Posts Tagged ‘Rabbits’



Wanna Take a Tour of our Farm? C’mon, lets take a walk!

This is where we lived for Two years while working on the Big Barn, the small addition on the right was a battery box. Right behind it, the Ducks and Chicks are housed...lets go meet them!


Meet the Ducks and Chicks! The Ducks are named Merry and Pippin...they're always in trouble! We're fairly certain one of the chicks is a hen, she'll be named Mrs.Wynners. (I know, we're morbid, wait 'till you hear the Rooster's name)


Awwww! They love each other!


Lets check out the Gardens now! Well, this is actually the compost...I have volunteer peas and pumpkins coming up!


My Baby Carrots! They were DELICIOUS! I keep harvesting them before they reach full "carrothood", there just too good to leave in ground!


Yarrow...good for wound healing, and the treatment of colds and viruses, I have A Lot drying for the shop as we speak, with more to come as you can see!


The last Radish...we're seeing how big it will get...


I made a wonderful Rose Vinegar for sunburns last year from this rose...Make the same way as garlic vinegar. To use, Soak a rag in half water, half vinegar and lay cloth on Sunburn to alleviate pain and turn the burn into a tan!


Now we'll take a walk down the path we cut behind the house, everything is left wild for the local critters until we turn the area into an orchard, we always see rabbits, deer, racoons and plenty of birds down here!


To the right is this beautiful wild vetch, the pea-like pods are poisonous, but this plant provides vital nitrogen to the soil structure, as well as beauty to the landscape.


Just behind the vetch is a large Privett shrub, though invasive, it too provides vibrant blooms and food and shelter for wildlife. I've heard rumors its medicinal but havent had a chance to research this further...


As we continue down the path, my favorite flowers appear right in front of the semi-dry pond bed. A simple wild daisy, it's simplicity is it's beauty!


This is one of the many wild willow trees that populate the property, Im fairly sure this is White Willow. White Willow bark is medicinally similar to asprin; pain relieving, fever reducing, etc, The difference is no Stomach bleeding! Im very excited to have these trees...


This is the Lower Barn, soon to be workshop/studio/forge! It needs alot of work, but hey, were accustomed to that by now!


This is Grandmother Willow-who-is-actually-an-Oak, the inspiration for RavenOak Medicinals...the Ravens and She have an agreement, they get to hang out on her limbs as long as they fertilize the ground below with their droppings!


The guardian of the Oak...surprisingly not covered in Raven Poo!


A view thru the Oak leaves...That's the little building up there and you can just barely see our solar panels to the left. The driveway is to the right...thats where we're headed next.


Up here to the right of the driveway is the baby Oak Grove, a No-Mow Zone. Though we will not see the full maturity of these babies, it is still pretty cool to know our grandchildern will bear witness!


Our pecan started as a stick in the ground! The nuts it produces are very large!


Say Hi Bo-Bunny! (He likes to graze the clover under the Pecan)


The last stop is my messy front porch, we wont go into the house, its not fully done yet. That's Mint growing up through the cracks there, Oh! and meet Churches! Rev. Churches Chicken is his full name and he loves biscuits and my Garden. Dont worry if he chases you out of the driveway as you leave, he does that to everyone!

Well Im glad you could stop by, it’s too bad you couldnt see everything! We didnt get to the Frog Filled Pond Bed, The Stream behind it (I’ll be growing Ginseng back there one day!) Oh, and the Pine Forest, My Grandmother’s straw and mud cottage she’s building next door, The Front and Side Fields…soon to be an apple orchard and vineyard,and the Slab behind the house, its going to be a Huge Greenhouse someday! Oh, Well, maybe next time! I’ll invite you in for some coffee and some Peanut Butter cookies, maybe it wont be such a construction zone then! See Ya’ll next week!

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Hello to all! I would like to indtroduce you to the newest member of our Farmin’ Family, his name is…Beckham-Bo Bunny! Dont look at me like that! I didnt name him!

