HOMEGROWN

Celebrate the culture of agriculture & share skills (Growing! Cooking! Eating!)

I'm very new here, and this is my first post.

Hello all,
 I'm not new to keeping wonderful gardens. Growing large amounts of food in a small amount of space.
 My success is the rabbits I keep. They feed my gardens with droppings and hay. The soil just gets so nice to dig into and grow. Earthworms thrive here as a result. Rock hard dirt turns to soft dirt without a tiller.
 I was wondering if anyone else does this to make their gardens grow?
 Since this is the best fertilizer in the world! Also a pet rabbit can be kept in most places. Unlike other livestock. They are quiet animals, and will be happy to eat any extra things you grow.
I'd be happy to share about how this works here.
 I raise critical endangered meat breeds. Silver Fox & American breeds of rabbit. Both are known as Heritage breeds and are on the ALBC  critical endangered  list.
The ones here, are purebred pedigreed show animals, and very much  loved. I'm interested in getting more 4-H & FFA kids started in saving these breeds. 
Also to share the wonderful relationship between raising rabbits and growing fruits and vegetables.
 So any interest in that please share your ideas.
Thank you

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Hiya Tara.....i totally collect and save the droppings from Eeyore, the wonderful holland lop bunny who is part of our family! ......i know i could put it straight into the garden, but i throw it in with compost (which also has chicken droppings)


My Daughter is dying to get at least one Rabbit for Easter this year. So I would love to read anything you post about raising rabbits.

Just ask me anything to help you get started. ☺
Housing plans would be a good place to start before getting the bunny. Good ventilation is important.
I buy my rabbit supples from
kwcages.com.
They have a online" Rabbit Tech" catalog and do ship.

There is 47 breeds of rabbits known by the American Rabbit Breeder's association. You can go to
arba.net
and look up the breeds link to see photos of every breed. All breeds are very unique from each other and breed choice is something wonderful to decide upon.

New club membership comes with a free, really nice book written by ARBA "Raising Better Rabbits And Cavies" It's well written and covers most everything about the rabbit.
The club has about 30,000 members.

One thing is they do not do well in heat. So plans should be made for the summer to keep the rabbit comfortable. To prevent heartbreak.

They are quiet animals and require no annual shots like dogs & cats do.
They live about 10 years.

Many kids do the rabbit shows and it's a friendly environment for children to raise rabbits and learn. Children really like to go to shows and see their rabbit win a ribbon. Just a idea.
I attend shows and do work on getting youth started in rabbits. It's such a fun hobby for them. I also show my rabbits too. I must be a big kid.
The results in my gardens from the droppings & hay is a major bonus here.




jason chambers said:
My Daughter is dying to get at least one Rabbit for Easter this year. So I would love to read anything you post about raising rabbits.

I just love Eeyore, Ruby eyed white Hollands are hard to find. Thank you for sharing his photo.
I have Hollands here as well. They really do live up to being called
"The Hallmark Breed"

As a Homegrown Site Newbie;
I'm still learning about how this site works. I need to learn, and try to post photos for you. Of both rabbits and the gardens here.


Christa Nelson said:
Hiya Tara.....i totally collect and save the droppings from Eeyore, the wonderful holland lop bunny who is part of our family! ......i know i could put it straight into the garden, but i throw it in with compost (which also has chicken droppings)


Hi Tara! I wish I had photos of our bunnies- we just got two heritage breed meat rabbits over the summer (I believe they are called American Chinchilla or something like that?)

So far we have put the male and female together a few times to breed them, and the male rabbit sort of knows what he is doing but can't quite... get the deed done. Any advice on that? Should we just keep trying and they will figure it out?

I am very nervous for the slaughtering part, but my man has done a good job with the chickens so far, so I'm not thinking about it for now...

Welcome to the world of critical endangered rabbits. You have the only breed on the critical list I do not have. They are so very pretty! Have you noticed that if you blow into the fur coat- you will see a ring pattern? I just love that.

I have never seen a American Chinchilla. I have seen a Flemish Giant with Chinchilla color and own a Holland Lop that is a chinchilla color.

I did a photo shoot of the fur rings. Once I learn more about this site and how to post photos. I will be happy to share the rings.

I own 2 meat breeds and I know they have a job they lost. Eating rabbit was a common thing in the last world war. Now other parts of the world call this a fine meal. The commercial type breeds have taken the job of the hearty Heritage breeds. The main reason for the breeds decline to the edge of extinction.

