I haven’t posted this week because I spent the weekend with my son(The Rabbit Shepherd) at a rabbit show. If you don’t know what a rabbit show is let me explain; picture a lot of people with every kind of rabbit you can imagine, taking them up for an expert rabbit judge to look them over and see who is the closest to the standard for each breed, which has been decided on long before you came on the scene. Whew, that was a mouthful. Basically it is a bunch of rabbit nerds, hey I was there too so no judging here, that all seem to know each other, but are very friendly to any newbies, who are seeing if their rabbit is the best. If your rabbit happens to be the best; guess what? You guessed it! It is worth more and it’s babies are worth more. Were my son’s rabbits the best? Sadly, no, but Toasted Marshmellow did quite well. With the right buck she could produce some champions.
Let me just say that rabbits come in ALL shapes and sizes. I was amazed by one woman who had, what can only be called an industrial hair blower. She was busily fluffing out her rabbit before the show. What a fluff ball!
The other type of rabbit that caught my eye was the English Lop, which I describe as the basset hound of rabbits. Those ears, they just go on and on!
Something very lucky happened to me at the show. I was looking for another Champagne D Argent doe to buy for the homestead because I want to be able to help other people start their backyard breeding program. Many people are not allowed to have chickens near me because of city or HOA ordinances, but a rabbit is quiet and can provide needed manure for the garden as well as meat or just be a family pet. It is best to have unrelated stock to sell to others so the rabbits keep their size and vigor.(Put in simple terms; don’t breed brother and sister) There was a man there who was selling about 10 different does and I had my pick. I picked the one I wanted, paid for it and waited for it to show. To my surprise the one I picked won 1st place! Here I am with my Lucky Silver Dollar! She has the most beautiful coat! For some reason she has a much calmer personality than the others I have. Meaning she does not struggle so when I pick her up and handle her.
So now I have a Champagne D Argent buck and 2 unrelated does. This is an old breed, named after the province in France that it originally came from. I love the look of their coat. They also make a good meat rabbit because they have good bone to meat ratio. Even if you can never imagine yourself eating a rabbit these are a beautiful breed that is very heat tolerant and your garden will thank you by producing lots of great veggies. If you are trying to grow veggies without a manure source you will just not be able to produce the vegetable vigor that you are dreaming of. It will remain exactly that; a dream. I will say that the most important thing to a vigorous garden is full sun. Next to that is a good composted manure to add to the soil. Your plants will only be as good as your soil is! Chickens would be my first choice for the eggs, but if you can’t have them, get rabbits. The pellets are not hot like chicken manure so don’t have to be composted first. They can be put around plants with straw as a nourishing mulch. Or mixed into the soil when making raised beds. Welcome to the homestead Silver Dollar!
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