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Apple Orchard Rabbitry

Shopping in the garden

So today I harvested a pumpkin(I checked for every sign before I did) and mustard greens!! I’m SO excited!! I also planted more radish one week ago (hopefully it’s not too late, even if it is the rabbits will still enjoy the tops before the frost), the pumpkins are for deworming the rabbits and chickens(they don’t have worms, just a preventative) and we will be making pumpkin pie with the rest of the pumpkin (not the guts tho)
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Above is a photo of the mustard greens I collected for the rabbits, they like them alot!
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Here is the sugar pie pumpkin I harvested for the rabbits (and me). Quick question for everybody: Can i use the pumpkin right after I harvest it or do i have to let it dry out for ten days?
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I’ve also marked ella’s kits ears with permanent marker so I can keep track of them (just until I get a tattooing kit for the rabbits).

Non-rabbit Related Stuff: I’ve been doing some research on cows, hopefully we can get some in 2017(if not earlier) I’d really like to get one to milk! I’ve milked goats before but haven’t milked a cow yet, In the future we will most likely have pigs, cows, sheep, horses, goats and more chickens(and bunnies) So we will be a full out farm, haha, that’s pretty much it for this blog. Hope you enjoyed reading it! 🙂

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OMB!!!!

Oh My Bunnies!!!!! Lucy had kits!! AGAIN!!!!!! But I didn’t breed her nor did she escape so beast probably got into her cage and I forgot, some of the kits have Dutch-looking faces so I know they are beast’s kits, she had 11 one was mummified and she ate it but its totally normal, I had to make room for Lucy’s first (technically second) litter with wasn’t too hard but I had plans for that extra space!! And I will need more room once the bucks reach 8 weeks!!! Thanks Lucy!!!! Although this will be a bit hard to make I am still happy Lucy had kits and that I know WHO the father is this time! The older litter is 6 weeks and 4 days! Wow they are getting big! Ella escaped a few days ago caught her today and after telling her that I’m going to eat her she decided to go nicely she was like “oops I think I’m in BIG trouble!” And I started petting her head and snatched her up she is due in about 2 weeks I will have to check when I bred her and I will palpate her tomorrow see if she is pregnant, if not I will breed her again she hasn’t pulled any fur (like she did last time on her false pregnancy) which is a good sign and when I bred her she lifted which is great!! Lionhead(who is loose) is warming up to me now and I could catch her pretty easily if I wanted to, but I don’t right now as she has a litter somewhere and when I see the kits running around that’s when I strike! White socks also escaped but I caught him while he was trying to breed LH(Lionhead) I cleaned half of the bunny bottles with a diluted Sol-U-Mel mix(a melaleuca product) ,tomorrow I will finish cleaning the bottles/feeders/cages and I also have to continue cleaning all of the goat/bunny poop out of the bunny barn(s)

My To-Do List

Clean poop from bunny barn
Finish bleaching/cleaning rabbit supplies
Build grooming table
Build more cages
Get third wall put up on barn
Build Hay feeders
Start fodder setup

Gotta buy some more bottles, I have extra lids but no bottles, I also have to check my heated water bottles and see if they are still working, if they are I am going to sell them and get more rabbit supplies, they are too hard for the rabbit to drink out of and too hard to setup, they are pretty okay if you have just one or two pet rabbits but not for a rabbitry(I will be selling for about 10$ a piece if anybody is interested), my garden if doing great!! One of my radishes is about the size of a penny! My kale is getting its “kale leaves” now!!! Turns out I have three pumpkin plants (when I only planted two) which is AMAZING! The basil if coming up pretty well, still no sign of carrot, we’ve got other things growing but I can’t list them off right now, there is a soy field right next to us and they sprayed chemicals so next year I will NOT be planting there and I am going to scrub the plants that come from there before either I or the bunnies consume them! 5/10 of my willows have leaves and one of them has LOTS of bug willow leaves, the other are still small, I tried to call double a vineyards one day and tell them that they were turning black but their phone lines were down, although I should call them tomorrow and let them know and ask why this happened kinda sad that I lost half of them, the willows are amazing (although i haven’t harvest yet)and if you raise rabbits I reccomend buying some you can get them from doubleavineyards.com I suggest buying at least ten because shipping is kind of expensive! ( not super expensive but I’m not rich! If I were there would be a very little chance I would be into rabbits and even smaller that I would have the setup that I have and although I love my setup I would prefer something with more cage space and what not) my comfrey is also growing well its coming up pretty great!!! We are also starting fodder again!!! So Excited!!!

