Sunday, December 27, 2015

December update

Hello fellow bunny lovers! 
The weather here in Wi has been crazy.  Tempatures well above normal and even a thunderstorm in December.  Now that most of our holiday celebrations have concluded I wanted to update you on our rabbits.
We did a couple of batches of bunnies to the freezer.  Even had a professional butcher come give us a few tips on how to hop along with the process.  I did not paws for one moment to help in whatever way I needed too. 
The last few weeks have been quite amazing.  We have shifted the focus from butchering to selling.  Another lucky bunny goes to a new home today.  Then, out of 24 bunnies, we will only have 3 left to butcher.
One group of white does went to a nice couple who really are enjoying their new bunnies.  Here is what they had to say:

"Well your three sweet girls seem to be transitioning pretty well so far and will be checking on them a few times a day to make sure everything is ok.  Thanks again."   

While we were in the rabbitry talking about bunnies, they kindly referred to me as the 'BUNNY WHISPER' which means a great deal to me since I feel I have dedicated myself to knowing all I can and doing the best with what I know.  Truly the bunnies benefit from all the time and effort that I put into this project.

Beauty is now alone.  No more babies in with her.  Thumper has one that will be sold today and Foxy has two in her cage.  I was willing to leave a female (doe) in with the does that I am keeping to help keep them social and warm through the winter.  But if they sell that is ok too. 

Have to go now but would love to have some comments from my readers.  Especially the new bunny owners.  Would love to see how your furry family is doing.  I would also love to post any pictures of bunnies, yours, mine.... ours!!  Keep me posted and I will share your stories! 

Thank you to all of you who have been part of this new adventures.  Some have physically helped build, some have emotionally supported and some of you....have even gotten your hands dirty.  I could not be where I am today without all your support.  Love you all!  Theresa

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

From Bunnies to Rabbits

Well our 24 wonderful bunnies are now young rabbits.  Now the part where they find their next "home".  All of the bunnies that were born are happy, healthy and terrific.  Never medicated and received the best of care and feed.  I even had them in the yard for exercise and picked fresh grass when I could.  Their previous owner said I "pamper" them, which I took to mean I am taking very good care of them.  We have some going to homes as pet and hoping to get a few into some 4-H programs this coming spring.  If you are interested in a rabbit, please contact me. 

Please enjoy these pictures.

 Chilled out and relaxing
 Happy to see me!
 Love to be pet.

Our intent from the very beginning was to have these bunnies grow and become meat for our freezer along with pets for anyone interested.  Sure they are cute, just like chicks when they are born but bunnies grow up just like chicks do. Every animal is beautiful and deserves to be treated with respect. Every living thing (animals and plants) will die and most of those things provide food for other living things when they die.  It is and always be a natural part of life. 

 More information about meat rabbits.

The domesticated rabbit is a rare food option for most Americans. The meat is comparable to poultry and provides an economical alternative to larger animals. During World War II, the government encouraged the raising of rabbit to relieve the burden of a red meat shortage. Today the domesticated rabbits commonly distributed in the United States are New Zealand and Belgian hybrids or imported Chinese rabbits. Rabbit meat is typically available fresh or frozen.

Source of Nutrition

Rabbit meat is well known for its high protein content. A 3-oz. serving of rabbit meat contains 28 g of protein, more than beef or chicken. Rabbit is also a concentrated source of iron. A serving contains more than 4 mg. Additionally, the meat provides a wide range of minerals. The highest levels include 204 mg of phosphorous and 292 mg of potassium. The calories in rabbit meat are low. A serving contains only 147 calories.

Environmentally Friendly

Today the awareness that environmental resources are valuable is spreading. The process for raising beef places a burden on grain and water supplies. An environmentally friendly solution to losing resources to larger animal production is producing rabbit meat. The environmental impact from raising rabbits is low. The period from conception to harvesting maturity is only three months, and the amount of food they eat is minimal when compared to other animals. The USDA regulates the meat. Some antibiotics are used, but the animals are tested for residues. No hormones are administered.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Update on Bunnies...bunnies and more bunnies

 Before you get to excited, we still only have 24 bunnies!  But what a blessing!! We still have 24 bunnies!!!!!

