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POISONOUS PLANTS TO RABBITS‏

Many plants listed here are not all poisonous, only parts of them are. Apple is a good example: the seeds are poisonous, but the fruit is perfectly fine for rabbits. Read the complete listing of the plant to get details regarding which parts to avoid. If no parts are listed, assume that the whole plant is poisonous and should not be in fed to your rabbit.

Acokanthera (Acokanthera)-fruit, flowers very poisonous

Aconite (Aconitum)-all parts very poisonous

African rue (Peganum harmala)

Agapanthus (Nerine bowdenii)

Aloe vera (Aloe vera)

Alsike clover (Trifolium hybridum)

Amanita (Amanita)-all parts

Amaryllis (Hippeastrum)-bulbs

Amaryllis belladonna (Brunsvigia rosea)-bulbs

Anemone (Anemone sp.)

Angel trumpet tree (Datura, Brugmansia arborea)-flowers, leaves, seeds

Anthurium (Anthurium)

Apple (Malus sylvestris)-seeds contain cyanide

Apple leaf croton (Codiaeum variegatum)

Apricot (Prunus armeniaca)-pits contain cyanide

Arrowgrass (Triglochin sp.)

Arrowhead vine (Syngormon podophyllum)-oxalates

Asparagus fern (Asparagus sprengeri)

Atropa belladonna (Atropa belladonna)-all parts, esp. black berries

Autumn crocus (Colchicum autumnale)-corms

Avocado (Persea americana)

Azalea (Rhododendron occidentale)-all parts fatal

B

Baccharis (Baccharis sp.)

Balsam (Impatiens balsamina)-whole plant

Balsam pear-seeds, outer rind of fruit

Baneberry (Actaea alba, rubra, spicata)-berries, roots, foliage

Beach pea (Lathyrus maritimus)

Beargrass (Nolina texana)

Beefsteak plant (Perilla frutescens)

Begonia (sand)

Belladonna, Atropa (Atropa belladonna)-all parts, esp. black berries

Belladonna lily (Brunsvigia rosea)-bulbs

Betel nut palm (Areca catechu)-all parts

Bird of paradise (Strelitzia poinciana)-seeds

Bird of paradise bush (Casesalpinia gilliesii)-seeds, pods

Bittersweet (Celastrus, dulcamera)-berries

Bitterweed (Hymenoxys odorata)

Black henbane (Hyoscyamus niger)

Black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia)-bark, sprouts, foliage

Black nightshade (Solanum nigrum)-leaves, berries

Black root

Bladderpod (Sesbania vesicarium)

Bleeding heart (Dicentra)-foliage, roots

Bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis)

Bluebonnet (Lupinus spp.)-all parts

Blue cohosh (Caulophyllum thalictroides)

Blue-green algae-some forms toxic

Bog Kalmia (Kalmia)

Boston ivy (Parthenocissus tricuspidata)

Bottlebrush (Callistemon)-flowers

Boxwood (Buxus sp.)-all parts

Bracken fern (Pteridium aquilinum)

Branching ivy (Hedera helix-Weber’s California)-all parts

Broomcorn (Sorghum vulgare)

Broomweed (Gutierrezia microcephala)

Buckeye (Aesculus)-sprouts, nuts

Buckthorn (Amsinckia intermedia)-fruit, bark

Bull nettle

Bunchberry (Cornus canadensis)

Burroweed (Haplopappus heterophyllus)

Buttercup (Ranunculus sp.)-all parts

Butterfly weed (Asclepias tuberosa)

C

Cactus thorn

Caesalpinia (Poinciana)-seeds, pods

Caladium (Caladium portulanum)-all parts

Calico bush (Kalmia latifolia)-young leaves, shoots are fatal

California fern (Conium maculatum)-all parts are fatal

California geranium (Senecio petasitis)-whole plant

California holly (Heteromeles arbutifolia)-leaves

Calla lily (Zantedeschia aethiopiea, Calla palustris)-all Parts

Candelabra cactus

Cardinal flower (Lobelia cardinalis)-all parts

Carnation (Dianthus caryophyllus)-all parts

Carolina jessamine (Gelsemium)-whole plant

Carolina Laurel Cherry (Prunus caroliana)-all parts

Casava (Euphorbiacea)-roots, sap

Cassine (Ilex vomitoria)-berries

Castor bean (Ricinus communis)-seeds are fatal, leaves

Century plant (Agave americana)

Ceriman (Monstera deliciosa)

Chalice vine-all parts

Cherries, wild and cultivated-twigs and foliage are fatal, bark, pits

Cherry, Jerusalem (Solanium nigrum/eleagnifolium/ pseudocapsicum)-fruits, leaves

Cherry laurel (Prunus var.)-all parts are fatal

Cherry, Natal (Solamon)-berries

Chestnut, Horse (Aesculus)-all parts

Chinaberry tree (Melia azedarach)-berries

Chokecherry (Prunus serotina)-withered leaves

Christmas berry (Heteromeles arbutifolia)-leaves

Christmas candle-sap

Christmas rose (Helleborus niger)-all parts, esp. leaves

Cineraria (Senecio hybridus)-whole plant

Clematis (Clematis)

Cloak fern (Notholaena sinuata var cochisensis)

Clover, Alsike (Trifolium hybridum)

Cocklebur (Xanthium sp.)

Coffeebean (Sesbania drummondii)

Cohosh (Caulophyllum thalictroides)

Colorado rubberweed (Hymenoxys richardsonii)

Columbine (Aquilegia)-all parts

Common privet (Ligustrum)-all parts

Coral berry (Symphoricarpos orbiculatus)-seeds

Coral plant (Symphoricarpos orbiculatus)-seeds

Cordatum (Philodendron oxycardium)

Corn cockle (Agrostemma githago)

Corn lily (Symplocarpus foetidus)-all parts

Corn plant (Dracaena fragrans massangeana)

Cotoneaster (Cotoneaster)

Covotillo (Karwinskia humboldtiana)-berries

Cowslip (Caltha palustris)

Crab’s eye (Abrus precatorius)-seeds are fatal

Creeping charlie, except houseplant (Glecoma, Nepeta hederacea)

Cress/Crucifers/Mustards (Cruciferae-Brassica Raphanus, Descurainia spp.)

Crocus (Crocus)-corms

Crocus, Autumn (Colchicum autumnale)-corms

Croton (Codiaeum variegatum, Euphorbiacea)

Crown-of-thorns (Euphorbia milli)-leaves, flowers

Crown vetch (Astragalus sp.)-all parts

Crow poison (Amianthium muscaetoxicum)

Crucifers/Cress/Mustards (Cruciferae-Brassica, Raphanus, Descurainia spp.)

Cuban laurel (Ficus spp.)

Cuckoopint (Arum maculatum)-all parts

Curcas bean-seeds, oil

Cutleaf philodendron (Monstera deliciosa)

Cycads (Cycas spp., Zamia spp.)

Cyclamen (Cyclamen sp.)

