The New Year is here, and with it, your monthly dose of awesome rabbit information! We hope 2019 was kind to you.
The Britannia Petite: Are rabbits always nice, or are some breeds more, er, spunky than others? Discover the Britannia Petite, a tiny breed with an oversized attitude and why it can pose a challenge for even experienced owners.
Brown Gold! Did you know that rabbits can be used for more than just meat and being cute pets? In this newsletter we dig deep into rabbit manure, and why we consider it to be a brown gold. Kick off the new year with new gardening resources.
New Year, New Refreshed Website! We've listed some of the enhancements below.
Animal Rights Gone Amuck: Lastly, an uninformed animal rights activist steals a 16 year old’s pet rabbit and calls it a 'rescue.' What's up with that??
Because you might have just the right rabbit for someone's life or family.
We update our rabbit classified ads at least weekly because there are people all across the USA who would love to find a rabbit for their home or children. Someone right now is also looking for meat rabbit breeding stock for their backyard herd.
Thanks in advance!
To find the link on the Raising-Rabbits website, hover over the "Rabbit Market" tab on the navbar and then click on the drop-down menu.
The Britannia Petite originated from Britain's Polish rabbit, and was bred to have a body structure that is ideal for show as well as performing tricks. These tricks include sitting upright and jumping over obstacles. Their full arch and energetic behavior make them an ideal rabbit for such performances.
Pictured at right: This lil guy's front paws hardly touch the table as he shows off his stuff to the rabbit judge.
Britannia Petites certainly live up to their name, bred to weigh only 2½ lbs max (1.13 kg). This breed comes in a variety of colors including white, chestnut, black, and black otter.
While their shape was selectively bred, their personality was apparently overlooked. Most rabbits of this breed don't make the best family pet, as they are very energetic and have minds of their own. Training this breed is not impossible, but overall, "Brits" may constitute a challenge to the average pet owner because of the patience required. Additionally, this rabbit needs room to play and hop around, and should be taken out of its cage for periods of time.
This breed may be a fun challenge for experienced rabbit owners or any individual who is fascinated with this breed.
Or, perhaps you'd enjoy Storey's Rabbit Breeds book?
Brown Gold Produces Green Gold!
Rabbit manure is one of the most nutrient rich manure out there, and the best part is you don’t even have to compost it!
Chicken and horse manure are what is called “hot” manure and will burn the plants if they are applied without first being composted. Rabbit manure on the other hand is considered a ‘cold’ manure because it breaks down quickly and can be applied directly without needing to ferment. It is made up of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium which boost the nutrients in the soil.
It gets better: rabbit manure does not carry as much of a stench as horse, cow, or chicken manure (this does not mean that the stench is eliminated - poop is still poop).
Additionally, the average meat rabbit will produce around 245 pounds of manure per year, so you will certainly not run out of supply. How many rabbits you would need to sufficiently fertilize your garden will depend on how much square footage you intend to plant in veggies or flowers. Check out Storey's new book: Managing Manure, by Mark Kopecky.
We've heard from a few people who have expressed frustration with navigating the Raising-Rabbits website. I assure you that we are listening! Here's what we are doing about it:
First: The Navigation Bar at the top of each page has been re-ordered, I hope more logically, so you can find what you're looking for more easily.
Second: Changes to the home page are coming. By the time the next newsletter goes out, the presentation of the home page should also be re-ordered, so you know where to look on the page to find what interests you.
Third: We are planning to utilize a different ad delivery system. People have complained about those pesky Google ads being intrusive. And they are! But I have had very little power over where they show up on the page as their placement is in large part automated. Sometimes it seems there are a zillion ads per page.
The transition might take a couple months, but it will, I hope, be much more visitor-friendly. Look for an announcement in one of the next few newsletters.
There is a movement that purports to care about animals and their rights. But in their quest to turn all of humanity into animal-free, pet-free, tofu-eaters, are they instead turning humans into monsters?
This fear was recently reinforced when we heard from a reader who bragged self-righteously about stealing a rabbit from a 16-year-old kid...
What I want to know is: What happened to the Golden Rule? Why can't folks apply the Golden Rule when a situation is not perfectly clear?
Read it yourself - was it Rabbit Rescue or Rabbit Robbery? (I definitely have an opinion; do you agree?)
Maybe your friends would too...
Your friends at Raising-Rabbits.com wish you a wonderful New Year in 2020.
Enjoy your rabbits!
Christensen, Julie. “How Much Rabbit Manure to Put in Container Gardens?” Home Guides | SF Gate, 21 Nov. 2017, https://homeguides.sfgate.com/much-rabbit-manure-put-container-gardens-104647.html.
Kopecky, Mark. Managing Manure: How to Store, Compost, and Use Organic Livestock Wastes. Storey Publishing, 2015.
Patry, Karen. The Rabbit-Raising Problem Solver. Storey Publishing, 2014.
Sandborn, Dixie, and Michigan State University. “Bunny Honey: Using Rabbit Manure as a Fertilizer.” MSU Extension, 24 Sept. 2019, https://www.canr.msu.edu/news/bunny_honey_using_rabbit_manure_as_a_fertilizer.