First a few pictures before the less exciting details...
Here is Laura holding my special little one from Beauty's bunch.  He has 1/2 his face is gray!  Can you see it??  He was cuddling up in her hand and stuck his face up long enough to get this picture.

 Here is the whole bunch.  Notice how they just love to sleep right on top of each other.  Beauty's bunch seems to sleep and cuddle still alot but the other boxes are full of sleepy heads. 
Yesterday I fed Beauty's bunch fresh grass (that I pull from the yard myself- THEIR FAVORITE THING TO EAT!) and all the little bunnies were enjoying the feast.  So I gave Foxy some fresh grass and took all the little ones out of the box (those lazy sleepyheads) and put them by the grass.  They wanted nothing to do with it and went right for MUM and some milk.  Well this is not something MUM allows.  She only feeds them when SHE  decides.  So slowly I put them back in the box so MUM would be able to relax and eat.
Beauty was having trouble with this also.  So I made her a box she can 'escape' from all her little buns.  She likes it up there.  The babies can climb up there too but there is not much room for anyone except her, so they dont stay long.

 These are some really cute pictures.  One of Foxy's babies cuddles up in Laura's hand to sleep.

Here you can see the box I made for Beauty.  I put some fresh grass on top for her otherwise 10 hungry babies will eat her share too!  Here are the buns eating the fresh grass.


 This is not a pretty sight.  Sorry.  But I had to make a way to capture the pellets from our little 'manure producing factory'.  This is what I could do that would not cost a fortune and I could do without anyone elses help.  The sheet metal that we wanted to use was $70+ which is way too expensive and would have done only two or three cages.  The tarp was only $4 or so.   I feel this will be a good chance to check on how this works before winter. 
I will go in there later today and push all this to one end and empty into a bucket.  I can put it on our unused garden area or, once it dries (if we get a little warmer weather today) package it up and sell it.  A mother and her babies can make as much as a ton of pellets in a year.   More trivia facts for you:  rabbit pellets are cold manure (does not need to compost first) and rabbits make a ton of it- literally!

Here is an update on their weight gain.  I will just give you the averages.  Its hard to tell which bunny is which so this is the only sane way to do this.
The first date is 9-2 and the second weigh date is 9-8 (six days apart)

                                  9-2-15         9-8-15

Beauty's average is  :   5.2    and     6.9  (largest is 7.6 and the gray face is 7.2)
Foxy's average is    :    3.5    and     5.8   their eyes are all open now
Thumper's avearge :     2.5   and     4.4   Remember we have a runt here and he is only 2.9

I do have a concern with a few in Thumpers batch.  There seems to be a white one (other than the runt) whos eyes are not as obvious as the others.  They should have their eyes all open in the next day or so and I will know then if one (a white one) was born without eyes.  It could just be they are not as big as the others.  Lets pray he is just fine and just another lesson to learn that 'LIFE HAS ITS OWN WAY' and we cant always know what is going to happen.  We must pray for the best and let life work out the rest.

Thanks for stopping  to see our WASCALLY WABBITS and hope to see you in a day or so with more good news. 

Saturday, September 5, 2015

God is Good

It has been a couple days since my last post.  Today is our family reunion so I dont have much time to blog but wanted to update you on the rabbits.
We will start with the blessing first.  The other day I told you I found a baby on the ground.  Well it seems it might have been the runt.  He is doing better now but seemed to have developed a very swollen eye.  Like the size of a pea!  So I took him inside last night and put some trip. antibiotic on it and it is almost back to the right size again.  It might cause him to have problems seeing out of that eye but i figured we had nothing to loose.  If it would stay the way it was or get worse, I am pretty sure he would have problems.  So I pray he recovers fully AND that he starts to gain some weight.  He looks to be about the same size as when he was born.  His siblings are growing and he is not.  We will continue to watch little squirt.  Yes, that is his name LITTLE SQUIRT!  No pictures of them today because I dont want to disturb the mum today.  Hoping she finds him and feeds him a little extra blessing today!
Next I wanted to show you what I took out of Foxy's nest box the other day.  About half the fur she pulled is in the picture!  Since it was in the 80's and they are getting fur, I did not want to loose the opportunity to reserve this for a furture brood.  Once it is soiled too much, you cant save it.