D

Daffodil (Narcissus)-bulbs may be fatal

Daisy (Chrysanthemum frutescens)

Daphne (Daphne mezereum)-berries are fatal

Datura (Brugmansia, all species)-all parts

Deadly amanita (Amanita)-all parts

Deadly nightshade (Solanum nigrum)-all parts, unripe fruit, foliage

Death-camas (Sygodenus venesii, Zygadenus nuttallii)-all parts poisonous, roots fatal

Death cup (Amanita phalloides)-all parts

Delphinium (Delphinium sp.)-all parts

Desert tobacco

Destroying angel (Amanita phalloides)-all parts

Devil’s ivy (Scindapsus aureus, Epipremnum aureum)

Devil’s tomato (Solanum eleagnifolium)-all parts

Dianthus (Dianthus)-all parts

Dieffenbachia (Dieffenbachia)-all parts, esp. sap

Dogbane (Apocynum sp.)-leaves

Dogwood (Cornus)-fruit slightly poisonous

Doll’s Eyes (Actaea alba, rubra, spicata)-berries, roots, foliage

Dracaena palm (Dracaena sanderiana)

Dragon tree (Dracaena draco)

Drymary (Drymaria pachyphylla)

Dumb cane (Dieffenbachia amoena)-all parts, esp. sap

Durra (Sorghum vulgare)

Dutchman’s breeches (Dicentra)-foliage, roots

Dutchman’s pipe (Aristolochia durior)

E

Eggplant-all parts but fruit

Elaine (Codiaeum elaine)

Elderberry (Sambucus canadensis)-all parts

Elephant’s ear (Colocasia esculenta, Philodendron domesticum, Caladium hortulanum)-all parts

Emerald duke (Philodendron hastatum)

Emerald feather (Asparagus sprengeri)

English ivy (Hedera helix-ilex acid)-all parts

English laurel (Prunus laurocerasus)-all parts are fatal

Euonymus (Euonymus)

Euphorbia (Euphorbia sp.)-leaves, flowers, sap

Evening trumpet (Gelsemium sempervirens)-whole plant

Exotica perfection

Eyebane (Euphorbia maculata)

F

False henbane-all parts

False hellebore (Veratrum viride and other sp.)-all parts poisonous, root deadly

False parsley (Conium maculatum)-all parts are fatal

Fiddle-leaf fig (Ficus lyrata)

Fiddleneck (Amsinckia intermedia)-fruit, bark

Firecracker (Dichelostemma ida-maia)

Firethorn (Pyracantha sp.)

Fireweed (Amsinckia intermedia)-fruit, bark

Florida beauty (Dracaena spp.)

Fluffy ruffles

Fly agaric (Amanita muscaria)-whole plant

Fly poison (Amianthium muscaetoxicum)

Fool’s parsley (Conium maculatum)-all parts are fatal

Four o’clock (Mirabilis jalapa)-whole plant

Foxglove (Digitalis purpurea)-all parts can be fatal

Foxwood

Frijolito (Sophora secundiflora)-all parts

Fruit salad plant (Philodendron pertusum)

G

Garden sorrel (Rumex acetosa)-oxalates

Gelsemium (Gelsemium)-whole plant

Geranium, California (Senecio petasitis)-whole plant

German ivy (Senecio mikanioides)-whole plant

Ghostweed (Euphorbia marginata)-all parts

Giant dumbcane (Dieffenbachia amoena)-all parts, esp. sap

Glacier ivy (Hedera helix Glacier)-all parts

Gladiola (Gladiolus sp.)

Glecoma hederacea (Nepeta hederacea)

Glory lily (Gloriosa sp.)

Goatweed (Hypericum perforatum)

Gold dieffenbachia-all parts, esp. sap

Gold dust dracaena (Dracaena godseffiana)

Goldenchain tree (Laburnum)-seeds, pods may be fatal

Golden pothos (Epipremnum aureus)

Gold-toothed aloe (Aloe nobilis)

Greasewood (Sarcobatus vermiculatus)

Green-gold nephythytis (Syngonium podophyllum xanthophilum)

Ground ivy (Nepeta hederacea)

Groundsel (Crotalaria spp.)

Groundsel (Senecio sp.)-whole plant

Guajillo (Acacia berlandieri)

H

Halogeton (Halogeton glomeratus)

Hawaiian baby wood rose

Heart ivy (Hedera helix)-all parts

Heartleaf (Philodendron cordatum, Philodendron oxycardium)

Heavenly bamboo (Nandina domestica)-leaves

Hedge apples

Hellebore (Ranunculacea, Helleborus, Veratrum)-all parts

Hemlock (Conium, Cicuta, Tsuga)-all parts

Hemp, Indian (Cannabis sativa, Apocynum sp.)-leaves

Henbane, Black (Hyoscyamus niger)-all parts

Hogwort

Holly (Ilex aquifolium, opaca, vomitoria)-leaves, berries

Horsebrush (Tetradymia sp.)

Horsechestnut (Aesculus)-all parts

Horse-head (Philodendron oxycardium)

Horse nettle (Solanum carolinense)-all parts, esp. fruits, leaves

Horsetail reed (Equisetum sp.)-all parts

Hyacinth (Hyacinthus orientalis)-bulbs can be fatal

Hydrangea (Hydrangea macrophylla)-whole plant

I

Impatiens (Impatiens)-whole plant

Indian hemp (Apocynum cannabinum)-leaves

Indian laurel (Ficus retusa nitida)

Indian rubber plant (Ficus elastica Decora)

Indian tobacco (Nicotiana giauca) -all parts

Indian turnip (Arisaema triphyllum)-all parts

Indigo (Indigofera sp.)

Inkberry (Ilex glabra)-leaves, berries

Inkweed (Drymaria pachyphylla)

Iris (Iris sp.)-underground rhizome, leaves

Ivy (Hedera)-all parts

Ivy bush (Kalmia angustifolia)-leaves

J

Jack-in-the-pulpit (Arisaema triphyllum)-all parts

Jamestown weed (Datura, Brugmansia stramomium)-all parts

Jatropha-seeds, oil

Java bean (Phaseolus limensis)-uncooked bean

Jequirity bean (Abrus precatorius)-seeds are fatal

Jerusalem cherry (Solanium nigrum/eleagnifolium/ pseudocapsicum)-fruits, leaves

Jessamine (Gelsemium sempervirens)-flowers, leaves, berries fatal

Jessamine, Carolina (Gelsemium)-flowers, leaves, seeds

Jessamine, Night-blooming (Cestrum nocturnum)

Jimmy fern (Notholaena sinuata var cochisensis)

Jimson weed (Datura, Brugmansia stramomium)-all parts

Johnson grass (Sorghum halepense)

Juniper (Juniperus)-needles, stems, berries

K

Kafir (Sorghum vulgare)

Klamath weed (Hypericum perforatum)

L

Lady slipper (Cypripedium spectabiles)-all parts

Lambkill (Kalmia angustifolia)-leaves

Lantana camara (Lantana camara)-green berries are fatal

Larkspur (Delphinium)-all parts, seeds may be fatal

Laurel, Cherry (Prunus caroliniana)-all parts are fatal

Laurel, Cuban (Ficus spp.)

Laurel, Indian (Ficus retusa nitida)

Lecheguilla (Agave lecheguilla)

Ligustrum (Ligustrum ovalifolium)-all parts

Lily of the valley (Convallaria majalis)-all parts, including water

Lima bean (Phaseolus limensis)-uncooked bean

Lobelia (Lobelia sp.)-all parts

Locoweed (Astragalus sp.)-all parts

Lords-and-ladies (Arum maculatum)-all parts

Lupine (Lupinus)-all parts

M

Machineel-all parts

Madagascar dragon tree (Dracaena marginata)

Majesty (Philodendron hastatum)

Mandrake (Podophyllum pellatum)-all parts

Marble queen (Scindapsus aureus)-oxalates

Marijuana (Cannabis sativa)-all parts

Marsh marigold (Primula veris)

Mayapple (Podophyllum pellatum)-all parts

Medicine plant (Aloe vera)

Mescal (Lophophora williamsii)-cactus tops

Mescal bean (Sophora secundiflora)-all parts

Mesquite (Prosopis glandulosa)

Mexican breadfruit (Monstera deliciosa)

Mexicantes

Milkvetch (Astragalus sp.)-all parts

Milkweed (Asclepias sp.)-all parts

Milo (Sorghum vulgare)

Miniature croton (Punctatis aureus)

Mistletoe (Phoradendron flavescens)-berries are fatal

Moccasin flower (Cypripedium spectabiles)-all parts

Monkshood (Aconitum napellus)-all parts

Moonseed (Menispermum)-berries can be fatal

Morning glory (Ipomoea violacea)-all parts

Mother-in-law (Monstera deliciosa)

Mountain laurel (Kalmia latifolia)-young leaves, shoots are fatal

Mushroom

Mustards/Crucifers/Cress (Cruciferae-Brassica, Raphanus, Descurainia spp.)

