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It's been 6 weeks of very little itching, and shedding, getting better every week! I finally found a recipe that works for my kitties, after much trial and error. The key is "less is more"! My two long haired black and white moo kitties look amazing! I honestly believe, like alot of research proves, it will take the full 12 weeks to fully be rid of the allergy symptoms though, now that I have a recipe that I know works right for them.

We're using chicken, rabbit, AND my kitties now get to enjoy a weekly sardine! It's not making them itch if I use the ones in spring water, and nothing added! Lucy LOVES them!!!! :p She thinks it's a treat!

The meat rabbit business is growing quickly, and I was so excited yesterday, while at the vets office, one of the techs showed extreme interest in what we are doing. She knew quite a bit about raw feeding, and had many questions for me about our meat rabbits. She asked me to send her some business cards, and she would be happy to share information about what we are doing. We're hoping to be ready to pick up a couple local regular customers soon, and what better place to have behind you, then your vets office. :thumb
 

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That's great:thumb

I wish that at least one vet here was willing to look beyond the "Science Diet is the only good food to feed" blinders. They decided to blaim Mikey's swollen paw on raw feeding:crazy They'll learn the truth sometime (I hope)!
 

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Oh my, a swollen paw because he eats raw food. That's a good one! :p Even my vet is on board with us feeding raw, which is a good feeling. He just openly admits he doesn't know much about it, but he doesn't fault us for feeding this way. He agrees it's closer to their natural diet than dry is.

Couple pics of the rabbitry so far. There's lots we'll change along the way, but it worked for us at the moment since we got into this rather quickly. The stacked cages will be moving into our quarantine area in the garage, we've got 2 other sets in there already with some of the quarantined rabbits, and we'll be adding more of the single large cages in the barn. Neither one of us likes the stacked cages.....we're both short! :p



Julie.



Industrial speed controlled barn fan for warm summer weather.......we have 2 large ones, and two smaller ones. They add alot of air flow to the barn when it's warm out!



One of our breeding bucks, Uncle Buck, or as we call him, U.B. for short! :p



Couple others of the cages.



 

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I'd be perfectly fine raising them for food, but I'd have to find someone else to do the 'deed' and to clean them. Once they are processed I'd be fine chopping them up to feed :p.

I'm a total hypocrite. ;)
 

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Thanks Krissy, I appreciate that! It's important to me that the place be clean. When someone comes into the rabbitry area, we want it not to be smelly and messy. I've seen some pretty nasty rabbitries, and I don't want ours to be like that at all. I find it relaxing, and not at all stressful, just to be working out in the barn. The rabbits are very low key.

I have names for all my breeding rabbits, the bucks and does, and I have my favorites that like to be pet, but not the weanlings. I enjoy the kits when they are little, but when they really start to grow they get really good at scratching you when you pick them up. They always get me good! :p We don't really handle them once they are weaned, so I don't get attached.
 

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I'd be perfectly fine raising them for food, but I'd have to find someone else to do the 'deed' and to clean them. Once they are processed I'd be fine chopping them up to feed :p.

I'm a total hypocrite. ;)
Believe it or not, my husband has the hardest time with doing the deed, especially if we have to cull one for a specific reason. We had gotten in 4 beautiful does into our quarantine area that were actually sick, and because of our strict guidelines that we've put into place, we culled them, and the meat wasn't usable. I won't feed a sick animal to my kitties. Dave has a hard time disrespecting an animal in this manner, culling it, and throwing it away. The meat should have a purpose, but in this case, it's just not safe. We want a healthy herd, and it's important to follow strict guidelines to maintain that healthy herd.
 

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Very impressive Geri. My friends who are meat eaters only buy beef locally that have been pasture fed. . The people said they have names for all their beef cattle. They butcher them humanely, If you have to harvest animals your way and the ranchers way is the way to support.

Sounds like you will teach your vet a thing or two about food allergies and the possitive results of raw food.
 

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Just have to say your enterprise looks so clean and well-thought out - if I were shopping for a meat source, I would look and say to myself " wow! professionalism, caring, attention to detail - look no further, these folks get my business!" Your customers must be blown away!

