Having to clip bunny or rabbit claws can be a scary thought. Scary for rabbits and scary for people. But, it truly doesn’t have to be traumatic. It really can be quick and easy. Here’s a step by step guide to move you through a stress-free nail clipping. More...
Here’s how to tell which is which. When picturing a hare think LONG, as in long ears, legs and leaps. Another characteristic of hares is that they are born with fur and their eyes are open right from birth. In contrast, baby rabbits are born nakedly hairless and they don’t open their eyes until they are about 10 days old. Baby hares can move around pretty well right after they’re born, whereas baby rabbits are dependent on Mama rabbit for 5 to 8 weeks.
1. Pets. Even if you’re an urban homesteader you probably have the small space required to raise a rabbit. If you’re big on cuteness this species ranks high.
2. Fur. We’re talking pelts here—you know, a little rabbit skin to wrap up Baby Bunting in… Rabbit furs have been used to make warm clothing, purses, bags, hats, table coverings, crafts and of course, baby wraps.
3. Show. County fairs and rabbit shows feature the many breeds and colors.
4. Meat. Rabbits, wild and tame have provided food for people for ages.
5. Wool. The Angora rabbit (shown below) is a breed which produces wool rather than fur. The wool may be spun into yarn to use in weaving, knitting and crocheting. It is an exquisitely soft wool; softer and warmer than sheep’s wool.
6. Fertilizer. Rabbits contribute excellent fertilizer from their droppings. This can be used in the homestead flower and vegetable gardens.
Reference: Barnyard in Your Backyard edited by Gail Damerow
03/17/11 - Walking the Bunny
One Easter morning, our daughter reached into her Easter basket to pick up an adorable, life like stuffed bunny. She was astounded when it came to life in her hands. April, our Holland Lop pictured above, was named after the month she arrived in. She is sporting her stylish halter top and leash. These are available through Four Paws and other brands and enable you to take your bunny for a walk. Actually, since rabbits are very delicate animals the bunny really takes you for a walk. This probably should not be attempted with a bunny who is not used to being handled as frightened bunnies tend to freak out and can injure themselves.
ANGORA BUNNIES FOR WOOL - A Cottage Industry For Homesteaders
The most incredibly soft wool is spun only from the fur of angora rabbits. Now I know it would seem reasonable to think that angora wool came from angora goats. But, no that would be too easy. Angora goats produce mohair.
Angora fiber is silky in texture and is soft enough to be used in very expensive baby clothes. The fibers are hollow and so it is 7 times warmer than sheep’s wool. The fibers are pretty short in length and so some spinners and weavers like to combine it with other fibers like lambswool for a stronger yarn that’s easier to spin.
Angora rabbits can be combed or gently sheared for their fur. And a few spinners have managed to spin straight off the bunny. You’d need a real nice bunny for that.
Raising fiber animals is a fun cottage industry for some homesteaders. Angora rabbits might be the perfect fit for you. The price for angora wool and products is high due to the handwork involved and the small number of producers. For instance: One pound of angora roving sells for $65.00 at Angora Affaire and handspun 2-ply 100% angora yarn is offered at the sale price of $334.05 for 4.41 lbs. at C & W Enterprise!
Angora wool can be sold either spun or raw, dyed or in natural colors. A typical angora rabbit produces, on average, 15 ounces of wool each year per adult rabbit (this number doesn’t apply to a nursing doe).
Angora blend sweater
Though usually angora fur is harvested by gently combing or shearing the rabbit, this woman is spinning straight off the bunny!
Photo Credit: Sprocket003