Here are photos of everything

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Lucy’s new litter

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Rabbitry setup (sorry its really messy I’m still not finished

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shed!!)

Here is a cage I built with my choco

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late agouti in it

We are temporarily using a ta

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rp as the t

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hird wall

Lucy’s hutch

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My VERY messy grooming table

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Beast on the right

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W.S. in the middle

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And L.B.B. on the left

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These are almost all of the photos I will upload the rest on our FB page.

Non-Rabbit Related Things

Kittens are almost 4 weeks old and they are walking around a lot and starting to eat kitten food.

We sold our goats (pretty sad) but it was best for them as we could not care for them currently we don’t have the right setup right now, but in a couple years we will get goats again! We are going to fence off our property and let them free range.

Chicks are getting really big, almost as big as the hens. We are getting about 3-5 eggs a day, I think we will be getting a rooster too!

Next year we will be getting a horse (or two) and we will have a PROPER setup, horses are something that we really have been wanting so we will probably get them before we get goats (especially since we just lost our favorite goats 😦  )

I think that covers everything right now, hope you enjoyed reading our VERY looong blog, I will probably write another one in about 2-3 more months Lol.

Medicinal Herbs For Rabbits

I got all of this info from a Rise & Shine Rabbitry you can find a link to the original post Here
Basically what medicinal herbs are is plants that work like better than store bought pills and medication and they don’t have any side-effects!!! well they usually don’t im sure some of them have a few side-effects but nothing major! Anyways here are some medicinal herbs for rabbits! (these are some that i thought were best through out the entire article and plan on using this year)

Birch – Chewing/teeth wear down, Pain relief, Anti-inflammatory, Diurectic

BOSS(Black Oil Sunflower Seeds) – Improves Coat condition

Blackberry – Used for pregnant does,stimulate appetite, diarrhea, safe introductory green for kits and can help cool rabbits in the summer by increasing blood circulation!

Blue Cohosh –  It can be used if doe has a hard time giving birth or if a kit gets stuck. It will dilate the doe. Do not give while pregnant, wait until doe is due. It will induce labor. Also it will help in healing once kits are born.

Chamomile – Calms rabbits, Pain relief, great eye wash for weepy eye, Chamomile tea and honey!! Just make a cup of tea, a little stronger than you’d drink it and add a teaspoon of honey. Take a syringe and squirt into the eye.You can also use as a compress and as a wipe for the eye. Both chamomile and honey are anti-everything!!! microbial, fungal, and with antibiotic properties. Let the rabbit eat some before you treat for eye problems because of its pain relief and calming effects will make the rabbit easier to handle

Chickweed – Anti-inflammatory, Molt and helps heal cuts!

Comfrey – Healing, bone formation, ill rabbits, stressed and weak rabbits, if you have a rabbit off feed try a few leaves of comfrey. (from what i’ve heard) this is a great herb tonic for rabbits! You can cut it down and dry it like hay to store for winter use.The plant has a calming effect on rabbits, Comfrey is a good source of vitamin A and good for pregnant and nursing does. It is a digestive aid, It supports the immune system, good for the stomach helps with wool block and is used for many other things.feed as a general tonic. In extreme doses, comfrey can cause diarrhea. This is its effects working too hard and if left unnoticed, the rabbit may get dehydrated. When used correctly, Comfrey is one of the best herbs for rabbits.