N

Narcissus (Narcissus)-bulb can be fatal

Natal cherry (Solamon)-berries

Nephthytis (Syngonium podophyllum albolinea-tum)-oxalates

Needlepoint ivy (Hedera helix Needlepoint)-all parts

Nicotiana (Nicotiana)-wild, cultivated leaves

Night-blooming jessamine (Cestrum nocturnum)

Nightshade (Solanum carolinense)-all parts, esp. fruits, leaves

Nightshade (Solanum eleagnifolium)-all parts

O

Oaks (Quercus)-foliage, acorns

Oleander (Nerium oleander)-foliage, branches, nectar

Orange milkweed (Asclepias tuberosa)

Orange sneezeweed (Helenium hoopesii)

Ornamental tobacco (Nicotiana)-all parts

Oxalis (Oxalis)-oxalates

P

Palma christi (Ricinus communis)-seeds are fatal, leaves

Panda (Philodendron panduraeformae)

Paper flowers (Psilostrophe sp.)

Paradise plant

Parlor ivy (Philodendron elegans, Philodendron cordatum, Philodendron pertusum)

Parsnip (Pastinaca sativa)

Partridge breast (Aloe variegata)

Peach (Prunus persica)-pit contains cyanide

Pear (Pyrus communis)-seeds contains cyanide

Pear, Balsam-seeds, outer rind of fruit

Pencilbush (Euphorbia tirucalli)

Pencil cactus (Euphorbia tirucalli)

Peony (Paeonia sp.)-all parts

Peregrina-seeds, oil

Perill mint (Perilla frutescens)

Periwinkle (Vinca sp.)-whole plant

Peyote (Lophophora williamsii)-cactus tops

Philodendron (Philodendron)-leaves, stem, sap

Philodendron, Cutleaf (Monstera deliciosa)

Pigweed (Amaranthus spp.)-oxalates

Pingue (Hymenoxys richardsonii)

Pinks (Dianthus)-all parts

Plum (Prunus)-seeds contain cyanide

Plumosa fern (Asparagus plumosus)

Poinciana (Poinciana gillesii)-green seeds, pods

Poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima)-leaves, sap are fatal, flowers

Poison hemlock (Conium maculatum)-all parts are fatal

Poison ivy (Rhus radicans)-all parts

Poison nut

Poison oak (Rhus, Toxicodendron diversilobium)-all parts

Poison parsnip (Cicuta maculata)-all parts, esp. root, are fatal

Poison sumac (Rhus vernix)-all parts

Pokeberry (Phytolacca americana)-roots

Pokeroot (Phytolacca americana)-roots

Poke salad (Phytolacca americana)-roots

Pokeweed (Phytolacca americana)-roots

Poppy, except California (Papaver)

Pot marigold (Calendula officinalis)

Pot mum (Chrysanthemum mortiforium)

Potato (Solanum tuberosum)-green parts are fatal, eyes

Pothos (Scindapsus aureus)-oxalates

Precatory bean (Abrus precatorius)-seeds are fatal

Prickly copperweed (Oxytenia acerosa)

Prickly poppy (Argemone)

Primrose (Primula spp.)

Primula (Primula spp.)

Privet (Ligustrum)-all parts

Purge nut-seeds, oil

Purple sesbane (Daubentonia punicea)

Psychic nut-seeds, oil

Pyracantha (Pyracantha sp.)

Q

Queen Anne’s Lace (Daucus carota)

R

Ranunculus (Ranunculus)-all parts

Rattlebox (Crotalaria spp., Daubentonia punicea)

Rattleweed (Crotalaria spp.)

Rayless goldenrod (Iscoma aerigum)

Red clover (Trifolium pratense)-hays when moldy

Red emerald (Philodendron red emerald)

Red-margined dracaena (Dracaena marginata)

Red princess (Philodendron hastatum)

Red sage (Lantana camara)-green berries are fatal

Rhododendron (Rhododendron)-all parts are fatal

Rhubarb (Rheum rhaponticum)-leaves fatal

Ribbon plant (Dracaena sanderiana)

Ripple ivy (Hedera)-all parts

Rosary bean (Abrus precatorius)-seeds are fatal

Rosary pea (Abrus precatorius)-seeds are fatal

Rosebay (Rhododendron occidentale)-all parts fatal

Rosemary (Rosemarinus)-leaves of some varieties are poisonous

Rubber plant, Indian (Ficus elastica Decora)

Rum cherry (Prunus serotina)-withered leaves

S

Sacahuista (Nolina texana)

Saddle leaf philodendron (Philodendron selloum)

Sage (Salvia)-leaves of some varieties are poisonous

Sago palm (Cycas)

Sand begonia

Satin pothos (Scindapsus spp., Pothos wilcoxii)

Schefflera (Brassia actinophylla)

Scotch broom (Cytisus scoparius)-seeds

Senecio (Senecio)-whole plant

Senna-bean (Sesbania drummondii)

Sesbane (Sesbania, Glottidium mesicaria)

Sesbane, Purple (Daubentonia punicea)

Shamrock plant (Oxalis acetosella)

Sheep laurel (Kalmia angustifolia)-leaves

Silverleaf (Solanum eleagnifolium)-all parts

Silverling (Baccharis sp.)

Silver pothos (Scindapsus aureus)-oxalates

Skunk cabbage (Symplocarpus foetidus)-all parts

Slinkweed (Gutierrezia microcephala)

Snapdragon (Antirrhinum)-all parts

Snapweed (Impatiens)-whole plant

Sneezeweed, Orange (Helenium hoopesii)

Snowdrop (Galanthus)-all parts

Snow-on-the-mountain (Euphorbia marginata)-all parts

Solanum (Solanum)-berries

Solomon’s seal (Polygonatum multiflorum)

Sorghum (Sorghum vulgare)

Snake palm

Snakeroot, White (Eupatorium rugosum)

Snakeweed (Gutierrezia microcephala)

Sorrel, Garden (Rumex acetosa)-oxalates

Spathe flower (Spathiphyllum)

Spider mum (Chrysanthemum mortiforium)

Split-leaf philodendron (Monstera deliciosa, Philodendron pertusum)

Spotted dumb cane (Dieffenbachia)

Sprengeri fern (Asparagus sprengeri)

Spurge (Euphorbiaceae)-leaves, flowers

Squill (Scilla autumnalis)

Squirrel corn (Dicentra canadensis)-all parts

Staggergrass (Amianthium muscaetoxicum)

Star of Bethlehem (Ornithogalum umbellatum)-all parts

Stinkweed (Brugmansia)

St. Johnswort (Hypericum perforatum)

Stranomium-all parts

String of beads/pearls (Senecio rowleyanus)-whole plant

Striped dracaena (Dracaena deremensis)

Sudan grass (Sorghum vulgare)

Swamp laurel (Kalmia)

Sweet pea (Lathyrus odoratus)-stems, seeds, fruit

Sweet William (Dianthus)-all parts

Swiss cheese plant (Monstera friedrichsthalii)

Sweetheart ivy (Hedera helix)-all parts

T

Tansy (Tanacetum vulgare)-all parts

Tansy ragwort (Senecio sp.)-whole plant

Taro ( Colocasia esculenta)-stem, leaves

Taro vine (Scindapsus aureus)

Thorn apple (Datura, Brugmansia stramomium)-all parts

Tiger lily (Lilium tigrinum)-all parts

Toadstools

Tobacco ( Nicotiana giauca)-all parts

Tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum)-leaves, vines

Touch-me-not (Impatiens)-whole plant

Toyon ( Heteromeles arbutifolia)-leaves

Tree philodendron (Scindapsus aureus)

Tropic snow (Dieffenbachia amoena)-all parts, esp. sap

True aloe (Aloe vera)

Trumpet plant-all parts

Trumpet vine-all parts

Tullidora (Karwinskia humboldtiana)-berries

Tulip (Tulipa)-bulb

Turpentine weed (Gutierrezia microcephala)

U

Umbrella plant (Cyperus alternifolius)

V

Variegated philodendron (Scindapsus)

Venus flytrap (Dionaea)-all parts

Victoria regia

Violet (Viola odorata)-seeds

Virginia creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia)-sap

W

Warneckei dracaena (Dracaena dermensis warneckei)

Water hemlock (Cicuta maculata)-all parts, esp. root, are fatal

White snakeroot (Eupatorium rugosum)

Wild black cherry (Prunus serotina)-withered leaves

Wild carrot (Daucus carota)

Wild cucumber

Wild jasmine (Cestrum nocturnum)

Wild parsnip

Wild pea (Crotalaria spp.)

