Rabbitry Happenings

Just wanted to make a quickie post about everything going on in the rabbitry. We have one final show in 2018 before showing takes a bit of a break until 2019, the Southern Pride show in Hopkins, SC. I will be taking my new buck Sammy (from Margaret Funck), as well as Pirate, and then Maggie. I will also be taking some of my juniors from my Dallan x Queenie & Pirate x Sookie litters, as long as they all make weight. Yoda will also be attending however that is because he will be sold to a buyer from NC.

Today, my bunny BFF Linda is coming over to breed her buck Leon to Maggie, and one of her does to Dallan. We will also be tattooing and evaluating the juniors I have and separating them by quality so I can go ahead and dispatch those who are not show quality. I also need to cut some cage wire and start working on my additional growout cages. So much to do, always so much to do.

I sent Yoda & Pirate to the Decatur RBA show last weekend with Linda, and Pirate ended up winning 2x BOB, earning his last leg towards his Grand Champion certificate. I just have to register him and send in his legs to get his certificate.

Sookie kindled 3 blacks & 1 blue by Yoda 11/24. Queenie was also bred to Yoda, however today is day 36 and no kits. Queenie is typically a day 32 and done, so I don’t believe she is pregnant. I will re-breed them again to see if we can get some kits before Yoda leaves. Time will tell. Faith is also bred to Dallan for kits due mid-December. I am giving Hymn the month off because she has grievously lost condition, would like to build her back up before I re-breed her, and if she loses condition in a similar manner, she will be culled from my program.

Mystery Diagnosis: Lavender

While I was out of town for work from Sunday, 10/14 through Friday, 10/19, Justus was home watching the animals. He does a GREAT job and I couldn’t have the farm without him, I am very appreciative. When I left on Sunday, all rabbits were behaving normally (eating/drinking on typical patterns). Justus said that he noticed on Thursday, 10/18 that Lavender hadn’t eaten her oats. I arrived home Friday morning, 10/19. I didn’t get around to checking rabbits until the afternoon, and I noticed that Lavender had peed on her resting board. I immediately took her inside and washed her bottom off, removed her resting board, and stuffed her cage with hay. I watched her nibble some hay and eat a tiny amount of feed, so I let her be but continued monitoring her. She was about the same all weekend, but she didn’t seem to be deteriorating so I continued checking on her.

Monday, 10/22, I noticed that her tail/bottom were wet again. She had somehow managed to become re-wet and matted (even without her resting board). I brought her inside, cleaned her again with an epsom salt bath, applied coconut oil to her genitals, anus, and the urine scalded areas, and fed probiotics. I put her in a cage in the garage stuffed with hay, with some feed, oats, and water with ACV. I watched her drink, so I remained hopeful even with the weight she had lost.

Yesterday, 10/23, I came home from work and checked on Lavender. I noticed labored, shallow read more

Creekview FFA

I haven’t had the time to blog about an amazing experience that I had last week, so I’m writing about it now.

On 10/2/18, I had the opportunity to go to Creekview High School in Canton, GA and speak to 4 different ag/animal science based classes. Most of the students were freshmen or sophomores in high school, and 3 of the 4 classes were FFA groups. I was there from 0930 to 1330, talking to the students about rabbits. I did a quick overview of usefulness on the homestead, showing, some basic care information, and then info about the Silver Fox breed. I also took Dallan with me so that the kids could see and feel the breed. I had a lot of comments about how big he was and how soft his fur was. I took some ARBA magazines and some pelts along that I had tanned. The students seemed engaged and asked questions. We also got to practice posing with Dallan and their three lionhead/lionhead mixes that live in their classroom.

Afterwards, I had the opportunity to visit their ‘ag lab’ where they had hydroponic towers of lettuce, incubators with eggs, an aquarium, and an ag mechanics room. I also got to see their outdoor animal enclosures and their garden. The school is in the process of building them an agriculture building, which is fantastic considering that a few years ago their ag program was almost cut from the curriculum.

