Friday, May 3, 2013


So our next big move in our effort to become more self-sustaining is rabbits. No, I don't really plan to kill and butcher cute little fuzzy bunnies. I get sad when my fish die, for crying out loud, and they're just little goldfish!

Our intent is to breed and sell Californian/New Zealand cross rabbits, and sell most of the babies to people looking for pets, or to start their own colony of meat rabbits. When they don't sell, we'll considering butchering them. Yikes. O_o

Like everything related to becoming more self-sustaining, it can take time to get used to the idea. Instead of having our meat arrive in our grocery cart, killed, cleaned, and cut into convenient sizes, going from a doe with a passel of kits, watching them grow and change, and then doing the killing and all the prep work yourself? Well. For someone who looooooves animals, it isn't easy to think about, as much as I love meat. Even my husband who spent his younger years (and a few of his older, married years) hunting, killing, and butchering deer and such, isn't especially keen on the idea if it can be avoided at this point. We would both rather sell the babies and use the proceeds to buy good quality meat from the store. ;) And because of where we live, we will be able to grow them up in the most natural, humane way, which does make it easier (and cheaper! They'll get at least 75% of their diet from our yard which = free!). They'll have normal happy lives, up until the point when they become sustenance for me and my husband or we sell them (hopefully mostly the latter rather than the former).

A friend of mine who raises rabbits just had three does kindle the other day. So now that there are babies to choose from, it's just a matter of waiting for them to be weaned, which should be around 4-5 weeks from now I think. I am incredibly anxious to get them! The really fun part is that the breeding pair get to be pets. I pretty much always had pets growing up and it was so strange getting married and having none! Over the last year and a half-ish we've been working to rectify that situation and I am LOVING it. In the summer of 2011 we still had no pets at all, and are now the happy owners of 2 dogs and 7 chickens. The rabbits are going to be a really fun addition to that group!

After we get going with the meat rabbits, I want to get lionhead rabbits to breed and sell for pets. They're precious and I feel that I must have some. Ha! I mean, seriously, how adorable is that face? I'm not sure I'll really go through with it though, once all is said and done. I have so many other plans for this year (including breeding at least one of our dogs if we can find a suitable sire), and feel that the lionheads, while you can sell them for more per bunny, are just not as practical, being pet-only material. If you have some you can't sell for whatever reason, are you really going to eat that? Two or three pounds (NOT dressed out!) of fur and cuteness? Probably not, short of an unexpected zombie apocalypse that leaves us all in hiding and unable to purchase food at the grocery store anymore. Right? Yeah. My thoughts exactly. However, a girl can dream, and in my dreams, I'll get lionheads someday just because they're so squishibly cute! Maybe whenever we have some land of our own, and I have the freedom/ability to do whatever I want with animals. My in-laws are incredibly relaxed about letting us have animals here, but I'll just feel better when it's my own space, especially when it gets to where I have so many that aesthetics are an issue. You know? Yeah.

Well. I guess that's all I have for now. I am just so excited that I had to babble a bit about bunnies before I burst.

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