He's still camera shy, but we'll work on that! 🙂


Mr.Beckham-Bo Bunny is one year old and looks as though he could be Wolverine’s Pet Rabbit (notice the mutton chops ), we got him for free from a family who could no longer care for him, as it turns out the wife was painfully allergic to rabbits. Needless to say, he is very skiddish and has never truly been held for long because of the allergy issue so were going to really have to work with him! He seemed fairly healthy aside from his enormously overgrown claws, which seemed to be tender to the touch, so instead of trying to clip his nails ourselves, we decided to take him to the vet’s office. Though I probably could have attempted the job myself ( its really not that difficult), I feared the quick had grown ( the quick is the small vein located in an animals claws that, if clipped, will bleed profusely) as well as his nails, and I really didn’t want to deal with a bleeding bunny foot! So off we go to the Friendly local Veterinarian’s office for a quick check up and grooming session…..$92 later, as Bear and I limped away as if we’d been shot in the butt, I began to think of a carreer in the Vet’s bussiness! O.K., so Im kidding about that part, but $92? It turned out that our cute little rescue bunny came with a case of ear-mites in one ear and the only possible cure was to charge us; $38 for the office visit, $23.50 for a swab of the ear and a glance in a microscope, $22.50 for an injection of Ivermectin (which turns out to be a de-wormer) and $8 for a nail trim….WoW! Now I have never come across a case of ear mites in all of my bunny raising experience,(which is odd, because all of my bunnies come from the auction-house) and in my ignorance, I didnt think to take matters into my own hands with my knowledge of herbs and home remedies.  I know, Bad Gwenevere! Always thouroughly research an animal your going to raise! But in my reading on rabbits, I only vauguely remembered something about ear mites, and vaguely remembering doesnt constitute full knowledge. Well I learned my lesson, and immediatly after the Vet’s Wallet lashing, I began my research and after hours of my nose stuck in books, my eyes stuck to the computer, and my ears stuck to the wisdom of my fiance’s Grandmother, here are my findings….I spent Waaayyy to much money!

Now onto the Home Remedies for Ear mites:

*Apparently, any type of oil, rubbed into the affected ear will smother the ear mites, however, the type of oil is widely debated. Some imply that mineral oil is the only way to go, while others swear on olive oil or canola. I personally would rather use a naturally based oil since any type of oil will seep through into the animal’s system.  Something to think about also, is adding essential oils to further heal the ear.  Eucalyptus or Grapefruit seed extract would be my choice for their antiseptic, healing and particularly their anti-fungal properties, because in some cases a fungus will appear after the death of the ear mites. This is rare, but worth a pre-defense.

Apply the oil/oil mixture to the inside of the ear with either a clean cotton cloth, cotton ball, or your fingers. Repeat about three times per day for a couple of weeks to make sure you smother not only the ear mites, but the succesivly hatching eggs as well.

*Apply a one part vinegar/two parts water mixture to the inside of the affected ear every day, about three times a day for a week. This is the recomended time, but I assume it would’nt get rid of the hatching eggs as well and you may have to repeat until all signs of infection are gone. This tends to dry the ear out more than the oil mixture, and should not be used on animals with sores from scratching too much, as it will sting. Vinegar is also said to clean out the debris and detritus from an affected ear. Similarly acidic in nature, lemon juice will also do the trick, while also making your bunny smell lemony fresh!

*Yellow Dock Root Extract:  nine drops of the extract are diluted with one tablespoon of water. Fill half of a dropper with the mixture and place in the ears. Continue this treatment for many weeks (every other day), to prevent any new infections from eggs hatching. You can make this extract at home by adding as much chopped yellow dock root as will fit in a mason jar of your choosing, then cover completely with 80 proof vodka, cover and place in a dark, cool place for about six weeks, shaking to mix ever day. Strain the mixture and store in a dark colored, sealed jar. This is the simplest way to make a tincture and can be used for just about any herb. Im really not sure at all how this remedy is supposed to work. It may only be that the alchohol in the mixture succesfully dries out the mites, but many people have recomended it, so the herb may act in some way.

*As an after treatment, My fiance’s Grandmother, Eve, gave me a little of her Goldenrod ointment. Not only will this help to heal the damage caused by the ear mites, it will also re-moisturize the ear and prevent infection from occuring. Perhaps I’ll do a post on how to make the Goldenrod ointment at a later date.

His ears seems to be doing better, but notice how the far one droops? This is one sign of ear mites. Sadly, He is in quarentine inside the house until we get rid of them.

Though I am now armored with this alternative knowlege, I will continue with the last two shots of Ivermectin the Vet recomended, I would not want any ill-effects caused because I chose to discontinue a treatment early.And  Though Ivermectin is a De-Wormer, Eve also says that yes, it will get rid of the ear mites, along with any other bug-type creature that would possibly infect poor Mr Bo-Bunny. I will, however, be using these home remedies if ever I come across Ear Mites again, first of all, I don’t enjoy wallet- crushing vet bills, secondly, there are rumors that Ivermectin has been known to cause brain damage.

Either way, We now own one very expensive bunny! Do you know what his punishment will be for costing us so much? A life of eating crunchy, fresh wild greens, Playing in the sunlit grass,  and Mating with Beautiful Does! Not too bad a punishment if I do say so myself!


You can really see the Wolverine-like Mutton Chops in this pic, Apparently that colorful object next to him is his favorite toy, and yes, he does carry it around when he's playing! 🙂

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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!

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