Agriculture is so vitally important, especially when it comes to teaching our young people about it. We need to encourage kids to get involved and become interested in agriculture in any and all ways possible. I’m hoping that I convinced at least one student to do rabbits for their Supervised Agriculture Experience (SAE) for FFA, a project that is an organizational requirement. I plan on working closely with Creekview and Ms. Pauline Benton in the future. Hopefully I’ll be contacted soon about a kid wanting meat or show rabbits.

Check out some photos here!

Fried Rabbit Dinner

Just wanted to share my recipe for fried rabbit. Made it one night last week with some collards and asparagus, and it was delish! Justus even made a comment that ‘there’s no way this is rabbit,’ and it ‘tastes like chicken.’

To start, cut up one or two fryers (12 weeks or less) so that they’re in pieces. I usually feed the rib cage to the dogs, and then keep the loins (one large piece, spine-in), back & front legs. One rabbit can feed about 2 people. Once you’ve parted out the rabbit, place it in a bowl and cover fully with milk. Add about 1/4c-1/2c apple cider vinegar to the milk, and toss in some salt and black peppercorns. Let soak in the fridge for at least 2-4 hours, I soaked mine for almost 8 hours. The milk/vinegar mix (similar to buttermilk) will help to brine/pre-season the meat and impart moisture, while keeping the meat tender.

Dredge (gluten free):
– 1c cornmeal
– 1/4c almond flour (can sub regular flour)
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The Current Rabbitry

I have been giving the rabbits a bit more TLC lately since we are gearing up for show season. First show that they will attend (I will be in PA but my good friend Linda will be taking them with her) is the West GA Rabbit Club Fall Festival in Carrollton, GA.

I realize I don’t blog about my rabbits a ton unless it’s about how many went into the freezer. Over the past year I’ve been slowly acquiring rabbits from breeders all across the US (Florida, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, etc.). I’m working on bringing better ‘type’ down here to the south. Silver Fox are a rare breed to begin with and in the south/south-east, show quality rabbits are SERIOUSLY lacking. A couple of like minded individuals, including myself, are working to change that.

Anyway, I’m going to show rabbits this year, for the first time since FFA in high school. I’m pretty excited. We will see how they all do. In order for a rabbit to be show ready, they need to be out of molt with a normal, full coat (all of mine are in molt right now), nails trimmed, and a tattoo in their left ear. They should also be in good health and body condition. I’m working on bringing all of my rabbits up to snuff (those worth showing) to get them onto the show table.

I was getting weights this week and decided to snap some quick side profile shots of all of our rabbits. We are down to a mere 11! Good thing some does are already bred 😉

Miss Maggie’s Dallan – 9 mos blue buck [9lb 0.4oz]
DF02 – 12.5 week blue doe [5lb 6.8oz]
DF04 – 12.5 week black doe [4lb 10.7oz]
DF Faith – 14 mos black doe [7lb 12.2oz]
RR Hymn – 1 yr 8 mos black doe [10lb 3.0oz]
RR Lavender – 6 mos lilac doe [10lb 9.2oz]
Platinum Moose’s Magnolia – 6 mos black doe [9lb 10.5oz]
Carrot Gardens Blackbeard – 6 mos black buck [7lb 13.3oz]
MR79 Queenie – 2 yr 2 mos blue doe [11lb 1.2oz]
Little King Ranch’s Sookie Stackhouse – 1 yr 10 mos black doe [10lb 7.2oz]
RR Yoda (in SUPER molt) – 1 yr 9 mos black buck [8lb 5.8oz]

All of my rabbits are in varying states of condition – some are under weight, which happens to rabbits during the heat of the summer, some are molting, some are sun bleached, etc. etc. A lot of these rabbits aren’t ‘posed’ properly either, they were just quick photos I took after weights & grooming. These guys have varying ‘types’ as well. Body types such as Dallan’s and Pirates are preferred, and having type like Lavender is not ideal (lilacs are useful for determining what colors a rabbit carries). All in all, I am looking very forward to show season. I plan on posting some videos and snippets with info for folks who are interested.