Saturday, April 12, 2008

We gots bebbehs!

Little Sis has had Bubbles for a couple of years now. She was given to her by a friend of mine on the condition that we don't eat her. Until a couple of weeks ago, Bubbles lived happily in the confines of the big bunny pen.

Little Sis recently joined 4-H, and Bubbles is going to be her pet rabbit project. Since that requires daily grooming, feed records, and the like, we moved Bubbles to a cage near the house. We knew she was expecting when we moved her, but not knowing when she was mated, we weren't sure when to expect the babies. They arrived yesterday...four of them!

Here's a pic of the nest, hidden in this high tech, very expensive nest box. *snickers* Yes, it's really a free box from Aldi. ;)

And a pic of the momma. Isn't she pretty?

I'm a bit put off by the 4-H rabbit project, though. We raise rabbits for meat, for our own use. Our method of raising rabbits involves tossing them all into a big pen where they hop around happily, digging and playing and doing what rabbits do best - reproducing. Our costs are minimal as we grow our own hay for feed. The only drawback we've discovered is that during heavy rains, we lose some litters; they drown in the burrows.

The 4-H method involves a lot of record keeping: nutrition lists from feed, how much feed each rabbit gets daily, etc. I suppose it could be a good learning experience for kids with no livestock experience, though Little Sis wonders why they want to complicate something that really isn't complicated at all. She hasn't minded filling out all the paperwork, though, and raising rabbits in a cage is new to her. We raised our first ones that way, indoors when we lived in the city, but she was too young to remember much about it.

It's just amazing to me that most people don't know you can raise rabbits on hay and fresh greens, that you don't need a lot of cages or expensive equipment. Rabbits live in the wild without pellets and cages, ya know. Our rabbits are healthy, happy, and give us as much meat as we want.


reVAMPed said...

Ummm, you eat bunnies? boohoo...! Just kidding. What's your favorite recipe?

Country Wife said...

I like rabbit in just about any recipe that calls for chicken. Also it makes a tasty burger, especially when ground up with venison and zucchini.

I'd love to have some beef cattle, but the ones I've seen are expensive. We are thinking of branching out to meat and dairy goats, though.