But I can point out East!
Seriously though, the constant rain is really slowing things down. I got this weird 70’s style closet rail replaced with a bar, and bought the materials for the rabbit cages, but other than that it’s been pretty slow.
Lady McFarmFace hasn’t been feeling well today, so mainly I’ve been trying to help out indoors. But the rain should slack up enough for me to get at least stared on the rabbit cages.
Standard wisdom for breeding meat rabbits says they need a few square feet each and the cages are often hung for easy cleaning. But that’s not how we roll here. Each adult rabbit will have a 6.5′ by 4′ run with a nest box.
The entire top will be hinged in the middle. One half will be 2×4 fence wire and the other half painted wood for shelter and shade. The sides will be 1/2″ hardware cloth to keep the babies in and protect from raccoons.
Now, I’m well aware that the top half that is a larger spaced wire will be wide enough for a raccoon to reach in, but at 2 feet tall and with only half the top wire, I figure the bunnies shouldn’t have too much trouble evading them IF they are even willing to brave the yard and dog smell.
Here’s the best part though. The bottoms will be the same widely spaced wire. These bunnies will be on the next best thing to bare ground. I figure that instead of a lawnmower, I’ll just move the cages every few days as they clip the grass and weeds short.
We usually very carefully select livestock breeds here, but it seems like a meat rabbit is a meat rabbit. Californian, New Zealand white, Cornish cross, Flemish cross, it seems as though the biggest difference is the coat.
I’m told the white coats are commercially more useful as they can be died, but the grey and brown ones are prettier and probably more useful to hobbyists. So maybe we will get both and see what works best. Eventually we may switch to a colony setting, but only if we find the meat to be easy to move.
I am really not looking forward to killing rabbits. Chickens are hard enough for me. But if I’m going to be a McFarmFace, I need to develop the stomach for it.
Meanwhile, Vasi is coming along really well. I figure some minor repairs and changes to the fence in the front yard and she can be turned loose with the birds soon. We have an aerial run for her and she does really well with them. She’s very gentle.
So that’s kind of where we are right now. The ferocious guard dog naps with the birds, and we will have our first four legged livestock as soon as I build the enclosures. Fencing the pasture is next after that.
If anyone has recommendations for one rabbit breed over another, feel free to share!