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Rabbit Rhythm Newsletter #013 - Bedlam in the Barn, plus encouraging pasteurella news
February 15, 2011

Rabbit Rhythms of March

Bedlam in the Barn

Aren’t you glad that rabbits don’t bark?

After quietness throughout the short winter days, March brings relative bedlam. You’re suddenly busy breeding rabbits, packing and placing nestboxes in cages, and readying empty cages for newcomers. Lots of delightful young bunnies are hopping about, to our great delight!

The intriguing fact is -- despite the burgeoning rabbit population, nary a one of these rabbits is likely to see the inside of a rabbit shelter. Responsible rabbit breeders breed with purpose, and those rabbits that do not meet breed standards become meat. And fur. And raw pet food.

In this fashion, the breeder mimics the actions of nature, where the sick and the weak are culled from the herd by predators. This serves both the predator and the prey populations.

March is a great time to ensure your current rabbit population has been reduced to a useful minimum and that only your best rabbits are reproducing.

Despite the barn bedlam, the rabbit population flexes, yet remains under careful control, each generation of rabbits more healthy and beautiful than the last one.

Find more information on Rabbit Farming here.

Healthy Rabbits

Broken blue otter rex rabbitWhen it comes to pasteurella multocida, there’s extremely bad news, and then there’s some pleasantly encouraging news!

The extremely bad news: Pasteurellosis is incurable. Nothing will permanently eliminate the infection. You can medicate the symptoms away, but if you stop the drugs, the disease comes roaring back. With every successive course of antibiotics, the germs just get more defiant, until they overrun the rabbit and kill it.

So, what do you do if your rabbit gets sick with snuffles? Ideally, there’s only one option -- euthanize it for the sake of other rabbits and for the sake of your budget. Yes, this is very, very bad news, and we’re sorry about that.

Since pasteurellosis is truly incurable, we’d like to release you from any sense of guilt over not prolonging the life of a permanently sick and cranky rabbit.

The very encouraging news: While up to 100% of all domestic rabbits are exposed to pasteurella germs, it is very encouraging indeed that some of these rabbits live long and healthy lives with no symptoms, ever. What does this mean?? It means that their immune systems are able to keep the germs in check for the rabbit’s entire lifespan.

This also means is that it should be possible to breed rabbits with iron-clad immune systems, at least in regards to pasteurella multocida.

we now suspect that Aurora Rex Rabbit Ranch may have accomplished this over the course of about three years. Or close to it, anyway. (We don't feel we can relax our vigilance.) You can read about our story at www.raising-

The best news of all?? If we’ve done it, so can you! More and more rabbit breeders are catching the vision of a completely healthy herd.

We've been receiving comments and questions about animals with snuffles from various rabbit owners and breeders who recognize the seriousness of a pasteurella infection. Here’s one question about pasteurellosis...

...And our answer:

Huge implications for pet rabbit owners!!

Outside Rabbit RunEvery rabbit breeder that rids his herd of the susceptibility to snuffles (it can be done!) is another rabbit breeder that offers consistently healthy rabbits for sale both to pet stores and to pet rabbit owners. When rabbits stay healthy, they don’t get cranky.

When they’re not cranky, they're more likely to make terrific pets.

We’re all for that!

In the News Recently

Hobby Farms - Interview with Joel Salatin of Polyface Farm

A subject near and dear to our hearts is that of sustainable agriculture - individual hobby farmers or groups of farmers working together to naturally and organically provide both meat, fur and food to the local community.

Polyface Farm has been doing this for several generations. In fact, according to their website, Polyface Farm is helping to feed over 3,000 families in or around the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia. They also supply food to local restaurants. Their products include pastured rabbit (see picture above), beef, pork, and chickens, plus eggs and forestry products. recently interviewed Mr. Salatin and published their very interesting article - read it here.

Watch for Rabbit Living Spaces EBook!

Indoor Rabbit Cage Set Up Coming soon:
Lots more cage, hutch and rabbit run plans for the happy DIY-er!

You've gotten a taste of our great ideas on But because of the huge interest, we've enhanced, enlarged and augmented the free rabbit cage plans and PVC rabbit hutch plans. Our e-book will soon be available for online purchase and instant download.

Need Rabbit Food?
Raising-Rabbits is making the final arrangements in order to offer top-quality feeds direct to your home via secure ordering on the Raising-Rabbits website.

Excellent rabbit food is important to the health of your rabbits. Soon you'll be able to add to that convenience and gas savings through direct delivery of ultra-fresh rabbit pellets to your door.

Keep your eye on the Raising-Rabbits Home Page for our going-live announcement, hopefully within the next 30 days.

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Your friends at wish you a Happy March...

Enjoy your rabbits!

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