Windflower (Anemone sp.)

Wisteria (Wisteria)-all parts

Wolfsbane (Aconitum napellus)-all parts

Woodbine (Parthenocissus quinquefolia)-sap

Woodrose (Ipomoea, Merremia tuberosa)

Woody nightshade (Celastrus, dulcamera)-berries

Y

Yam bean-roots, immature pods

Yaupon holly (Ilex vomitoria)-berries

Yellow knapweed (Centaurea solstitialis)

Yellow jasmine (Gelsemium sempervirens)-whole plant

Yellow oleander-all parts, esp. kernels of fruit

Yellow star thistle (Centaurea solstitialis)

Yerba-depasmo (Baccharis sp.)

Yew ( Taxus spp.)-foliage, twigs, berries

NOSE TO TAIL-Uses For Every Part Of The Domestic Rabbit

I am a big fan of using every part of an animal. It’s not so much about frugality but that I feel a need to not waste anything and respecting the animal we raise and eat. It is sometimes a challenge to figure out what to do with a whole animal and using all its parts.

I have found that learning how to butcher and use all the parts of a rabbit is a good way to start. Rabbit is the best livestock to begin with butchering! It is usually easy to find readily available, small enough to handle, and its anatomy scales up to the anatomy of a pig, lamb, or goat. If you can butcher a rabbit, you can butcher the bigger animals, too! The cuts are very much the same, just a easier to handle.

I make many different dishes out of my rabbits, it is a tasty way to use the entire animal. The front legs  make great buffalo wings for a great appetizers,  the bones, head and ribs can be boiled for stock, and the rest of the rabbit can be roasted, baked, braised, and barbequed. There is SO much you can do with rabbit!

From a Green standpoint, if you look at the amount of land, food, and time it takes to raise large animals like lamb, pigs, cows, and goats you see that rabbit is a easy sustainable item that’s healthy, versatile, and not expensive, especially when you buy it whole or raise it yourself.

Here are the uses I have found for The Nose To Tail for the rabbit-

The rabbit head and brains are eaten in many countrys, and there are many recipes using both. For example Rabbit Head Pasta http://fxcuisine.com/default.asp?language=2&Display=159&resolution=print and Spicy Sichuan Rabbit Head http://showshanti.com/eating-rabbit-head-tu-tou/, are just a few, but heads are traditionally used in stews and stocks. Dog owners feeding their pets a raw food diet say their dogs love the heads and I have also seen them fed to pigs. The head can be crushed and fed to the chickens, the blood, bones, and meat is considered good for the laying hen, and blood mixed in the mash can be used for the same purpose. In Europe rabbits are sold with the head on, this is cooked or used for soup stock.

The brains can also be used for brain tanning the pelt. It is said that the size of every animals brain is enough to tan that animal’s pelt.

The ears of the rabbit can be dehydrated and used for dogs treats. My dogs LOVE these. There are also recipes for rabbit ears, such as deep-fried rabbit ears served with an apricot ginger chutney sauce. http://www.hungryinhogtown.com/hungry_in_hogtown/2007/03/earresistible_e.html

The pelts of the rabbit can be used to make blankets, hats, and many other assorted clothing to keep warm or as a added fur fringe to clothing for a fancy look. https://riseandshinerabbitry.com/2012/01/22/tanning-rabbit-pelts/

The bones, heads, and ribs can be boiled and used to make a great tasting stock and rabbit gravy. http://stefangourmet.com/2013/10/27/rabbit-stock/                                    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1hI-MrT2OOc

The heart, kidneys, and livers are very nutritious and tasty, to eat alone or used in a rabbit pot pie, or for stuffing and sausage, there are also lots of recipe’s available for these.

The Lungs though fine for human consumption, no chef, or farmer we spoke with had heard of using rabbit lungs in cuisine. But I have dried them with the ears, and sometimes the liver (cut into pieces to be dried) for dog treats! Or you could just feed them fresh to your dogs.

The blood of the rabbit can be used to make blood sausage, and blood pudding. http://www.backwoodsbound.com/zrabbit14.html  Rabbit Blood Pudding Recipe

Rabbit blood can be used to thicken sauces and make charcuterie. If you do not want to eat the blood you can mix it with sawdust and it makes a great soil additive or add to the compost. You can also mix the blood in chicken feed for that extra protein.

 

The offal guts and other left over butchering scraps can be fed to dogs, cats, pigs, or also put in the compost pile.

Rabbit offal (the guts, internal organs, and non-flesh soft parts) are prized food in some cultures. They can be ground with a household meat grinder and used to make sausage, haggis, pate’, or other tasty tidbits.

My first choice for anything I am not going to use is to feed to carnivores. Most zoos, fur farms, hunters or even your own pets will happily take it off your hands. A pig would probably eat it. My Muscovy ducks and chickens will run to the offal piles at butchering time trying to get some scraps!

If you have a lake, pond or even raising fish in a aquaponics setup a good second choice is to put the offal in wire baskets above the surface of the water. The insects will eat the offal, then they themselves or their maggots fall into the water and feed your fish or crawfish. You could do this and collect the maggots and feed them to your chickens. You may want to do this away from the house as this will stink!http://www.themodernhomestead.us/article/feeding-chickens-maggots.html

Third choice is your compost pile with some management insect nuisance, odor, and animal attraction is no problem. The problem with rabbit parts is that they decompose slowly. The moisture and the heat of a compost pile works well for the breakdown of vegetable matter, but in the case of animal parts it can attract maggots! Because of this slow decomposition this can also offers a place for unhealthy bacteria and rodents. By tossing a handful or two of lime on the rabbit parts this will help speed the decomposition. Cover the rabbit parts with a good amount of sawdust or shavings. Then compact this down tightly. This will reduce the odors. Have strong, tall sides to your compost pile (I use pallets) and cover the top with a tarp. This is further protection against animals getting into your pile. So the next time you have rabbit products to dispose of, use your compost heap.

The rabbit feet can be used with the offal or made into lucky rabbits feet by drying and adding some beads or other decorative items for some really cool looking charms. You can make these by putting some 70% isopropyl rubbing alcohol in a small jar with the rabbits feet completely submerged in the alcohol, soak for 2 days this will lock in the fur. It also dehydrates the cells and kills bacteria and fungus. After the 2 days take out and rinse with water, you will need some borax this can be found in the laundry sections in most grocery stores. Using another jar or you may empty, rinse, and dry the jar you used earlier. Now mix some borax and water to about a 15 to1 mix use hot water as it will help the borax to dissolve. The borax will help to dehydrate skin and tissue helping to preserve the foot, also has antibacterial and antifungal properties. Make sure to submerge the feet in this mixture for one day. After one day in the borax mix I take out a put the feet in the sun to dry. Brush clean and you are ready to decorate with beads, and a end cap there are so many ways to dress up your new lucky charm. My wife dyes fiber with Kool Aid and white vinegar I want to try this with some of the white rabbits feet.

The rabbit’s tail has been used for many centuries for pollinating flowers, by attaching the tail to a stick and going from the male flower to the female flower transferring pollen in hoop houses and greenhouses. You could also use these as charms.

These are the uses I have found for using the rabbit from Nose To Tail, if you know of any more please let me know and I will add to this post!

