Raising Rabbits

"Tarzan" is a Californian buck. This is one of the larger breeds of rabbits weighing between 8-10 lbs. He has such a wonderful personality. Every morning he runs in circles excited to see us coming towards him. He pushes his treat bowl around with his nose making a huge racket in eager anticipation of whatever we have for him that day.

"Jane" is a Californian doe. She definitely is a sweetie, but more timid and docile than Tarzan. We've been trying to work with her more to relax her, but I think it may take more time. It's really better when rabbits are handled when small, just like kittens and puppies.

Something that we didn't know about does, especially larger breed ones, is that they develop a "dewlap" under their chin. We were SO worried at first when we saw this pouch-like growth growing larger as she crossed over into maturity. I was thinking the worst, but thankfully after some research, we realized the growth was actually normal and was used for pulling extra fur from when making a nest for her litter of kittens. How amazing! Now I will never think of people with double chins the same. :)

Our rabbit raising endeavors started with the thought of possible meat production, but well, that's not happenin' here.. cute animals are just too hard to think about eating. We'll stick to other things for now, say vegetables. Times will really have to get tough to get to the point of eating rabbits. We can't even staing burying a few young chickens that died. We mourned for days over them. Imagine if it were one of our precious bunnies. We're weaklings I tell you!

The second benefit we considered for raising rabbits was rabbit poo for our garden. In case you are unaware, rabbit droppings are one of the highest quality of all manure. It has 2.5 percent nitrogen ratio without the weed seeds that can come from horse or cow manure. It also doesn't have to be composted for as long of a time as other manures. (Chicken manure takes up to a year) I've read that in as little as 8 weeks before you can use it on the garden.

Lastly, we raise red wigglers. These are the composting worms that are so popular now in vermicomposting. The worms are actually manure worms naturally, although they do an excellent job breaking down so many other things into wonderfully rich worm castings for the garden. We plan on building worm bins under the rabbit hutches soon to further process the manure down quicker for the plants. Hopefully within the next few weeks I can include our progress.

Rabbits just make good sense for us to keep. They really eat very inexpensively, use up veggie scraps, and with that produce LOTS of manure that smells very little.

Now I'll have to show pictures of how Tarzan likes to walk on a leash in our backyard eating grass. :) Good times...


  1. This in amazing post packed with excellent information. I did know about rabbit droppings yet the idea of it being better than cow (or in Egypt water buffalo) manure due to its not containing weed seeds did not cross my mind before and was something I did not know. Also it being fast to decompose and 'heal' was something I did not know either. Thanks a lot for this wonderful information.

    In Egypt, eating rabbits is common and not shunned at although chicken is eaten much more often. I remember my cousins in Egypt used to have keep rabbits in their villa and when the rabbits grew, my cousins were children by then, they were unable to eat them because they simply played with them daily while their father kept them.

    As an Egyptian living in Egypt, I've tasted rabbit meat many times and I find it tastes nice, a bit like chicken yet has a darker color. I guess to most Americans eating rabbit meat would feel like eating cats. Perhaps one should not force himself/herself into eating something he/she was not brought up to eat.

  2. I forgot to say that the idea of having red wigglers under the rabbit drippings is amazing! I love your way of thinking. I wish I had some farm to tray and go for such projects and experiment.

  3. Thank you for the encouraging comments. You are right in thinking the rabbits may be hard for us to eat. It's challenging to draw the line between pets and food sometimes. I would've chosen to keep the animals a lot further from our home if we used them for food, I think.

    Americans eat mostly chicken also. Rabbits are eaten but, are not sold in major markets where we buy food. Rabbits are purchased directly from a farmer. That is where I got the two Californian rabbits.

    I am hoping to teach others who live in urban areas that they too can build their soil through these practices and raise strong plants for food in a very small space.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...