Sunday, June 9, 2013

Getting Ready For Rabbits

It was a lovely day in the Ozarks.  A cool breeze wafted gently through the open windows of WeeHavyn this morning, bringing the joyful song of birds as my only alarm clock.  I lay under my quilt and took in deep breaths of sweet summer air, quietly contemplating how best to accomplish the tasks I had set for myself.  The Glass Gem corn I had planted in our community garden plots needed tending, the milk stand for my Kinder goats is in progress, and, most important of all, I need to build one more rabbit cage.

The rabbits are coming!!  After six months of anticipation, it is finally time to go and pick up my Silver Fox rabbits.  I'm getting two young bucks and two young does.  I may even be lucky enough to come home with a blue one!

The Finished Doe Cage with Under Floor Nest Boxes
These four rabbits, which we have named Romeo, Oberon, Titania, and Juliet, are going to be the foundation of our meat production plans.  In my opinion, rabbits have some very notable advantages over chickens for small scale and urban meat production.  They are practically silent, very efficient, and produce a manageable number of offspring so we won't need a huge freezer.  They are also cleaner to process (no feathers to blow everywhere) and produce lovely furs that can be used for clothing, crafts and blankets. 

Perhaps now is a good time to talk a little about Silver Fox rabbits and why I chose them.  They are a fairly rare, but recovering, heritage dual purpose breed.  They are a large meaty rabbit, but also have beautiful fur reminiscent of the silver fox.  They are born black (or blue) and their coat gradually gets silver hairs as they get older.  They are supposed to have a calm temperament, but any who has ever been around animals knows there is a lot of variation within any particular breed.  I think they are very beautiful and worth preserving.  Having animals requires a lot of work and time.  I make it a point to keep animals I enjoy.

The Buck Cage almost finished!
The corn got tended and a few more pieces of the milk stand are attached.  The second rabbit cage is almost finished.

Tomorrow, I'll be ready!

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