Back in the Rabbit Business

I’m, hopefully, back in the rabbit business again.  I found out about a man who was getting out of rabbits, and as it turned out, I had dealt with this man in the past and knew his rabbits were well taken care of.  Wally and I went to his house Sunday and brought home 12 does and four bucks.  Because I bought all of the rabbits, I got a fantastic deal and made a good friend/mentor in the meat rabbit business.

Almost all of the rabbits are either Californian or Californian/New Zealand crosses, but one was an American Chinchilla which was a fantastic bonus.  I’ve got three of them sold to a friend and may sell three more later on, or maybe not.  I’d really like to get a good, solid breeding program going so I’ll have meat to sell at the farmers market.  As far as I can tell, no one is selling rabbit and I would have some niche in that my rabbits will be corn, soy and GMO-free (see below).  I don’t know what I’ll do with the bucks yet.  I’ll probably keep one or two, but the rest will likely get made into sausage.  I’ve found some recipes that look really good.

I processed four rabbit fryers yesterday.  Two of them were the black rabbits that I had become quite fond of.  They were a little young to process, but I lost two from that litter to diarrhea so I decided to go ahead and process them.  They dressed out at just shy of two and a half pounds.  The two CA/NZ Cross fryers that I processed dressed out at almost three pounds.  They were 13 weeks old.  That’s pretty darned good given they consumed a lot of food other than commercial pellets during their lifetime.

Now all of the rabbits are off commercial food.  They are eating a mixture of oats, barley, sunflower seeds and organic alfalfa pellets as well as grass and alfalfa hay and greens, weeds and veggies from the garden.  Gwen is now officially corn and soy free.  She is not giving as much milk, but she surely looks and acts better than she did when she was on her former food.

The goats all seem to be doing well.  They should be starting to kid in the next week or so.  As soon as I get up in the morning now, I don a head lamp and go out with the dogs to check the rabbits and the goats.  I was really happy this morning to see all of the rabbits seemed fine as were the goats.  It was quite cold this morning: in the low 20’s.  Removing ice from all of the rabbit water bowls was excruciating!  I thought my hands were going to fall off.

The first newsletter for Rock House Farm went out today.  I’ll post a link to it later on.  How exciting!!!  This new job is a dream come true. My hearing for unemployment is Thursday at 12:30.  I’m trying not to think about it too much.  I hope common sense prevails.

The goal today is to get up-to-date on the farm income and expenses.  I’ve fallen way far behind.  I still haven’t purchased an external hard drive and I need to take care of that.  Until then, I can back-up my important files to CD.  I’m writing this in the living room on the lap top that crashed the week before last.  It’s too damned cold in the back office.  There is a Being Human marathon playing so I’m a bit distracted.

On Saturday, I went to the Charlotte Farmers Market with the Rock House Farm Manager.  We didn’t make quite as much money, but it was very cold and I’m sure that made business a lot slower.  This Saturday the weather is supposed to be warmer, with a chance of showers and I’m slated to go alone.  Wally may go with me, we’ll see.  I am very, very much enjoying the farmers market; much more so than I ever thought I would.  I really like the Farm Manager, he’s extremely intelligent and knows a lot about raising animals.  We had a lot to talk about on Saturday and it made the day fly.  Even though we were inside the main building which is slightly heated, I about froze my butt off there.

The expenses are not getting put on the computer by themselves.  Must get them done.

Until later …