Basil Oregano Rabbit

I don’t think I’ve posted this recipe before. If I did it wasn’t with a picture and was probably only a paragraph mumbled in passing. We had it for dinner last night. This is one of the simplest and easiest ways to make rabbit. I didn’t actually cook up a whole rabbit here, just enough for me and the kids, since the husband is gone and Mom had already eaten. It was so good I only have a before photo, because my little raptors, I mean children, snatched it out of the pan and had it eaten before I could even grab my camera for an after shot.

Ingredients:

Cut up rabbit pieces
Extra virgin olive oil
Basil
Oregano
Freshly ground Sea Salt
Freshly ground Pepper

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Pour some olive oil into a glass baking dish that is big enough to hold all your rabbit pieces without crowding. Dip the chicken pieces into the olive oil, thoroughly coating all sides. Sprinkle with basil, oregano, sea salt, and pepper. Do both sides because you don’t turn it at all. Do it to whatever amount you think looks good to you. Bake for 1 hour. Easy peasy.

I love this recipe because it always comes out juicy and tender. I originally used this as a chicken recipe, for roast whole chicken actually (takes at least 90 minutes, sometimes more, use a thermometer), and will probably do a whole rabbit that way at some point.

——-

I need to learn to let go as a rabbit raiser. I still worry about them after I sell them, though. I can’t help it. I love all my rabbits, even the ones I have to cull. The woman I sold them to has been great, has kept in touch, and seems like she knows what she is doing. The guy I sold one to last night told me today he was feeding the rabbit chicken scratch. I just don’t even… Chicken scratch has corn and sometimes peas, both of which a rabbit cannot digest, can cause intestinal blockage, and lead to G.I. stasis and then rapidly to death. I didn’t think I needed to say anything in too much detail about feed last night other than to tell him what I fed them, because this is a person who works as a vet. I assumed he’d done the minimal amount of research necessary to know how to feed the rabbit right as he already had rabbits. He is giving the bun hay and has him in a tractor with a protected shelter on it that he will move every day, with lots of grass to eat, so the rabbit certainly won’t starve, but I don’t know if he will thrive, either. He probably will, but I don’t know.

He also gave him a bucket of water instead of a water bottle, which the rabbit won’t know how to drink from and may just flip over, possibly soaking himself and going into shock. So I did mention to make sure he sees the rabbit drinking so he knows it is, because water is so important. I am a mother hen, I know. I do love his nesting box set up, though. It is an enclosed box with a circle in it for the mother to go in and out. I think it would be much better to prevent a doe from dragging a kit out after nursing with that kind of set up.

He didn’t respond to my response so now I’m going to worry all night that he’s going to ignore me, feed the rabbit corn, watch it die a horrible death and then think I sold him a sick rabbit. Because I am that paranoid. Ay yi yi! And he probably just went to bed and didn’t even see my response. But I’ll worry about the bun until I know that he is not feeding him scratch anymore. Or I’ll just worry about the bun for a few days and learn to let go. I can’t control what people do after I sell them their rabbits.

I’ve got a lady coming out in the morning to look at our bunnies. I don’t know if she will buy any, but keep your fingers crossed for me.

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11 thoughts on “Basil Oregano Rabbit

  1. valbjerke says:

    I hear you about worrying about selling livestock – what I finally did (this not only made me feel better, but allowed me to just let go) is type up and print out a few page pamphlet for each type of animal I sold. I would hand these out to customers regardless of whether or not they’d raised that type of livestock before.
    The information would cover housing, feeding do’s and dont’s, anything I felt they should be aware of. I leave these in my computer to amend each year as I’d hear of some stupid thing – and add that in.
    I’ve had people load up weaner pigs, pay for them, then turn and ask what kind of feed should they be giving them. So don’t be worried that you are stating the obvious in a pamphlet – some people are truly clueless. The first sentence in my goat pamphlet states that the ‘worst predator to watch out for is the family dog’. I had a customer phone me back and tell me I was right – his dog got in the pen and killed a baby goat. You can’t control what happens to your rabbits once they’re gone – but it will be easier on you if you arm the people with enough information to do it right. 😊

    • LuckyRobin says:

      I actually have been thinking on writing something up, but my printer is jammed at the moment. I think it’s a great idea that you do that. I just wish he’d taken the offered baggy of feed, but since he wasn’t planning to feed pellets, he didn’t.