Next are some of Beauty's babies.  They are 16 days old now!  They have been bouncing in and out of the nest box.  That is good, they are healthy and curious but they bug Beauty for nursing often and she is getting frustrated like any mum of 10 who wants a meal all day long:)
So I tried a few things.  One thing I tried was making hay and pellets available in the cage bottom for them.
There is hey in the tp roll for them to pull out, a carrot in front and pellets in the blue dish next to them.  The black ones seems to be running bigger than the white so far.  They are so cute!

This little black one is eating some of the hay.  This is a good age for them to watch mom eat and try a few things for themselves.  They are not ready to be weaned yet.  One more week or two of the next box and then at 5 weeks they can be weaned.  I have my scale so I will be checking their weight at 3 weeks, 5 weeks and hope they are ready for new homes soon after.  I have several interested folks in our rabbits so I cant wait till they are older.  Tomorrow I have to clean out Foxy's nest box with new bedding.  More pictures then!

So cute!  Please comment and visit again in a few days to see how all our fur balls are doing! 

Future projects: Rabbits: create a pellet collecting system using gutters and sheets of plastic roofing, screen on bottom east side of rabbit house for more ventilation, fan in west side in roof top to pull cool air from bottom east side.

Projects inside: use my new POWER PRESSURE COOKER XL PRO to can for the first time and for cooking stews, soups, roasts and so much more.  Let me know if you have any questions about any of our future projects!

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

News for the day, part two

This morning I posted all about the baby on the ground and so I wanted to give another update after letting the mums have a chance to settle.
I went out and weighed the little ones this morning.  Here is a picture from yesterday to help you see what they look like.

Beauty was first.  She kindled 13 days ago.  She is the one that had 10.  Her babies are ranging from 6.2-4.1 oz with average being 5.2.  Now that does not seem like alot but watching them grow from about 2 oz to this, I am excited.  Her kits are on the left.
Next was Foxy.  Here, her babies are on the far right.  Today they are six days old and they are averaging 3.5 oz with one only being 2.9 (weight of Thumpers' 2 day old kits)  but most being 3.8.  Tiny little squirt brings down the average.
Last was Thumper.  Her kits are in the middle and are two days old.  She is the one who had the baby on the ground this morning.  Her average kit is 2.5.  The smalllest one is for sure a runt at 1.8.  He might have been the one who was on the ground??  I will have to watch that one!

I am pretty pleased with most of the weights.  I just hope we have not stressed them by moving them back into the garage.  It was sooooo hot last night that I was afraid if we close the kennel to keep them dry, they would get too hot. 

Things I have learned quickly.
1. dont forget to put bunny protection on your kindling cages!  They can take an unexpected trip out of the box when mom leaves and they will crawl right through the bars looking for warmth of their siblings.
2. To have less stress and work next summer, we will make it so the rabbits will have access to a secured bunker during the heat and daytime if they wish.  Basically it will be a tunnel (tube) that will  lead to a "bucket" under ground.  More to do than we have time for this year because we still are working on the kennnel.
3. Baby bunnies will pee on you when you hold them:)

Since we build a dog kennel that is 10x10 and a shed that is built over that, we are not worried too much about other animals getting into where the babies are.  They are in another cage with their mums which is locked down at night.  So a critter would have to be able to squeeze through chain link fence or dig under 2.5 of walls or where the door closes, squeeze in a 2" space. 
While in the garage, critter could get in because it is a rock floor and they could dig in from a wall.  But we double lock the cages and then fasten them all together for strength.  It is possible but would not be easy for anything to get any of our rabbits.  We are more worried about the heat than a predator so if it would stay in the 70's that would be super!

If the one runt and the one that fell are the same, AND it last a couple more days, I think it will all be fine.  Anyone reading who will pray for these fur balls, pray the heat stays down and all stay healthy.  This adventure so far has not been cheap but I am really enjoying it and will keep with it. 
Not everyone wants to know this but when the young are weaned and weight 5.5# or so, they will be going to Freezer Camp if not already sold as pets. (we have several people interested in pets so far)  Rabbit is very healthy for you.  I know, it wont be easy to see them go but everything on this planet has a life cycle.  We all eventually die.  My bunnies will be enjoying their life cycle being pampered and loved.  Some humans are not so lucky. 