Dandelion – (My favorite!) Blood purifying, milk flow of nursing does, good treat for does after having a litter, respiratory ailments, anti-inflammatory, bladder infections, diarrhea. Some rabbit respiratory problems, such as pasteurellosis, can eventually cause serious problems including head tilt, loss of balance and even death. There have been tests on rabbits that were treated with dandelion’s showing that it is effective against pneumonia, bronchitis and upper respiratory infections. Use fresh leaves, flowers and dig up root, the root can be dried to make a weak tea to add to the rabbits water.The bitter milky sap stimulates the working of all glands, even the milk glands of lactating does. The plant has both laxative and astringent qualities and regulates constipation and diarrhea.

Echinacea – Immune system stimulant and broad spectrum antibiotic. In the lower doses it’s the stimulant and in higher doses acts as an antibiotic. Anti-inflammatory with anti-viral properties. It can be grown in almost every backyard and available at most health food stores. Echinacea is a great preventive herb to use for your rabbits. you can feed some leaves to your rabbits daily green mix to boost the immune system and fight infection. Research has shown that echinacea increases production of interferon in the body. It is antiseptic and antimicrobial, with properties that act to increase the number of white blood cells available to destroy bacteria and slow the spread of infection. It is also a good herb to dry and save use for winter!! You can get echinacea capsules at heath food stores add 4 capsules of the echinacea to one gallon of water and boil and cool store in fridge and add 1/4 herb water to 3/4 water and fill water bottles, crocks, ect,

Fennel – Bloating, gas, milk flow of nursing does

Ginger – Infertility in bucks

Garlic – Immunize against disease, antiseptic, antibiotic, bloating and gas, wormer, respiratory expectorant.

Grapfruit seed extract – As for worming rabbits(according to the blog), grapefruit seed extract does the jog good and is all natural. 10 drops in a gallon of water for 2 weeks..or longer if there is a known bad problem. This also helps to worm them and along with raw pumpkin seeds this mix should clean out your rabbits. a good idea is to regularly run grapefruit seed extract through their water at least 2 times a year with a few raw pumpkin seeds on top of their food and it should keep problems with coccidiosis out of your herd. you can also use it when you bring in new stock, this has many uses as a bactericide, fungicide, anti viral, anti parasitic

Lemon Balm – Anti-bacterial, antiviral, bloating and gas, diarrhea, reduce stress

Licorice (herb) – Good for gastric inflammation and coughs.

Marigold – Bruises, slowly healing wounds, ulcers, skin diseases, digestive problems

Milk Thistle – Helps take ammonia from the blood and protects both the liver and the kidneys, increases milk flow in nursing does

Mint – Firms loose stools, decreases the milk flow of does during weaning, Good herb for treating mastitis. Safe as food for dry does and bucks DO NOT FEED to lactitating does as it dries up the does and will starve the kits. Used for colds, eye inflammation, liver stimulant, and used to relax the muscles of the digestive tract and stimulate bile flow, so mint is useful for indigestion(just like it is with humans), gas and colic. Avoid prolonged use, it can irritate the mucous membranes. Do not give any form of mint to young babies. Should be harvested just before flowering.

Oats – Good for digestive problems, diarrhea, kidney and bladder problems. Small kits may not be able to swallow oats and might choke on them. Feed sparingly in summer.

Parsley – Enriches the blood, urinary problems. Roots are used for constipation and obstruction of the intestines. Good for the cure of inflammation of bladder & kidneys, digestive disorders, fertility in bucks, productivity in does (definetly plan on feeding this to my angoras, just in case!)

Papaya – Papaya is great for treating wool block and prevents it! I give my rabbits a papaya enzyme tablet every couple of days to help keep them from getting wool block(even some of the regular furred rabbits as a treat). The enzyme helps to break down the fur in the gut, and keep things moving. The rabbits love them, You can get the tablets at most health food stores.

Pineapple – Bromelain, the actual enzyme in the pineapple, is most abundant in the stem of the pineapple, the center part that usually gets thrown away. Fresh pineapple are best as the enzyme will be removed once frozen or processed. Bromelain is good for diarrhea. It will reduce intestinal fluid secretion and is suggested that bromelain has mucolytic and digestive properties. It’ll dilate the mucus coating of the GI tract as well as helping to breakdown proteins good for gut mobility and helping with hairballs good to give to rabbits during a molt, also will prevent wool block, i think my papaya tablets has pineapple in them.

