Tag Archives: meat rabbits

Bunnies have feelings to…

Picture     I spent last night rearranging hosing in the garage for one rabbit.  I am very fond of sly and the big hunky guy likes to see other rabbits.   Sly gets so sad when he can’t see any other rabbits that he won’t eat or drink!  Annabelle is due to have her litter next week Thursday.  The temperatures in upstate New York have been quite cold so I want to be able to heat Annabelle’s house for when she has her babies.  This however requires that I put up more solid walls and and roof meaning Sly would be unable to see his favorite lady. I ended up moving everyone just so Sly can see Dixie.  After I was done rearranging everyone I looked out over my tiny bunny empire and giggled.  I just spent an hour just to make one rabbit happy… but it also made me happy.  I like to know that my animals are happy and enjoying there lives.


Indoor Rabitts

     We raise Giant Chinchillas here at Cacia Farms.  Living in upstate Ny we  can have brutal winters with large amounts of snow and wind.  We move all our rabbits into the garage for winter to protect them from the harsh winters.   This also enables us to continue to breeding throughout the winter.  I have litter trained all my adult rabbits, this makes it easier to manage them in the garage.  Amazingly our rabbits seem to be more reliable using the litter boxes than our indoor cats (but that hasn’t helped my argument that Pete should move into the house).
I like to use large tupperware crates seeing as how our rabbits average 13.5 pounds.  I line the bottom of the bin with Top Bedding used for horse stalls.  This layer is super absorbent which helps reduce any urine smell to nearly none.  On top of the absorbent pellets I put a layer of aspen shavings.   I like to use aspen as it has considerably less dusty than pine shavings.  I also find the aspen to be softer when using in the nest box.  Gus particularly loves helping me change out the litter boxes as each of the rabbits gets to get out and run around the garage.  Gus mostly just follows the girls and Sly but not Pete.  Pete and Gus take turns chasing each other.  I am not sure what Gus thinks of the other rabbits, but I know he knows there will be no herding Pete anywhere.  I do however let Gus help me politely herd all the other adults back into their enclosures.

Sunday Night Date Night

     Jeff and I decided to spend today at home together and spend time together.  I got a lot of small things on my list done and Jeff spent some quality time on the couch with Gus.  We decided today would be a great day to get some of the rabbits smoked.  I dumped a bunch of spices into a bowl and made a spice rub.  We used lime olive oil and honey to rub on the rabbits with their spicy rub.  Jeff decided to use apple wood chips, and I made salad and biscuits to go with the rabbit.

Spice rub
1 T Cilantro
2 t Cayenne Pepper

1 T Black Pepper
1 T Salt
1 T Onion Powder
1 T Garlic Powder
1/2 T Ground Cumin
1/2 T Ground Paprika
1/2 T Ground Coriander
1 T Dried Cilantro
1/2 T Chili Powder
1/4 C Honey
1/4 C Olive Oil

Mix honey and oil in bowl.  Mix spices in bowl.  Cover rabbits with honey and oil then rub spices onto the rabbits.

     I used the water that we soaked the chips in to put in the water pan.  I also used a hard cider to add the apple flavor to the rabbit.  When we put the rabbits in the smoker there was leftover spice in the bowl so we dumped that in the water pan as well!
     We cooked the rabbit at about 225 degrees for three hours.  The biscuits I made were from an earlier post (click on the link provided _  ).  We hope that everyone had a wonderful holiday with their families.

Bunny Alcatraz

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Many of you have read about my rabbits amazing ability to continually escape recently well, no more!  This is the first year that we have done runs inside with litter boxes and there was sure to be a learning curve.  We so far have learned that pete cannot in fact be contained without solid walls and roof.  We learned that if you do not secure the gate the runs that the rabbits will run free.  Most importantly which I cannot believe I did not think of is that baby rabbits are small and fit through the bars.  I have spent all weekend and Monday catching baby rabbits and putting them back in with their mom Dixie.  I decided today that I was done retrieving Dixie’s babies.  My husband and I went to home depot and got plastic  sheeting material.  I cut panels the same size as our playpen runs and zip tied them on 3 sides.  On the fourth side I only put the sheeting on the bottom portion so the heater can still provide heat and old air will get flushed out.  Now I would like you all to imagine the entire time I’m doing this the baby bunnies keep getting out and trying to help.  Pete is also running loose because when I stole dixie’s babies back from him I left his roof open.  Pete took immediate advantage of his open roof and leaped out.  At this point I decided it was best to just build Alcatraz, catch rabbits after.  Well… that was a good plan except the part where Pete keeps steeling my zip ties and baby bunnies are chewing on my pants.  I finally got all the walls up and a roof now I just had to catch everyone.  This weekend I let dixie out to catch her babies but Pete was locked up.  I could not let her out as Pete was still free range at this point, he is very hard to catch and does not come to his name like dixie does.  It took me about thirty minutes to catch everyone and put them in there new prison.  Everyone was very happy about the new housing arrangement … except Pete who remains unimpressed with his enclosure.  At this point baby rabbits are running all over their enclosure while Dixie gives me the “You are really going to leave me in here with these little monsters?” look.  Very proud of my little building project!
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Adventure is out there…!

