If you’re here you are probably interested in raising rabbits and maybe more specifically, raising them in a colony. Or you might have been directed here by the book Raising Rabbits, either way, thanks for stopping by.
My name is Bettina, I’m a former vegan… and someone who has had both pet and meat rabbits. I took our family down the road of being more self sufficient and that is where our meat rabbit journey began.
Though I’ve raised both pet rabbits and meat rabbits, I went from knowing virtually nothing about rabbits to writing a book about raising them, which you can see here to the left. We chose to raise rabbits in a colony because animal welfare was a particular concern to us. In my book Raising Rabbits, I have a pretty hefty chapter on rabbit colonies, with information how to build them, maintain them, and more.
Whether you have rabbits already or are considering them, planning a colony can be work, but the rewards are worth it. I think raising rabbits in a colony is an amazing idea. It’s humane and honestly loads of fun. Colonies can range in design and are very different from each other. Check out this colony gallery for some ideas.
Caring for Rabbits
Rabbits, regardless of breed, are animals that require a lot of care, but a good colony will run smoothly. For those of you that don’t have rabbits and are researching raising rabbits (for pets, show, or meat) knowing which kind of rabbit you want is key. Why you are raising rabbits will help determine the breed.
We have had a few kinds of rabbits over the years, these pictured are our Californians and are considered great meat rabbits, more on meat and pet rabbits below.
Proper nutrition, water, grooming, and more are things to consider regardless of why you are raising rabbits. We offset a lot of costs by having a garden for our rabbits, which was an amazing feat since I had never gardened before, but we were able to use the garden to feed the rabbits a lot of organic veggies.
Knowing their needs will aid in healthy rabbits and if you are thinking about a colony, meeting needs is very important.
Caring for Kits
If having kits (babies) is the goal, knowing how to take care of them and what to expect is key. Seeing successful litters is very rewarding and fun for our family, especially for my children. Choosing nesting boxes can be an important choice. Many things can be used but there are 3 that are used time and time again, all have pros and cons, and my book covers them. Here are some examples of widely used nesting boxes.
Our Pet Rabbits
Our little pet rabbits Fuzzball and Ruby, sure were something! It was important for me to include them in Raising Rabbits. Allowing them to run the house and learning to litter training them was an amazing experience for my kids! Rabbits can make amazing pets and the chapter on them is probably the funniest of the whole book! If you read it you know what I’m talking about… if not… let’s just say we had some crazy experiences with Fuzzball and Ruby! It’s sad I don’t have better pictures of them… you don’t really think about taking pictures of your rabbits… until it’s too late, but here are a few.
Having meat rabbits is a big decision and there are many things to consider, even if you are foregoing a colony. We researched extensively the topic before purchasing our first meat rabbits and found little for those that wanted to start a colony. I actually started this blog to help others who wanted to raise rabbits, especially in colonies. Of course, the blog became broader and later I was approached about turning my rabbit experience into a book… and well… the rest is history.
I cover this in my book as well but reading and seeing are sometimes 2 different things. Below in the video is a product called the Rabbit Wringer and in my opinion, it is the most humane way to butcher a rabbit. You can go to their website by clicking here.
I am not affiliated with the owners of this product, in fact, when I emailed them to let them know I was suggesting their product in a book, I didn’t get a response… however, the product is the most humane way to butcher a rabbit… and I feel that it is important to share.
Know that the video does show a rabbit being butchered…
Raising rabbits can be a fun experience… but it isn’t always as easy as one would think. My hubby and I put in a lot of blood, sweat, and tears for our rabbits… but we found something that really worked well and that we felt good about. It took me awhile to get the nerve up to put my information into a book form… but I am so glad I did! I was asked a lot about our rabbits, then people would send others to ask me questions, and after being told several times that I should write a book… I just did!
Raising Rabbits will be a helpful read to anyone looking to start a rabbit colony BUT it also offers a lot of information to anyone looking to raise rabbits in general. We do cover colony living, but there is quite a bit of material for anyone looking to raise rabbits in any capacity.
If you do go to Amazon and grab my book, or already have, I’d love to hear from you! Whether you head over to my Facebook page or leave a review on Amazon… it’s nice to know that people like what you’re doing! I knew when I gave my book the subtitle or “A Former Vegan’s Guide to Rabbit Husbandry” it might be controversial. Being a former vegan… I figured some vegans would be upset about it, but I know the information will be useful to those seeking it.
Thanks for reading and if you have questions… don’t be shy about asking!
Bet + Fam 🙂