Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Nest-box material

We use pine wood-chips for nesting material in our rabbits nest-boxes, for absorbancy and warmth. The does will get in the box, dig it around, chew some into smaller pieces, and pull their hair to add to it to make a nice soft nest for their babies. So what do we do with it when the nest box comes out?
We have found a very good way to use it "twice". We mulched around our blueberry bushes and the newly planted grapevines we added this year. We have used it in the raspberry bed and around other flowers and bushes. If you don't mind it not being the commercial mulch color, it works just as well...... and saves money in the long run.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

The next step.....

We have started to cut the openings in the top quarter of the side-walls in the rabbit barn. Each section, like the one in this picture, will have a tilt-out frame, covered with white poultry curtain material, and hinged at the top.

They will be opened for air circulation, yet shade the direct sun's rays while allowing light in. In winter they can be closed , or partially closed while still allowing daylight in. This should be very advantageous in allowing the rabbits a more natural, day-night transition. That, coupled with the insulation, may allow us to breed the rabbits further into the heat of the summer, and start up breeding again in the early fall.

We are always seeking to improve on the quality of care for our animals. If anyone has further suggestion, we are always open to comments and ideas. Let us hear from you, especially from other parts of the country, or even other parts of the world. Tell us what your "hare-raising " experiences are like!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Who's been sleeping in MY bed??

Friday was a good day to catch up on scrubbing the rabbit nest boxes. They had been stacking up for some time now. As I was going through the pile and carrying them outside , I came across one in the very back that, soon as it was uncovered, a little wren flew out.
Apparently she had decided the nest box was a perfect site for her hatchlings!

Friday, April 10, 2009

My oh my! yummy Rabbit Pie!

Extra rabbit and veggies from the roast rabbit......add juices from roast and 1 can cream of mushroom soup. Bake in oven till bubbly.
Dumpling recipe is from the Pillsbury 8th Grand National Cookbook ( 25 cents at the time, no copyright date, but one of my Mom's cookbook collections) and has added chives, savory and celery seed (1 tsp ea) Roll the dumplings in buttered crumbs before putting them on top of the "pie", then bake uncovered in a 350* oven, for about 35-40 min. This gives a nice crunch texture to the top of the dumplings.
As an added plus, our wood-cook-stove was still burning so of course we made use of it. It always makes food super-delicious! My husband just could not comment enough on this delicious meal. And we had plenty left over for the next day!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Hare today and gone tomorrow!

Hubby thought he had about 50 rabbits to go on the truck this week. He kept loading and weighing and putting them in transport cages. He ended up with a whopping 103 to go! Those does are doing a great job!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Yummm! rabbit roast dinner!

We had a non-producer that ended up in my roaster last week.
Slow-cooked in the wood-stove oven, it was very tender and the spices hubby added made it just right! A simple meal, but very tasty and satisfying with a pineapple coleslaw on the side. There are many ways to enjoy rabbit and I will be posting more in recipe form as time goes.