Monday, May 27, 2013

More Bunny-talk

It's turning out to be a nice afternoon! I am glad for this, as one of our neighbors is having a Memorial Day block party we're going to at 5PM. A few hours ago I thought we'd all be washed away there was so much rain and darkness, and now the rain has gone and the sun is making an appearance. This pleases me very much and reminds me that no matter how dark and hopeless things may feel in a moment, you never know what God intends to surprise you with the next.

Remember my last post where I told you all that we'd be getting meat rabbits soon? We ought to be getting them next week, and even have one of them picked out already! Yesterday we managed to get our hands on some free cages (praise the Lord for His awesome timing yet again!), that we'll be able to use as temporary tractors, and hope to eventually convert into full-time residences for the little bun-buns.

But you know what I'm really excited about? The fact that I have 10 little Lionhead rabbits sitting in my apartment as I type away! Oh yes, once again the Lord proves how He cares about even our seemingly insignificant hopes and dreams, and provided us with 10 Lionheads (+ $85 cage, feeder bin, and water bottle) for $75. Granted, 8 of them are babies, but that will just make them all the easier to sell in 3 weeks when they're weaned! I am quite excited about this development, even if that does mean having rabbits in the house for now (the adults are only inside for the day, due to the weather and not having a proper set-up for them outside quite yet).

As a child I raised rabbits with my sisters and parents. I forgot how fast these adorable little critters grow, however. One week ago when we purchased the bunnies the babies had been born that very morning. They were extremely small and hairless and really pretty ugly except for the fact of being a baby animal (seriously, I can't help but love babies, whether human or animal). Now, one week later they are covered in soft, shiny fur, and oh-so-adorable and getting more so by the day! We're starting to snuggle and love on them as much as we reasonably can, so that they'll make wonderful, loving little pets, too.

So there's my exciting news for the week! And next week we should be able to get our other rabbits.

Oh yeah, and I haven't mentioned our new chickens, either. We have 12 (had 7 before) after I found 2 1/2 mo old Buff Orpingtons for $4 each. They're probably 3 1/2 mo old  now and doing great, though I'm anxious for them to be big enough to go in (safely) with my "mean" chickens.

So there is my little mini-hobby farm update. Now check out my cuties!
There are 8 babies altogether, and 5 of them are double maned, which just means they'll be fuzzier than the single maned (makes sense, yeah?). 

Daddy, Mr. Wicket (he was already named "Wicket" presumably after the Ewok, but I thought the "Mr" made it cuter): 

Mama, Fiona (also "prenamed"), who is single-maned, but also missing a lot of her mane because she pulled out what she had for her two back-to-back litters: 

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.