Phasing out the Rabbits
While I love the cuteness of the rabbits, they're just "one more thing" that I simply don't have time for, and therefore can't devote my full attention to. I'm not totally giving up on them, simply with our current location (only 3/4 acre, including where the house sits) = lack of space. Plus, being the main person who takes care of everything, it was getting to be too much.
Plus, not everyone in the family was happy about picking out all the small rib cage bones, despite very carefully de-boning the meat after it was cooked.
I still have 11 rabbits currently, with not much interest for the rest, but I did have 28, including the young kits.
I think the only way they'd "pay for themselves" is if I bred them either year-round or at least late winter to late fall, giving them a break in the coldest months. But, that would require a barn or greenhouse or some structure that would keep them warm enough that they'd want to breed in the cold temps. I would only use the greenhouse or hoophouse in the winter, to help provide a little extra warmth. Def. not in the summer, as rabbits are very heat sensitive, essentially anything over 75*, they start to get stressed. My "dream idea" for the summer would be a shady established orchard, where they could be "pastured in tractors".
It's been a good learning experience with the rabbits, and the baby kits are adorable once they start growing fur. I had no problem processing them once they're older and "eating me out of house and home" , but when I tallied up what I'd spent on them thus far, there's no way I've gotten that much meat out of them.
But, for now I'll be content with all the chickens, ducks & turkeys.
Here's some "fair-well" photos of the rabbits.
The jr. buck from the 2014 litter.
but we'll see if I can sell her first. Had about 2 inquiries so far, but none that panned out.
This group of 4 does and the one black buck went home
the other day, including the last 6-cage unit.
As a result, the remaining rabbits had to be put in
these metal "dog crates" on the extra grass paddocks
that need "mowing".
This was the rabbit 6-cage unit - it was 4 feet wide by 9 feet long.
Dad helped me get it ready to be moved,
and Mom joined us to help carry it up the side hill.
The rabbit cage sat in the front/side lawn until
it was picked up, along with 7 rabbits.
Once the rabbit cages were gone, I had to "brainstorm" how to keep
the Muscovy ducks inside their "coop" at night, since they've been
living under the rabbit cages at night, but "free range" with the chickens
during the day.
Not all the rabbits are for sale, as I have 3 young bucks who I previously
attempted to "pasture", but they escaped & are now living within the whole
"chicken complex", keeping the grass and weeds mowed as best they can.
This little guy is a handsome boy, the offspring of the blue-eyed doe's doe & buck (a whoops!). They've become pretty "wild", so I'd have a hard time catching them, but it's fun seeing them graze on the grass happily.