"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...