Plantain (weed)  – antimicrobial, antispasmodic, healing of cuts, respiratory expectorant, fevers. Great as a safe introduction of young kits to greens, works great for diarrhea. Leaves soothe urinary tract infections and irritations. Good for gastric inflammations. Juice pressed from fresh leaves is given orally for inflamed mucous membranes in cystitis, diarrhea and lung infections. Use the juice for inflammations, sores, and wounds. Plantain does not cause digestive problems. The plant regulates the function of the intestines and is generally good for the mucous membranes. Useful in the diet of weanling’s and can be harvested and dried for year round use.

Purse lane – Purslane contains more Omega-3 fatty acids than any other leafy vegetable plant know of. There was a study where they fed Purslane to rabbits with high cholesterol and it lowered it.

Raspberry – Prevention and treatment of kindling problems like retained afterbirth. Improves condition during pregnancy, ensuring speedy and strong birth. Feed during the last two weeks of pregnancy as a great preventive prenatal supplement. Also wonderful cure for digestive ailments including diarrhea, infertility in bucks, fevers. and a safe introductory green for young kits

Rosemary – Lowers blood pressure, Ideal for exhaustion, weakness, and depression in rabbits. The stems and leaves invigorate the circulation, stimulate the digestion, and are good for cold conditions. Harvest fresh, dry or grow inside for year-round use.

Sage – When dried and powdered, and sprinkled it repels fleas, dry up does who’s kits have been weaned. Reduces lactation when weaning, digestive stimulant and a uterine stimulant. This herb should be used with caution and should be avoided during pregnancy.

Strawberry – Whole plant is antiseptic and cooling. Leaves are rich in iron and are supposed to prevent miscarriage. Externally used for inflamed areas, rashes and sore eyes.

Thyme – Good for diarrhea The stems and leaves are ideal for a useful as a digestive remedy, warming for stomach ache, chills and associated diarrhea. Expels worms. Harvest before and during flowering in summer, discard the woody stems

Willow – Intestinal inflammation. Willow twigs and leaves. Useful winter food, easily gathered and stored. Also a pain-reliever and possible natural coccidiostat. Also can be used as toys for bunnies!

Other Health Stuff:
Pregnacy Tonic – Combine the following- dried, raspberry leaf, nettle, and goats rue (Galega officinale) in equal parts, and half part Milk Thistle (Silybum marianum). All organic either grow your own or get it from a health food store
Feed: 1 Tbs. per day at feeding time, to pregnant Does beginning one week before kindling through the first month. These herbs help ease kindling, offer nutrition and support lactation. Just sprinkle 1 Tbs. over their food, once a day.

Ear Mites (A.K.A. Ear Canker) – Any type of food grade oil may be used- olive oil, corn oil, almond oil, ect. A few drops of tea tree oil mixed in to any of the oils listed will help the healing process the oil serves 3 purposes -soothes the skin, smothers and suffocates the mites, and speeds the healing process. Put 6 or 7 drops in each ear massaging the base of the ear to saturate the inner ear completely. The rabbit will shake out the nasty stuff after a few treatments. Treat for the first 2 days than every other day for 14 days after this, 2 times a week for the next 2 weeks ear mites have a 28 day life cycle so you must treat up to the 28 days to make sure all the mites are killed. Rise and Shine Rabbitry said that they make a mix of mineral oil with a few drops of apple cider vinegar, 5 or 6 drops of camphor oil and rosemary oil in the store bought mineral oil container and use a few drops in each ear as a preventive when they trim the rabbits nails.

