It is officially fall now, although is has been such a blessing to have a lovely cool summer! It is Gorgeous here on the farm, lots of fun stuff going on! Helen, Elise, Leslie, Lisette, and Pookie are expecting, Peaches, Tessa, Harmony and Angel aren't, but Angel's turn is coming soon! Elise already has a "low belly" that looks quite large, so I'm hoping for a large litter. (I'm guessing 8-9 at least). Super exciting! She is due on Saturday and has all but pulled her fur for the nest. No matter how many times you have new litters of baby bunnies, each one holds new excitement! I'll finally be able to see what Capt. H.H. has for offspring for the first time, and that is always really neat. Both of my bucks have different traits/genes, and I'm interested to see what each one will throw. (I haven't had any babies from either of them ever before) I'm also to have my first Tortoise babies in the nestbox in October!
A Tortoise Buck, one of the two brothers.
These two little Tortoise bucks are still for sale, lovely little guys, I do badly need their cage space so if you could give one of them a home, Please let me know!
The first little chocolate baby that Edith had for me. A girl, of course! : )
I'm also very excited, in October I'm hoping to get my first chocolate baby (or babies! I hope) this year in 2013. Chocolate's are so hard for me to get!
As for my next update, I have a really neat surprise in store. I've been super excited about it for a couple of weeks, and hopefully I'll "reveal" the surprise, Tuesday next week. And I'm pretty sure, it will be adorable. ;)
Elise is due this Saturday. I think it will be a large litter, and it will be Bergene Pedigreed. I might post some pictures about that too. :) ~Anna
So I've had some new idea's lately, not only by customer request, but things that will end up benefiting my rabbits. Not mainly financially, but more in health and happiness. (Economics will play in a little later though) I've started number one, growing some of my own rabbit food. Now I'm not going to fully quit feeding pellets, the pellets really are healthy for them due to the fiber and other minerals, but I feel like I can at least improve some of their protein/vegetable diet even in my younger bunnies. I am aware that many people think, "You can't give a bunny greens, apples or fresh food until at least 4-6 months", and on this I disagree. If you look at all wild bunnies, in your in-town neighborhood, out in the country etc.., are those bunnies not eating anything green until they are 6 months? I have to say that the answer to that is rhetorical, Yes, they eat greens. The next "argument" is this: "But pet bunnies aren't as hardy as wild rabbits". This is more of a larger debate. Some Pet rabbits may not be able to handle excessive amounts of green, so in a way that can be true. But since I feel that my bunnies are healthy in every way, and are hardy in nature and breeding, I don't think it is a problem for me, and over all, most bunnies should be able to handle some fresh diet, even at a young age. (any Healthy bunny normally should) I'm giving them fresh greens starting at weaning. When they are weaning, I give it gradually, not in large amounts. (maybe two leaves each) By the time they are 8 weeks old they should be able to handle fresh lettuce, apples and carrots, without any problems whatsoever. Since I'm feeding all my bunnies fresh greens every day. They love it, and since I don't feed those yoghurt drops that cost $$ and aren't healthy for them, this is their treat instead. And I would almost guarantee you, they will like real, fresh, natural food, over processed products, whatever it might be.
Pellets, yep, they sure are "Processed" in the feed mills.
Fresh. Really Fresh. Big difference.
Now, as for the economics and where they play in to this: Feed prices are really up there right now. Since I've started raising rabbits, (over 1 yr 1/2+) I've seen feed prices go from $11.55 a 50# bag, to $16.15 for a 50# bag. YIKES!! If I'm going through 3 bags a month, that makes my feed bill go up to a whopping $48.45 a month instead of $34.65 a month. The difference is $13.80 a month. And in 12 months, that difference adds up to $165.60 a year. One Hundred and sixty five dollars per year. That is only the difference, not the total feed bill. Put the feed bill on top, and well... I leave you to think through that one. So what does this have to do with feeding Fresh? I've found that when I feed fresh lettuce, greens, fall apples, carrots and hay, my rabbits eat 50% less pellet. So if I'm feeding fresh all year round, at least in Fresh lettuce and hay, It should help cut my feed bill anywhere from 25%-40%. And this "cut" will help me immensely.
Now I'm going to focus a little more on the specific health benefits of feeding Raw.