Apple Cider Vinegar For Rabbits

Apple cider vinegar has lots of benefits for the domestic rabbit. It contains a potent combination of vitamins as well as being full of minerals, some are potassium, copper, iron, magnesium, phosphorous and many more. ACV also contains helpful enzymes which provide many health benefits.

My rabbits get ACV in their water in 3 month cycles. 3 months on, 3 months off, 3 months on, etc. There is nothing harmful in ACV so it will not hurt the rabbits. Some older rabbit books reference ACV as a additive to their daily water giving it continuously to the complete herd. I plan on to keep putting ACV in my rabbits water,  as I have seen the results in my herd! Add 1 to 2 tablespoons to a gallon of water. Start with one and work up to two, sometimes I do not even measure it just add a splash in a gallon jug and good to go.

So you should consider ACV as a daily preventive health maintenance program or just a monthly health tonic it is up to you, just remember to keep a jug handy were you fill your bottles and crocks so it is handy. You will see the greatest effect from this treatment about 4 weeks after beginning the ACV. Give it time and you will see the improved look and health in your rabbits.

I use the organic ACV with the mother in it so it is alive and still has all the valuable probiotics. Even regular ACV has great benefits just make sure it is apple cider vinegar and not apple colored/flavored distilled white vinegar.

Apple Cider Vinegar keeps the rabbits immune system up also preventing urinary tract problems like infections and bladder sludge (this is caused from excess calcium) and promotes a less potent urine therefore reducing the smell.

ACV keeps the rabbits body’s ph regulated, clearing up skin conditions and infections. This adjustment in ph will also help with weepy eyes and other eyes issues.

ACV is known for keeping the rabbits fur softer and shinier.

Many rabbit breeders feel that by adding ACV to your rabbits water this will result in healthier rabbits by increasing the nutrient absorption capabilities of the G.I. tract as well as helping with the whole digestive process. Extensive historical use in veterinary studies indicate that ACV added to feed or water can cure a mastitis infection and reduce the transmission rates of the bacteria in most livestock.

ACV is also said to boost fertility rates and produce more female kits in a litter, also said to make the does more willing to breed.

ACV makes rabbits unattractive to fleas and mites by making the rabbit smell off. Making it a great repellent and health tonic. You can also mix a few drops of ACV and a little mineral oil to treat for ear mites by dropping 4 or 5 drops in each ear holding the ear flap closed for a minute or two. then gently rubbing the base of the ear.

It can also be used as a cleaner for cages and crocks as well as keeping the green algae from growing in water bottles in the summer.

If you bring your rabbit to a show or transporting them, the water will taste the same as the water from home.

With so many uses cleans and disinfects, kills garden bugs, kills weeds, and the health benefits for your rabbits you should include ACV in your rabbitry.

Poultry people add it to their flocks! Horse breeders to their horses! Rabbit breeders to their rabbits! Keep a few jugs on hand your homestead animals will thank you.

Thanks for reading! Rise And Shine Rabbitry – Raising Meat Rabbits To Save The World!  Join The Rabbit Revolution, Like Us On Facebook!

TANNING RABBIT PELTS

Crème d argent pelt

Crème d argent pelt

Rabbit pelts have been used for many years as fur, in the manufacture of felt, and for a variety of miscellaneous toys and other items. With the development of many synthetic fibers and imitation furs, the demand for pelts by furriers has decreased. Today there are few if any market for furs in the United States and is considered a waste product in many a commercial slaughter house.

Whether the pelts from meat slaughtering should be saved and prepared for marketing will depend upon the market demand and value, the type and number of rabbits being slaughtered and the time and facilities available for preparing the pelts. It is unlikely that the small homesteader slaughtering his own rabbits will find it worthwhile to process the skins for sale. But for the homesteader this waste product is a value worth more than just monetary gain but a way toward self sufficiency a wide variety of needed items can be made with rabbit pelts

Rabbit pelts vary widely in quality and value. The different types of fur characteristics vary depending on the breed type, such as the Rex, Satins, Silver Foxes and other fur type breeds(also know as dual purpose rabbits- meat and fur) Pelts from the young of any breed are normally of poor quality and of less value than those from adult animals. The young fryers pelts are thin and can tear, but are still usable but the older rabbits make a stronger finished product. Those with dense winter coat that is not easily removed from the pelt, are most the most sought after.

Preparation of pelts for market begins with the removal at slaughter. Exercised care to avoid cuts or tears, and remove body fat that often remains attached to the pelt. As the pelts are removed, turn them inside out while still warm and moist. Place them on wire stretchers or shapers with the front leg casings on one side. Shapers can be made from No. 9 gauge galvanized wire. The shapers extend or expand the pelts to their full length, but do not stretch them out of shape. Fasten the rear legs to the ends of the wire shapers with a clothes pins or some other fastener. Some people split the pelt down the belly. This works great if you are freezing them for later use.(I do this if I am freezing them)

Hang the pelts in a well-ventilated drying area, but not in direct sunlight. After the skins are dry the wire shaper is removed. Do not use salt or other chemicals on skins, but as they are being packed for storage or shipment, naphthalene (moth crystals) or paradichloro-benzene may be placed in the packaging container as an insect repellent.

There are so many ways to tan fur, here is just one of many. Freeze the hides until you have enough to tan (I usally wait till I get 6 or more). I keep them turned inside out. This process is a salt / acid process. This works very well and makes some nice pelts for coats, hats, and my favorite blankets. Wear safety glass and rubber gloves when using this acid mix it is very dilute but will still irritate your eyes.

Tanning Rabbit Pelts

1. After dressing the rabbit, toss the raw hide (split down the belly, not cased) into a Ziploc bag and put it into the freezer. Do not salt or dry out, you don’t even have to flesh them either. When you have 6 or more, you’ll have enough to make it worth your while to tan.

2. Thaw out the frozen hides, run under warm water to remove ice.

3. Rinse well and squeeze out excess water – DO NOT WRING THEM!!! SQUEEZE ONLY!!

4. You will need: 1PLASTIC 5 GALLON BUCKET
2 LBS. ROCK SALT(OR ANY CHEAP SALT)
8OZ . BATTERY ACID (can get at any Automotive store and is cheap)
STICK OR WOODEN SPOON – for stirring
A SCRUBBED BRICK OR ROCK to hold the pelts from rising to the surface of the solution.
There are many other pickle solutions. I have use this method and am happy with it!

5. Run 1 gallon of HOT water into the bucket, add salt and stir to dissolve. Add 1 gallon of cool water (not cold). Water temp. should be about 70 degrees.

6. Slowly add acid by tipping the bucket toward you and allowing the acid to dribble down the inside into the water. Be careful not to splash liquid and stir carefully with a non-metallic spoon or stick till blended. You may want to wear rubber gloves for this. ALWAYS WEAR EYEPROTECTION! Remember the old saying when using acid and water “Water to acid prepare to be blasted” ALWAYS add the acid to water slowly not the other way around!!

7. Lower the completely thawed hides one at a time into the bucket. Submerge in liquid with the stick and slide brick or rock down the bucket upright and allow the rock or brick to settle on top to the hides. At this stage the acid is not strong enough to do any real damage to your skin but you don not want to splash it into your eyes!

8. Put a piece of plywood on top of the bucket and stash away in the garage or closet where no one will disturb it or get into it. Make sure that wherever you put it, it will stay at approx. 70 degrees. Too hot and the hides will be damaged, too cold and the tanning process will be delayed.

9. Leave the bucket alone for 1 week. Put your rubber gloves on then gently remove hides from the acid solution with the stick. Allow them to drip over the bucket then SQUEEZE to remove excess liquid. Do not take to the sink. Run under cool water and add dish detergent to remove the remaining acid mixture. Rinse and squeeze out.

10. At this point the flesh on the underside of the hide should be thickened and somewhat separated from the hide. Grasp a piece on the edge and you should be able to simply peel the flesh off, often all in one piece. Be very careful with junior hides, as they tend to be very thin and easy to tear. If the flesh is very tight on the hide, it isn’t “prime” yet and should be returned to the acid solution for a few more days.