Eye Infection / Weepy eyes – Eye problems are not uncommon in rabbits, dirt or other debris can get lodged in a tear duct(happens more often to kits in the nestbox (nestbox eye) ) and if not washed out can cause a bacterial infection wash with saline or any human eye wash or some of the herbs listed above ^ take a few drop of tea tree oil and smeared it around the inflamed area tea tree oil is a natural antiseptic and is very good at curing microbial infections. See Chamomile above for more info

GI Problems – Rabbits need a high fiber diet for their best intestinal health. Grass hay(timothy, orchard grass ect,) is great for the healthy movement in the rabbits digestive track. If a rabbit is not eating there is a problem! If their poop pellets get small and dry or none at all it is a sign of wool block or GI stasis. You have to get the gastric tract moving again. Rise and Shine Rabbitry suggests to get some 100% canned pumpkin NOT the canned pumpkin pie filling (it has spices in it the will hurt your rabbits) Suck some up in a big syringe (remove the needle). Then put the plastic tip of the syringe into the side of the rabbits mouth and very slowly squeeze some out a little at a time give about 2 teaspoons for each dose wait about 3 hours and do it again you can give it 4 to 6 times a day every day until they start eating and pooping. Slippery elm bark in its shredded bark form fed to rabbits should help with GI problems if the rabbits will not eat it grind some up as a powdered form in its water mix 1 teaspoon in the drinking water 3 to 4 time a day. they have always had good luck feeding a few comfrey leaves and in a few days they are back on the regular feed schedule

Wool Block – I just recently had a case of wool block, Lucy stopped eating and wasn’t acting herself, i immediately knew that it was wool block (tons of other things were racing through my head but i knew it was wool block and not GI) to treat her i brought her inside (so i can keep a close eye on her) and gave her papaya tablets and tons of hay, i kept her on a diet of hay and 1/4 cup of pellets for a few days, i also gave her 1 papaya tablet a day, she got the wool cleaned out quickly (not completely but most of it) after a few days of being on this diet she was super hungry so i gave her 1/2 cup of pellets, hay and 1 papaya tablet, after about two days of this i switched her back to her regular feed schedule and kept her on half a papaya tablet for 4-7 days then half a tablet every few days to prevent wool block from occurring and it might happen again but in my opinion its not a big deal, i know its a life or death situation and maybe lucy’s case wasnt a bad one but it didnt seem to bad (after i stopped freaking out about her passing away..okay so maybe it is a big deal!) also to prevent wool block from occuring you can brush out your angoras fur twice a week and if you have a regular furred rabbit when they molt you can help by grooming 3-4 times a week during a molt.

i got this info from Rise and Shine Rabbitry and i was looking at their page for the herb and what it is good for so some stuff might be word for word, the wool block part i wrote myself, I hope this article helps you, i know it will help me!!! if you would like to read the original article click Here, thank you for reading my blog and have a great day! 😀

Moon Phase Rabbit Breeding

I have been thinking about breeding on moon cycles to experiment, I think I might try this when I breed

Mad Hatter Rabbits

Krappweis / stock.xchng Krappweis / stock.xchng

I don’t know about you, but I tend to check the Farmer’s Almanac before major surgeries like getting wisdom teeth extracted and when the winter weather map came out I pretty much decided it was gospel and made my plans accordingly.

I don’t have the slightest idea how the Farmer’s Almanac comes up with the stuff they print, but it seems to be proven over the course of time. To be honest, I don’t even read my personal horoscope, so it’s kind of strange that I’ll put stock in something that seems, well… hokey. I am most certainly a skeptic.

Along those same lines are the myths about breeding rabbits according to the moon cycle. There are people who swear they can predict the number of bucks and does born in a litter, the number of show rabbits, and various other items based on breeding their mama…

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Rabbit Boredom

Have you ever seen your rabbit gnawing on the hutch/cage bars? if so then your rabbit might be bored, rabbits get bored just like we do and a great way to help cure that is by providing toys for your rabbit(s)! If you have a large scale Rabbitry then your probably thinking “well to provide all of my rabbits with toys I’m probably going to have to spend thousands of dollars”, wrong! In fact you have rabbit toys in your house right now! Ya know those toilet paper tubes that get thrown away? or the paper towel tubes? rabbits love to play with them! you can cut a cardboard tube up into 8-10 rings and put them all together and you have a rabbit toy! if you don’t have cardboard tubes right now then even some hay helps, the rabbits love to dig in it, below is instructions and toy ideas that you can either buy or make with household items. Also if you don’t use a lot of toilet paper rolls you can always ask neighbors or family, I ask my family members and I think that they think I’m crazy Lol

