Category Archives: Raising Rabbits

In the Nest Box Mother’s Day 2013

Today on Mothers Day, May 12th, 2013 our Opal Mini Rex kindled 8 very healthy kits. For the first time it appears that the entire litter is the same color.

We have seen some very nice castors from her in the past including one that won Grand Reserve. Could there be a winner in this litter?

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In the Box: January 22, 2013

Our first time does are starting to deliver their kits. In the nest box right now we have a new litter of New Zealand’s. Three reds and two blacks.

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Almost There

The two litters of Mini Rex kits are doing great. The older litter has three lynx and one that may be a lilac. As they grow their colors are becoming more true. These guys have weaned themselves and are doing great on pellets and hay.

The younger litter is also doing well. Their colors are coming in nicely. They are still nursing, but are sampling the feed options. Three from this litter are already claimed.

If you are interested in any of these bunnies please let me know. They go quite quickly.

In the Box November 14, 2012

Today a litter of 6 nice Mini Rex kits were born to our Opal doe and Broken Chocolate Otter buck. This is their second litter together. Time will tell, but it looks like there are three Opal, two broken patterns and possibly a white.

Mini Rex kits born November 14, 2012

 

Newest Additions

Here are the two newest additions to the rabbitry, a proven and show winning blue Dutch buck and a very promising black Dutch doe. Did you know that the Dutch is one of the oldest known breeds of domesticated rabbits? They are also one of the top 10 most popular breeds for pets.

Blue Dutch Buck and Black Dutch Doe

Rabbit Giving Birth

Usually rabbits will kindle (or give birth) during the night or early morning hours. We were fortunate enough to catch this doe at the right time.

Healthy Newborn Kits

When rabbits are born they should be warm and active with a full round belly. This is a short video of a recent litter showing what we like to see in our newborn kits.

These bunnies are only a few minutes old. As soon as they were born their mother cleaned them and immediately took to feeding them.

New Litter Has Arrived. November 5th, 2012

Our Lynx buck and Broken Fawn doe had their first litter on November 5th around 7:15 in the morning. I had checked on the doe earlier in the morning and she had done nothing more than dig a little hole in the hay in anticipation of the upcoming kits. Not a spot of fur had been pulled. With one last check before leaving for the day we found her in the process of kindling and were lucky enough to have the camera nearby.

Most of our rabbits give birth at night or in the wee hours of the morning so being there while it was happening was a bit of a surprise. She did a fantastic job with her first litter.

Mini Rex doe moments after knidling

Mini Rex kits moments after birth.

What’sYour Purpose?

The rabbit world is full of options and before ever buying your first rabbit consider your purpose for having that rabbit. If you are simply looking for an adorable pet and have no intention of showing or breeding your rabbit, then your toughest decision will be picking the rabbit you like best.

If you intend to raise rabbits as a hobby or on an even larger scale you will need to determine your purpose for raising rabbits. It is not uncommon to have more than one purpose and some rabbit raisers successfully include all of them.

  • Show
    If your plan is to raise rabbits for show, starting with the best possible stock is critical. Try and acquire rabbits from well known breeders that have a show winning history. It is also important to have a basic understanding of rabbit genetics to ensure desired results.
  • Meat
    Meat production is one of the main reasons people start raising rabbits. In the United States rabbit meat is not as popular as it is in many other countries, but that is rapidly changing. We started seeing it our grocery store this year. Rabbit meat is incredibly lean and has a texture and look of chicken with a slightly sweeter flavor. Start with high quality commercial type rabbits from a productive breeder for greatest success.
  • Pets
    The pet market is not one I would recommend as a main focus. For starters there are plenty of rabbits available in shelters that need a good home. Secondly as a breeder you will have culls that are perfectly good rabbits, but do not meet the ideal for show or meat production. These rabbits can easily be sold as pets.
  • Fur/Wool
    The fur industry is not what it once was. Unless you raise Angoras fur and wool is likely a secondary purpose.
  • Profit
    Who doesn’t like making a profit? The initial investment getting started with rabbits will have its costs, but if you plan well, start with good rabbits and develop a reputation as a knowledgable and honest breeder you should have no trouble making a profit.

No matter your purpose for raising rabbits hopefully you will find it as enjoyable and rewarding as we do.

Litter Training Your Rabbit

If you are already a rabbit owner you are probably well aware that rabbits can be trained to use a litter box, but are you aware of how easy it really is? Usually all that you need to do is notice where your rabbit eliminates and place a litter box in that area. Most rabbits will immediately take to the litter box.

If your rabbit does not use the litter box it may be that their area is too large and they were annoyed by the box so they simply chose another location in which to eliminate. By reducing their area to roam you will increase the chances of them using the box. Once they get the idea of the litter box you can start giving them more space to roam and play.

In the event that your rabbit urinates outside the box clean it up with a paper towel and place the paper towel inside the litter box then use white vinegar or an enzymatic cleaner to remove the scent from outside the litter box. By placing the soiled paper towel in the rabbits litter box you are guiding their behavior. As the rabbit starts to pick up their scent in the box they will be more consistent in using it.

When it comes to rabbit litter make sure you use a litter that is safe for rabbits. Many litters contain materials that create a lot of dust. Rabbits are susceptible to respiratory problems caused by dust and oils from clays and certain woods and should avoid them if at all possible.

This is the litter we use.
It does a fantastic job with absorption and can be easily composted. We even started using this for our cats.