  2. Uh, my rabbits eat corn all the time. I deliberately mix it into their feed in the winter because it’s high calorie and digests slower than other feeds so it helps to keep them warm. I know lots of people who feed corn, and some people who feed peas… Sometimes my rabbits get out of cages and get into my chicken scratch or feed. I know lots of people who run chickens with rabbits and their rabbits devour the chicken feed, severely high calcium and risk for GI stasis and all and their rabbits don’t keel over suddenly. And rabbits know how to drink from a puddle and can clean themselves off with their mouths if they get wet. Some of my bunnies went out into freezing rain before and were just fine.

    I guess all these rabbits I have and know of never read the book that told you they should all be dead right now! XD There’s as many ways to raise and keep animals as there are people. Most of them work just fine. If rabbits couldn’t handle water, grains, dirt, etc… Well, they wouldn’t really be one of the most successful and invasive species on the planet.

    • LuckyRobin says:

      Let me preface this by saying that this may come across as angry, it being the internet and tone missing from writing, but it is not meant to convey that at all. It is simply my viewpoint and my experience, not just the book learnin’. I freely admit that I am a worrywart and a mother hen. I have learned a lot from you and I respect your opinions, so don’t read it as me not. But this is how I feel about it.

      The risk of losing a rabbit to G.I. stasis by feeding it corn is not worth it to me. I’ve lost a rabbit to G.I. stasis and it is horrible. I don’t want to do it again and I don’t want anyone else to have to go through it. It is not a risk of keeling over suddenly, it builds up in their systems and can block the proper function of the intestines.and then they just stop eating and drinking. If they are lucky they can pass it, but it is very painful to them.

      Just because they’ll eat it doesn’t mean they will thrive on it Or that it is good for them. Or it won’t kill them. You have been lucky your rabbits have tolerated it so far. Cows eat corn, too, because humans feed it to them, but being ruminants, their bodies weren’t built to digest it, they were built to digest grass. Corn causes them terrible gas, bloat, and intestinal pain all their lives and humans keep shoveling it in to them because it makes them put on weight faster. I wouldn’t do it to a 1000 pound steer that is only meant to eat grass and I won’t do it to a rabbit that weighs less than 12 pounds and was meant to eat mostly grass, weeds, hay, and a few veggies.

      And a puddle is very different from a one gallon bucket filled to the top with 7 pounds of water for a rabbit who has never drunk out of anything but a water bottle. Yes, he will probably be just fine, but I would worry. My rabbits flip anything not tied down, too, so do that and the water supply is gone.

      • Well, a rabbit would have a tough time flipping a 7lb one gallon bucket. And I know you’re not angry but you ARE upset because you did loose your kits and it is coloring your opinion because somewhere you read “grains are bad” and then they were bad for you. But if you had read somewhere perhaps “grains are fine and normal for up to X amount of the diet” you might think otherwise despite your bad experience.
        I am not “lucky” my rabbits have not died. They have not died because corn does not cause GI stasis if you add it to the diet appropriately. Most experienced rabbiters will tell you that the biggest danger with corn is actually over-heating in the summer because of the extra heat it causes while breaking down in the digestive tract.
        And, you were not even feeding corn when you lost your kits, were you? A lack of fiber is normally what causes GI stasis. Fodder does not actually have as much fiber as a rabbit needs because it is not a grass, nor is it a long-stemmed plant that has had a long time to build up good fiber. In fact, fodder is primarily low-fiber grains such as would appear in chicken scratch (oats, wheat, barley, milo, corn, sunflower seeds, etc) and water which is why it’s not high in fiber. That’s just what it is, grains and water and a little sunshine.
        When my kits are weaning they get all the hay they can eat and I have not lost a single one. I know a guy with a 60+ cage rabbitry and he has fed his rabbits ground corn for 40 years and never lost a rabbit to stasis. Is he just “lucky” too? Feeding cows corn and other grain was introduced a very long time ago (100 years or more) as a way to keep them well-fed over the winter so the cows didn’t starve. Most high production beef cows actually are raised on HUGE pasture ranges for their first and sometimes second years and only spend the following (and last) six months eating grains to fatten up before slaughter. They certainly don’t eat nothing but grains all their lives and most milk cows cannot produce good amounts of milk without a grain supplement. Heck, most beef cows can’t either.
        And another example is peas. Alfalfa hay is not toxic or dangerous to rabbits to rabbits. Alfalfa is in almost all major brands or rabbit pellets and it is not a grass, it is a pea. I bet my bottoms dollar you fed alfalfa to your rabbits today. I bet there’s millions of rabbits around the world right now on high-alfalfa based diets. But they have not died because it is not that peas are bad, any more than grains are. It is because alfalfa has an appropriate balance of nutrients because it grows into a long leaf stemmy plant with 30% fiber. (Although it is high in fat and calcium.)

