metallic  taste that I didn’t like too well. It’s been years since I’ve had wild rabbit, but really liked the flavor and don’t remember a mineral taste. Is this off taste caused by the type of feed? His rabbits were very healthy. I’ve been thinking that I might raise some rabbits if I liked the taste.
 
gardener
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My rabbits don't taste like that. Mine are either very plain or very gamey, if raised on forage. I don't care for rabbit but that flavor profile sounds way off
 
pollinator
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Since you were helping care for them, maybe post what he was feeding them? Diet can change meat flavor a lot.

What about the water, was that highly mineral/metallic?

Do you know if he was giving them supplements?

Another and likely possibility is the butchering of the animal. Often times that can change the flavor drastically depending on how it is done. A metallic flavor sounds sort of like too much blood in the carcass. That can give it an iron flavor.

Or of course if the dispatch was botched and the animal stressed it could be an adrenaline taint. Though it doesn't sound like that to me. Though it has been a long time since I have had adrenaline tainted meat, so could be wrong there.
 
James Landreth
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I agree about the blood. Also, maybe they were in wire cages and licked them often? Sounds strange but maybe that changed the meat
 
Devin Lavign
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I forgot to put this in my 1st post.

You had thought maybe you would raise rabbits if you liked the taste. What you describe is not the normal favor of rabbit.

So to get a better idea if you like the taste or not, I would suggest you try finding a butcher or farmer who has good rabbit that you can give a try. Then go from there. If you like the taste, make sure to learn best methods for feeding them, humanely dispatching them, and butchering them. Good thing your already on permies where you can learn these things from people who are very knowledgeable. So your a step ahead of most folks thinking about raising rabbits.
 
pollinator
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I raised rabbits in cages for a couple of years and I never had anything like you describe.  I found they taste very good.  I fed them on a good quality hay pellet with supplements of greens and ACV in the water.  
 
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Some people soak or brine their rabbits after butchering.   Maybe it was something like that in his processing?  Or like someone else said,  something in the water he uses.     Mine always tasted fresh and slightly sweet,  like dark meat chicken without the fat.  
 
Ken W Wilson
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He was feeding name brand feed. Don’t remember which.

I think Deven guesser right.

A post about a cow that wasn’t killed quickly reminded me of a steer we had butchered when I was a kid. I think it had the same off taste. My grandfather said they must not have let him calm down and cool off before butchering. He said it was the taste of Adrenalin. It wa barely edible. I thought the rabbit taste reminded me of something but couldn’t remember. It was about 40 years ago.

So I’m thinking the rabbits got worked up before he butchered them. Maybe he had trouble catching them. Does this make sense?

 
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I've just harvested my first few rabbits this summer and found the meat wonderful.  Not any strong flavor, but a great texture and it seems far more hearty and filling than store bought chicken (for an example).  They were silver fox rabbits and I let them get a little bigger than recommended but wanted bigger pelts and didn't notice any downside with the meat.  I'm planning to start breeding them again once it cools down a little more and hope to have enough to harvest one a week going forward.  Definitely don't give up on them.  i think between quail and rabbits I stop buying any meat within the next six months.  I'd like to grow all their feed here as well but that will take a few more years I think, they just get pellets, alfalfa mix hay, and tons of my own grasses all spring when it was available.
 
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