On the subject of FOOD

three for one deal

three for one deal

The sign is at first glance just amusing to many, however, give it some time to sink in.

Vegans, may want to stop reading about now.

Although the sign itself offers Two Options, I labelled it with Three, and yes:-) I can count- really I can.

The beauty of keeping rabbits in suburbia, for food source or even simply as a handy faster composter really does warrant some thought.

Unlike chickens there is not a noise factor.

Ok Roosters are the noisy ones, but if you are in an area where any pets are discouraged, Rabbits win, and if you are up to it, Guinea pigs can always be an option.

I hear they are so popular in Sth America as a small snack food that some bright fool has GM’d them to be a larger serve size.

Supersize me?? ugh!

Now back to the bunnies. Flemish Giants are a lot bigger than the standard pet, and can weigh in at round 14lbs, which is enough meat for at least 2 goodsized family meals, possibly 3 depending whats also served.

They are quiet, need smallish cages that can also double as a lawnmower if you add skids or small wheels to one end. They eat and fertilize at the same time.

Heres a little known fact, Rabbits and Rats and Alpacas all poop in one spot, sort of a community loo ethos:-)

Guinea Pigs Mice and Sheep ,cattle and pigs,poop wherever they happen to be. No wonder predators can find them , so much easier.

You can let them out for playtime, as long as you don’t go too far away as Feral cats love them too, and as Rabbits do, they can dig out very fast!

The idea is to feed you, not the neighbours dog.

Unless you like the dog:-)

Rabbits breed as fast as the jokes say they do, so one male(buck) to about 4 does, means a steady stream of babies growing along, and you can be nice, and give the girls a bit of a break between litters. That is our human take on a rest BTW as in the wild, they no sooner give birth than they are mating immediately afterwards. Remove the male Before! the birth or he (or she  if upset by the male)will eat them.

All your green waste, from the kitchen and the garden Barring! Rhubarb and onion and potato peels is edible, oh and Orange gets a vote of Yuk! too. They will happily ringbark trees and ornamental plants, be warned.

Even if you have to buy some Lucerne Pellets to supplement it is still cheap and safe meat if things get nasty, and many people have always done just this for decades.

Killing may be a problem for some people, I cannot say I enjoy it, but I do say sorry! before, not after I do.

Skinning is not hard, and use care when removing the gut, apart from that it is fast and a very tidy job, unlike having to hot bath and pluck soggy feathers for chicken.

The standard advice is to bin the entrails, however I hot compost in a well caged bin, and there is NO fly problem if the compost is well active. And a really active worm bin will go bonkers on it too.

For those of you who have dogs, it’s a handy healthy whole food snack. Usually my dogs find their own wild ones, but in suburbia, killing done by you, is probably the better option.

While you go off in the aaarg yuuuck mode, your dog will usually be very happy to carry it off, cute sissy dog or not:-)

Another odd thing I have noticed is ,my dogs, at least, and they are Large hounds, always eat the head first, then the bowels, and maybe eat the body including most of the fur the next day.

By the way tanning rabbit skin is fast and easy if you have some fine weather, Simply scrape any blood and fat off gently with a sharpknife edge on, tack the hide to a board, and rub a mix of salt and alum into it thoroughly and leave it to dry out. You can then roll and scrunch it to soften and rub smooth with sandpaper, Gently! to make a lovely suede finish, Fantastic slippers or, if you save them, big rugs!

SO?? if you really have been counting theres a couple more uses:-)

Most people will only go to the waste recycling, human food and fertilizer point, but animal food and warm hides are also valid and useful.

Time frame? about 12 weeks from mating, to birth to big enough to start eating, and its a natural growth not a antibiotic forced one. Horse pellets and goat meal are fine for bunnies too, if they are cheaper, hay and lucerne hay is getting pricier.( it does double as bedding and mulch later though) Be Aware guinea Pigs like humans Cannot! make Vit C!!!  it Must be added to the diet or they get SCURVY. true! and also be aware that heat processed pellets have very little of the stated Vit C left after processing, so an apple or carrot every couple of days is a good idea.

They (either) can be housed in the floor area of greenhouses, kept vented, not too humid! please, as their body warmth also helps to keep temp up at night and they produce Co2 which encourages plant growth!

Oh and a BIG warning for novices -Rabbits have continually growing teeth, Wooden cages are tasty! like beavers they eat to file teeth as well as for making bedding, and food, so ensure any wood has an outer metal/wire barrier, and always a wire mesh floor!

And lastly, do not allow yourself to name or cuddle a food source, or it will die of old age!

Yes I have done just that…fatal mistake. Got me a mass of 300!! Guinea pigs…oops!

And a word to the wise about cages, do not be silly enough to pay heaps for a plastic or other petshop cage. If you have a tip, or people leave hard rubbish out, look for old bedside cabinets small cupboards etc, they have a door that can be replaced with, say half mesh, or one side can be replaced with a small affordable mesh section. A few nails and a hammer is all you need,maybe a set of kitchen scissors to cut the mesh ? old kitchen cabinets, the three door style are a perfect size, and you can make upper and lower stories with a little thought and a couple more nails. If the sink is missing:-) turn it upside down! remembering to wire it first please. Some tarp or old linoleum will make a waterproof roof, and you are ready to go. Same as smaller cabinet make one door a mesh one for air and light. In winter like USA gets a porch for shelter? and a big pile of hay/ sawdust Shaving not fine!, or even ripped up newspapers is good for warmth.

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