Posts Tagged ‘Bunnies’

It was warm enough yesterday for my two little bunnies to have an outdoor foray! I was also able to complete the first raised bed/Rabbit Tractor, therefore the bunnies will now have a new outdoor home, while helping me complete the cottage garden of my dreams! (or at least help me grow some food for my table:)Keep in mind this is only a temporary set-up, I intend to plant Jerusalem Artichoke (otherwise known as a Sunchoke), which is a perennial vegetable, in this particular bed. When I figure out the measurements of the annual veggie beds I will build a tractor to fit them.
Now, as promised, pics of the cutest little bunnies on earth, the completed garden bed, and a little information on the care and keeping of bunnies!

I have no idea if this is Freya or Thor, they look just alike!


One of the first things you should focus on is the Health of your rabbit. A Healthy Rabbit has clear eyes with no discharge, notice how this one’s eyes are so clear they act as a mirror reflecting me taking a picture of him. The bunny should have a clean soft coat with no crusty build-up on it’s feet, no discoloration in the ears and nothing, ummm…unsanitary stuck to its behind.

They both loved being outside!

One easy way to tell if your Rabbit is eating enough is to pet it! Stroke your rabbit from its head to its tail, running your hand right dow the middle of it’s back. Try to feel it’s spine. The spine should feel smooth and rounded on a rabbit with a healthy weight. If it feels sharp and pointed, the rabbit is too thin. If you cant feel the spine at all, the rabbit is too fat! Adjust the amount of food accordingly. Its good for both your cute little bunny and you if you do this each day at feeding time, your friend gets some extra attention, and you get an overall health report.

Animals in general are great escape artists! Though you may wish your rabbit could run wild in your back yard, its a good idea to provide a safe cage or pen instead. There are many predators who would gladly make a meal of your adorable little balls of fur! Just make sure the pen's wire spacing is small enough to prevent what you see in the picture. (Dont worry, I caught her!)

Heres a great recipe for an all natural, very nutritious rabbit food thats cheaper than the pre-packaged, ‘no idea whats in it’, rabbit supplement:
Equal Parts:
* Unsweetened dried fruits like raisens, cranberries, mango pieces, apples. (stay away from bannana and pineapple, the first being very hard on their teeth, the second being to sweet)
*Unsalted sunflower kernals, removed from shell.( Ive been debating on this, because salt is an important part of bunnie’s diet, just not the iodized version usually coating them)
*Unsalted nuts, removed from shell
*Unsalted, unsweetened granola or rolled oats
*Little bits of dried alfalfa, dried greens
I purchase all of this at my local Ingles in the bulk section, though it would be better if you lived near a Whole Foods or local Natural Grocer…you’d probably get it cheaper! You can find the alfalfa in the herbal section.
Dont forget, all of this stuff is great for humans too (including the alfalfa, its full of micronutrients), so go ahead and make some trail mix while your at it (I suppose you could salt yours:)

The finished temporary Rabbit Tractor. They moved in yesterday and seem to be enjoying their new home. The Garden bed is about 7ft. long by 2 ft. wide, thats 14 square foot of play room.

Give your Rabbits lots of room to play! A good rule of thumb is one square foot to each pound your rabbit weighs. Our rabbits weigh about 4 pounds each and we’ve provided about fourteen square feet of  play room. Theyll probably get more with our next raised bed.

If your moving your rabbits, to keep it from being to traumatizing, have some yummy greens and their water all setup beforehand. When I put Freya and Thor into their new home they went straight for the greens without a second thought!

As you can see, my rabbits main Diet consists of wild greens and roots. I’ve heard the proper diet should be commercial rabbit food, commercial rabbit supplements, and more commercial rabbit stuff. I don’t have that much money, and if I’m going to raise rabbits to eat, I’m most likely a citizen concerned with what goes into my food. Therefore I’m not going to feed unrecocnizable pellets to my future food source. Take your cues from the wild rabbits, here are some of their favorits:

All of this stuff probably grows wild in your yard. The top is Yellow dock Greens.

* Dandilion Greens and Roots
*YellowDock Greens and the occassional small root piece
*Cleavers( though these tend to irritate the human mouth if eaten raw, it doesnt seem to affect the bunnies, they love them!)
* Chickweed
*Grasses, anything that looks good to you!
Be sure not to use anything that is sprayed with chemicals, and make yourself a salad while your at it!

Gratuitous Cute Bunny Pic!


They make great lawn mowers!

A  Healthy adult rabbit can survive temperatures well below zero, but they are most comfortable at teperatures around 50-69 degrees F ( 10-20 degrees C)  You should always protect outdoor rabbits from winds and precipitation because nothing really likes to be wet and cold!  For southern climates, one way to beat the heat of the summer is to fill up an old water or cola bottle, freeze it  and place in the pen. The rabbit will lounge up against it during the warmest moments. Its also polite to provide your furry friends with some shade!            
And to the most awsome pic of all, Rabbits and Kitties!

The rabbits and cats had created a game in the house in which the rabbit would chase the cat, touch it with its nose and run. The cat would then chase it, swipe at it, then the rabbit would be "it" again. This is them getting re-aquainted!

Rabbits are a great begining choice for small farms and homesteads. They can be raised for meat production, fiber, as lawn mowers, and just plain easy to care for pets!  Plus they make great Easter presents for your children, they bring joy and teach the responsibility of caring for an animal, something I think is greatly lacking in the future generation’s education.  Rescue one from a farm auction, purchase from registered breeders, support your local 4-h and buy from a child who raised them  for a fair, any way you go, you will be supporting your local community and yourself at the same time!

Read Full Post »