I'd get tired of just gp so would suggest a breeding trio of each. Rabbit and gp. Also after you've got that settled add 6 hens and have eggs and if roosters are allowed in your area chicken for dinner. Never tried the gp but my daughter did in Peru and said it was good. Just don't like the heads on them when cooked. Maybe I'll have to try some, thanks for the suggestion.I have never bred guinea pigs, but I think the breeding rate and growth rate for rabbits would be better. Also, more meat on rabbits at 8 weeks. We have extensive experience with rabbit production.
You can use hanging cages for rabbits and build manure pits underneath. Rabbit manure can be applied fresh to any plants since it doesn't burn. If you buy a good basic meat breed like a New Zealand White or Californian, you shouldn't have any problems with milk. I prefer Californians. We started with NZW and DH loves them but I prefer the Cals since I found they got to 5 lbs at 8 weeks which was a little sooner than the NZWs. They ere also a little calmer and they are a slightly smaller adult rabbit than the NZW which ay or may not make a difference since you have to take the doe to the buck for breeding. Does are always larger than bucks.
Bucks don't usually get territorial or grumpy. Does get grumpy if they are bred when mature. Raising them in wire cages is space saving, and makes it easier, IMO, to watch for any problems. They are pretty disease free, and if raised off the ground don't get coccidiosis or other parasites or diseases. You have to protect from predators. Dogs being the worst. By enclosing the hanging cages inside a chain link dog kennel, you will avoid dog attacks. The standard size cage for a doe and litter is 36"w x 30"deep. I use "baby saver" cages with smaller wire on the bottom to prevent kits that fall out of the nest box. I use the same cages for my bucks to allow more utilization of space by being able to move rabbits around.
Meat breeds should start their breeding life at 6 months. Rabbit gestation is 30 days. The average litter is 8 kits. Their kits are ready to butcher at 8 weeks. At 8 weeks the young bunnies weigh between 4-6 lbs. The doe is most fertile right after kindling, however, I breed back when the kits are 6-7 weeks old This gives the doe 2-3 weeks to recover before she produces another litter. As long as you keep her on a high protein ration, this is fine. Rabbit does will start to decline in reproduction around 3 years old. In a commercial rabbitry these does will be disposed of. In a home situation you can get another year out of them. The litters will get smaller and occasionally the doe will not take.
One buck and starting trio. Two trios will produce plenty of meat for your family, and allow you to keep young doe to grow your barn since you will have a second buck to cross breed with. One doe producing 8 bunnies four ties a year will give you 32 fryers each. Four does will give you 128 bunnies per year.
Keep only the very best does for replacement does. Eat or sell the rest for meat. Buy a new buck every now and then to bring I new blood. Buy your first stock from a good breeder – remember that the Standard of Perfection for judging all meat type rabbits is based in where the eat is. If the rabbit is a lousy show specimen it means that they do not have any meat where it is supposed to be. Don’t buy cheap “non show” rabbits thinking you are getting bargain. If they don’t have any meat on them they will not be worth their feed. On the other hand, you don’t need to pay a fortune for a breeding trio either. Getting your trio from a decent breeder who can show you what to look for when it comes to meat, is best. Good breeders love to share their knowledge with new breeders. They will help you decide what does to keep and what to eat too.
Guinea pigs make noise – squeals, whistles, etc., while rabbits rarely make any noise. If you live in an area where noise is a problem, you can raise lots of rabbits and not even know they are there. Also, rabbits can handle extreme cold. They don’t like extreme heat, but you can use fans or misters to lower the temperatures. Rabbits only need to be protected from rain and wind.
Before making up your mind about raising guinea pigs or meat, you should work out how many lb. of meat you will get from each. One rabbit fryer fed our family of 6.
Questions to have answered –
How many GPs in a litter?
Length of gestation?
How often can you breed?
How big is butcher size?
How long does it take to grow to butcher size?
How much meat in lb. per year can one GP produce compared to one rabbit?
The cost of feed to produce 1 lb. of meat.
Space needed for and cost of trailers compared to one 36” x 30” wire cage per rabbit.