November 2011

Could You Eat Rabbit?

Rabbits have a bad rap when it comes to being a suitable solution for dinner.  They’re just too darned cute and many people can’t get past those soulful eyes, big ears and soft fur.  Perhaps that’s why, even in our society that is obsessed with fat free eating, the meat with the lowest fat content has been spurned in mainstream eating.  While there is something to those adorable faces, the fact is rabbit meat is one of the most delicious, nutritious and healthiest meats you can eat.

Common Rabbit Terms

Raising rabbits is a fun and exciting hobby.  The hardest part is parting with the offspring, because they are so cute and fun to play with.  Whether you raise rabbits or have one as a pet, here are some common rabbit terms that will help you understand what fellow rabbit owners are saying.

Hermit Crabs

"Hermit crabs eat a variety of things, and most of what they eat you might be able to find in your pantry."

When you think of small pets, the first things that generally come to mind are mice, hamsters, gerbils, guinea pigs - anything cute, cuddly and furry. If you are in the market for a small pet, and want something unusual, you might want to consider a hermit crab.

Why would I want a crab, you say? Crabs aren't cuddly, you can't play with them, and all they do is walk funny. Right? Wrong!  Hermit crabs are low maintenance, and easy to care for. They're perfect for small houses, apartments, even dorm rooms.

Rabbit Breeds: The Endangered American Chinchilla

When I was researching which breeds of rabbits I wanted to own, I focused on endangered heritage breeds because I feel strongly that we should preserve the history these breeds carry.  Starting out with a rare breed has its problems, however; mainly finding suitable breeding stock to buy.  With that in mind, I focused only on rare breeds within driving distance of my area, and that brought me to the American Chinchilla.

The American Chinchilla originated in France in the early 1900s.  They were an overnight success because of their beautiful coats, which made them highly prized for fur production.  The unique three-tone hair gives their coats a beautiful dimension.  The first Chinchillas were very small, at 5-7 pounds, and were eventually bred up for size until they became what we know today as the American Chinchilla, an ideal dual purpose meat and fur breed.

American Chinchillas are inquisitive, intelligent and very laid back.  When I bought my first doe, I asked the breeder how she could manage to get this one so tame when she had hundreds of rabbits.  Her answer was, “I don’t.”  This breed is naturally so calm and mellow, that the doe I bought would come right up to me and let me pet her.

Listed as critically endangered by The American Livestock Breeds Conservancy, the American Chinchilla is in need of some preservation efforts.  This is why I have chosen this breed to begin my own rabbitry, and I would encourage others who are interested in raising rabbits to give the American Chinchilla a close look.

Facts About Sugar Gliders

Things you should know before buying a sugar glider

If you're thinking about buying a small animal for a pet, you might consider getting a sugar glider. Here are a few things you should know about sugar gliders before buying one.

Sugar gliders are marsupials. They are in the same family as kangaroos, opossums and Tasmanian devils.

They are native to Australia, Tasmania, Indonesia and New Guinea.

Natural Diet for Rabbits

Graings and Greens

If you are working toward a more natural lifestyle and diet for your family, it makes sense to extend that to your pets.  Rabbits are a perfect pet to transition to a natural diet, and in most cases you can feed rabbits on much less money when you get away from commercial pellets.  In the wild, a rabbit will eat mostly green leafy foods, with occasional grains and vegetables.  This is one of the easiest diets to replicate in captivity and you will probably see a noticeable improvement in your rabbit’s health once you make the switch.