11. After fleshing, return the hides to the acid solution and leave for another week (can be safely left for up to a year).

12. When you pull out the hides after at least a week, remove the pelts and swish them around in soapy water. Squeeze as much water out as possible. Now lay pelts over the porch railing, back step, or make a drying rack to allow the pelts to drip dry. At the first sign of drying (white patches on the flesh side), work the hides gently over the back of a chair, 2X4, fence post, rough rope ect. pulling the pelt back and forth and then pull gently till the flesh side turns white all over. Pelts can be thrown in a very cool clothes dryer and tumbled for a while to help the drying/softening process.

13. Once the hides are worked till soft and completely dry this takes LOTS OF ELBOW GREASE! If you have allowed the pelts to dry stiff without working them, toss them in a pan of water to soften and then start over with the drying/working process. It doesn’t take more than a few minutes each to work the hides to a nice suede like softness. Rub the fur side over the back of a chair also to make the fur soft and natural looking. After you are done with the tanning solution, add a couple cups of baking soda to neutralize the acid. This makes it completely safe to dispose of. Good luck!!! Let me know how you do!

I am currently writing up a post on NATURALLY TANNING RABBIT PELTS so stayed tuned. JOIN THE RABBIT REVOLOUTION! Like us on Facebook and subscribe to our blog to get all the newest post as they are posted!

Basics Of Raising Meat Rabbits On The Homestead- Part 1

RabbitsYou may ask why meat rabbits? I will go over the basics for why I believe everyone should be raising meat rabbits on the homestead. I could go on forever about the benefits of raising rabbits for meat, but for quick easy convenience I will only list ten reasons why everyone should be raising rabbits. Then I will cover basics of housing, feeding, and breeding information. I will eventually get into writing more about each of these subjects in more detail, and will be writing a part 2 to this series answering any question you have on part 1 and processing your rabbits, tanning pelts, and using the best fertilizer know to man, rabbit manure! Will be posting updates on the goings on at the rabbitry! Show you our hillbilly solar powered rabbitry setup for the off grid rabbit production and more. Join The Rabbit Revolution! LIKE US ON FACEBOOK for daily updates and rabbit information.

WHY RABBITS?
1. Rabbit meat is very high in protein and very low in fat and cholesterol

2. You know were your meat comes from and the type of life the rabbit had, no medications or hormones just good tasting healthy meat

3. Rabbit are easy to raise! even working a full time job 2 does and 1 buck will only take a few minutes in the morning and evening and time on weekends to clean cages,even the youngsters can do the chores

4. Rabbits can be raised in country and suburban areas(could even be raised inside).They are quiet and clean no one will know you have your own meat supply

5. Rabbits have a high reproduction rate each doe should raise at LEAST 36 fryers a year(average 6 litters,6 fryers in each litter)and could produce even more by raising more breeding stock out of the best of your litters

6. Rabbits can be raised many different ways-colony raising,natural feeding,pasture raising ect. the rabbits will adapt and flourish with good management

7. Rabbit are easy to process takes only 15 minutes a rabbit from cage to freezer (or grill)Rabbit can be cooked many ways, any chicken recipe can be changed to use rabbit in place of chicken

8. Rabbits are very efficient-they will produce 6 pounds of meat on the same feed and water that a cow will produce 1 pound of meat.Your rabbits will be ready to butcher in 8 to 12 weeks with a 50%up to 65% dress out from live weight

9. Rabbits will grow well on food items that do not compete with food items grown for human food.Rabbits are a inexpensive way to supply good healthy meat for your family

10. Rabbits have other by-products good for the homestead.The best manure know to mankind,awesome pelts for blankets,hats, gloves and other crafts,ok that was 10 and i could list 50 more ,I could also write pages on just the added benefits of rabbits other than meat!

Housing For Rabbits-

There are many different types and styles of hutches or cages. The housing needed will depend on the climate, location and the amount of money you have available. It is not necessary to go to a big expense to build hutches. I have seen some of the best rabbits raised in hutches made from second hand lumber and some old wooden boxes. Hutches can be built to be used outdoors or put in any shed or outbuilding in your backyard as long as they are in a dry draft free environment. You should construct hutches that will allow for easy feeding, watering, and cleaning. Clean cages mean clean rabbits! Most rabbit cages are made of wire, this provides easy cleaning and they last longer than cages made of other materials. The floor wire is usually 1/2″ x 1″ and sides and tops are 1″x2″ wire. This is what they use in most commercial rabbitries.

The most common outdoor hutches are usually made of wood and wire, some with just a wooden frame with a wire cage hung inside. It is important to have protection from all predators even dogs and cats. Proper ventilation is a must when they are raised inside or out, but make sure the rabbits are not exposed to wet winds or drafts. Rabbits can withstand cold weather better than hot weather. Once your rabbits start to grow they will need to be separated make sure you have extra space available. Cage size for medium sized meat breeds are 24″W x 36″L x 18″H or 30″W x 36″L x 18″H for breeding cages, cages for bucks or young replacement breeding stock can be housed in a 24″W x 24″L x 18″H or a 24″W x 30″L x 18″H. Rabbits can be housed and raised many different ways as in a colony setting were multiple rabbits are bred and raised in pens or on pasture in rabbit tractors. It is up to you to decide how you want to raise your rabbits check out other breeders and how they raise their rabbits.

Feeding Rabbits-

Feeding rabbits is probably the most important part of raising rabbits, also the most argued. It is what controls the health and condition of the rabbit (even good genetics in rabbits cannot override a poor feeding program). Most people who begin with rabbits overfeed their herd. Feeding once a day is enough only pregnant does and growing kits need extra feed. Always feed on a regular schedule a rabbit becomes accustom to a set feeding schedule and will become agitated and restless when the schedule is not kept. A constant supply of water is a must and should be changed daily. In the winter try to change frozen crocks as much as possible, at least two times a day, once in the morning and again in the evening. When you get your rabbits be sure to ask what feed they are using try to get some of the same brand from a feed store or buy some from the breeder. If you plan to change brands make sure to mix some of the new feed with the old brand for a couple weeks before switching over to the new feed completely. Any change of diet to rabbits should be done slowly! Rabbit pellets are usually dark green in color and has the nutritional requirements to produce a healthy rabbit and excellent growth in young. Check the labels and feed as manufacturer recommends. Pellets are easy to feed and requires less labor than natural feeding or pasture management. Pellets have changed a lot in my time raising rabbits and not for the better. More corn and soy and less alfalfa based feeds are sold, most all products are waste products from mills, most are GMO grown and round up sprayed, so read your feed labels and choose your feed for your rabbits informed. There are still some good rabbit food companies out there!

Grass hay is one of the most important item in the rabbit diet, it should be fed in unlimited quantities. A rabbit fed only commercial rabbit pellets dose not get enough long fibers to keep the intestines in good working order, the long fibers of hay push things thru the gut at the right speed. Hay is also good for preventing intestinal impaction caused by ingested hair. Alfalfa or clover hays should be fed restricted as they are to rich in protein and calcium to be free fed. Fresh vegetables help keep the intestinal contents hydrated, which make them easier for the rabbit to pass. Rabbits love fresh, fragrant herbs right from the garden. If your rabbit shows any signs of stomach problems, such as runny stool take away the pellets and veggies and feed only grass hay or even straw until stools harden up.

Green feeds are the natural food of rabbits. These are rich in protein minerals and vitamins, being soft and tender they are easily digested. They should be included in your feeding program. Rabbits can be fed lots of types of greens, including lawn clippings, cabbage, kale, safe weeds (do your homework lots of good weeds for rabbits out there), waste from your vegetables from the garden, prunings from fruit trees, sweet potato vines and lots more. Any green feed not eaten should be removed from the hutch daily. Roots may be grown and used fresh or saved for feeding in the winter months such as carrots, sweet potatoes, mangles, rutabagas, turnips and beets. This is just the basics of feeding rabbits, I will do a lot more on this subject in my future posts!

