Saturday, January 29, 2011

Our Rabbits

In December, we got 6 baby Californian rabbits for a 4-H project. We showed them earlier this month. One of my sisters got a 3rd and a 5th, and the other's rabbits didn't place. I had one that placed 4th and one that didn't place.

We were basically renting the rabbits from the breeder. If we gave them back after the show, he would "sell" them to us for a cheaper price, so we did that with 5 of them and one we bought to keep. That ended up being my 4th place one since she was the only girl. We gave all of the other ones back to the breeder, but one of my sisters (the one whose rabbits placed) kept that one. I had named her Holly, but my sister changed her name to Heather.

Right before the show, someone at our church told us that they had a rabbit they didn't want any more because it was "mean". They said it was a female mini lop, which happened to be exactly the kind of rabbit which I had been wanting to get! So, I adopted her and named her Heidi. She actually isn't mean at all, she just doesn't like to be picked up. She loves to be petted, though, and she will hop in your lap if you sit down. She acts VERY dominate to the other rabbits, though - she doesn't hurt them, she just chases them around and mounts them sometimes. (The people we got her from were told by the vet that she was a girl, so she's just a very bossy one.)

Then, my other sister (the one whose rabbits didn't place) decided that she wanted a rabbit too, so she got one from a local pet store. I think it's an American fuzzy lop, but we'll have to see how big it gets. It only weighs about 1.5 ponds right now. Its name is Hannah.

We don't have them in cages (I hate it when rabbits are always locked up in tiny cages). Instead, we have them in a 12x12 shed right now (they are mostly litter box trained), but we're going to have to move them out soon because the shed is going to be our chicken house. We are going to move the rabbits to an enclosed covered porch that's about 6x10. It has a lockable dog door in it, so hopefully we can build a little run outside that they can play in when the weather is nice. I'm excited about moving them there because the porch is attached to the bedroom that I share with my 2 other sisters who have rabbits, so we won't have to walk out to the shed to take care of them any more!

Does anyone else have rabbits? If you have an outdoor run for them, how did you build it?

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


As some of you may know, we moved out to the country in November of 2010. We've been planning on getting laying breed chickens from eFowl for a while, but we had to wait until it was closer to spring for all of the kinds we wanted to be in stock.

When I checked a couple of days ago, they had everything we wanted except one kind, so we decided to go ahead replace those with a different kind and place our order.

We are getting 5 Ameraucana pullets, 5 Australorp pullets, 5 Brown Danish Leghorn pullets, and 5 Welsummer pullets. I did a ton of recearch to make sure that we picked out breeds that are good layers, lay a variety of colors, and have good temperaments. I've read that leghorns can be a little flighty, but our friends at Life In A Shoe said that their leghorns are their friendliest chickens! We followed their suggestion and ordered brown leghorns instead of the regular white leghorns so that they won't be as easy for hawks (which we have a lot of) to spot.

The Ameraucanas are also called "Easter Eggers", since they will lay blue, green, and sometimes even pink eggs! I've read that pure Ameraucanas will only lay bluish eggs, but that the hatchery variety are not usually pure.

The Brown Leghorns will lay white eggs, like the kind that are usually sold at grocery stores. They will probably be the most prolific layers.

Australorps lay large light brown eggs and are also very prolific layers. They are black in color and (if I remember right) grow to be the largest of the hens we ordered.

The Welsummers lay very dark brown eggs, which can be nearly black in high quality birds, but the eggs from hatchery birds aren't usually that dark.

Our chicks should get here somewhere around February 18, and they will be about 2 days old. We're busy getting everything ready for them right now! The chicken house is about 12'x12', but when they're little they have to stay in a much smaller area so they don't wander away from the heat and food and get "lost". (Apparently they aren't too bright at this point.) As they get bigger, we can let them have the run of the whole house and the yard! We are really excited about them!

Stay tuned for more updates about our chickens - I'll be sure to let you know when they get here!