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Friday, October 21, 2011

Bunny Power!

The time comes in every rabbits' life, meat rabbit that is, when TSHTF. What? What does that mean? Well, avoiding the literal explanation like the plague, it's time for Mr. Fluffy bottom to meet his Maker. Think Hasenpfeffer. In the morn, I will be proceeding with Plan A, prepare raw materials for the aforementioned delicacy, or perhaps another dish.

The funk is building at an astounding rate, adding its' particular essence to the autumn chill.  With their demise will come a really good scrubbing of their premises, and some much needed repairs. My garden beds will love me for it!  We'll be eating good come next Spring.

I've been holding the frisky little vermin back in the reproductive department largely, since my family is still a bit squeamish about lapin consumption. I need to find a good, profitable outlet for them. Word is that each little bunny, if raised on standard fare, is worth something in the neighborhood of $30, while if the critter is raised on organic fare, it is worth around $60!  Jumpin' Jehoshaphat, that's a bunch a dough if you consider that each female can pump out around 50 offspring per year!  That's $300 minus expenses per female per year.  But, rabbits are ready to mate at about 6 months of age, so once you reach that 6 month mark, having kept all the females, you are going to suddenly have an explosion, if you let them...

We would be happy to sell the little dears to restaurants as organic rabbit meat, organically-raised rabbit meat, or to individuals as meat rabbit breeding stock.  I'll have to work on that more.

Notice the buildup of funk on the bottom!
It grows at a astonishing rate.

This is my setup.  I need to enlarge the doors,
and change the poop-slide to a tray.

Here's a shot of a nestbox I built.  All 3/4 plywood.
The bottom has 1/2 inch holes drilled through
to aid in drainage.  I'd add more holes still to make it good.

Look at the cute little things!  This is a typical litter, 5-6.
I've had as many as 9 in a litter, but the same doe's next litter
had just 3.  Kind of weird.

The home rabbitry in action.  Eliminating the wood,
and using 14-gauge, 1/2 by 1 inch mesh for the entire thing
would be much better.  I used what I had on hand
to keep costs down, they destroy 1/2" hardware cloth!

Notice the corrugated plastic roofing I used as a poop-shoot.
Having tried this, I say make them into removable trays.
That would really save on work.  The shoots don't work well.

Meet George, the cause of most of this.  George is half Californian,
half New Zealand, and huge!  He has sired ALL of the herd.
I have another couple bucks that aren't related to him to take over
after four generations of George-dom.  Then he'll get a rest.

 So I'm cutting back on our herd tomorrow to get ready for the winter.  Since I haven't found a profitable outlet for the bunbuns, and I don't want to discontinue them, and since my family isn't crazy about eating them, I need to cut back for the winter and wait for the Spring, when I can build more mobile pens and pasture them, saving much $$ on feed, while still cranking out the bunnies.

That's the scoop.



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