Breeding Rabbits-

Rabbits of medium size (most meat breeds)are ready to breed when they reach the age of 5 to 8 months of age-some breeders go by weight not by the age of the rabbit. Many young bucks will attempt to breed as early as 3 months it is best to separate them at this age, you do not want does that young to get pregnant the young will be small and there will be few kits in the litter, it also stunts the growth rate of the doe itself. Just as important do not wait to long to breed your does or the first time they will be hard to breed. While doing your chores in the rabbitry if you notice a doe trying to nose and scratch her way into other cages or rubbing her chin on things like feeders, and crocks she’s ready to breed.

When looking at the does sexual organ if her vulva is moist and bright pink to a reddish color all the way to the tip, she is ready to breed. As the cycle is waning the vaginal opening becomes a bright purple. Rabbits are induced ovulators, meaning ovulation does not occur until the actual mating by the buck. Always take the doe to the bucks cage. Does are very territorial about their cages and will attack the visiting buck and can cause serious harm to the buck. A ratio of one buck for every 10 does is necessary, the buck may be bred up to 7 times as week effectively. The doe usually accepts(lifts her tail and raises her back end)the buck will mount her vibrate and then he will fall over to the side or even backwards, some bucks are very dramatic! Within a minute he will be right back up to repeat the mating. I usually return the doe to the bucks cage for a re breeding 6 to 12 hours after the first mating. This improves conception rate and increases the number of kits in a litter. Keep accurate records of the day you bred the doe! The does gestation time is 29 to 32 days, usally right on day 31.

You should test her for pregnancy between the 10th and 14th day after breeding. The best way is to palpate by checking the lower abdomen of the doe with your thumb and forefinger checking for nodules about the size of a marble. The other way is to take her back to the bucks cage and if she runs around growling and trying to avoid the buck she is most likely pregnant. This method is inaccurate as some does will breed again and will already be pregnant or refuse to and will not be pregnant.

The gestation period is the time from mating to kindling and is 31 to 32. The nest box should be put in the does cage on day 27 from when the doe was bred (remember those accurate records a good litter of kits on the wire and you will not be happy). Fill the nest box 1/2 to 3/4 full with nesting material such as straw (my favorite), hay, shavings, dry leaves ect. I also put some nesting material in the cage so the doe can pick up some to add to her nest box. The doe will make her nest and by the time she kindles will be pulling fur. Watch expectant does often especially if they are first time mothers, If she has her kits on the wire you can put them in the nest box as long as they have not been chilled, if they have been chilled they should be warmed immediately and put back into the box and covered with fur. If the doe has more than 8 kits you should foster them to a doe with a smaller litter, unless you know the doe to be a good producer of milk.(A doe only has 8 teats so only so many kits can eat at once).

After the doe has kindled and seems to be mellowed out it is time to check the nest box, give the doe a treat (I usually give a small piece of apple or banana) and while she is enjoying her well deserved treat check the litter, remove any dead or stunted young and put the nest box back in the cage. 8 good healthy kits have a better chance and will grow faster than a litter of 12 to 14 weak kits. It is best to check the nest boxes every day the first week and every other day after that. By checking on the kits you will see if they are eating buy their plumpness and full tummies. A doe only nurses her young one or twice a day for only 2-5 minutes. If the doe is not feeding them, place the doe in the nest box and hold her until the kits start to nurse.

The kits are born naked and blind they will grow very fast, in about 2 weeks their eyes will open and in 3 weeks will start to leave the nest box. You can wean the kits from 4 weeks at the earliest and at the latest 8 weeks depending or your breeding cycle. It is important to keep the doe and kits on full feed and plenty of fresh water to keep them all healthy. The young rabbits should weigh 4+ pounds at 8 weeks of age now it is time to slaughter and select the fastest growers for your replacement breeding stock, or to move them to grow out cages.

This has only been a basic of raising rabbits. I plan on doing a few more of this series the next will be on slaughtering – selling- and using everything from your rabbits! Also answering any questions anyone has. Thanks for reading! Rise And Shine Rabbitry, Raising Meat Rabbits To Save The World! Join The Rabbit Revolution! Like Us On Facebook and subscribe to our blog page to get the newest post as they are posted!

SATIN RABBITS- The Ultimate Dual Purpose Rabbit

One of the breed of rabbits I raise are called Satins. They are a large breed, derived from a genetic mutation in the fur of some New Zealand Whites back in the 1930’s. This mutation caused a hollow hair shaft, which gives a beautiful shine and quality to the color of the coats of this “heavyweight” breed. They come in lots of colors, and are generally calmer and easier to handle.

The Satin of today is a very different breed from the New Zealands because in order to put color on that fabulous hollow hair shaft the white NZ mutation was crossed with many other breeds, and then the body was reestablished. The Satin is genetically diversified the natural way. I have heard that the New Zealand breed has only six breeding lines!

Here’s what I did in breeding- I took great stock from very distant strains, and then bred the best I could get. By crossing the colors and the two lines they have the quality and benefits of hybrid vigor. That is when two diverse satins are crossed and unusual strength, beauty, size, or vigor is noticed in the young produced.

Satins are also a excellent meat rabbit not only for meat, but also for their awesome pelts. The hair of Satins have a hollow, luminous hair shaft that gives them a great deal of sheen. They have 12 color types, black, blue, Californian, chinchilla, chocolate, copper, opal, otter, red, Siamese, white and the broken group. The ideal weight of this breed is 9.5 -10 pounds. Satins have a high meat to bone ratio and make a 5 pound fryer well in the 8-12 week time frame.

A study was done comparing the new zealand white and the satin. The NZW reached 5 pounds earlier than the Satin, but took 100 pounds of feed to raise 8 kits to 5 pounds. The Satins raised 8 kits to 5 pounds it took a few weeks longer but only used 85 pounds of feed. Satins are easy to breed are good mothers have 5 to 11 kits in a litter and foster other kits with no problems with good milk production. If your not sure what breed is for you the Satin is a great choice for your homestead! I breed blacks,blues and Chocolates and have been selectively breeding these for winter production and am happy with the results!

COMFREY FOR RABBITS

COMFREY

COMFREY

I have been using Comfrey as a food source and tonic for a long time in my rabbitry.

When I was young I always talked to all the old-timer rabbit breeders around my neighborhood and on my paper route. They all agreed and swore by comfrey as the best rabbit tonic and said every rabbit breeder should grow it.

They would give a little each day added to their daily green feed, and told me this is why their rabbits never got sick. They told me it would prevent everything from snuffles to premature kindling and helping milking does produce more milk. I have no scientific proof, other than never seeing any of their rabbits sick.

So that’s when I got my first few comfrey plants (cost me a weeks worth of newspapers) and I have been feeding comfrey to my rabbits ever since. I have moved many times from my childhood home but have always brought comfrey cuttings with me to plant more.

I know that my rabbits love the stuff just by their reaction when harvesting the comfrey, the rabbits hear me cutting the leaves in the comfrey beds, I can hear them running and binkying around their cages knowing their healthy tonic is on the way.

When entering the rabbitry with a basketful of comfrey, the whole herd comes alive waiting for their treat. I highly recommend comfrey for rabbits! It is a great digestive aid and will help with wool block, do not overfeed as it may cause diarrhea, this is the plant working use caution! Great as a tonic and added food source but not as the only feed source.

You can cut it down and dry it like hay to store for winter use ( It can be cut down up to three times here in Maine). They also love the freshly harvested leaves. The plant has a calming effect on rabbits, also good when a rabbit is off feed, It will get them back on it!

Comfrey is a great source of vitamin A and good for pregnant and nursing does as it also supports the immune system. Comfrey is good for the stomach, and can be fed as a general gut tonic. Always use caution when feeding greens to rabbits! Being extremey potent comfrey can have negative effects if overfed, and can cause diarrhea. When I do feed, it makes up about 25% of the basket of greens/weeds I pick every other day or so in the Spring/Summer/Fall. There are so many other uses for comfrey on the homestead. I will list just a few.

