Friday, July 22, 2005

Patents and Rabbits

Has been a busy week. Besides the lightening adventure discussed below, I took on a quick consulting job on a Patent case - which consumed most of my "extra" time, (but pays better than publishing).

We have decided to start raising rabbits for meat. We plan to acquire these within the week - but we will see how this goes. Numerous sources: (John Seymour's The Self-Sufficient Life ..., Mr. Franklin Jennings - the urban homestead advisor at Hallowed Ground, and others) extoll the efficiency of raising rabbits for meat (and manure - and also fur).

We first look in the The South Carolina Market Bulletin, where we may be able to find the rabbits we want. I may also go to the weekly small animal auction in Lugoff. This would be my preference, although you don't know any given week if what you are seeking will be there.

We would like to get two does and buck-either New Zealands or Californian. However, most of what we see adverstised here are cottontails. I called a gentlemen last night who advertised rabbits in the afore mentioned SC Bulletin. When asked what kind of rabbits he was selling, the reply was, "I dunno - I just got them at the tractor place".

We will have to build a cage this weekend, but that should be no big deal. I will report on our progress.

Oh yes - we hope to go fishing this afternoon - after all, it is Friday!

From Bethany, the small holding in Bethune...

Oremus pro invicem!

4 comments:

GFvonB said...

Mmmmm... Hasenpfeffer!

Franklin Jennings said...

Let me just say, that is the one word that is strictly verboten when you are about to go give a physical exam to a cottontail. Learned that the hard way.

Mr. Curley,

If you need any further info on rabbits, feel free to email me at srogers3@bellsouth.net with questions. But a few points off the top of my head...

Make sure they have some solid flooring in their hutches. Sore hocks are an infection waiting to happen. Ever seen a bed sore?

Lots of timothy hay. Alfalfa is just empty calories and bad fiber, for rabbits at least.

Cabbage, not lettuce. Lettuce can be even worse than alfalfa. The rule of thumb for greens (cabbage being the exception) is the darker the greens, the better for the rabbit. Kale, collards, turnips, all excellent. Needless to say, fresh is best. And in South Carolina, you should have no trouble producing their greens in a small 4'x4' bed or two year round.

No more than one carrot a day, ever. Good for them, but overkill.

And don't freak out if you see a night stool they didn't consume. Sometime in the wee hours of morning, rabbits produce a stool, which they usually consume, that is quite unlike a normal "pellet". It is mucousy and wet and perfectly normal. Sometimes you get there early, sometimes they don't feel like eating it that day. Don't worry, it is normal and healthy, an important part of their nutrition.

JCurley said...

Mr. Jennings: It looks like it will be a couple weeks til we get our rabbits. The seller advised me to get them from buck and the does from two separate litters, and she has two coming 'online' the week of August 11.

Your points are well taken. I may need your advice more on raising fish in barrels than on the rabbits - but that will come soon enough.

Jim

Franklin Jennings said...

Good, sounds like you have found a reputable breeder. It goes without saying that the more diverse the gene pool, the hardier the offspring produced. There are other considerations, since you'll be eating many before they are 9 months old, but hardiness should never be underrated.

I reccomend mutts over pure bred dogs for the same reason, unless you are working them in a very specific manner.