Monday, June 13, 2011

Champagne d'Argent doe

Our newest addition to Applegarth Farm is this beautiful Champagne d'Argent doe, she's almost 3 months old, and already weighs about 5 pounds.  She'll top out at around 9-11 pounds at full adult weight.  We picked her up today from a breeder I met on craigslist several months ago when I began my research of this heritage breed.  I have also reserved a non related buck that will be due in a month.

This doe represents some big changes in our rabbitry, we will be selling most of our mini rex herd of 3 does and 1 buck, along with the 9 babies.  I talked with the feed store today, and they said they'd take all 9 babies, but no adults.  I also showed them our newest rabbit and shared with them my rabbitry changes.  I wanted to talk to them because we had been supplying the feed store with several litters of baby mini rex bunnies every summer for the last few years.

This purebred doe is registered with the ARBA - American Rabbit Breeders Association, and has an ear tatoo, B-21, and official pedigree. The seller said she hadn't been handled much, but she sure was good all day since we picked her up, I think she likes her new room mates and the view of the upper meadow from the rabbit hutch.  One thing we all noticed about her is that her fur is exquisite, it's soft and smooth, darker underneath, and almost white on the tips, it's just gorgeous, and is hard to tell how nice it truly is through just a picture.

Today was a rabbit day for me, when we got home and I set her all up in her new cage, gave her fresh food and water, and let her settle down.  Moving day is stressful whether animal or human.
I spent time grooming the other 5 rabbits we have, clipping toenails, and brushing  our Angora Peppermint.  Her fur is getting so long, I brushed her for a long time, she just loved all the attention.  It's important when you have rabbits to feed them quality food, fresh greens, and fresh water daily.  One thing you also need to do is trim toenails every couple months.

Why am I changing my rabbitry from pet rabbits to meat and fur rabbits?  In times of prosperity rabbits are for pets, in times of economic challenges rabbits are for meat.  This is historically speaking of course, but my plan is to get 3 does and 1 buck, and breed them like I have been with the Mini Rex's and will eventually be sellling breeding pairs, a buck and doe will sell for $90/pair.  With the Mini Rex's the most we were making was $10/rabbit.  These are bigger rabbits so they produce bigger litters. I'm planning for them to get mature enough, and will breed them the end of next Jan for babies next March, I surely don't want one of my rabbits having babies in the middle of winter, that would not be a good idea.   

Champagne d'Argents are meat and fur rabbits.  I do plan to have some rabbit on our menu several times per year, not in the near future, but when I have so many rabbits and want to sell and keep the best, then there will  be some.


Snohomish Shepherdess said...

I am excited to see how the rabbit breeding goes! This is a beautiful rabbit and breed and I can't wait to see the babies. I am so loving all your gorgeous photos -and your writing too! Thanks for sharing.

Jewel said...

Thanks Snohomish Shepherdess, I love your blog and stories and photos too! This is a beautiful breed of rabbit, I'm excited for the Silver Fox's too.