That is why they are almost extinct. Your breed included.
I never have processed a rabbit. If something happened like terminal injuries. I'd be OK with letting a family have one for dinner. I'm more of a seafood eater when it come to meats. I have eaten rabbit as a child. The numbers I keep; are very few here. I do hope to get the breeds I have up in numbers. And if one is born as a poor example. It will not be bred. It will either become a cherished pet or dinner for a hungry family.
Who would respect the life it lived. That is the best thing for any kind of meat animal. To know it had a good life and was humanly treated to the end.

I do not have very many rabbits to begin with. I call them my show team since they go to shows,win and people can see they really exist.

I think eating mistakes would be kinder in a fast humane end and not to dump problems into shelters. Too much of that is a spark of trouble. For a animal that is known to be multi-purpose.

You can see more information and story about your wonderful breed on the ALBC site. To be honest. I found this site by accident while doing a rabbit color genetics study. It got me into the Heritage breeds I keep. Here is the story of the American Chinchilla:

http://albc-usa.org/cpl/americanchinchilla.html

I'm very impressed with the breed story that the American Chinchilla holds the registration record over any other breed. It made this record 80 years ago and that record has never been broken. Very impressive rabbit breed.
Someday maybe I'll get a American Chin here too. I'd love to see one in person.



Aliza Ess said:
Hi Tara! I wish I had photos of our bunnies- we just got two heritage breed meat rabbits over the summer (I believe they are called American Chinchilla or something like that?)

So far we have put the male and female together a few times to breed them, and the male rabbit sort of knows what he is doing but can't quite... get the deed done. Any advice on that? Should we just keep trying and they will figure it out?

I am very nervous for the slaughtering part, but my man has done a good job with the chickens so far, so I'm not thinking about it for now...


Tara Pendleton said:

Welcome to the world of critical endangered rabbits. You have the only breed on the critical list I do not have. They are so very pretty! Have you noticed that if you blow into the fur coat- you will see a ring pattern? I just love that.

I have never seen a American Chinchilla. I have seen a Flemish Giant with Chinchilla color and own a Holland Lop that is a chinchilla color.

I did a photo shoot of the fur rings. Once I learn more about this site and how to post photos. I will be happy to share the rings.

I own 2 meat breeds and I know they have a job they lost. Eating rabbit was a common thing in the last world war. Now other parts of the world call this a fine meal. The commercial type breeds have taken the job of the hearty Heritage breeds. The main reason for the breeds decline to the edge of extinction.

That is why they are almost extinct. Your breed included.
I never have processed a rabbit. If something happened like terminal injuries. I'd be OK with letting a family have one for dinner. I'm more of a seafood eater when it come to meats. I have eaten rabbit as a child. The numbers I keep; are very few here. I do hope to get the breeds I have up in numbers. And if one is born as a poor example. It will not be bred. It will either become a cherished pet or dinner for a hungry family.
Who would respect the life it lived. That is the best thing for any kind of meat animal. To know it had a good life and was humanly treated to the end.

I do not have very many rabbits to begin with. I call them my show team since they go to shows,win and people can see they really exist.

I think eating mistakes would be kinder in a fast humane end and not to dump problems into shelters. Too much of that is a spark of trouble. For a animal that is known to be multi-purpose.

You can see more information and story about your wonderful breed on the ALBC site. To be honest. I found this site by accident while doing a rabbit color genetics study. It got me into the Heritage breeds I keep. Here is the story of the American Chinchilla:

http://albc-usa.org/cpl/americanchinchilla.html

I'm very impressed with the breed story that the American Chinchilla holds the registration record over any other breed. It made this record 80 years ago and that record has never been broken. Very impressive rabbit breed.
Someday maybe I'll get a American Chin here too. I'd love to see one in person.

I've heard in some places....The bucks can go sterile if the weather is hot.

Seems like a trick or thing to do, to get kits is to add ACV ( Braggs-Apple Cider Vinegar) to the water. 1 TBSP per gallon. Seems to get the rabbits ready for parenthood. It's good for their health even with no breeding plans.

I live in a cooler climate. Most of the time. So I never seen heat related issues. I also do not breed in hot weather or cold weather times.

Heat is hard on the moms and cold is hard on kits.

