Tag Archives: rabbit

It’s the middle of October which means we are finishing the last few items on the winter is coming list.  We have all the pieces to put together the chicken and rabbit shelter for winter and will be doing that hopefully within the next week.  The pig is going to the butcher Monday with two of the lambs.  We will be repurposing the box we brought Miss Purdy home in to bring the pig to the butcher.  The project for this weekend is to get the pig box reinforced and back on the trailer to be ready to load her up Sunday evening.  Another exciting thing this weekend will be shearing the woolies.  Jeff and I have never sheared sheep but luckily a friend of ours is going to come and help us and hopefully teach Jeff how to shear the girls.  I will try to get lots of pictures this weekend. 

Between Midnight and Three AM

Since returning from vacation in florida we have been busy packing and preparing to move in less than 30 days.  We have been anxiously awaiting moving day and it is defiantly fast approaching.  There are still many decisions left to be made and plans still to firm up.  We still need to find and buy a lawn mower as well as an actual tractor for the farm.  All of the fencing will need to be installed right after we close on the house for the dogs as well as the livestock.  We need to have a barn built before winter comes to house the animals and my tractor.  A chicken coop will need to be built for my future chickens that I still have not ordered yet.  Needless to say we have been busy both packing and dreaming and planning here.  I can’t wait to look out my back door and see this field filled with lambs and Ace!IMG_3514

The sun will come out!

I got to visit my bunnies this weekend at the farm.  The babies are getting very big and annabelle loves all the hay she is getting.  Sly is super happy all the time as long as he can see the other buns.  I think Sly has also made friends with the ducks as well.  Pete however is completely unimpressed with the farm, the ducks and living outside.  I will probably bring dixie and her growing babies out to the farm and bring my Pete home, as I don’t think he is enjoying his stay at the farm.  I also got to see the new lambs at the farm.  They are adorable and there moms were extremely angry at us for snatching them to snuggle.  I love the sheep and very much enjoy seeing them move.  Since we had left all the dogs at home when we left (we went to an open house at a farm on a farm on the way), when we let the rest of the sheep out we didn’t notice that one of the ewes had twine wrapped around its body.  We walked all the way out to the farthest corner of the field to bring the sheep back in to remove it.  I kept joking with Amanda that I would make an excellent herding dog.  I am very excited to get to move to the farm (once we finally find one).  It will be wonderful to have Ace at home, my bunnies at home, and some sheep for Gus to herd and me to snuggle.  I hope you all had a wonderful weekend as well!IMG_3339

Missing the buns today

At Cacia Farms we like to ensure that all of our rabbits enjoy life as much as possible, even the ones intended for our freezer. We provide them with top quality food, plenty of room to grow and live in, as well as many treats to have. Our adult rabbits that we use for breeding all have unique personalities. Pete loves to run and he also likes to visit his girls. Pete is not a huge fan of hard treats but loves broccoli stems. Sly loves to snuggle and he will do anything for the hard barley biscuits, he is definitely a people snuggling rabbit. Annabelle prefers not to be handled and doesn’t like to venture to far out of her enclosure. Annabelle loves any sort of treat that comes her way as well as pets on the head. Dixie is a super spicy rabbit and makes her opinions known quickly. She does not like to be picked up, will eat anything you put in front of her including yourself. The great thing about dixie is that she is very food motivated.  I taught her to go “back in your house” on cue where she will run over an get back in her playpen. I handle my rabbit as much as possible and let Jeff know the second something is off.  We moved everyone but dixie and her babies out to our friends farm while our house is up for sale.  I miss sly’s head bumps terribly and pete checking on his lady’s everyday.  Dixie and her babies are doing great and I am very glad to have her here. IMG_3189

Snow Angels

We spent a good portion of the evening moving our rabbit hutches and compost from our backyard into the front yard driveway.  Both the compost as well as the hutches are quite heavy.   The hutches also boast the quality of being both heavy, large, and awkward.  We used a sled to pull them through the 2 foot deep snow.  Once they were in the driveway I was so happy to be done with this project I flopped down in the snow!  While in the snow I made a wonderful snow angel (my second in my lifetime).  Now you may be wondering why we are moving these things during the middle of winter.  Well we have finally decided this tiny plot of suburban land is too small to contain our farm any longer.  We are in the process of finding a more suitable farm to live on.  This also means many hours of painting and updating in our house with a three month old puppy.  Our rabbits will be moving to a good friend of ours farm for the duration of our house being up for sale.  This makes me both happy and sad.  I will be happy to be moving to a larger property but am very upset about not having my rabbits on property to watch.  Dixie who just had a litter of 8 will remain here with us until they are big enough to handle the cold.  Gus is super excited to hopefully have sheep at home with us and I am very excited to have Ace in my backyard very soon.