Learned our first hard lesson..... sad and scared.

All of our does had all their babies in their nest boxes.  The first two I put a cardboard trim up around the edges so they could not crawl out of the cage.
The gap for the sides is 1"wide x2" long.  It is nice for being able to stick the fresh grass I give them into the cage without opening the door.  See once I open the door they want me to pet them.  Buck and Beauty are the hardest to get to move away from the door so I can close it.  They just love to be pet.
Anyway so the gap is large enough for new babies to fit through.  It got busy when Thumper had her babies and since she had them all in the nest box, (watched her closely), I did not think I needed the cardboard up.
Well last night we were expecting storms and would have had to close the windows on the house to keep it dry inside.  Well it was way too hot to close it up so we moved them back into the garage (after moving the last of the furniture from my daughters place).  This was hard for me to do since 3 of the four have babies and it really upset the whole bunch.
Ok, so back to the cardboard.  This morning when I went to feel and check, all seemed fine.  I might have been too early in the am, because the mommy bunnies seemed to be wanting to feed, going into the boxes but coming right back out.
Then all of a sudden I heard a bunch of screaming coming from a baby.  I looked down and here a little one was on the ground, dirty and a little cold.  I comforted it a bit and showed it to mom bun and placed back in box.  It squeaked like it was in pain a few times while I was installing the cardboard (to avoid future buns from dropping).  I will check on it later to see how it is doing.  We might have our first loss and if we do, it is because I did not have cardboard on my cage.  Sad but a lesson learned.
Today I will also be weighing all of the babies.  I would like an average weight on each stage eventually as they get older, I will need a weight at time of weaning and sale.
Sorry this post is a little sad so no pictures.  Hope to come back with good news after I check on the box with the dropped bun.  Theresa

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Three stages of babies, variation discovery!

I wanted to show you, side by side, how quick the babies grow and change.

In the container below are Beauty, Foxy and Thumpers' babies at 12 days, 1 days and51 day old.

                         12 days with eyes open and fur,    one day old still pink      and  5 days old little pink

Black and white, white and gray??? and black and white???  We will have to see as they get older if there will be any black ones.

And somewhere in the mix of Beauty's babies there is a black on with a touch of gray on the head.  I went to put two whites back in the nest box this morning and I noticed a half gray/black head on a black one peeking out at me.  
As they get older, I will be investigating for color variations so that I can distinguish between each one.  I will be getting a scale in the next day or so, marking the ear with numbers and weighing them in to see how they are doing.  At that time I will also be getting a weight for each growth stage.    I would like to know how they are doing and so would you I am sure.  If you are one who is planning on getting one for a pet, please let me know as soon as you see one in a picture you like.  Or if you would like to see them in person.  We have had several intereted parties and they are going to go fast!

Monday, August 31, 2015

Blessing after blessing

More blessing at our Rabbit House.  Today, Thumper had 7 buns!  I really did not think she had any 'buns in the oven' because she only accepted Buck to mount her one time!  Looks like mostly grey, maybe two white. 
Everything about this adventure has been a blessing.  (Aside from the cost), we (Ron and I) have worked together more on this project than any other (most projects did not take this long:)), we have seen positive relationships develop from it and have been blessed with 2 DOZEN new kits!  We have not suffered any loss so far and have learned a great deal (mostly me) from the experience.  I have learned to re-purpose many items around the house that I felt were USE-LESS.  Some items found use pertaining to the rabbits, some items just found new 'job/application' in other ways.  And the biggest blessing of all is the outside support and interested we are receiving from family, friends and new meets (people we meet that are new).
First I want to show you my wonderful/best friend husband who has been the shining star in this project.

 Above you can see us working on the front door.  Below is an area I set up for the rabbits to be free and run around.  When rabbits are very happy, they binky.  I had 3 of the four rabbits (one at a time) out while we worked on the rabbit house and the three had so much fun binkying around!

 Here is buck exploring the area

I had to take pictures of Beauty's litter.  They now have their eyes open and are finding their way out of the nest box.  The box is so full of bunnies, they just walk right over one another and out the come.  Just a guess, but I think that is how come I keep finding one outside the box.  They are pretty strong and will jump right from your hands if you are not careful.  This white one is getting a back rub.  One of these black ones already has a home promised to (him or her).