I'm sure many can do it year round. I just do not breed very much. When I do I want to see the kits grow out and see how they do in breed competition @ shows.
My best answer to this.
Also check the doe's vulva. If she is deep red/ purple in color; she is in season and most likely will produce.
A white color vulva and she is less likely for results. Gestation is 31 days. Which is also not always on time.



Aliza Ess said:
Hi Tara! I wish I had photos of our bunnies- we just got two heritage breed meat rabbits over the summer (I believe they are called American Chinchilla or something like that?)

So far we have put the male and female together a few times to breed them, and the male rabbit sort of knows what he is doing but can't quite... get the deed done. Any advice on that? Should we just keep trying and they will figure it out?

I am very nervous for the slaughtering part, but my man has done a good job with the chickens so far, so I'm not thinking about it for now...
Hi Tara!
I have three Californians (a breeding pair and one of their offspring) and one young blue American doe. I'm looking to find her a mate, but so far the breeder in my area isn't getting back to me. It's kind of frustrating.

I add their manure along with compost that my chickens and goats help me create (while adding their own manure) to our crops. So far it's worked really well. This is our first season using just this and not commercial compost so the jury's out on just how successful it all is.

Yes; I agree. I too think rabbits are wonderful when it comes to the garden. My gardens are still green and thriving.

I raise Americans. I do not have any available. All born this year are on the show team. When of age. I'll see how they do. I tend to baby the kits for months before showing them. All are doing great.

I'd say the best place to look for a blue buck; is by joining the yahoo group for the American rabbits. It's a small group who is very dedicated in saving this breed.
Here is the link to the group. You will need to join. Once you do you can ask for a blue buck there. I know there are some out there.
The group is very nice and I think you will find that fine buck there.

http://pets.groups.yahoo.com/group/AmericanRabbits/



Rachel said:
Hi Tara!
I have three Californians (a breeding pair and one of their offspring) and one young blue American doe. I'm looking to find her a mate, but so far the breeder in my area isn't getting back to me. It's kind of frustrating.

I add their manure along with compost that my chickens and goats help me create (while adding their own manure) to our crops. So far it's worked really well. This is our first season using just this and not commercial compost so the jury's out on just how successful it all is.
Exactly how do you use the rabbit droppings? Do you through it in a compost bin with other stuff or use it by itself? Do you let it sit for a while?
The great thing about rabbit manure is it can go straight onto the soil around the plants and not burn them.

So very true. That is the best part. Rabbit droppings are known to be a cold manure. It will not burn plants. I think it's the best fertilizer in the world.

I can pile it on every plant. I find my leaves are bigger, greener, and same goes for size of blooms, and produce.
My plants also seem very disease resistant with such healthy looks.

The plants are a rich deep green color. It is best to spread it out with a thin layer. Too much and it gets too rich. Meaning it could attract flies if the pile is too deep-like any other manure pile. I tend to pile 1-3 " mix with hay.

A little bit goes a long way.
I even wash my trays out on my lawn. Which is lush & green.

What also happens with the droppings, is soil conditioning. The droppings attract earthworms who till the soil. The earthworms eat the dropping and create earth worm castings as a by product. Soon worm beds appear. No need to even make a worm bed box. Just feed rabbit droppings. By putting a layer over the garden soil.
I also add coffee grounds to areas rich with earth worms. Since they also love coffee grounds. They stay put, multiply like mad and as long as there is food. Do not wander from the gardens. The earthworms make the droppings disappear into the earth. I seem to add more every few months. The soil gets dark in color and very rich to grow in. My hard dirt is like beach sand now to dig into.

I believe a rabbit is the gardener's best friend.

Where one choses to get one is up to them; and the area they live in.
One could buy purebreds from a show breeder or make a simple adoption at a shelter. If you get a rabbit make sure it is safe from trouble like heat, cold drafts, and any kind of critter who may harm it. They are very easy to keep. Also they have more personality than most people realize until one comes to live with them.

Look for ones with out going personalities. Shy in the corner types sometimes stay that way for life.
Then again I have a Holland Lop rescue who took 3 months to say hello to me. This buck was scared of his own shadow.
He now snuggles, and greets me at the door. It took a lot of love. He was going to be food and he knew it.
He was just to pretty to see him go off to be food. So I got him before the breeder sent him to become a feeder.
I show him now, and he does very well in competition. So any rabbit can be gentled with time and love.

Rachel said:
The great thing about rabbit manure is it can go straight onto the soil around the plants and not burn them.

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