Wednesday, June 11, 2008

The breeding season is finally over. The last litter is gone. Two kits are being held until their new owner is ready for them in 2 weeks time. The rest were either sold or are now residing in the freezer. I am always glad to start the breeding season and just a glad when it ends.

Satin Angoras have a commercial meat body along with fabulous wool. I keep my herd for just that, meat and fiber. I sell very, very few rabbits. They go to people who truly understand the commitment they are making to keep these animals, clean and healthy. I may make enough to cover hay and feed. But that is not why I raise them. I raise them to provide a healthy protein source for my family. I could probably buy steak for the money I put into them for food, hay, equipment, time, but the difference is I know where my meat is coming from and what was put into it. The big bonus is the wool. Again, most of which I use myself and sell just a small amount.

Not every kit in a litter is going to have the best characteristics of the breed. And this is in any breeding program. Not everything that pops out is going to be the best. That is why culling for the best of the best is what I practice. I keep only what I think is going to have potential to keep breeding a big, wooly rabbit.

Some ask what I do with my extra rabbits, some don't want to know and some don't care. Other options for dealing with extra kits would be to ask around and find organization or persons who can actually use them. Here are a few suggestions: zoos, people who feed the Barf diet to their dogs, falconry organizations, wild animal rehabilitation centers, large cat sanctuaries. There is always a need for fresh meat.

Finding good homes for rabbits is challenging and adding in the extra grooming for angoras makes it even tougher. These rabbits are not for children. I am of the mindset that it is better to live a short, but wonderful life than a long, but miserable and indignant.