After seeing Beauty's Foxy's sure can show you how much difference from one week to the next, how the pink is still very visible.

 I gave Buck a box to play in.  I felt he was jealous that he was the only one without a box to explore.  Just like anything else not tied down in the cage, he lifted it, threw it, chewed on it and climbed in it.

Here are some pictures of the new babies.
 Ok you cant see in there very well.  That is because most of them are gray and she built a tight box.  I might try later for a peek but I did not want to disturb them too much because they were still wet from birth when I checked the box.  OOOOpsss   Should not be a problem but I did not know till I checked.  She seemed ok with me being in there.  More on that later.
I have been getting alot done here even thought it seems like a tornado hit my house!  Most of my chores that I can get done when I am home.... are beyond ordinary cleaning.  We have a lot of projects going and eating, dishes and laundry are the only basics that seem to be caught up.  As soon as I finish one project, another needs my attention.  Anyone else feel that way???
We are grateful we can do what we are doing and that all is going well so far.  We are grateful for those of you who support us with kind words, handy skills and resources.  Spread the word that we have our rabbit adventure up and going good and pray that we continue to be blessed.

Comment and see you again next time!  

Friday, August 28, 2015

A couple of ways out of the ordinary observations

I just wanted to fill you all in on a few things my rabbits have done that is not the norm.
  •  First they had all their kits in the box.  
  • Next the did not pull fur until a few days after.  Today Foxy pulled a lot and Beauty did a little the third day.
  • I have seen Beauty and now Foxy feeding in the middle of the day.  Everything I read said they would feed at dusk and dawn.
  • The little ones will uncover themselves, I believe, when the nest box is too warm.  With 10 little ones in Beauty's box and getting their fur could make it pretty warm in there.  Foxy's little ones were close to the opening of the box.  Not sure if she fed them and they 'dropped' there after the feeding or if they crawled there.  It sure would be nice to be a fly in that rabbit house!
  • The nursing mothers are drinking their water to empty twice a day!  Plus I give them fresh green grass and a half carrot each day.  They need plenty of water to make their milk.
All 17 kits are doing well.  I plan to get a scale so I can tell you how much they have grown.  With Thumper due over the weekend or early next week, I should get a measurement of a typical newborn and then weigh Beauty's babies which are 8 days old now are so adorable and so big.  Cant wait to show you.

Here is the nestbox undisturbed.  Notice how they are spreading out.  Must be getting pretty hot in there!

 Here are a few in the spotlight!  Or camera light to be more exact!

Look at this one checking out the tp roll.  He is already curious about his surroundings.  They could easily jump right out of my hands.  They are strong and heavy, like the size of a newborn pup. 
We will be gone all day tomorrow to our grandson's first birthday party so please come back over the weekend or early next week and see how Thumper is doing with her new motherhood role.  Thanks for stomping by:)

Thursday, August 27, 2015


Since we have 3 does and we breed them all for the first time a month ago, we have more arrivals.  One doe Beauty gave birth one week ago and had 10 babies.  She is a New Zealand, black.
She had 5 black and 5 white
Here is buck.  He is a New Zealand White.
He is the proud papa of all kits.

Now here is Foxy.  She is too is a New Zealand but a dark gray.  Today she had 7 babies.  Two dark gray, (I believe) and 5 white. 

So.... here are the babies.   Two gray and 5 white.I think Bucks white will be a dominant  color in each litter of kits! 
Foxy did pull a little fur.  The weather is mild today but we are expecting storms tonight so I will be double checking on her kits tonight to make sure she has fed them and they are keeping dry and warm.
I really did not expect Foxy to kindle until late tonight.  I put Beauty back in the rabbit shed yesterday to encourage Foxy (was my thought anyway) on what to do and I think it worked.
I just want to say we have been blessed with all our rabbits being healthy considering this is our first time with rabbits.  The Lord has watched over, blessed and enlightened us all the way.  He has also blessed us with healthy kits for first time does, buck and well.... me.
I would also like to thank the following people for their help with our adventure: Ron (my dear husband) Dakota, Craig, Aaron, Laura, George and Deloris V, Ken (who we got the rabbits from)
I also want to thank all my friends who have been supportive and my viewers who are watching our rabbitry grow.  Thanks and dont forget to comment.


