Wednesday, July 21, 2010
Tim played all the kings horses and all the kings men and did a fine job putting hutchdy dumbty together again. Kind of. There were a few inexplicable extra pieces, but hey! The motto of the day soon became "it just has to keep her IN". Of course, it was a very hot day and we couldn't get to it before the afternoon blaze, Tim isn't normally quite so sweaty (carol's right! he does look like a ninja turtle! an urban ninja turtle?) We tried it out on Mongo George who thought it was a fine game for all of five seconds. Bunny moved in and we spent the evening counting chewed electrical cords (tv antenna, phone charger, computer mouse, etc..).
The hutch is not the end of our rabbit revolution. It will eventually become the home to two bucks, while our does and their various litters will live in a rabbit yard. This is a very old way of raising rabbits, still popular in much of the world and I find it surprising that more american backyard rabbiters aren't open to the idea. Especially if their goal is to undercut the meat industry. From what I've seen it takes a uniquely big heart (yet to be seen if mine is up to it) to raise and process meat for your family in an age when "nobody" has to. If willing to disregard the animal, the environment and the human toll of the INDUSTRY(!?!?!) all the meat you want is killed, cut, wrapped and heavily subsidized for the taking. But I still see rabbits in hutches as very unnatural. Rabbits are prolific poopers so it makes sense to lift them off the ground onto a wire platform allowing waste to freely fall away, but at a price. This leaves them with far less ability to excercise: less play = less muscle = less meat, up to thirty percent! You also have bored bunnies that surcome to heat and are more prone to cannibalism while you get to go around cleaning individual cages. With a yard you just rake everything up, hose down the toys, deposit new straw and you're done. Happy rabbits, happy you. Ours will be about 100 sq ft made from a hoop greenhouse frame and chicken wire. It's only number 264 on the project list. Mother Earth News has a great article online, "A Better Way to Raise Rabbits" by Luilla P. Thompson that I found inspiring.
Tim's mom has broken her arm. :(
Love you Jeri, get better and come play!!