Thursday, March 1, 2012

Shadow

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This is Shadow.

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She is a rabbit.  That is about all we know so far.  Well, she's about two years old.

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She has a bit of a double chin.  I like her already.

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She likes to sit in our laps.  The floor is too slippy, I think, for her sensibilities.

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She weighs between 6 and 7 pounds, but she looks a lot bigger than that.  She feels bigger than that too.  It's hard to weigh a bunny, especially when you just met an hour ago.  Perhaps we'll try again (with the scale and some photos) when she settles in just a bit. 

You might be wondering - why on earth, when I already have the chickens and the turkeys and the cats and the dog and the child - why a rabbit?  Well, it's not like I'm getting just one.  When it's all said and done, I'll probably have four to six.  But there are lots of good reasons to have rabbits:

1.  They are very, very quiet.
2.  They do not eat much.
3.  Despite eating very little, they somehow manage to poop considerable amounts of garden fertilizer that can be applied directly to the garden without any composting.
4.  Alternately, you can raise worms in the rabbit poop, sell the worms to fishermen, then put the rabbit poop in the garden.
5.  They can be taught to do this:

(And yes, I plan to give that a try with Shadow.)
6.  They breed, well, like rabbits.
7.  Rabbit tastes a lot like chicken.
8.  The library district hired me to do a series of bunny programs for the summer reading program this summer.  So having some rabbits will go a long way toward making that happen!
9.  Rabbits can also produce wool for yarn, if you are willing to invest the time in one of the wool producing breeds. 
10.  They are stinkin' cute!

And no, we won't be eating the program rabbits, but they may well be breeding stock.  I haven't figured all that out quiet yet, other than being fairly certain that I won't get any fiber bunnies.  They are adorable - once upon a time I had English Angoras - three does and a buck - but by the time I get my daughter's hair braided, I barely have time to run a brush through mine.  I just don't know where I'd find the time to groom a small herd of puffballs.  So I likely won't go that route. 

But for now, I'm enjoying getting to know Shadow.  Sweet girl!
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Any idea what type she is?
-Laura at TenThingsFarm

4 comments:

Carolyn Renee said...

OOOOO! A black bunny! Sorry, can't help you with the breed thing. We're thinking about getting rabbits this year and it looks like they will be New Zelands or California Whites. I wish they weren't white, I like colored animals! But then maybe I wouldn't be able to eat 'em. But then again, maybe I'd want the pelts if they were pretty. But then maybe I wouldn't.....UGH!
Let us know how your rabbit keeping goes as I'm wanting to learn from some REAL experiences as opposed to a book.

Ten Things Farm said...

Carolyn, we're fairly certain that she's a New Zealand. They do come in black and a reddish brown. So you could have animals with a bit of color that are still good meat stock as well.

I've raised rabbits before, for fiber and for meat. I'd be happy to share my experiences if you have questions and I can help. That said, I'm a bit of a bookworm, and usually go by what the books say. ;)

Debby Kaye said...

I don't have the slightest idea what kind of bunny Shadow is but, she's sure pretty! I'm just excited to see you'll be doing a summer library program! We came to the one you did on chickens and LOVED it! Library programs and bunnies - I just know it will be fabulous. :)

Ruth Dixon said...

Her double-chin is a dewlap (maybe that's what I should call mine, it sounds much nicer). Only does have them, bucks don't. See, being a 4-H livestock leader taught me something. She is beautiful. I love the quiet aspect of rabbits.

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