Welcome to the Centennial Edition of the Rabbit Rhythms E-Zine!!
To Celebrate our 100th issue, we are having a double issue, and everything is big, Big, BIG!!!
We have learned about a brand new rabbit breed so we made it Breed of the Month: Gnomish Giants! You may not have heard of them because they aren't ARBA registered, but they are certainly fascinating and beautiful! We will cover the features of these rabbits both as pets and as a new meat breed. Should you get one? We have an exclusive from Gnomestead Bunny Tree, the developer of Gnomish Giants.
Gnomish Giant Rabbits are a new breed being created by crossing the most massive specimens of Rex and Silver Fox Rabbits. The ultimate goal is to create a rabbit 12 to 20 pounds without using any giant breed rabbits, but just selective breeding.
The end result has Rex fur, stocky build, tall/erect/expressive ears, and a calm and gentle demeanor. Its Rex fur will also be blanketed with an even coat of silvering, much like a Silver Fox. The rabbit is a pet and meat breed.
Gnomish Giants are being bred in a wide variety of colors and patterns, with luxurious thick fur and distinguished silvering. Because of their unique status, breeders are using alternative names for their plush pigmentation. You will hear these terms, which easily remind you of more traditional pet rabbits:
Frosted, Midnight, Dalmatian, Mantle, Sapphire, Chocolate, Blueberry, Lavender, Honey Cream, Ember, Cocoa, Caramel, Truffle, Mandala, Toffee, and Snowcone. Sounds a bit like a candy shop...!
The development process is already 8 years in. The rabbits are now achieving weights of 10-13 pounds regularly. All that remains is to standardize the breeding stock, and continue the selective breeding for size.
What Makes Gnomish Giants So Special?
Gnomish Giants are truly dual-purpose. These colossal cottontails are great as family pets, or are very valuable as livestock for homesteading families, despite not being affiliated with the American Rabbit Breeders Association (the breed developers have no interest in development for show at this time). Nevertheless, the breeders have made tremendous progress in producing a rabbit that is excellent for both the pet market due to laid-back personalities, AND the meat market due to heavy muscle development on medium-boned frames.
Are Gnomish Giants interesting to you? Learn much more by checking out the information and a plethora of photos at Gnomish Giant Rabbits!
News Flash! What Your Rabbit Needs to Know about Pumpkin Spice
It's that time of year again, Pumpkin Spice everything!!!
As the leaves fall, you think about snuggling in your favorite comfy sweater with your rabbit, enjoying lovely pumpkin spice.
But before you share your favorite autumn indulgence, you need to know what is best for bunny. The 5 core ingredients to pumpkin spice are pumpkin, cinnamon, clove, ginger, and nutmeg.
Pumpkin is a good treat, in moderation. Cinnamon and Ginger in small amounts are also just fine.
However, nutmeg and cloves are toxic to rabbits. Clove is the active ingredient in over the counter tooth pain medicine, so you know it's strong stuff. Keep bunny away from Pumpkin Spice treats with clove and nutmeg, even if he really wants them.
Pumpkin Spice Bunny Branolahas been specially formulated for your rabbits' enjoyment and good health. It's made in small batches with natural ingredients. We have it in several sizes, and WITHOUT nutmeg or cloves.
Great Fall Fashion for Rabbit Rhythms September 2022!
Raising-Rabbits-Branded T's for Indian Summer and Sweatshirts for Chilly Nights
It's summer, so time for tropic T's as your rabbits show off their bunny bikini bodies! Our T-shirts are high quality cooling cotton in loads of fun colors. They are preshrunk, so they stay the same size. The ink is durable, so the design holds up wash after wash.
You can check it all out in the Bunny Bazaar, our online shopping mall. We also have our own stylish seatshirts and hoodies, because fall will be here before you know it! We also have tons of other rabbit inspired fashions, robes, slippers, silly socks, and more! Check out our BUNNY BAZAAR!
Vegan Pets for Vegan People
Many vegans do want to have a pet, something cute and furry to cuddle and take silly selfies with. However, many of the more common pets may not be a good match for vegans.
Dogs and cats, and especially cats, are carnivores and must eat meat to maintain their health. Some vegans have tried switching Fido and Fluffy to vegan diets, using substitutes for meat that humans eat. However, it simply didn’t work because cats and dogs need very specific nutrients that only come from meat.
Humans are scientifically classified as omnivores, like bears or raccoons. This is why humans are able to survive on vegan diets, even though their pets cannot.
Meat consumption can present a problem for a vegan pet parent. Some are vegan due to food allergies, others for religious reasons, or reasons of conscience. When a human has been on a vegan diet for a while, they often develop an aversion to meat including the smell, especially of raw meat or factory processed meat. Their reaction may be similar to former smokers who now feel nauseated when they smell cigarettes. (I quit in 2000, and since then, I’ve had a very strong reaction to the smell.) So, what to do when you want a furry friend, but feeding them will be a very difficult challenge?
Yum, yum, YUM!
Get a bunny!
Rabbits are obligate herbivores. They will happily share a big plate of kale with you, and their idea of dessert is a slice of banana. They are cute as all get out, and smart too! You can teach them tricks, and Youtube even has videos of celebrity rabbits who paint and play basketball! They can be litterbox trained like a cat, and can go for walks on a leash and harness like small dogs. They love to play with toys, and their little thumping tantrums are hilarious!
Rabbits Can’t Eat As Many Plants As Humans Can!
Is that quite surprising?? As omnivores, humans can eat some things that are toxic to animals, like coffee, cocoa, onions, and garlic, and some spices like clove and nutmeg.
