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RAISING RABBITS ON WIRE

NZW Doe with 10 kits

I raise my rabbits on wire in wire cages. The floor wire is 1″ x 1/2″ and sides are 1″x 2″. I have always had happy, healthy rabbits. I was ready to write up a post on raising rabbits on wire floors, but  Shiny Satins Rabbitry has a few great posts on this subject and I could not agree more with what they have written. So go and check it out!

I know this is controversial subject and some rabbit raisers will disagree with wire floors. I do feel that some breeds of rabbits would do better on slatted floors such as Rexes as they are known to have less fur on their hocks and more prone to sore hocks.

These links were shared with the permission of Shiny Satin Rabbitry

http://shinysatins.weebly.com/wire-floors.html

 

http://shinysatins.weebly.com/wire-floor-research.html

Podcast with youCANHomestead.com

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http://youcanhomestead.com/raising-rabbits-comfrey-homesteading-with-rick-worden-ych56/

Rabbit Terminology

Our logo! Here is a quick list of rabbit terminology you should know when raising rabbits.

I will be constantly adding to this list if you see something I missed please Email me riseandshinerabbitry@hotmail.com  and I will add it in.

Abscess- collection of pus caused by infection

Agouti- A color pattern where each individual hair alternates dark and light bands.

Albino- a white haired rabbit with pink eyes.

Belled ears- Ears that lop over or droop, this is sometimes caused in growing rabbits in hot weather.

BEW- blue eyed white rabbit.

Birthing- see kindling

Breed- Group of rabbits that share the same characteristic’s such as color, size, and fur type

Breeding- When you mate rabbits.

Buck- A male rabbit.

Coccidiosis- Coccidiosis is considered to be the most common disease in rabbits and is very hard to cure.   Coccidiosis is caused by a protozoan. There are nine species of this protozoa that can affect rabbits, only one affects the liver, while the other 8 affect the intestines. It seems that younger rabbits have a higher risk for this disease. The disease is spread as the eggs from the protozoa are shed in the rabbit feces, which is then transmitted to other rabbits.

Condition- the general health and appearance of a rabbit.

Colony raising- This system of management is the raising of multiple rabbits together in one area inside or outside.

Crossbreed- breeding rabbits of different breeds.

Culling- Culling is not just the killing of rabbits, but  with that being said you do not want to breed or sell to potential breeders, bad rabbits these are to sold as pets only. Save The Best Eat The Rest!

Dam-The mother of a particular rabbit.

Dewlap- Fold of loose skin under the chin of female rabbits.

Doe- A female rabbit.

Dressed- Skinned and prepared for cooking.

Ear canker- Scabby conditions in rabbits ears caused by ear mite.

Enteritis- Is a Intestinal disturbance in domestic rabbits this is caused by stress and or other underlying diseases.

Foster- Fostering rabbit kits is the act of placing newborn baby rabbits with a different mother doe.

Gestation period- The period of time between breeding and kindling. Usually 28 to 31 days.

Heat stroke- Illness caused by exposer to high temperatures

Hock-First joint of the hind leg of the rabbit.

Hutch- Rabbit housing

Hutch card- Information card on cage that identifies the rabbit and contains breeding information

Jacket off – this means the rabbit will be skinned

Kits- A bunch of bunnies.

Kindling- when the doe is giving birth to young.

Lagomorph- There are about eighty species of lagomorph which include thirty species of pika, twenty species of rabbits and cottontails, and thirty species of hares.

Litter- group of baby rabbits born in one birth

Line breeding- this breeding system is usually the most satisfactory. Line breeding itself is a form of inbreeding, but is less intense. In line breeding, rabbits are mated together which are both descendants from a particular rabbit, but which are as distantly related as possible.

Loin-

Malocclusion- The misalignment of teeth, this is genetic and rabbits that have this should not be bred.

Molt- Shedding fur

Mucoid enteritis- Disease that usually affect’s young rabbits, symptom’s are loss of appetite, increased thirst, and jelly like diarrhea.

Nest box-  A box to provided for the doe so that she can make a nest and have kits in.

Nesting- when the doe starts to put nesting material in her box.

Outcrossing- is the breeding of two rabbits from unrelated lines.

Palpate- Feeling for the developing embryos within the abdominal cavity of the pregnant doe. This is said to be the most reliable way to determine pregnancy in the domestic rabbits. 

Pedigree- Written record of an animals ancestors, going back at least three generations.

Pelt- skin and fur of a rabbit to be tanned.

Purebred- parents are of the same breed

Rabbitry- placed were rabbits are kept

REW- Red or ruby eyed white

Saddle- the meaty hind body and legs

Sire- The father of a particular rabbit.

Sired- fathered

Sore hock- a ulcerated condition of the undersurface of the hind feet of a domestic rabbit. Cause by sparse hair on the hocks, this could be genetics or some breeds like rexes have this naturally. Dirty wet conditions.

Tattoo- permanent mark in ear to identify rabbits.

Test breeding- At about two weeks following breeding, the doe is returned to the buck’s cage. If she is bred, she will whine, growl, and flatten herself against the cage floor. She will not be happy to the buck’s advances. This is often the case, but there are does who will breed if pregnant and those who will refuse the buck when they are not.

Trio- 2 does and 1 buck. They are usually matched for breeding to begin or expand a rabbitry.