Dixie

We have two adult breeding Giant Chinchillas here at Cacia Farms.  I love my girls Dixie and Annabelle they are both wonderful rabbits.  Annabelle tends to be a bit more sensible than Dixie she is quiet and doesn’t mind being handled or me handling her babies.  Dixie on the other hand is much more emotional about life in general.  Dixie hates being picked up and handled and does not appreciate me touching or going near her babies.  The one great quality both my girls have is that they are excellent mothers.  They both build super nests (even if it is two weeks before their due date is two weeks away) and they hardly ever loose any when birthing.   Dixie is die on the 17 of this month and I caught her trying to build a nest in her letterbox.  I cleaned her very messy enclosure and gave her a nest box and hay which made for a very happy rabbit.  She immediately rearranged the aspen shaving in the nest box.  She then proceeded to jump out and start piling in hay.  My girls both build early nest but they do wait to pull fur until about 24 to 12 hours prior to kindling. 

Its a farm not a circus…

     You would think that I would have learned the last time that we had babies in the garage that they are prone to escape.  Annabelle had her babies almost 2 weeks age meaning that they are getting brave and wiggly.  I came home from herding with Olive and Gus to find all of annabelle’s babies had flew the coop.  Luckily our garage is quite secure.  I had to get Gus to help me first find then round up our 8 little babies.  Annabelle was quite relieved to have her babies back.  I however was not looking forward to moving ALL the rabbits again. I ended up putting all the older babies that are growing out in front of sly since Dixie moved into the maternity space.  I hope everyone sleeps warm and snuggly,  I also hope that they are all where I left them!

Backyard Rabbits

PictureWhen I moved to upstate NY I wanted a healthy and sustainable option for meat.  I chgives you beneficial vitamins and minerals such as B12, B3, selenium and phosphorus.  While being nutritious rabbits also produce poop, a lot of poop.  Rabbit poop is different from other manure that it does not need to age before being added to your garden.  In the summer all the rabbits waste (urine, feces, and any extra food scraps) falls into worm bins.  We mix the bins 50% peat with 50% waste and add about 500 worms per bin.  These bins are turned throughout the summer and sit over winter.  In early spring we spread this over our garden and till it into the soil.  This helps to keep the garden soil very healthy for my summer plants (giving me no excuses when they all die because I didn’t water them). ose rabbits as they were the best choice for our home for countless reasons.  Rabbit meat has the highest percentage of protein, at 20%, with the fewest amount of calories, at 795 calories per pound.   The cholesterol level of rabbits is also lower than both chicken and turkey, as well as being easier to digest than most other meats. One ten pound doe can produce up to 300 pounds of rabbit meat in one year while consuming less feed per pound than other meat producing animals.  Eating rabbit meat also We chose to raise Giant Chinchillas. This breed was developed in the US and are similar to the light grey Flemish Giant.  I find that the Giant Chinchillas have a better meat to bone ratio than the Flemish and the kits grow out nicely.  We usually process around 11 weeks or once they reach around 7 pounds.  One litter of 8 kits provides us with about 30 pounds of meat.  I find the Giant Chinchillas to be very easy to work with.  These rabbits tend to be very calm and easy to handle.  In the winter we bring the rabbits inside the garage to protect them from the harsh NY winters.  Inside the garage they are all litter trained which makes them very neat and easy to clean up after.  This also allows me to individually add additional heat to any particular doe who may be having a new litter. In the summer the rabbits are housed outside in raised hutches.  My husband built sides and roofs to protect them in the summer from any rain or severe winds.  All of our adult rabbits know their names and enjoy being handled.  Our rabbits run around the garage when we are out their even with our dogs.


     I welcome any discussion or questions on this post  I also realize raising rabbits for meat is not for everyone.  I encourage you to do what is best for your family as I do with mine.

Rabbits

     Rabbits they are soft and furry as well as tasty and delicious.  When I tell people I raise rabbits followed by we eat them, many people find this offensive.  We raise Giant Chinchillas for meat mostly for our own consumption.  The meat of a rabbit has more protein, less cholesterol, and less fat than many other meats including chicken.  The money that we save in buying meat pays for the food for the rabbits.  Knowing where my food comes from is something that is very important to me.  I raise these rabbits so I know how they were treated as well as the quality of food fed to them.  The first question people ask is “How can you eat them they are so cuddly!”.   Well, we have two bucks and two does all four of our adult breeders have unique personalities and I love them like pets.  The babies on the other hand, are like a pile of little food monsters with Giant ears.  I don’t often socialize the babies as they are intended as food which make it a lot easier to eat them.  I will admit that I would have a very hard time eating any of our adult rabbits as I do love and snuggle on them.  We are looking forward to Annabelle having another litter sometime this week, stay tuned for photos.

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.