        So if this guy who is feeding chicken scratch has either a lot of good grass or is also feeding hay, compressed grass cubes, or other high-fiber feeds I would not blink twice about it. Because it is about the balance of nutrients. I give my rabbits 1/5th or less of their diet as corn when it is cold, and I ration not free feed. They have free access to hay. Sometimes they ignore the corn, pick out the pellets or just eat hay. Sometimes they eat it all (especially pregnant moms or kits going through growth spurts). So I’m not any more lucky than someone whose rabbit does not die from eating a handful of wheat, barley or other grains.

        There’s a lot of misinformation out there, and I’m sorry you had a bad experience with trying to feed a lot of grains, but that doesn’t mean that grains, legumes (peas and beans), or green plants are bad to give rabbits. The fact is that corn is a perfectly legitimate supplement to a rabbit’s diet, it is in a lot of commercial rabbit feeds, and it won’t cause any issues if it’s fed in an appropriate way. Luck has nothing to do with it but knowing what you’re feeding does.

        • LuckyRobin says:

          I am not anti-grain, I am anti-corn for anything that is not designed to eat it. I am fine with other grains. My rabbits are never eating more than 1/6 of their diet from fodder. Most of it is hay, they get all they want, some of it is pellets and vegetables, and part is fodder. No, my rabbit who died did not eat corn.

          Where I did read that corn caused G.I. stasis is from a man in my state who has been raising rabbits for 50 years (since he was ten) and a lot of the rabbits in this state trace back to his rabbitry. He experienced it with corn and field peas when it accidentally got added to a 2 ton order of the feed he bought. It wiped out half of his rabbitry and he had over 100 breeding does, most of them with young kits. Maybe lucky or unlucky are the wrong words to use, but 50/50 odds I just don’t like, so I am not taking the risk.

          I am glad your experience has been good. I do know what my rabbits are eating and it won’t be corn or field peas, which are not in my feed. Or soy for that matter.

          • Corn is just a grain, a useful one at that. I don’t like corn when it gets loaded into anything, how it has become a monoculture, how modified it is and I also have an agenda against corn. I had a moment in my life where my friends played a great prank on me by serving me a meal of Mexican corn salsa on corn tortillas with corn and chicken filling and cornbread on the side with corn chips, corn on the cob and corn-slice decorated drinks to boot. All because they knew I disliked corn. I was very upset and refused to eat it until they gave me non-corn alternatives. We also have a running joke where a friend of mine proposes to me “all corn” based diets for pets and says he will fund them with lottery money and black market corn sales and he will bribe vets to recommend his all-corn food in exchange for puppies. All in jest but I could not make this stuff up, it happens because I dislike corn a lot. So I feel your anti-corn pain. In fact, I share it. I do not buy corn to eat and I rarely buy corn-based anything. I buy perhaps 10lbs of corn a year including things like tortilla chips.

