Sausages    The following recipes can be made using other meats such as pork or turkey, you may however, want to increase the salt for pork according to your preferences. 

    Breakfast Sausage

  • 3 pounds ground rabbit meat  (or preferred meat)
  • 1 Tablespoon kosher or coarse salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried sage
  • 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground white or black pepper
  • 3/4 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried marjoram
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper

    In a large bowl, combine the meat, salt, sage, pepper, sugar, thyme, marjoram, cloves, and crushed red pepper.  Mix well using your hands.  Cover and refrigerate for a couple of hours or overnight to meld the flavors.  Use within 2 to 3 days or freeze for up to three months.

    Italian Sausage

  • 4 pounds ground rabbit meat  (or preferred meat)
  • 4 teaspoons kosher or coarse salt
  • 1 Tablespoon fennel seed
  • 1 teaspoon anise seed
  • 4 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 Tablespoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper (add more for hot sausage)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground paprika
  • 1 Tablespoon dried minced onion
  • 2 Tablespoons roasted garlic mashed through garlic press
   In a large bowl, combine all above ingredients and mix well with your hands.  Cover and refrigerate for a couple of hours or overnight to meld the flavors.  Use within 2 to 3 days or freeze for up to three months.

    Cranberry Sausage

  • 2 pounds ground rabbit meat  (or preferred meat)
  • 2 teaspoons kosher or coarse salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried marjoram
  • 1 teaspoon dried sage
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons Grand Marnier or other orange flavored liquer
  • 2 Tablespoons lemonjcello
  • 1/2 dried cranberries
   In a large bowl, combine all above ingredients, mix well using your hands.  Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours to meld the flavors.  Use within 2 to3 days or freeze for up to 2 months.

    Herbes de Provence

  • 3 pounds ground rabbit meat  (or preferred meat)
  • 4 teaspoons Herbes de Provence blend
  • 1 Tablespoon kosher or coarse salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons small capers, drained
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
   In a large bowl, combine all above ingredients, mix well using your hands.  Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours to meld the flavors.

    Greek Lukanika Sausage

  • 5 pounds ground rabbit meat  (or preferred meat)
  • 5 teaspoons salt
  • 2 heaping Tablespoons minced garlic
  • 2 heaping Tablespoons sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon ground thyme
  • 1 Tablespoon marjoram
  • 2 Tablespoons Mediterranean Mystic
  • 1 Tablespoon ground allspice
  • 1 teaspoon crushed bay leaf
  • 1 Tablespoon oregano
  • 3 Tablespoons fresh grated orange peel
  • 1 Tablespoon dried orange peel
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 cup seasoned bread crumbs
  • 1 cup red wine, sherry, or metaxa
   In a large bowl, combine all above ingredients, mix thoroughly with hands.  Cover and refrigerate overnight to meld flavors.

Polish Kielbasa

  • 5 pounds ground rabbit meat  (or preferred meat)
  • 2 Tablespoons paprika
  • 1 Tablespoon ground black pepper
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons kosher or coarse salt
  • 2 teaspoons dried marjoram
  • 2 teaspoons dried summer
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
   In a large bowl, mix all ingredients thoroughly using your hands.  Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours to meld the flavors.

Roman Style Sausage

  • 4 pounds ground rabbit meat  (or preferred meat)
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 cup finely chopped onion, sauteed and cooled to room temperature
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped green bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Romano cheese
   Mix all ingredients thoroughly in a large bowl, cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours to meld the flavors.
Other Ground Rabbit Recipes     Rabbit Tacos
   Use ground rabbit in place of hamburer and add your favorite taco seasoning packets.

Rabbit Burgers

    Mix parsley, minced onion, salt, and pepper in with ground rabbit meat and add bread crumbs and egg(s) to help hold it together.  Make patties and pan fry or grill.

    Italian Meatballs

   Use the above Italian sausage recipe and add 1large egg and 1/2 cup bread crumbs per pound of meat.  Form small balls and fry.  Serve with your favorite marinara sauce, spaghetti, on sub sandwiches, or (our favorite) Roasted Red Pepper Pasta.

    Rabbit Gyros

  • Greek Loukanika sausage
  • Greek Flat Bread Pitas or Pocket Pitas
  • Feta cheese
  • tomatoes
  • lettuce (optional)
  • Greek cucumber sauce
  • black olives, sliced (optional)

    Make the Greek Loukanika sausage.  Pan fry small oblong patties in olive oil.  Drain on a paper towel.
   Loukanika sausage is also really good served with lemon sauce, spinach, and white rice.
Sauces     Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

  • 2 12oz jars roasted red peppers
  • 1 Tablespoon roasted garlic
  • 1 small onion, chopped and sauteed in olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 cop grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3 cups Alfredo sauce
  Blend all ingredients, except onions, in a food processor or with a hand blender in a large sauce pan to pulverize into a sauce.  Add onions and bring to a boil.  Mix with 3 cups of hot Alfredo sauce to make it creamy.  Makes enough for 2 pounds of pasta.

