Our first post! Our rabbitry is dedicated to creating show quality Black Silver Fox with gentle and loving temperaments, and expanding the bloodlines of Lilac and Chocolate Silver Foxes! 2017 is promising, year two of owning rabbits, and our first year as an official rabbitry.
Year one was dedicated to figuring out how rabbits worked, and what worked best for the both of us. We started with four Champagne D’Argent does, one of whom was immediately traded for a Californian buck, and naive ideas of what rabbit life would be like. After many unsuccessful breeding attempts with Randy the buck, we were confronted with our first challenge: killing a rabbit. As I’m a taxidermist, and my mother a nurse, we were no stranger to blood and guts and death, but this was different.
It was, in the end, anticlimactic. I skinned him out, same as any animal, while she interjected with lessons of the different organs. We sectioned him according to Youtube tutorials, cooked him to an internet recipe, and individually figured out if we could deal with that being our reality. We could.
Soon after we bought a Red New Zealand buck, unproven, probably around a year old. We then came into the possession of two Silver Foxes, a buck and a doe, and wondered what to make of 6 rabbits. So, as fools, we bred them all.
May brought twenty one babies. It had brought more, but after all the DoAs and dead on the wire, we had nineteen. It was easy to see them as cute and unobtrusive whn they were nicely sectioned off into groups of less than six, but once weaning day came, we realized our mistake. We hadn’t prepared any sort of plan, nor sectioned growout pens. They grew up inside, under the watchful eye of my parents, who came to know and love them while I was off on a month long trip.
Cull plans were hard. Sentiment clouded our judgement, and we spent a long while figuring out any way we could be rid of them without killing them ourselves. Of course, we were only able to rehome one as a pet, gave one to our friend at the Future Farm in Texas, and were left to pick the order we killed our darlings. It was hard. It was upsetting. And the volume of lovelies we took to slaughter seemed massive. We wouldn’t do it again, not that many, not that soon.
My dad, leader of a local Boy Scout troop, placed our first order. He wanted ten rabbits, so the Wilderness Survival course could have them as their campout dinner.
We then bred all four females, again. Like absolute idiots- which, to be fair, we were. This time, we had twenty six. For the uninitiated, twenty six is a bad amount of rabbits to have in your first year of owning rabbits, ever. By the cull date for the scout troops we had more than 100 pounds of rabbit running around a pen in our yard and pens in our house.
By the end of September, we had all our rabbits sorted out- keping seven for the winter, with the rest taking a trip to freezer camp.
Since our first adventure in February to the near end of our first year, we’ve learned a lot. We plan to learn even more, to better ourselves and our rabbitry.
-Sebastian from Five Buck Rabbitry