Wednesday, August 26, 2015

5 days old

I wanted you to see how big the bunnies have grown.  They are now 5 days old.  I picked up two for close ups and both of them snuggled down into my hand.  I think they are getting so much cutter.  The white ones are growing in their hair and are less pink.
 Look how much they have grown!

So cute.  Now, here is the box with the toilet tissue roll for size comparison.  It has been two days since the last photos and you might not be able to tell in the photos but I can tell when I pick them up.....they are getting bigger and heavier!
Here are the babies at 3 days

Now here are the babies at five days.  See the color change in the white one?  And that black one next to the roll looks like he could be just as big if not bigger than the roll.  I would have to say, they are ON A ROLL! and growing fast.
Here is one more of each of the colors next to each other.  So cute. 
We worked on the south side of the rabbit house last night.  Did not finish it so no photo yet.  Thanks for stopping and viewing and please leave a comment on these cutties.  See you when Foxy has hers which today is day 30.
 If she took and will have any it could be anytime now, likely tomorrow late at night.  But since this is her first time to kindle, she might take as much as 35 days!  We just have to wait and see.  She wont let me feel her like Beauty did. 
She looks a little fatter but rabbits done show like cats and dogs so it just might mean she has put back on her weight she lost from the transition from the previous owner to us.  And then right after they all got here, we got hit with very hot weather which is harder on rabbits than below zero weather.  It must mean that fur coat does a good job. 
Did you know that rabbits can not pant like a dog to keep cool?  And the only place they can lose heat is in their ears where there is less fur.  So when it was hot, I dipped my hands in cool water and rubbed it on their ears.  They really enjoyed it so I  know it was helpful. 
Let me know if you know any fun facts about rabbits.  Visit again tomorrow to see what is new at....
WascallyWabbitRabbitry!  and thanks for stopping.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Good look at new bunnies

Here is a picture of the bunnies in their nextbox.  Notice the used dryer sheets and tore up cotton balls.  Beauty is a good mom but she did not pull any fur so I had to help her out.

 Here are the bunnies out of the box.  The first is a white one and the second is a black one.

And here is the whole litter.  There are 10 kits, all healthy, warm and growing fast.  Their ears are growing the most.  Their fur is a little longer.  They are 4 days old here.  I will post more pictures as they grow.  Thanks for stopping and please ask questions and add comments.  Theresa

Update on rabbit condo- window and exercise time

We now have our first window on our rabbit condo.  As Ron was working our bunnies had exercise time in the kennel.  Since the bar that supports their cages is attached to the framework, the pounding was too much so I moved Beauty and her babies int he garage where it was a little more peaceful and used this outside time working with Ron to let each rabbit have some fun time out of their cages.

Beauty has her babies

I know you will be so excited to know that Beauty had her babies.  She worked on her nest box but two days before she kindled, we had so much rain that even the inside of our rabbit condo was damp.  So I changed out her nextbox with dry hay.  Look at the back field!  Its flooded and we have a duck swimming in the puddle.  This extended all the way south to the fence.  Larger puddle than after our winter thaw!

So Thursday the 20th Beauty was 31 days and ready to kindle.  I stayed up on Bunny Watch.  Every two hours I checked on her to make sure no kits were born on the cage bottom.  Rabbits do not carry their babies around like cats and dogs so I had to make sure they would make it into the nest and keep warm.  She did not pull any fur so I tore up cotton balls and added them to her nextbox.  I went to check on her at 11:45 and I could see she was in her box.  I did not go into the kennel because I could hear a little squeak and she looked like she was busy cleaning.
I came back out in 20 minutes when I noticed she was no longer in her box but out drinking water.  There was one baby in the next box that was just born and had not made it to the back where the rest of the litter was so I helped it back there and then left her until Laura came home two hours or so later.
Laura and I went out to check to make sure there were no lost kits.  She used the camera while I handled the kits.  I reached in and found warm babies.  I took out the first 5 and was very happy to see all were healthy and warm.  I reached back in and was surprised at how many more I could feel!  There was a total of 10 live, healthy and warm buns in the nextbox.
We decided to count them by color this time.  We have 5 white and 5 black babies!  Beauty did a great job and we are very happy with her hard work.