#1. Weight control Here is something that many bunnies can, and do suffer from. Obesity. Feeding lots of pellets and processed treats is like eating lots of Mc.Donalds chicken Nuggets. I know some of you get my meaning to the point, others that don't, why don't you go look up the ingredients in Micky D's chicken nuggets or Micky D's anything. I think by the time you're done, you might even agree that the rabbit pellet is healthier. I know that we may try to control how much pellet they are eating, but in the long run, you really just need to feed less pellets. Feed Fresh. Grow it yourself, or Buy Local. Not from Walmart, from farmers, growers in your area. (it never hurts to emphasize buying local, because it is something we desperately need to do!) I truly believe that feeding less pellet and more fresh, will improve your rabbit's health. Immensely. Now I'm not saying, don't feed pellet, Far From it, but I am saying, maybe consider cutting back just a bit. (not a lot, unless your bunny is overly fat) It will improve your bunny's health. Another thing I'm just throwing out there, if you're bunny is fixed (spayed/neutered) it has a higher chance of becoming obese. I've experienced dealing with it when I had a fixed rabbit, they were obese, and it was hard to get some of that weight off of them. Feed more Fiber like Hay, and of course, raw.
#2. Healthy mental, psychological and physical stimulation I have seen a definite improvement in attitudes and temperament towards me and other bunnies. Feeding our pets raw puts them in touch with their natural, innate, dynamic instincts in a way that feeding them junk pet food (like Walmart treats and the pellet Walmart carries is what I would highly consider "junk food") simply never can.
#3. Softer, Shinier, Healthier Coats It really is amazing to see the obvious improvement in their fur and coats. Before I really started feeding raw, my rabbit's fur even seemed to be somewhat dull in appearance. By contrast, most everyone who switches their pets to raw is amazed at how much softer and cleaner feeling and glossier their pets’ fur becomes.
#4. And of Course, Economically. Read my above comments on this. It really can help cut back your unnecessary feed costs.
So there are my points in feeding fresh and raw. My goal for the next year, Kind of like an early new year's Resolution, is to try and feed my bunnies as healthy as possible. Not like a fad I might try for 2 weeks, (not that I ever try fads) but really try to feed my rabbits as healthy as possible. I DO understand that I may sounds little wacky at the moment, but the bottom line is, I'm feeding fresh greens, seeing improvements in health, attitude, and economics. If you want to try it, go for it!!!!
Another interesting health topic in feeding rabbits: Try feeding them Kefir grains. I'm not to into giving my adult rabbits dairy products, as I see a good bit of loose bowel problem, so I feed Water Kefir. (You're welcome to try milk kefir grains too if you'd like though) We grow our own Kefir grains with Organic Sugar, and we drink the Kefir and feed the Grains to the bunnies and chickens. Kefir is a natural Pro-biotic, so instead of me feeding Pro-bios in a paste (like for cattle that you give orally) to them, just give them some fresh Water Kefir twice (or more) every week. It is cheap, and water Kefir is constantly multiplying. Another one of my fun ideas, and I do use it! :)
Some of my Water Kefir grains. I feed it to the bunnies just like this. They LOVE it!
That is mostly all for now folks. Besides having lots of Manure available right now, and Peaches's babies are now ready to go, and growing the fall garden, we've been pretty busy lately. Lisette is due with her babies this Saturday, and she has already pulled her fur and made a nest. Fun!!! Watch for another post later this week!
These happy little boys are ready for their forever homes!! Adopt one today! And now I sound like I'm selling something.... I am! :)
Meet my new additions or presents: This is Captain Pellew. Real nice blue buck, I need him because he carries Tortoise. And if you remember, I wasn't too pleased to get ALL black out of my tort doe Peaches this last time. So Captain Pellew is now here to fix that!! I'm also hoping he carries a little Chocolate for Helen. :)
This is Leslie. She is a lovely Tortoise, she is actually Harmony's older Sister. (by a whole litter older) I'm excited to have another couple of tort does, I'd love to raise some adorable little tortoise babies!!
This is Pookie. (She kept her name from her previous owner). She is another Tortoise doe, and she throws nice large litters of Torts, Blacks, and some blues. She is I think about 2-3 years old, maybe a little older. She is still having babies just fine though, so I'll be enjoying her for a little while yet!!
Peaches pretty babies are getting big!! We love them at this age. The little children brought 2 of them in on Saturday and lost them. Two tiny little bunnies running around our house. To say the least, it took us 3 hours of dedicated searching, moving heavy furniture, running our flashlights out of batteries, and digging through things just looking for the two little runaways. Let just hope THAT doesn't happen again!
Thanks for stopping by! Watch for another update soon! ~Anna
Welcome! I'm Anna, and I raise Dutch and English Angora rabbits. I love staging photoshoots and I use the blog as a way for you to get a glimpse of the adorable bunnies I cherish. I try to post on my "bunny blog" at least once a month, so check back for updates! Also check out my facebook page in the top right hand corner of my site. Thanks for stopping by, and enjoy the pictures!