Since my main buck, well to be frank the only buck, died at the claws of a bobcat, I had to find another. So enter stage right: Clarence. There is nothing bold or handsome about Clarence, let’s just hope he can get the job done. I had to drive quite a distance to get this humble creature, so when I finally got there(after stopping at a bathroom with three kids and myself that REALLY needed to pee. The sign on the bathroom door said “BATHROOM USE FOR PAYING CUSTOMERS ONLY!” We left that establishment feeling much relieved in the bladder area, but a bit lighter in the wallet, as my kids took FULL advantage of bathroom rules and loaded up on pork rinds and soda. Yuck!)When we got there even my kids looked doubtfully at our new man on the homestead.
When I set eyes on Clarence I noticed that he didn’t have the pretty silver coat, nor the commanding presence that our previous buck on duty, “Sargent” had. His small frame, stubby short legs and close set eyes gave him a homely appearance, I am being kind here. Truth is he was butt ugly.
However, I , not being a female rabbit, apparently judged him by human appearances too quickly. I say this because, surprisingly he was a HUGE hit on the farm with the girls! I had previously had a bit of a hard time getting the job done on rabbit part of the homestead. I know, who knew rabbits would be hard to breed? As usual life on the urban homestead is not as straight forward as we would like it to be! My rabbit mentors said to take the girls for a drive; I thought REALLY? I am driving around rabbits so they will feel more amorous toward each other? Then I thought as I am passing mile after mile that maybe, just maybe, my friends were playing a joke on me. They were snickering somewhere at the thought of my naive self driving around with rabbits in a cage in the back of my car. They swear it was not a trick. I still have my doubts. Then there was the recommendation of red raspberry zinger tea with apple cider vinegar and black sunflower seeds. OK, so now I am serving my rabbits tea, at high noon, complete with nut biscuits. That IS nuts! I will never know, what about Sargent my does didn’t like and I find it mystifying that they prefer the humble presence of Clarence, but what ever gets the job done I am on board with,preferably without my mileage or culinary skills included!
This is my daughters take on the whole rabbit situation ;” He was a hit? Your kidding! Even with Adeline? She is super picky! Sargent was like the bone headed super cute guy that all the girls fall for in the movies. Just once. Then Clarence is that kind of nerdy looking but super duper nice kind of guy that the girls realize has so much more potential. More than once.” I kid you not, I wrote it down exactly as she summed it up.
Wow, they are growing up so fast, in more ways than one. I am not talking rabbits here.
It seems we are in the rabbit business once more. Woo hoo! We have some simple pens we built to let our rabbits breed/hang out in, but if you do not have hang out pens you will want to take the doe to the bucks cage. She has her apartment all decked out the way she wants it and does not want it messed up with a smelly male. However she wants to go check out how he keeps his place. Is it filthy? Is he neat? You get the idea. This is a nice way of remembering that she will defend her den. You still need to stay and watch because there is the possibility that she will give him a bloody nose and a black eye, so to speak. Or just the seriously COLD shoulder, which is what Sargent was getting. If all goes well, then the buck will grunt and fall over after the deed is completed. I have seen this lots of times but it still sends me into fits of laughter. Any way, start in the morning and try again in the afternoon and once more in the evening. Rabbits reproduction cycle is very interesting as they ovulate when the mating occurs, so you will have a bigger batch of babies if you spend the day getting them together. Write the date on the calendar, because in 28 days you need to put a nest box in full of hay, in the expectation of babies! One thing to note is that your buck will go sterile after about a week in 85 plus temps. No one, I know of, breeds in the summer months so I am pushing the edges of breeding season.(June 10th) We are trying an under ground den experiment to extend the breeding season. See our attempts so far here.
Why do I do all this? See my decision to raise rabbits for meat here. I have to add, that I have had some negative comments about raising/eating meat. I want to say that I tried a vegetarian diet and even tried all raw fruits and veggies for a while. I have trouble regulating my blood sugar, so protein in a meat or egg source seems to work well for my body. If you find that a total veggie/vegan diet works for you than good for you! That sounds like a wonderful lifestyle. You certainly wouldn’t find yourself driving around or serving tea and crumpets to your animals in an effort to try to get them to like each other! Never a dull moment on the homestead! Welcome Clarence. I for one, am so glad you are here and that the girls seem to dig you! Hopefully we will have babies in 28 days!