Fran
 

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Thank you!! :) Appreciate the compliments! We're really trying, and putting alot of care into this. I never expected to enjoy the rabbits as much as I do, and love being out in the barn. It's actually relaxing keeping the rabbitry area clean, and it's better for the bunnies too.

When we are ready to start selling, we want to be able to provide all of the things I couldn't get from somewhere else, from the other suppliers out there. Things like consistency, quality, and customer service! It makes a big difference when you really care about what you are doing. It makes a difference that I've ordered from other processors too, and we know how we want our business to be, and how we will want to present ourselves to potential customers. I've been to quite a few different rabbitries now, as well as a couple different processors, and it gave me a better idea of what I "don't" want to look like.:p

My horse vet used to raise rabbits for 18 years, so we've gotten quite a few tips from him also. He likes to hang out at our place, and play with the rabbits. :p We're going to start enclosing the rabbitry area in a couple weeks also. We'll be able to better control the climate in the enclosed area much easier than we can now. We've been at the mercy of the heat and humidity the last couple days, and being better set up will make things easier to work with, and easier on the rabbits. We'll have better ventilation, insulated walls to keep temps above freezing in cold weather, and air conditioning for days like today when it was 95 degrees, and humid. It was just a miserable day here today! It will be so much better to be able to better control things more. Lots of exciting stuff coming!!! :thumb
 

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Its looking really good. I wish I lived near a place like this. my cats would love it too. I have yet to find a really good supplier in my area.

I would live to see the specs on those cages you guys built. I am still thinking of getting into something like that myself once I get out of town living.
 

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Sorry to respond to you so late BotanyBlack, was out of town for a wedding.

The cages are 24 wide x 36 long x 18 high. We use 1/2" x1/2" wire on the bottom, and the top, and I believe the sides are 1"x1". If you are going to be raising meat rabbit kits, the 1/2"x1/2" is better for the kits small feet, and the 1"x1" should be safe enough in case a kit gets out of the nest box if it happens to stick to mommas teet when she hops out. They can get their heads caught in the wire, and it can be dangerous, I just saw a picture of one little kit that was caught up. Also just heard a story about one that fell out of the wire cage, and drowned in the gutter in the barn. So, choose your materials wisely. :)
 

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Your whole setup looks awesome Geri! I'm becoming very jealous of your future customers, lol. Have you thought about selling some as snake/reptile food? I know here that's probably a bigger industry than cat/dog food. The issue might be that generally people want bunnies of all sizes, so you have to cull different ages, not just adults.

...I know they are for kitty food, but I still want to see baby bunny pictures. Little Buns are so cute!

More on topic, I finally found a decent source for rabbit for my cats. They are expensive, so it's only a treat. But my kitties love it.
 

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Thanks!
Well i finally signed up for a raw4pets group in my state.. pending being excepted.. maybe i can find a good supplier through them.

I am also getting jealous of your future customers.. I so need to move next door.. I can raise quail and we can trade. :cool
 

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I grew up eating rabbit and home grown chickens.
We had our pet rabbits which were the breeders, full grown rabbits aren't nearly as tasty as the young fryers.
My Aunt who also showed rabbits invented Bunny Burgers, too bad it never caught on as they were delicious.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
My step-dad raised meat rabbits when I was young, and we did the whole ground rabbit burgers, rabbit this, and rabbit that. It has a very unique smell when you cook it, and to this day, I just can't stomach the idea of eating it just yet. Someday I'll try it again. :)

We harvest them at 8 -10 weeks, whenever they reach the 5 lb weight. That's when they seem to be the best.
 

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...I know they are for kitty food, but I still want to see baby bunny pictures. Little Buns are so cute!
I'll show you one that we'll be keeping to add to our breeding herd.....actually, we're keeping all the does from this litter! Momma did good with her kits! They were the same weight, and more active than litter before hers that are nearly 2 weeks older! Very nice little bunnies!

3 week old New Zealand White rabbit.

 
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