Escape was the theme of the day yesterday.  My border collie escaped the yard and the bunny decided he was going to live in the house  I was sitting at my mother in-law’s counter talking to her while Gus had a play date with their dog Cabela.  I looked out the window only to see my wonderful border with his head under the fence.  As I was opening the door to call him back to me the whole border collie disappeared!  I, of course, had no shoes on and ran to the front door to jam my feet into my Bogs.  Ace had just freshly stomped on my left foot and lets not forget about the right ankle being sprained.  I ran around to the side of the yard that he disappeared on only to find no border collie.  At this point I am envisioning my beautiful border collie squashed by a car.  When I got up the hill and through the woods there is Gus making friends with the neighbor behind the house.  I called Gus who came running over with the “Mama look what I did” face! He was so proud of himself and I couldn’t really yell at him since he did come when called.  Gus and I went home where I proceeded to ground him and tell him he can’t talk to any of his girlfriends for a week!
Pete one of our herd bucks enjoys hopping around the garage while I’m out there.  I believe he likes to go check on his ladies.  I had swept up after all the rabbits, fed everyone and given annabelle her meds.  I too a short trip into the house to fill the watering can. I left the door open that leads from the garage into the kitchen, as I would only be a minute.  Gus went out which I didn’t think anything of as he is very good with the rabbits.  What I didn’t know was that Pete had hopped inside while Gus went out.  After filling everyone’s water I realized that Pete was no-where to be found.  It was then that I realized Pete was not actually in the Garage.  Complete pandemonium doesn’t quite explain what you see when you walk in to find one giant rabbit chasing a giant cat followed now by Gus who had followed me in.  I grabbed Gus an threw him outside with our lab.  Now the hard part of catching Jack or Pete.  Luckily Jack is a very food motivated cat so I busted out the liver treats and called him.  Jack amazingly ran over jumped on the counter for his treat.  I snatched a very happy Pete up who was not so impressed when I put him back in his enclosure.
Needless to say there is never a dull moment in my house.  I sometimes love to see the reactions on peoples face when I tell them how many pets I have.  The chaos that is my house has a peaceful rhythm that I could not survive without.

Wholesome Greens and Beans Soup

As I sit here making dinner for my family, I realized how blessed I truly am.  I am making greens and beans soup on this cold night.  I made the chicken broth from scratch and canned it.  I also grew a whopping crop of kale this summer that I canned for the coming winter months.  I am grateful that I have the time to do these things for my husband, not only adding love to our food but healthy nutrition as well.   I find it much more convenient to run to the basement for chicken/veggie stock and canned kale, than climb in my car and go to a grocery store.  It’s a wonderful feeling of accomplishment to sit down to a dinner that you have made mostly from scratch.   It may have a few stray cat or dog hairs but that only adds to the warm and fuzzy feeling that I made this myself.  I am also thinking how wonderful my husband is, as he is out in the garage processing our lastest batch of home grown meat rabbits.  Thus further filling our freezer for winter and providing for o
ur family.  We got 30 pounds of meat from 8 rabbits.  I am also grateful he is not not making me stand out in the cold right now to help him.  So I hope you all remember in this special month to be thankful for all the things that are great and wonderful in your life.

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Greens and beans soup:
Ingredients:
Rubbed sage
Red pepper flakes
Crushed rosemary
Ground turkey sausage 4 cups broth 2 cans
white beans
1 bunch of kale with tough
stems removed and leaves
chopped rough

In a medium pot add the red pepper flakes, rubbed sage, and crushed rosemary until toasted.  When I add the seasoning I do it by taste as some people like it less spicy.  Add the sausage I usually use a ground turkey herb and garlic sausage, cook until browned.  Add 4 cups of broth I usually use a mix of chicken and vegetable broth.  Bring to a simmer add Two cans of white beans.  cook for 20-30 minutes until beans are tender.  Add chopped kale cook five minutes then enjoy!  I usually sprinkle parmesan cheese on mine when I eat it.

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