            But there comes a point in time that we have to accept; corn is a grain. It has a certain nutritional value, and it breaks down harder than some other grains, and some things break down harder than corn. It’s been around just as long as wheat, it has been bred for consumption deliberately for longer than tomatoes or peanuts… It certainly isn’t a demon in disguise and is far easier for rabbits to process than many things eaten out of our gardens by wild rabbits such as broccoli or cauliflower.

            I really don’t think that it is 50/50 odds. It is really about knowing what is in your feed. Corn and peas suddenly added to a rabbit’s diet can kill them. So can suddenly adding kale, wheat, apples, green grass, or any other “strange” foods to their diet quite suddenly in large amounts. I re-red the info from the guy I know… He has been feeding his rabbitry (which is over 100 rabbits, one of his barns alone holds 50, my bad) whole corn supplemented since ’77 and never had a single stasis death. He read in the past few years that whole corn could kill them and was confused but he started grinding it so people would stop telling him about how all his rabbits would be dead from whole corn. I suspect the breeder you read about would not have lost so many of his rabbits to the corn and pea fiasco if he fed some corn and peas to his rabbits sometimes in the first place!

            So again, corn is not a rabbit killer. Fodder is not a rabbit killer. Alfalfa is not a rabbit killer. Peas aren’t rabbit killers. Chicken scratch is not a rabbit killer. They’re all just foods and if this guy uses chicken scratch as a major feed supplement to lots of grass I would not consider that a big deal. I certainly wouldn’t go off and lecture him on what to feed and what not to feed (except to perhaps remind him that suddenly switching feeds so drastically can be bad).

            If you want something to worry about I once sent a buck off to a lady who told me she fed BACON to her pregnant does! What? BACON. She told me she was told by a very famous big-time show breeder of meat rabbits to do this for her rabbits. She said the person who told her this got BOB at the rabbit show she went to and his does sold for $100 each! She was giving me a doe in trade so I decided to shut my trap and keep the doe and get it away from her! The buck is probably a lot safer than the doe was!

            So rabbits can handle a lot worse things than corn if a BOB winning show breeder can feed them bacon and they live! XP

            • LuckyRobin says:

              Bacon? That’s like the guy who fed his rabbit chicken noodle soup because he thought she had a cold…

              • Yes. It is pretty crazy. So I guess my point is plants are plants, grains are grains, and unless there is a particular chemical in them that makes them very harmful (such as nightshade or poison hemlock) rabbits can and will break them down if they’re fed correctly. As for corn,
                I am not sure when so many people started thinking it was a big deal… But with rabbits eating bacon, calves being fed on cows blood and chicken poop, chickens being raised to grow so fast their legs break, and pigs being kept in stalls so small they can’t move… There are a lot worse thing in agriculture than properly supplemented grains, you know? And a lot of animals are fine and healthy on corn even if they never evolved to eat it because it still has a certain nutritional value in forms that herbivores can break down. Humans never evolved to eat peanutbutter but it sure is tasty and saved a lot of children from malnutrition when it was invented!

                I am sure your guys rabbit will be fine if it makes the I initial diet change OK. And most rabbits would make that diet change just fine. 😛

                • LuckyRobin says:

                  I know that I am on the anti-corn band wagon because most of the corn products produced have genetically modified corn in them. I will grow my own heirloom corn for personal use and some day I will grow my own corn for the chickens, too. High fructose corn syrup has also done some nasty things to my family. We have too many allergies to not be careful of corn. So I don’t trust corn if it ain’t got that heirloom organic seal on it, and even then I only half trust it.

                  • I will be trying to grow my own corn for my animals this year. Since I mix in such a small amount to the rabbit feed I only go through 1-2 bags a year. I have some flint corn and will be trying to grow 12 stalks of it and see what comes out! It is an heirloom organic corn, too. As it is I have to use what is on hand and heirloom organic cracked corn cant even be found around here. So I have chosen to fight my battles one at a time, starting with bacon-free rabbits and free range chickens! Now that I have those down hopefully I can grow my own corn. I will let you know how it goes!

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