Wild Moon Cottage is a small working homestead in the pristine Ozark Mountains. We have dairy goats, poultry, organic herb and vegetable gardens, a start of a tiny fruit orchard, several black walnut trees, wild berries and fields of wildcrafting goodness. We raise our own milk, our own eggs, much of our own medicine and food. I do laundry by hand, make my own vinegar, candles, soap, bread, cheese ........ For a living I am an artist and herbalist. My goal for myself and our homestead is to be as self sufficient and self sustaining as possible.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Wild Moon Rabbits & pictures from the homestead

We have rabbits! We've actually had a rabbit for several years now, Juniper, in charge of garden fertilizer. But now we have more rabbits! 10 more rabbits! I had been interesting in raising them for a while now, to raise for meat and to trade and barter with. I am fairly certain the meat part will not work. I Loath, Loath, Loath killing and I just don't think I can ever do that to a Bun (unless we're starving). But the wonderful fertilizer and having Buns to trade and barter will still be an excellent boon to the cottage. And I may come to be able to turn them into meat some day but for now we will eat the extra roosters (((((((((poor things))))))

So, a dear friend was getting out of the Mini Rex rabbits and offered some to us. She gave us 10, 7 females and 3 males. The 3 males are ... Jack, Ozzy (not after Osborne) and Oscar. The 7 females are Alice, Esmerelda, Beatrix, Kate, Gingerbread, Cocoa and Luna. And of course Juniper, my beloved (growling & biting) French Lop

They started out on temporary cages while we work on building a better containment system on the way to my ultimate goal of raising them in a natural colony. I've been looking into colony raising all summer and have plans for a large one. In the mean time I turned our old chick pen into a colony house for Juniper and had the new Rabs in cages the way they came and were raised. the 3 males in one, seperated by a board from the females. Of the females they were 4 in one cage, 2 in one cage and 1 in one cage. All that changed the second day.

The morning of the second day I had a feeling something was wrong with the rabbits so We went right to them. One of the 3 males, Jack, was attacking the 2 other males and had beaten up poor Ozzy pretty badly. We got Jack out and had to figure out what to do. I'm working on a new cage but it's not finished, so we put him in a carrier by himself.

I went about chores (without morning tea or coffee) and thought about what to do as a better fix. Juniper preferred to be in the barn, she never took to the colony house that well, she's older and has always been close to me. So i made the decision and we started a small colony then and there.

Juniper went into her old house in the barn and I moved Jack to the colony. My friend had explained that you should always move to females to the male so they won't be territorial with him. I also read that this way was best. So I let Jack stay in the colony alone for a while and then added the 4 females, Gingerbread, Rose, Cocoa and Beatrix. I was a little worried but it felt like the right thing to do. I watched them for about an hour then had to run to town. When we got back I was so happy to see that they seem to be doing wonderfully!

They've now been in the colony for 48 hours and still appearing to thrive. We'll see.

For now the other 5 are still in temporarily housing until we can build another colony house and yard for them. Alice, who lives alone, may never be able to integrate with the others. But we'll see. Also, if I can get the other cage finished, we'll remove Jack and hope no one is pregnant. I would like to wait before any of that goes on so we can get to know them all better and have better baby weather etc.

 rabbits in temporary housing

 Ozzy and Oscar, Ozzy is in the back and has a scratch under his eye.
He's doing fine tho and healing quickly.

Kate in front and Esmerelda in back, Kate and Alice are both blakc with reddish brown mixed in.
Esme is solid black. Their fur feels like the finest velvet.


in the colony


in the colony

 Jack in back, Rose in front.
inside the colony house, they have 3 ledges they can get on or just stay on the hay below.
Nest boxes have already been sarted but I hope they don't need them soon.

in the colony yard

Mr Pig, in his pig tracter  :) 
He's gotten Very sweet and we can pet him all over.

 Scruffy Thistle, who I think (and hope) is pregnant and would be due in March.

 Thunder, who I may be selling soon. He's Alpine and Nubian, 8 months old and mature. Very sweet and gentle, raised naturally, here by us since he was 3 months old.

Beloved Nemo  :)

And did I mention we finally have
((((((((( Heat ))))))))))



Tango said...

Good job, Juli!! Everyone looks so healthy.
I hope that you are feeling better!
Congratulations on the heat...just in time, eh?

lunamother said...

Everyone looks great! I'm totally in love with Nemo- what a face :)

the wild magnolia said...

The rabbit colony is a wonder, I can see they would love it. They can be along and together and the same time. Love it.

All the barnyard babies and Nemo are precious.

Thank you, for sharing.

Akannie said...

Ah--perfect timing for the heat!

Juli, your Buns look wonderful. We talk about raising them every now and again, but so far, nothing. Who knows? Maybe 2012 will be the year of the Rabbit for us, here on Honeysuckle Hill !