    Lemon Sauce

  • 1 cube butter
  • 4 large eggs, beaten
  • juice from 2-3 lemons
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1 cup whipping cream (optional)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon tarragon
  • 1 Tablespoon garlic
  • 2 tablespoons minced onion
   Melt butter.  Saute onion and garlic.  Lower temperature to medium low.  Stir in eggs and other remaining ingredients.  Add whipping cream for a creamier sauce.  Stir constantly until thickened.

Rabbit Emergency Kit     These are good things to have on hand, everything should be kept together in a box except for any antibiotics that may need to be refrigerated.

  • Hand Sanitizer (for you)
  • Kwik-stop, cornstarch, flour (stops bleeding)
  • Antibiotics such as penicillin
  • Parasite medicine (for worms and mites)- Ivermectin
  • Emergency milk replacer
  • Vanadine or other safe sanitizer
  • Gatorade or other source of electorates
  • Hay (hairball remedy) and for nest boxes
  • Wound disinfectant/antibiotic cream
  • Paper towels
  • Q-tips
  • Tweezers
  • Sharp razor blades
  • Toenail clippers
  • Several spare syringes and needles
Is Your Bunny Sick?     Below is a list of conditions which you may find in your rabbits.  Not all of the following are symptoms of disease, some of them are normal for certain breeds or even colors.  Use this as a guide to help you identify any diseases or conditions that may be affecting your rabbit(s), the chart below this paragraph will tell you more of the symptoms, the cause (which may help you prevent the same condition in the future), and tell you how to treat your animal(s).  Also if you have any questions you can email us at, we usually check it every day so you will get a relatively quick response.

    Appetite Loss:  (1) rabbits tend to eat less on very cold or stormy days, this is normal as they are not very active in bad weather.  (2) appetite loss is a symptom of most diseases, it could be a sign that he has a hairball if he is also molting, an early sign of wry neck, poisoning, west nile virus, snuffles, malocclusion, mastitis, and most other diseases
    Bloating/Pot bellied:  a symptom of enteritis usually seen in young animals
    Bloody Nose:  usually caused by an injury, heat stress, or heat stroke
    Blue Lips/ears:  caused by a lack of oxygen and/or poor blood circulation, could be a sign of a heart condition or pneumonia
    Bulging Eye:  (1) usually caused by an abscess behind the eye, start strong antibiotics immediately as this is usually a fatal condition. (2) Can sometimes be from a stroke, if this is the case a cheek may look swollen or uneven with the other.
    Chewing on Feet, or other body parts:  usually a sign of great pain or irritation, the rabbit starts eating its own flesh and usually needs to be put down.  Like a fox in a trap will chew its leg off to get free, a rabbit will attempt to chew off part of their body to get away from the pain or cause of irritation. Do Not confuse with fur chewing
    Cloudy Eyes:  cataracts in the eye(s) causing blindness; known as wall eye/moon eye
    Damp Nose:  a sign of stress usually from heat or traveling
    Drooling:  (1) a condition known as slobbers, caused by an infected tooth or improper feeding.  (2) some rabbits get carsick and drool a little
    Fur Chewing: can be a sign of irritation, can also be from insufficient feeding, or from poor quality feed, do not confuse with pulling fur
    Gooey/runny eyes:  milky discharge from the eye and often balding under the eye are symptoms of weepy eye
    Green/Blue Fur:  generally found on (but not limited to) the dewlap, green or blue fur is a symptom of green or wet dewlap, caused by fur being constantly wet, fur in affected area will in almost all cases fall out after a few days
    Head Held Up:  A sing of pain and/or labored breathing, can be symptoms of enteritis, pneumonia, or west nile virus