Comfrey has long been used as a cure by Gypsies and peasant people for ever, it has an ancient reputation as a mender of broken bones! It has also been recommended for uterine and other internal hemorrhages and for the healing of wounds. Comfrey’s power to heal wounds is credited to a substance in the plant called allantoin (listed in Merck’s Index of Chemicals and Drugs for its use in skin ulcer therapy). The most common medicinal use of comfrey is in poultices to help heal swellings, inflammations and sores.

To make such a dressing, let the leaves mush up in hot water, squeeze out the excess liquid and wrap several handfuls of the hot, softened foliage in a clean cloth. Apply the pad to the affected part—comfortably hot, but not scalding—and cover the area with a thick folded towel to keep the heat in. The moist warmth enhances the healing effect of the allantoin. Roots and Leaves have historically been used to apply to swellings, sprains, bruises, cuts and used as a poultice for stings, abrasions, blisters, abscesses and boils. Comfrey is also widely known for healing and clearing up skin problems. You can use the roots to make decoctions, and the leaves to make infusions that have antiseptic properties

British Gypsies would also feed the roots to their animals as a spring tonic. On my homestead all the livestock love it! The pigs go nuts when I throw it into their pens, The chickens come charging to meet me at the gate with some, And we already discussed the rabbits!

You can also condition your soil with comfrey! It’s one of the best plants for this. The leaves themselves may be buried as “instant compost” to give row crops season-long nourishment. A tea can be made with the leaves and used as a liquid fertilizer (No more Miracle Grow!). You should google the uses of comfrey in the garden you will be amazed! There is to much for me to list here maybe I will do a future post just on comfrey and the homestead!

https://riseandshinerabbitry.com/2013/08/11/comfrey-the-homesteaders-gold-mine/

Harvest when the foliage is 12 to 18 inches tall, we cut the leaves with a sickle by gathering a bunch together and shearing them off two inches above ground. After such a harvest, the plants will grow enough to be cut again in 10 to 30 days. About two weeks is the average in our experience. Dry the harvest or feed it fresh! The thicker stalks are had to dry and mold before drying, so for drying stick to the leaves.

Comfrey is 86.6%water,2.6%protein,1.8% fiber.

Comfrey is a controversial plant yet it has been used medicinally for at least 2000 years.

It has also had extensive use as an animal feed just as long. Due to recent evaluations of this plant, it is important to learn about it before deciding whether or not to add it to your rabbits’ diet. I have used it before any of the studies and still use it to this day wit no ill effects! It irritates me how negative weighted research can affect the truth of an herb.

There are three main varieties of Comfrey grown, Russian Comfrey(bocking strains), Prickly Comfrey, and Common Comfrey. Common Comfrey is the one usually grown here in the US. These Comfrey plants greatly differ in the amount of alkaloids present in the plants.

I grow and sell the Russian Bocking 14 type.

The research was done on young rats that were injected not fed naturally the whole food product. It is known that injecting a substance will often give a toxic reaction when just eating it does not. This test did cause tumors in the liver, but it was basically an overdose of the toxic part of the comfrey injected into young rats than are sensitive to the alkaloid to begin with. That is a negative weighted research project to say the least!

Despite the controversy over Comfrey and liver toxicity, farmers in both Japan and in the Pacific Northwest plant fields of comfrey to feed both their dairy and beef cattle. These farmers are getting remarkable results in the health of both their beef cattle and increased milk production in their dairy herds.

If comfrey is so dangerous, then why then is it not causing liver toxicity in these cattle? They are being fed enough to cause liver problems. There has been no problem with liver toxicity in their herds.

So if you question the use of comfrey in your rabbitry do your research. I have butchered many rabbits and have never found any internal issues with the feeding of comfrey over long periods of time.

We have Comfrey plants, roots, and crowns available in season(May till end of October ere in Maine.)

https://riseandshinerabbitry.com/comfrey-for-sale/

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HEALTH BENEFITS OF RABBIT MEAT

Rabbit is higher in protein than other meats, lower in fat, and has less calories. It is one of the best white meats available on the market today! The meat has a high percentage of easily digestible protein. Protein is needed in the diet for healthy cellular processes and functions. The body needs protein for tissue development, repair and maintenance. For overall health and proper functioning, the human body must have protein.

Rabbit meat is almost cholesterol free and low in sodium and there fore very heart patient friendly. The calcium and phosphorus contents of this meat are more than any other meat. Phosphorus helps in bone health along with calcium, and also helps to regulate fluids. Potassium also helps with fluid regulation and helps remove salts from the body Other vitamins and minerals, which are needed by the body in small amounts, are also present in rabbit meat. These include copper, zinc and iron. Copper is necessary for cellular growth and development and is taken in through diet since the body cannot produce this mineral. Zinc is important to boost the immune system and calcium absorption while iron is important in the production of red blood cells and the distribution and absorption of oxygen throughout the body.

Rabbit contains selenium that works as an antioxidant to remove free radicals before they can do damage to your body. Some types of cancer, as well as the ravages of aging, can be battled with selenium. Selenium is also very important in maintaining good thyroid functioning and supporting a healthy immune system.

Rabbit meat also contains Potassium that helps with fluid regulation and helps remove salts from the body

Vitamin B2 or riboflavin is another nutrient found in rabbit meat which is important to keep the digestive track healthy. It is also important in breaking down protein and fats. Another nutrient, Vitamin B12 is necessary in the proper function of the nervous system. It is needed in the production of protein and red blood cells.

Rabbit meat, which is a high-protein low fat diet, is not just perfect for weight loss. It also contains anti-oxidant and anti-aging components namely selenium and glutathione. Glutathione is a protein like antioxidant molecule. It must be constantly renewed. The riboflavin in rabbit meat supports this process

Rabbit meat has been recommended for special diets such as for heart disease patients, diets for the elderly- whose metabolism has slowed and digestion is compromised, due to illness or life stage. Low sodium diets, and weight reduction diets, because it is easily digested, it has been recommended by doctors for patients who have trouble eating other meats. Not to mention that it is awesome tasting and can be cooked many ways. I Will be posting recipes constantly in the DOMESTIC RABBIT RECIPES page that i have cooked myself or find quit intriguing keep checking in!  RAISING MEAT RABBITS TO SAVE THE WORLD!

RABBITS FOR SELF- SUFFICIENCY

Rabbits are quiet, grow fast, have large litters and can be fed on produce from the garden, or by foraging safe weeds and other safe food sources, or just good quality hay (They will grow faster on pellets or a balanced natural diet)

Rabbits a great high protein, low-fat, white meat, that is great tasting, easy to slaughter and no freezing needed. Just keep them in the cages until ready to put on the plate.

Rabbits have awesome pelts to make blankets, or clothing, or a great barter item.

Rabbits also produce one of the best manures for the organic garden.

During the growing season from half to three-quarters or maybe even more of a rabbits diet could be grown by the homesteader(depending on how much work you want to do). Also by feeding garden wastes, weeds, leaves, berries etc, you could provide all the food needed for a small-scale homestead meat supply.

Composting takes from 6 to 12 weeks to make your garden waste usable as a soil amendment, Rabbits and Worms can do a far better job and making a better product in ten days or less! So garden waste becomes rabbit food, which them becomes an equal weight of worm food in a day or two, which then becomes worms and their castings in over 90 days. The worms increase to become a source of highly nutritional poultry, waterfowl, and fish food in about 3 months. Leaving behind a mass of plant food (worm castings) that becomes more plants, more saleable product, and more rabbit food. All in the same time it takes a compost pile to become a lower quality of soil amendment without the added poultry, and fish food benefits. Now that’s Self Sufficiency!

I will be writing about all this information in future posts! This is the basis of my book that I have been working on for some time. This website I plan to load with all the information need to grow, breed, and butcher rabbits on your self sufficient homestead!

If you have any questions or ideas please let me know email me or add in the comment section
RAISING MEAT RABBITS TO SAVE THE WORLD!

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