Keeping Busy

Besides working with the large animals, our guys help out with minor, farm related construction projects. Alejandro and Oscar have added posts to both sides of the rabbitry for our expansion. They did such a nice job with posts for the chicken coop, green houses, and geese house that we figured they were now experts. In anticipation for the expanding rabbitry, they are also helping with rabbit cage construction:

building cages

We use 5cm x 7cm soldered, galvanized mesh, cut into a large rectangle then  bent into cage measurements.  Securely attached sides make the cage fairly inflexible. The bottoms are reinforced 1cm square galvanized wire mesh with rebar bars added for support.  It works for us.  We have to get the J clips from the states, so Jason brings them with him and we are good for the year. This is a quiet chore that can be done in the cool of the galpon during the hot afternoons or rainy days.

We are expanding the rabbitry because we have clients who want a regular supply of rabbit meat for their table.  Are you aware that rabbit has zero cholesterol? And is more tender than chicken? It also is a cleaner, quieter meat to grow, if need be we could easily grow all food necessary, and  provides pelts and fabulous (and I do mean FABULOUS) cold fertilizer for the garden. There is the small, disquieting fact that they are cute when young. But by the time they are of slaughter weight they’ve lost some of their charm. And they are tasty.

Bunnies and more bunnies

We have filled our bunny barn!  Megan made 42 rabbit hutches and the guys made four nest boxes, and all are in use.  We have about 100 rabbits currently.

Rabbits of all ages:

bunnies 2

3 days old

bunnies 1

2 weeks old

bunnies 5

4 weeks old (please note the efforts to limit their wander-lust)

bunnies 3

6 weeks old

bunnies 4

Full size doe stretched out in her cage.

As you can see, we have various ages and sizes of rabbits.  There are three breeding bucks, two young bucks being raised out to breeding age, ten breeding does, and the kits all growing up to freezer camp weight. Megan keeps a tight breeding schedule and we have babies about every two weeks.  We have freezer camp inductees very week.  We even have a few regular paying  customers requesting fresh rabbit meat. YEA!  (We are also happy to report that our worms are doing their job too and we have no smell in our bunny barn.)


Adventure bunnies

Every day here on the farm we learn something new. Something that no amount of book reading can teach. There really is no substitute for hands-on-learning.

Did you know that young bunnies have a rather dangerously fearless sense of curiosity and adventure?

We have a litter of 8 which just turned 5 weeks old on the 1st of August. We wean all but 1 kit from the doe at 4 weeks, the last kit at 5 weeks. A little trial and error has taught us that all kits do better if we wean them into one cage, then separate them out into pairs about week 7 or so. This means that the current cage of kits looks like this:

adventure bunny 2

I don’t know how well you can see it, but three sides and top are currently covered. Why, do you ask? Not because of cold drafts or privacy, or creating a den-like environment. No, three sides and the top are covered because the kits like to go walkabout whenever they get bored.

Those little balls of fluff somehow manage to fit through the rectangles in the cage (which, by the way, happen to be 2.5″ x 5″). Just to emphasize how impossible this should be, here is a better shot of the cute little terrors next to the cage mesh:

adventure bunny 1

They manage to squeeze themselves out. And it’s not just one. One morning we had three out. One went back to visit mama. One decided to test the great outdoors. But came back just in time to be put home for breakfast. The other decided the neighbors must be more interesting. And so moved over a cage or two. All with the sides and top coverings in place.

Every time we pass the cage we count to make sure they’re all there. In about another week they magically won’t fit through the mesh. But until then? They’re adventure scouts looking for a good time. Or greener grass.

Not a single ‘raising rabbit’ book mentioned anything like this. Not one.


While trying to grow food for the humans and the animals, and getting the outside garden plots ready to be operational, Megan was looking for a way to get more protein to the rabbits as winter grass becomes scarce. She was trying sprouted wheat.

wheat 2

Well, the rabbits were not real fond of it.  We have spoiled rabbits who like their daily cut fresh salad bar.

So we gave it to the chickens, who love it!

wheat 1

(Give it to the chickens, they will eat anything.)

Rabbit Care

The rabbits have a new home, and we all are pleased with how well it is working.  We feed the rabbits a combination of greens and pellets.  The food mangers on the outside of the cage hold the greens that are cut daily.  We fill about eight buckets of greens to feed all our rabbits.  We have a sickle and buckets and walk the huerta (inside yard) to cut and collect a variety of greens so the rabbits can get a salad bowl of vitamins.  (Resi follows us about and waits for us to finish cutting.)

rabbit greens

Megan attends to all the paperwork.  She keeps track of who is bred to who and when.  She records weights so we know who and when to send the rabbits to freezer camp.  She also keeps track of any medical treatment that happens.

rabbit care 2

Teri is treating a rabbit with ear mites.

rabbit care 1

This is not uncommon in rabbits, but it is not common for our rabbits.  Luckily, it is easy to eliminate.