    Head Tilt:  (1) most commonly caused by wry neck, there are 2 types of wry neck, to determine which type see the chart below this paragraph.  (2)  rarely, but sometimes caused by an injury, if that be the case it should heal and correct in a few days
    Jelly/Blood in droppings:  a sign of enteritis, most commonly found in young rabbits
    Labored Breathing:  could be from stress or a doe in labor, can also be a sign of pneumonia, or west nile virus
    Lopping Ear:  one lopping ear that normally doesn't lop is often an early sign of one of the 2 types of wry neck, this one is an ear infection
    Loss of balance:  (1) a sign of wry neck, check the chart below to determine which type.  (2) some loss of balance is normal on old rabbits, their legs just aren't as they used to be.  (3) can be caused by west nile virus.  Do not confuse with swaying
    Loss of Feeling in Hind Legs:  (see paralyzed hind legs)
    Lump(s):  (1) usually an abscess, there will be fur loss on affected area when ready to break.  (2) hard lump usually on the belly could be rupture.  (3)  small bumps on ears or face are usually scars from torn ears or bites.  (4) large lumps on belly that will not fester could be cancer.  (5) small to large lumps on head could be a symptom of myxomatosis/big head disease, carried by mosquitoes
    Milky Film Over eye(s):  (see white film over eyes below)
    Pulling Fur:  does pull fur prior to kindling and will continue during the first week of the kit's age to keep them warm, if your bunny isn't pregnant she is having a false pregnancy and will stop within a few days
    Paralyzed Hind Legs:  Almost always caused by a broken back but can also be from a severe case of splayed legs, not treatable conditions
    Red Urine:  a condition known simply as red urine, caused by excessive calcium
    Sneezing/coughing:  (1) some sneezing while eating or drinking is normal, often they will get a little dust or water up the nose.  (2) sneezing is a sign of borditella, and sneezing and coughing are sings snuffles and pneumonia
    Swaying:  many red eyed rabbits (whites and californian/himalayan marked) sway from side to side, this is somewhat common and not a health condition
    Tooth Grinding:  (1) loud tooth grinding usually means that the animal is in pain, can be a result of broken bones, poisoning, west nile virus, and several other conditions.  (2) loud tooth grinding can also be a sign of irritation.  (3) soft tooth grinding is how a rabbit "purrs", much like a purring cat
    White film over eye(s):  a sign of moon eye or wall eye also known as cataracts causing blindness, an untreatable condition usually found in older animals

Rabbit Diseases     Many people will tell you that when your rabbit is sick, or something just doesn't seem right, to take him to your local veterinarian.  However, part of 4-H is learning to prevent, identify, and treat diseases.   It is  a good idea to have the phone number of either an experienced rabbit breeder or knowledgeable veterinarian for advice or to lend a hand if you do need a little help, or if you have any questions please feel free to email us.  This brief list should help you get started, you can learn much more from various rabbit disease books.
    Treating your rabbit always starts with prevention.  You can easily learn to prevent diseases and other harmful conditions by reading about what causes various diseases and by keeping your rabbits environment clean, out of the sun, and by keeping the water fresh and the feed stored in a dry place where mice can't get in and contaminate it.
    Penicillin and Ivomec have been our answer to pretty much everything, penicillin will cure practically anything caused by a bacterial infection and Ivomec will kill most parasites.  Always wait at least 1 month after final doseage before slaughter.  Dosages for treatments are as follows; penicillin: 1/10cc per pound for juniors and small breeds, 1/5cc per pound for intermediates and seniors. Penicillin must be the injectable type, oral penicillins will kill your rabbit.  Shots should be given intramuscular (IM), all rabbits should be given hay or straw after receiving penicillin, and no rabbit under 12 weeks of age should be given penicillin.  Ivomec: 2/10cc for small and medium breeds, 4/10cc for large and giant breeds, note that amounts for ivomec are not per pound but total.  Shots should be given sub-Q (just under the scruff).

For more information on how to give your rabbit a health check see "Basic Showmanship Presentation", this is written for 4-Hers but is still a helpful guide to anyone wanting to learn how to give rabbit health checks.

Heart Conditions & Heart Attack     Something that I forgot to put on the above chart are heart conditions.  Unfortunately I thought of it when we recently lost a buck to what we assume was some sort of heart problem.  Generally such conditions are genetic and can go unnoticed for quite some time.  Rabbits affected by a heart condition usually will seem perfectly healthy until all of a sudden they are lying on their side dying and/or are rather lethargic.  Other symptoms are blue lips and/or ears caused by poor blood circulation and lack of oxygen, the rabbit is usually found dead in an hour or less after first symptoms.  There is little that one can do for such rabbits except ease their suffering when symptoms occur and make a note on records and hope that you don't see anymore cases in related animals.  To help prevent further problems you can try out crossing into another line to try to pull away from any seemingly genetic issues, this may however take several generations.
Emergency Milk Replacer
  • Goat milk
  • Baby formula
  • Whipping cream (optional)
    Mix ratio of 1 part goats milk and 1 part baby formula, you can also add some whipping cream.  Heat in the microwave until warm and feed trough a syringe.  Hold the baby upright in your hand and feed him until his belly is round and full.  Sometimes babies eat so fast they get milk in their lungs, if your baby starts choking hold him upside down until the milk drains then give him a moment to catch his breath.
    Rabbit milk is extremely rich so that it is hard to replace.  Never use puppy formula, and the above parts don't work well enough on their own, so they need to be mixed together.  Over trial and error, we have found that this is the best emergency milk replacer, other milk replacers can be ordered from various small animal supply businesses.  We have also found that some babies have an allergy to an ingredient(s) (in what we believe is the baby formula) that causes the fur to fall out, however it will grow back just keep such bunnies warm.  If you raise a litter completely on this formula you should give them hay or straw daily to help prevent loose stool (a common problem with hand fed babies), once they are old enough to eat it.

Acknowledgments: this information was freely shared via