Our Bunnies and a Easter wish to you

As you already know one of the many things we have decided to do in an effort  to become more self-reliant  is to raise rabbits. I have been a  rabbit lover since my folks let me have them as a kid and have been known to have up to 18 at a time. With our recent move a couple of years ago the only thing I wanted from our farm of animals was my rabbits. I had visions of raising, selling, showing and eating my farm raised rabbits. Well over the first year here at the OLD house on the edge of town two things happened that I could have never foreseen. First was the sickness and later death of my large brood Doe… after about 8 years she caught a cold after our move and died before the antibiotics took effect. Second was the loss of my little Doe that was Christopher’s show bunny. She escaped her cage and we spent days trying to recapture her in our large yard. This was a major set back for me as I had planned to raise a litter of Kits for sale at Easter and/or to show this year at the 4-H shows and State Fair.

Sable rabbit Ratchet as a baby

Sable rabbit Ratchet as a baby

So we started the long process of starting over. I wanted a rabbit that was a multi-purpose breed, that could be sold for pets,shown or used as food if I ended up with more than my fair share of off spring. So I found that perfect combination of traits in the Sable Rabbit. We were off and running when a local woman offered to give Christopher a Sable that was not pure bred as a gift. I thought that this would set us up with a nice pet and get my then 4-year-old interested in animals and their care.  So we were up and running with this little guy.

Well this  wonderful and clam rabbit has won our hearts and has been traveling with us as we take him to local pet shows and 4- H gatherings. By Fall Christopher and Ratchet became a team and we discovered that we had gotten a great starter show bunny for him even if he was not pure bred.

Ratchet and Christopher with trophy at pet show 8 2013

Ratchet and Christopher with trophy at pet show 8 2013

I then started a conversion with some of the local kids and competitors at our local 4-H and many of them suggested that I think seriously about Christopher’s future with rabbits as show animals and how hard some kids work at breeding and showing them. At last count one of our high school girls showed and won multiple  trophies with about 28 rabbits last year at state fair. She sold most of them before leaving and come home with enough money to put around 2500.00 dollars in her college fund.

So this sent me on the hunt for a pure bred version of a Sable rabbit. Taking my family on a car trip to southern Pennsylvania .On Christopher’s birthday we purchased another Buck and attended our first rabbit show. I had a wonderful time and could hardly contain my happiness about seeing so many wonderful animals. We were able to pick up our new bunny who was huge at the same age as Ratchet. We named him Diesel.

Christopher with new bunny Diesel

Christopher with new bunny Diesel

Christopher has really enjoyed  playing with, feeding and holding his first real pets. It has been a good investment of time and money to teach him about the love of animals.

walking rabbits on leashes

walking rabbits on leashes

One of the ways we get to spend time with the rabbits and get them some exercise is to walk them around our yard on nice days. It is hard to believe that only 9 months ago the rabbit in the blue harness fit in the palm of my hand. Ratchet  is now about 6 pounds and Diesel in the red harness is about 8 pounds. Both are of breeding age and ready to move into the show ring and start paying their way in the homesteading world. We are now in the process of finding a nice Doe to add to our growing rabbitry. This may take another trip to Pennsylvania because we have found no breeders in our local area.  The next project on our property is to add a large out-door shelter that will house all of our adult rabbits and an areas for three sets of kits. This will be an addition to a shed that we already have and will be semi enclosed. I hope to get started on it within a month. In the mean time we entertain our neighbors and friends with our walks and we enjoy bringing the boys inside for fun and family time.

Christopher playing with Ratchet

Christopher playing with Ratchet

Sable rabbit Diesel on leash

Sable rabbit Diesel on leash.

There is a far amount or work keeping and raising any animal. Rabbits do have individual personalities and not every one is great for a young person like Christopher who is now 5. Ratchet is the type that loves attention and being held. He will fallow any one around the house from room to room wanting noting more than a rub or pat. He is also more active and loves to run and jump. Where as, his buddy who is a pure bred Sable is shy and lazy. Making him harder to handle but he would rather sit quietly when put down making a real nice confirmation  animal.I believe that Christopher will be more confident with Ratchet this year but in time will enjoy both.

We have our first ” Stock Man” class in a couple of weeks where the rules or care and showing animals at the fairs is gone over. It is an important step for both parents and children, sportsman ship is held to a higher standard than the quality of the animal at every 4-h event. This class covers cheating, animal abuse, animal neglect, feeding and health care and general sportsman ship. It is the basis for a wonderful future in 4-H. I am so lucky that Christopher will be learning these lessons so early and in such a supportive way. We can all agree that teaching a child about the needs of others, including animals, how to play fair and the importance of being a good loser are lessons that build a well-rounded child and a better adult.

But in the end their really is nothing quite as wonderful as an Easter bunny.

I hope that all of you have a wonderful holiday !

Happy Easter from Diesel the Sable Bunny

Happy Easter from Diesel the Sable Bunny

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Categories: 4-H, bredding rabbits, Easter, rabbits, State Fair | Tags: , , , , , , | 11 Comments

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11 thoughts on “Our Bunnies and a Easter wish to you

  1. Hi, I really enjoy your blog and have nominated you for the Liebster Award which is a is a great way to find new blogs and learn a little more about some of your favorites. This is a lot of fun. To see all the information see my blog this week! You are not obligated to participate.

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    • Thank you so much for the support and reading about my little life… I will try to participate I will have more time on Monday to look it over… shoeing and trimming season has begun and the phone has not stopped ringing

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  2. Heather-Joan Carls

    Such cute rabbits! Mine were all on leashes outside too. They loved getting outside and nosing around. They did their binkies when they were outside too. I loved seeing them do that. I had a couple of Lionheads, a Checkered Giant, and a Holland Lop. All that I loved to death and cherished. The only one that remains is the Checkered Giant. We had to adopt him out because we had to move into an apartment that didn’t allow pets. Had we known that our landlord lives in South Carolina and his manager never come round and was really lax on that, we would have kept him. He is now living my best friend’s father(who is a vet) his vet tech. She has a few other rabbits herself. All my rabbits lived in house. I think they are great pets for children too and most get on well with dogs and maybe cats. However, I despise them being giving as pets for Easter. I am a big advocate against that. My fiancee and I have purchased a rabbit to eat before. However, I did not care for how it tasted but perhaps we didn’t prepare it just write or maybe it was before we had the two rabbits in the house at the time and I felt kinda bad and thought they could smell their kind being cooked and it was having a psychological effect on me or it was a combination of the two. 🙂

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    • wonderful story… the smell part was Too Funny! I was raised with eating domestic rabbit so the transition as an adult will not be as hard!

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  3. Beautiful bunnies. Diesel is awesome!!! Happy Easter to you and your family Jolynn!!

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  4. Your son is making me want to get a bunny.

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  5. This is such a nice post, and happy Easter to you too! I always had bunnies as a little girl, until my parents realized I was extremely allergic to them (my eyes swell shut and I get covered in hives if I even go close to a bunny). These pictures warmed my heart… even though I can’t physically go close to bunnies, I love seeing them! It sounds like you and your son do a lot of hard work to keep the rabbits happy, health, and fun in 4H.

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    • Caitlin so sorry to hear that you are allergic to bunnies. I think you are the first person I have ever known that was.Not a much talked about allergy. Again Happy Easter

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