Insectivore Lions? Nope. 

The Lion King was all about the Circle of Life, but other than a few bone scenes (and Pumba being stalked by Nala) it really didn’t address how the pride ate. If you think a lion is an insect eating carnivore, stop watching Disney and turn on old YouTube episodes of National Geographic or Wild America. The scenes where Simba and later his first cub are presented? That’s a whole lot of dinner bowing down.

(picture copyright by Walt Disney Productions)

Rabbits have lots of babies. I raise New Zealands, which is approved and shown as a commercial meat breed. For NZs, winning blue ribbons at ARBA shows means raising rabbits with the best body type in a minimal amount of time for commercial production. Think about that. Cows, chickens, fish, and pigs are all farmed for commercial production. They end up at your local store for your casseroles, BBQs, roasts, and your diet plan. Heck, raptor-type birds eat rabbit.
Rabbit is low in fat, high in protein, and is nearly indistinguishable in texture to chicken. Rabbit can be substituted for chicken in almost all recipes.

Factory farming pigs and cows creates near biohazards due to waste run-off. Rabbit–not at all. I know of a country boy farmer whom in the spring purchases young rabbits. He has weather appropriate housing for them and all spring and summer those rabbits feast on the weeds he pulls from his gardens. In turn he takes their poop berries and fertilizes his garden and lawn–he has an amazing lawn. Come fall when the crops are harvested and the weeds no longer grow on his property, he thanks the now-grown rabbits for their help that year, and then butchers them for his family that winter.

Rabbit breeders of all varieties have a saying: Keep the Best, Eat the Rest.

Bon appetite!  🎼(“….and the Circle…of Liiiiife!”)🎤🦁🐗


Easter Rabbits–Impulse Buys 

The story of Easter Rabbits is short and pagan, having it’s origins in the religions of ancient Middle East. Look it up in Wikipedia if you don’t believe me.

Today’s blog is about the poor rabbits who are bought at Easter time specifically to cater to the belief that the family’s 3-year old is ready for a cute (and ultimately temporary) pet to celebrate Easter. Would you entrust a puppy to a 3 year old?

Rabbits live as long as 10+ years. Most rabbits are purchased in the baby stage (8 weeks) and new owners are unprepared when their cuddly Bun-bun turns into a teenager a month later. Bun-bun’s personality starts to change, may start to be sulky and throw temper-trantrums, much like a human teenager.

Rabbits, probably the ultimate prey of the animal world, come equipped for defense too. Sharp claws that can leave long scar marks (making you look like a cutter) and teeth that can inflict major damage should they choose to (deep bites and potentially removing a finger). DEPENDING ON THE ANIMAL’S TEMPERMENT AND HOW IT IS TREATED BY IT’S OWNERS, THESE WEAPONS MAY COME INTO PLAY DURING TEENAGER-HOOD.

This does not make your rabbit a bad rabbit–truly aggressive animals will be aggressive even as babies (and should have never been sold to the public in the first place) and IMO should be put down. “There are too many nice rabbits in the world to put up with mean ones,” says two rabbit breeder friends of mine. So be prepared that your Easter Bun-bun will undergo hormones and some personality change starting at 3 months old and ending typically at 6 months old.

By the time Bun-bun is six months old and done with his teenagerness, most people are tired of their impulse Easter purchase. Three months of dealing with a teenager rabbit has soured them to the nice adult rabbit that Bun-bun has become and slowly Bun-bun is ignored by the family. Nail trimming is left off for months (now Bun-bun has sore feet). The cage isn’t cleaned out often enough (Bun-bun is now starting to change colors as feces and urine stain his fur and the stench makes his eyes water and run). Food comes at irregular intervals (Bun-bun is so hungry that he lunges at whomever is putting food in his cage, scaring the person into thinking “bad bunny”). Water is neglected to be filled or the bowl/water is scummy or fouled (Bun-bun is desperately thirsty, he can’t digest his food without water). People avoid hungry, thirsty, dirty, foot-pained desperate Bun-bun because they’re too busy with family vacation plans or Fourth of July parties. The Easter bunny of the house is looked on with pity and then posted to Kiji, Hoobly, or Craigslist with all the other unwanted Easter impulse bunnies because NOBODY THOUGHT ABOUT THE LONG TERM WELFARE  OF BUN-BUN. Nobody thought that their Easter rabbit would suffer because of their own ignorant, heartless hands. And then they wonder why rabbits die at a year or two old, never thinking that the person in the mirror is likely the reason.

So if you’re thinking of getting a rabbit this month, I hope that you’ve been thinking about it for awhile. Educate yourself first — is a great resource!

Easter purchases are usually a deadly idea for the rabbit and merely an inconvenience to the impulse-purchase family.

Cleaning Up

Let’s face it, cleaning up is no fun. Cleaning up after kids, adults, dogs, and myself is really a chore at times. Then I’m like, “Ugh, the rabbits need tending to also! I don’t wanna!”

Unlike the kids and adults who can clean up after themselves, the rabbits cannot. They can’t help themselves to dinner or to a drink. After awhile their pee stinks and burns their eye membranes. If there’s a rabbit that needs continued medical care, they can’t medicate themselves.

So I go to the rabbitry in a grumpy mood to clean and leave a happier person, since they’ve all greeted me and the smell of hay is nice.

Sometimes I’d rather clean the tabbits than the house.

Why Rabbits? Why not Cats, Kids, or Travel?

It’s really my DD fault that I got into rabbits. I had been happy with my Cocker Spaniels, the family genealogy, raising two kids, working at my job, managing a household. DD asked DH for a rabbit a few years back and he hemmed and hawed about it. Spring rolled around and a sign went up at work “Free Rabbit to Good Home”.

We are a good home. Just ask any of our pets that have passed through our doors. You come into our house and leave only when your time has passed on this planet. In the meantime you get the best of care and adventures and kids to play with. So we qualify as a Good Home.

I obtained the rabbit, Lexi, and DD fell in love. Over the course of that spring and summer, so did I. DD told me to get my own rabbit so I would stop taking over hers!! When December rolled around, I bought a Mini Rex buck, Stormtrooper. With January snows came my first New Zealand Red, Fiona. I wasn’t certain if I liked how big she was. She wasn’t particularly the type of rabbit who likes to be handled or picked up. I fretted, then sold her to my sister. Until I could get her to my sister’s place, I bred Fiona to Trooper, and they had nine lovely kits. Kits and Fiona went to my sister’s and next thing I knew, I wanted a New Zealand Red again. That’s how I started with Reds.

As far as cats–I’m a dog person. Kids? I have two–DD and DS. Travel? I’ve done lots of that too and plan on doing more. Ireland, England, Scotland, Wales, Netherlands, Canada, some of the Caribbean Islands, and Puerto Rico have all been checked off my itinerary lists. This summer I’ll check off Nassau and Freeport.

Right now, though, I’m travelling with Reds. New Zealand Reds.