Card Board Balls

Supplies:
Cardboard Tube
Scissors
Treat (optional)

Directions
Step 1: flatten cardboard tube so it is easier to cut up the tube
Step 2: Cut up the tube into 8-10 rings
Step 3: Place them inside of each other criss-cross style to form a ball
Step 4: Add the rest of the rings onto the ball (this step is kind of tricky)
Step 5: Add a treat such as banana chips or raspberries (optional)

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Baby Toys

Ya know those baby toy rings that you see at the dollar store for a buck? those would work perfectly, they are only about a dollar and they will keep your rabbit happy!

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(These photos belong to Holly’s Hollands Rabbitry, I do not own them, here is a link to their page if you want to check them out! http://hollyshollands.weebly.com/ )

Cardboard Boxes work great as a hidey-house or a box to gnaw on, certain branch bunnies can gnaw on, apple and willow can be used, I think apple has to be dried out for three months, but willow you can give to them right away, they love the bark and it helps wear down their teeth so they don’t overgrow, just don’t give them too much at a time (I’m not sure if it will hurt them but just to be safe) also blocks of untreated work are good toys! Newspaper works good you can use it for bedding/digging or you can give your rabbit a whole sheet and they can tear it up as they wish! (don’t use the shiny newspaper just the regular stuff)

If you rabbit is still bored after giving him/her toys consider getting another rabbit, rabbits like a social life too, if you have a unfixed buck that you are using for breeding, a fixed male might be a good idea, if you have tons of rabbits and can’t afford to tons of unfixed rabbits then letting your rabbit run around outside of their hutch/cage with help keep them occupied, if the rabbit can dig in the dirt and get some exercise for about 1 hour a day they should be less bored. Hope this helps! if you have any questions or suggestions leave them in the comments below! Thank you for reading this post!

Should’ve named him hulk…

Well I am officially convinced that my rabbit is hulk or superman! He keeps pushing his hidey box on its side! This is wood and it is kinda heavy especially for a 5lb (maybe six I’m not sure I haven’t weighed him yet) rabbit! “Normal bunny when human is around super bunny when human is gone!” And I also have a super jumping rabbit! Lbb is jumping almost three feet!!!! He is jumping from a stand that i have ontop of Lucy’s cage which is a three foot jump!!! Might as well just form a super bunny team! I think white socks will be the leader on the team, lbb definetly can’t be the leader as he gets very sidetracked! Why white socks deserves the job, he was being chased by lbb (lbb was trying to neuter him) and lbb got sidetracked and started digging in a soft spot in the ground and then white socks jumped up on the deck and after lbb finished his digging he started searching for white sox and he went right passed him and didn’t see him so he thought “hmm maybe he went to the other side” so lbb went to the other side and didn’t even notice white sox again, then while lbb was searching white sox jumped down and hopped over towards lbb but lbb was either A) too hungry, B) didn’t care or C) too worn out. Well I think that’s pretty good for this post! What do you think the name of my super bunny team should be? What should the bunnies super hero names be? Who should be on the squad? Please tell us your answer in the comments!

L.b.b. and Chicks! 007                            L.b.b. and Chicks! 010

Hello world!

Hi! We are Apple Orchard Rabbitry! We raise French Angoras and NZ/Cali Cross rabbits, We have our French Angoras for wool and to show them, Our NZ/Cali cross are for us to eat, so we can have healthy lean meat! We soon plan on having our rabbits in a colony (or fluffle, which is a lot cuter) where the rabbits can have a social life, we soon plan on feeding our rabbits all naturally, we currently feed them rabbit pellets and oats but soon plan on feeding them fodder, kale, roman lettuce,carrots ect. We have been raising rabbits for about two years(three in august) but we still have lots to learn, if you want you can learn with us too!!!!

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