Farming rabbits for meat

We believe that the rabbit farming industry in the UK is fairly small. Greater numbers are reared in EU countries. The breeds of rabbit commonly farmed include the New Zealand White, Californian and Carolina.

Here's more about how they're farmed.

Rabbit farming production systems

Cage systems

Farmed rabbits are often housed in buildings containing rows of bare wire cages, which may be arranged in a single row or stacked in two or more tiers. Cages are often only around 45 cm in height. 

Growing rabbits

  • Eight or more growing rabbits are often kept together in a cage of around 0.56 square metres in floor area - that's just over an A4-sized area of floor space for each rabbit in the cage. 
  • Young rabbits (called kits or pups) are weaned when they're four weeks old and slaughtered for meat at around 8 to 12 weeks, when they've reached around 2 kg in weight.

Breeding rabbits

  • Breeding does (females) without young and breeding bucks (males) are usually kept on their own in separate cages. 
  • Each doe will have around five to eight litters of eight to ten young per year.   
  • Breeding rabbits are usually kept until they're around 18 to 36 months of age.

Alternative systems

A small number of farms may rear rabbits in better conditions, with open floor pens and hay in addition to their diet of pellets.

If you share our concerns, find out how you can help farmed rabbits

Find out more