David is going to start raising rabbits on the farm. He wants to raise and sell them for meat like he did when he was in high school. He would sell some and kill some for meat. I always thought of bunny rabbits as soft, cuddly pets. In fact, my first pet was Hoppy the brown bunny who died when I was just six year old. David never had pet rabbits. They had a purpose on his parents' ranch, just like all animals serve a purpose on any farm or ranch.
David had a small shed built to house the rabbits. Right now, it is air conditioned and has three small cages that are suspended in the air. We visited the largest rabbit farm in Texas about two months ago and bought the cages there. This farm has a huge barn with about 2300 rabbits in individual cages that are suspended in the air. The entire barn is air conditioned as that cuts down on rabbit losses in the Texas heat. It was kept clean and did not have a bad odor. The man who owns it has several employees and they take care of the rabbits.
We also visited a small rabbit farm with about 30 rabbits in the town where David grew up. It was dirty and not air conditioned with mounds of rabbit manure piled up under each cage. Some of the rabbit cages were suspended from trees outdoors. It smelled. We decided right away that we don't want to do that with our rabbits.
David has developed a tray that will collect the highly sought after rabbit manure, which is great for vegetable gardens. It is good because it does not burn your plants. We plan to sell the rabbit manure as garden fertilizer.
We will start raising rabbits next week. We are supposed to go back to the largest rabbit farm in Texas and get our first rabbits on Tuesday.
I bought three raising rabbits books for David but I don't think he has had time to read them yet. It seems we don't have much time for reading. I know when I sit down to read in the evenings, I fall asleep.
I will be back to update this page once we get our bunnies.
On August 11, 2020, we got three rabbits, two females and one male. They are New Zealand white rabbits with some black trim, very beautiful. David waited over a month before he tried mating them. Eventually, one of the females starting getting wider and she began to eat a lot more.
On November 18, 2020, she gave birth to seven bunnies, but none were born in their nest. For some reason she had them by the bars. All but two were pushed through to the floor. The other two were stuck in the bars. David rescued them all and they were all fine. They grew rapidly.
On December 26, 2020, I went to the rabbit hutch to show the baby bunnies to our granddaughter, Holley. Six were fine, hopping around and one was laying flat and not moving. I called David to report that the smallest bunny had died. I was so sad.
The other six seem to be thriving. They are eating us out of house and home. We recently divided them and put three bunnies each into two cages.
Last week, on January 7, 2021, the
rabbits were all moved to a brand new hutch next to the first one. Nacho
built it. It is bigger and does not have a floor, just dirt and hay. It
will be much easier to clean. The rabbits, especially the babies, were
doing their business all over the walls and floor of the shed we had
them in. It was impossible to keep clean. This will be better. Raising
rabbits just got a lot easier. We will use the shed to keep our animal
food and supplies.
Today, January 11, 2021, it is possible that the other female rabbit is pregnant. She is getting bigger. Time will tell. (She wasn't pregnant.)
Last Thursday, March 11, 2021, the first six baby rabbits who were now full grown, were butchered for meat. The two female mother rabbits have been bred again so we should have some more baby bunnies in about three weeks. Raising meat rabbits is something that is done on farms. David had to do it when he was in his high school farming program so he decided to do it again.
We did not sell any of the meat this time. Instead, we gave it to some of our workers and friends to see if they like it. We have one to cook this evening. I have never eaten rabbit before so I am interested to see how it tastes. Some of our friends said they will cook it in the crockpot and others are smoking it on their grills. We have several books on raising rabbits and how to take care of them and how to butcher and prepare them.
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