These next three posts really could have come in any order. So I’ll go in the order in which we got excited about them. Our last circle of life experiment (Aquaponics system) kind of succumbed to the horrible desert rock situation. Highly alkaline rocks = no plants that would grow = dead fish. Funny thing though…The whole system has been dismantled and repurposed except the fish tank. Turns out gold fish like the flavor of abuse we’ve been dishing out and they are happily living in their tank (which looks a lot like a pond now).
I digress. I forget now how the idea popped into our heads again. We had considered it before but thought… “no, not worth it.” And now it’s back and makes perfect and complete sense. Weird. Rabbits are going to be a regular addition to our farm. After researching like mad for about two days (because that’s how we work) we settled on two different breeds and got in touch with some breeders. Our circle will start with rabbits and their poop.
Bunnies need places to live, and kids need worth while holes to dig. Win-Win.
The run is right outside the kid’s window in a spot by our house that is mostly shaded during the day. We were planning on splitting the yard in half (Now the plan might be different but nothing for sure yet) so we bought a dog kennel and my brilliant husband rigged up an extra door. There will be a tarp over the top of the whole thing to help with shade and rain and more dens and play things to come with the additional rabbits. Right now we only have Trix.
Trix is a Harlequin. They are a smaller breed (6-8 lbs) that has smaller litters (5-9 kits at a time) but have excellent temperaments, are great mothers and have super cool coloring to boot. Sometime the end of May we will hopefully be getting another Harley doe and buck and can start breeding them the end of June. We have really enjoyed her and she seems to be adapting really well to her new, bigger (if dirtier) home.
In mid June / July we will be adding a breeding trio of Silver Fox rabbits. They are bigger (10-12 lbs.) and have bigger litters (9-12 kits). They are supposed to be great in the heat, good temperaments and just great all around rabbits. More on them when they get here.
So just to be clear, all you tender hearted readers. We will be naming (after cereal mascots) the bucks and does that will be with us for a few years as our breeders. They will be pets, however, at some point they too will be eaten. The litters will be raised for 12-16 weeks and then butchered for our own private consumption. (And just so you know it is way, way easier to go from bunny to dinner than it is to go from chicken to dinner). All our rabbits will be pedigreed, and so can be easily sold as pets and any of superior quality can be shown in fairs or rabbit shows. I’m kind of excited about that, and hopefully my kids will be too.
Why, you ask? Why kill a cute furry creature for something so base as eating? Here are some stats for you (and I just found out the going local rate for a dressed rabbit is $22 for a 3-4 lb. rabbit…glad we are doing it ourselves) : found here
- Rabbit has the lowest cholesterol value of any meat product. Compared to the next two lowest, chicken and pork (both with a value of 230 mg per serving), rabbit has a mere 164 mg of cholesterol.
- Rabbit is the lowest calorie meat per serving at 795 calories per pound vs. 810 for chicken, 840 for veal, 1190 for turkey, and 1440 for beef. Pork weighs in at a whopping 2050 calories per pound
- Rabbit meat is the HIGHEST in protein compared to chicken, fish, lamb, pork and even beef
- Rabbit meat is highly digestible and recommended by the USDA for children and the elderly.
- The USDA also proclaims rabbit meat “the most nutritious meat known to man”
- Rabbits are one of the most productive domestic livestock animal there is. Rabbits can produce 6 pounds of meat on the same feed and water as the cow will produce 1 pound of meat on the same feed and water.
- Rabbit meat makes fantastic jerky because it is so lean. One of these days, I’ll write about my love affair with my dehydrator, and I have big plans for super yummy jerky.
So that’s that. I’m excited and will of course be posting more on our Rabbitry as it gets up and running. Next up…What eats the rabbit poop?