Raising-Rabbits offers some terrific, safe bunny munchies, including Bunny Branola, a nutritional supplement, and treats from our friends at Go Bunny Treats.
Go Bunny Treats from Sweet Dreams Rabbitry
Bunny Branola, 4 delicious flavors.
But all in all, rabbits can be truly great vegan pets for vegan people!
Rabbits come in a wide variety of sizes, from big hamster (3 lbs), up to dog size (14+ lbs). Like dogs and cats, rabbits do have some specific needs, so our ebook, Keep Your Rabbits Healthy is a must have. Another handy ebook will be Feeding Your Rabbit, which can tell you the best diet for your furry friend, whether you want to use commercial feed or take up a new hobby as a bunny chef.
(This article contains content about livestock animals that were sold to become food sources. While there is no graphic content here, if you wish to skip this article, click HERE.)
I, Suzy Scribbles, your Raising-Rabbits roving reporter, went out to cover a local Junior Livestock Auction. It’s a great opportunity to see young people reap the results of their hard work caring for their farm animals. These events are very educational because you get to learn about not just the animal itself, but also ways animals are cared for, and the process of buying livestock.
When going to any event, you want style that is also practical, with accessories. Since livestock shows and auctions are mostly outside in summer months, cool clothing, sunblock, and hats are highly recommended. But the one aspect of livestock show fashion wear that must be considered very carefully is shoes. Ewww, the poo! I saw animals of different species, and none of them (except rabbits) were litter trained or shy about doing business in front of an audience.
There were several types of livestock: cows, sheep, goats, chickens, turkeys, pigs, and of course rabbits. At the rabbit tent, they had a chart displaying the feed costs and meat yields of lapin (rabbit meat) vs beef, and lapin is definitely much more economical from a farmer’s point of view. The cages have information about the individual animals and a poster with a picture and brief introduction to the child.
The children themselves range in age from about 7 to 15, and are usually members of 4H or FFA. The girl selling rabbits checked on them regularly to ensure they weren’t stressed in the August afternoon heat, and would switch out chilled ceramic tiles from an ice chest to help keep them cool. (To read more about keeping your buns cool, click HERE or HERE.)
Noticeable characteristics of farm children are that they have high degrees of resolve, confidence, and competence. They dressed like you would expect, plaid or western style shirts, jeans, cowboy hats, boots made for walking in poo, and really big, shiny belt buckles.
The auction was split into categories, so all of the rabbits were auctioned, then all the chickens, onto turkeys, etc. Each child would come out and introduce themselves and talk a little bit about their animal, including the weight of the animal. Then the bidding began.
Luckily, the auctioneer wasn’t one of those crazy fast talkers like in the movies. The numbers being bid were price per pound of the animal. The kids would manage their animals either through rope leads or with long tapping sticks. The tapping was to cause the animal annoyance if it was trying to wander off. The animals are encouraged to walk around during the bidding so that buyers can see the animal is in good health and has been well cared for.
Child with market rabbits in a cage.
Once the bidding is finished, the winner turns a card, and other participants can also turn in pledge cards called “extras.” Extras are basically tips. People who wish to support the young ranchers can make donations to the child(ren) of their choice such as a specific kid, or perhaps a certain group, like all of the kids selling rabbits.
Junior Livestock Auctions are definitely a good way to spend an afternoon! You gain insight into the young people who will become the farmers that will sustain the nation, and you learn a lot both about the youth who love animals, and about the animals themselves.
Go see the sights and smell the smells!
Random Rabbit Rantings
Off Topic News, Items of Interest, and Funnies We Want to Share
Keeping bunny cool during summer-like temperatures with an ice bottle.
As the heat of summer lingers in some areas, your furry friends will appreciate your continuing help in order to beat the heat. Besides the usual dangers of dehydration, heat stroke, and smelly armpits, buck rabbits can also suffer temporary sterility. ("Can" doesn't mean they will. Rabbits can still breed like rabbits if so inclined and they stay cool enough.)
Does are likely to feel disinclined to breed, and if the buck you introduce her to has become temporarily sterile, there will be no kits forthcoming.
Keep an eye on the weather report even into the autumn months. If it's going to hit 85F/29C, make arrangements to keep bunny cool. This means checking water at least twice a day as heavy drinking and evaporation can drain their supply. Other cooling options include fans, shade, coming inside, frozen water bottles to cuddle or chilled ceramic floor tiles, and maybe a little chilled fruit as a treat. (Fruit is bunny candy. Always serve in extreme moderation.)
FYI: If temperatures are already tanking into the single digits where you live, we will address protecting your rabbits from the cold in the October 2022 Newsletter.
The bunnies have been hard at work since Easter, getting things ready for Bunny Christmas. They have just announced a sneak peek to the Christmas Catalog. If you would like to get a glimpse, clickHERE.
(Adorable Holland Lop from The Farm at Fort Mill in South Carolina, right across the border from Charlotte, North Carolina. Check out their Featured Rabbitry page HERE.)
Like this Rabbit Rhythms September 2022 Newsletter?
Chew Stix by Raising-Rabbits Just the sticks your bunnies need for chewing and gnawing!
Fruit-infused Raising Rabbits Chew Stix are nature's blessings from the beautiful Washington State forests and orchards.
Fresh alder branches are harvested from trees grown without chemicals, pesticides, or smog. Those branches are then hand cut down to bunny size portions, and infused with apple from Washington’s famous apple farms.
Alder is perfect for rabbit dental hygiene! The apple taste and smell will attract your bun, and they can chew to their heart's content, saving your phone cords and your sanity.
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