Little Farm in the Big Woods

meet our new rabbits

Monday, April 27, 2015 8:58 AM

Well, this spring has been a busy time on our farm.  Our chicks and ducklings are growing bigger every day.  Our very pregnant goats are growing wider every day as we get closer and closer to their due dates.  (I’m really hoping that my next post will feature new baby goats!)   

*6 week old duckling*

Anyway, we are trying to find ways to grow more and more of our own food, and a couple of weeks ago, the kids got together and suggested rabbits.  I had never really even considered rabbits, since none of us had ever even tasted rabbit meat, and since they’re so cute, I wasn’t sure how we’d ever be able to process them anyway.  Well, after doing some research, we decided that maybe the kids were on to something, and we should at least give it a try. 

So after researching the different breeds, we decided on the breed we really wanted (American Chinchilla), and then discovered that there are none within 400 miles of us, and those would likely be very pricey.  So, on to Plan B!  We searched around our area to find the breeds readily available to us, and decided on Rex Rabbits.  Rex rabbits are actually raised more for their fur than meat, because their fur is incredible.  It’s softer and thicker than any other rabbit, and often referred to as living velvet.  But they also produce great meat, so that is the breed we decided to go with. 

We got one buck and three does to start with, and boy they are just so much fun!  It’s great, because these four will be our breeders, which means they’ll be with us for a while, so we can treat them as pets and get attached to them ~ and we are!

They’re all still young, so it will be a while before we can start breeding them,  so our first “harvest” should be around Thanksgiving.  The farm we bought them from also sold us an already processed fryer, so we had that for dinner the next night, and were relieved to find that rabbit meat really does taste like chicken.  Whew!

In addition to the ducks and rabbits, we’re also trying a new gardening method this spring ~ straw bale gardening.  Basically you condition the straw bales to compost on the inside, and then plant directly into the straw bales.  This makes for less weeds, disease, and most especially in my case NO GOPHERS!!! I’m really excited about it, and I’ll keep you posted on how it goes.  I would love to hear if anyone else has tried this.   We’ve been conditioning our bales for two weeks now, and we’re getting close to planting time now.  I’m so excited to start enjoying all the yummy food that we should be harvesting in the next several months!

Are you going to be growing food this year?  I’d love to hear all about it!

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