Rabbits and growing pains!

We’ve been having trouble getting our rabbit barn done.  It was supposed to have been completed on Saturday, but it did not.  We’ve only been waiting two months for it to get done.  I still don’t know when it will get done.  It is incredibly frustrating!  This is rabbit breeding season and I’m getting as many does bred as I can before it gets hot.  We’ve run out of kindling cage and tractor space.  I’ve had numerous litters born in the tractors.  Usually, they die, but lately, I’ve been able to salvage them.  Last Friday while Wally and I were moving the inhabitants of one tractor out to a tractor on grass with the intention of putting a doe that I knew was bred and due any day into a kindling cage.  We discovered she beat us to it and had her babies in the tractor.  She built a good nest and all but one kit was in the nest.  We put her up and it seems she’s taking care of them.

Last night, I took a blue Silver Fox doe out of a tractor with the intention of breeding her.  I knew she kindled in the tractor a few days earlier, but I couldn’t find the kits and assumed someone ate them.  We use Gel to push the rabbits forward in the tractor so I can catch them.

I put that doe in with a buck and went on with my chores.  Come milking time, Wally asked where Gel was.   Hmmmmm, where was Gel?  I left him in the rabbit tractor!  Wally went back to get him and when he asked Gel out, he heard a squeak!  He found a nest of kits.  There was actually two nests of kits in there.  The blue doe’s babies had survived!  We quickly got the rest of the rabbits out into a tractor on the grass and retrieved the kits.  I had no place to put the buck I had put the blue doe in with so I put him in the same tractor.

It is incredibly irritating not having the space to put rabbits!  I’ve got some tractors overcrowded for lack of space.  Luckily, our tractors are getting done in quick order.  Wally’s been picking them up after work.  He’s got quite the assembly line going on them.  He’s a great guy and we were luckily to find him.  He is doing a great job on the tractors.

The rabbit barn, well, I expect eventually it will get done and there will be a big lesson learned on that.

Hopefully the blue doe will take care of her babies.  I’ll check them this morning.

I got caught with my pants down yesterday in business class.  I had pared down my Shark Tank proposal to what I thought I could present in five minutes.  Wrong.  She asked me to present it to the class.  It sucked!  There’s another student competing and he did his presentation.  He’s competed before so he knows what to do.  He had a Power Point presentation.  I came home and did a Power Point presentation.  I’ve never used Power Point before, but I think I did a pretty good job.  Here it is if you care to look at it.  I will be presenting again on Wednesday.  Hopefully it will go better.  I think it will.

On Sunday, Wally tilled three more sets of double rows out in the new rabbit area.  I planted about 100 Jerusalem artichokes in one row.  I need to put some sort of low-growing ground cover under them to keep the weeds down.  These Jerusalem artichokes will stay in this row permanently.

Hopefully I’ll be able to get some green beans in today.  The ducks may prove to be a problem near the raised beds.  They’ve been exploring them lately.  So far, no damage, but I’ll need to keep an eye on it.  We may need to surround the area with some netting to keep them out.  I’ve got some wire over the planted beds to keep the cats out until the plants get bigger.  They are growing!  Finally!  We’ve been getting warm days and regular rain which is helping tremendously!

On Friday, I almost cut my knuckle off with a pair of poultry shears.  I cut it down to the bone.  Needless to say, it hurts like hell.  Typing is difficult so I’m going to close this now.

Until later …

5 Replies to “Rabbits and growing pains!”

  1. How can you say you’re a humane rabbit grower when you use a predator to move a prey animal? Doesn’t the fear the rabbits feel with a stock dog breathing down their neck add to their stress level. Same with the cows, what’s with all the wild west herding instead of building a relationship with your animals. Check out YouTube – there are hundreds of videos of folks calling their cows (small and large herds) and the cows follow them to the next field or milking barn. Did you get a grant too to see if stock dogs made more economic sense than just learning about how to handle stock without predator pressure? Our taxes at work – sheesh. No thanks!

  2. I am awfully sorry you feel this way, but obviously you’ve never seen a fully trained stock dog work. I use my dogs as tools. I put this particular dog in the back of the tractor to keep the rabbits forward so I can catch them. The rabbits are accustomed to this dog and cats being in the tractors with them.

    The cows do follow me from field to field, but I also use my dog to move them. FYI: the grants I received are not funded by your tax dollars, instead, they are privately funded.

  3. And as a further FYI: I am an Animal Welfare Approved farm and during my audit for the rabbits, the auditor witnessed my dog working with the rabbits in the tractor and agreed that he managed the rabbits in an appropriate way otherwise I would not have received my certification. Catching rabbits in a large area is much more difficult than in a 30 x 30 cage no matter how you do it.

  4. Thanks for setting me straight here and on your FB page. I have learned that the AWA auditors probably don’t always know what they are looking at…

    And so glad you can get tax free money for farming and still charge elitist food prices. I thought the southern part of the US was economically challenged. Can you afford $9.00 per pound rabbit meat? I can’t.

  5. Look I don’t know who you are nor do I really care, but you make a lot of assumptions that you obviously know nothing about. If you feel like AWA auditors don’t know what they are looking at, I suggest you take it up with them. The grant money that I received is taxed. Finally, if someone wants to pay $9/pound for rabbit or anything else for that matter, then that should be up to them.

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