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"Agriculture must mediate between nature and the human community, with ties and obligations in both directions. To farm well requires an elaborate courtesy toward all creatures, animate and inanimate.”
- Wendell Berry
We raise rabbits for three things- food, fertilizer, and fur. Rabbits make an excellent addition to any family seeking to be more self sufficient. They are quiet, easy to care for, take up very little space, and are prolific. Children can easily learn to care for rabbits and it can give them an important chore on the homestead. This helps to teach them responsibility and connects them with where their food comes from.
Rabbit meat is very healthy. Compared to other meats it is high in protein, B12, omega-3 fatty acids, iron, and calcium but also lean and low in cholesterol. Rabbits have a great meat to bone ratio and provide a higher yield than chicken. Rabbits usually have 6-8 kits in a litter, which will be weaned by eight weeks, and typically hit butcher weight by twelve weeks. They can fill your freezer up quick! Cook up rabbit in any way that you would chicken.
Did you know that bunny berries make some of the best fertilizer? Manure from horses, cows, and chickens is considered ‘hot’ manure and has to be composted before it can be mixed into soil. Rabbit manure is considered to be ‘cold’, which means it can be used immediately. Rabbit poo is richer in soil building nutrients than many others and can drastically improve the life and structure of your soil. You can also make a compost tea by soaking the bunny poo in water, this is great for your garden plants.
We tan pelts and save them for projects. Rabbit fur is fun to work with because there are so many colors and markings. It is super soft and warm- try making blankets, boot inserts for winter, hats, and other things!
Homestead Rabbits is a great resource for general rabbit raising information, delicious recipes, and also has a breeders directory.
American Rabbit Breeders Association is an organization dedicated to the promotion, development, and improvement of the domestic rabbit.
One of the breeds we raise is the Champagne d'Argent, a heritage rabbit breed. The name means 'silver rabbit of Champagne.' Their specific origins are unknown but it is believed they were present in France in the mid 1600s, making it one of the oldest breeds of domesticated rabbit.
Champagne's are bred for their unique and beautiful silvered pelt as well as their meat production. They should have a short flyback coat and a commercial body type. Maximum weight for the breed is twelve pounds.
Champagne D' Argent Rabbit Federation
We also raise New Zealand rabbits in the red and broken red varieties. New Zealand are an extremely popular breed both in commercial and home based programs.
New Zealands are well known as an excellent choice for a meat rabbit program.