Type- General physical make up of a rabbit.

Warren- Warrens are a large fenced enclosed area were rabbits can burrow and live as naturally as possible. This is equal to free ranging chickens.

Weaning- When you take young rabbits away from the mother and their transition to solid food.

Wool block- blockage in the digestive tract cause by fur

RABBITS AND REDWORMS- Sustainability Above and Below!

Creme D Argents over worm bin

WORMS AND RABBITS TOGETHER

When raising rabbits if you have a few cages or a large rabbitry you can raise, grow, and harvest worms and compost under your rabbit cages or hutches. Raising worms under your hutches this will help control the smells and insects that can be a problem with the acculmated waste under the cages and hutches. The worms will reuse the rabbit manure and wasted feed from the hutches and turn it into a dark, nutrient-rich, finely-textured humus

Raising rabbits and worms together works so well because the nutrients in rabbit droppings and the wasted rabbit food and hay contains the perfect mix as a food source and as a bedding for the worms.  You can also raise the worms in compost bins or vermicomposting bins using the rabbit manure as a top dressing, for worm feed, and also as a worm bedding. Keeping worms under the rabbit cages also allows you to raise worms for fishing bait, chicken food, vermicomposting and this adds another bartering item you have on your homestead. This helps you to produce another potential source of income from your homestead and also improving your sustainability and another great fertilizer for your gardens.

Growing worms with rabbits is easy, I am in no way a worm expert. This post is what works for me in my rabbitry.  I have found that the best kind of worm to use under rabbit cages is the red worm or Eisenia fetida. They are also known as brandling  worms, manure worms, tiger worms, panfish worms, trout worms and many  other names. But whatever you call them, they are the best choice of worm for under your cages and for composting.

I started by building my worm beds underneath my existing rabbit hutches back in the early 80s.  I dug a trench under the hutches extending 6 inches out from the cages on all sides. Digging the trench about 12 inches deep to make my beds. This worked fine and I raised MANY worms for fishing bait using the trench system.

The rabbit cages should be at least three feet above the worm beds. I have also constructed beds under hutches and cages from 1x12s or 2x12s and putting them on their sides and screwing together to make a raised worm bed under the hutches. This can be built very inexpensively as the wood frame can be made from scrap lumber or pallets. Just try to make the worm bed about 12 inches deep. Remember to make the worm bed itself about four to six inches wider than the hutch or cage area to catch all the rabbit droppings, urine, and wasted feed. You can use the pit or trench system as mentioned earlier. It is best if you can add a base layer of sand or gravel for drainage this is weather you are using either the trench or raised bed method.

Placing 5 to 6 inches of bedding material in the bottom of the worm bed is sufficient for starting the worms. I use a mix of carbon type materials such as shredded paper or cardboard, leaves, hay, straw, and peat moss. Most worm growers prefer peat but I like what I can get around the homestead for free. I have found that the worms will general only use the top 6 inches of bedding unless certain circumstance’s make them go deeper, such as cold weather.

Moisten the bedding with water and let your rabbits do their thing until the surface is covered with 1 to 2 inches layer of rabbit manure. Mix the rabbit manure and bedding material together and wet it down. Rabbit manure is considered a cold manure, but by mixing the carbon and nitrogen materials it will generate some heat due to the natural composting processes, so keep mixing the bedding and lightly water it once a day for about 2 to 3 days.

On the third day, do the hand test by putting your hand into the bed to feel for heat. If the bedding material is hot, keep mixing it once a day until the heat is out of the bedding, Make shure it is cooled before you begin adding your worms into the beds. When the bedding is cool to the touch, you can add your worms. They should disappear immediately into the moist bedding material.

When starting the worm beds you should begin with 200 to 300 red worms per square foot of surface area.  You can add less worms, but they will not  work as effectively at turning the manure into compost. But they will reproduce, and soon you will have pleanty.

If you are raising the worms to sell, do not use more than 200 worms per square foot to allow the worms enough nutrients, room, and food to grow large. People will be lining up for you large trout catching  worms!

Worms cannot eat dry, rabbit manure, you will need to maintain a moisture level so the bedding is just damp enough to squeeze out a drop or two of water when you squeeze it.  Sprinkling the beds with water a few times a week will help to keep the bedding moist, but remember to skip by the areas under the automatic drinking valves, water bottles, or water crocks as they are usually already wet enough. In the summer time, you may have to water once or twice a day if the top of the worm beds dries too fast.

To maintain the worm beds you should add an additional inch of leaves, straw, or hay a few times each month and mix the beds with a pitchfork from top to bottom to avoid packed bedding. I will remove the urine spots from the worm pile with a shovel about once a week. This prevents the beds from getting too salty and hot for the worms. I add this urine soaked bedding to my compost piles. Leaving the urine spots in the worm bed eventually leads to a bad odor and insect problems.

After about six months you can start harvesting worms and saving the great fertilizer your rabbits and worms have made. I do this about once a year, I will remove half of the bed, save some worms and add the rest to my gardens. Then add new bedding just as you did when starting a new bed. Over the next few weeks the worms will move to the new bedding, and the old compost can be removed and sold, bartered, spread over a garden, or set aside to use later.

Do not harvest any worms for at least a few days after harvesting, and be sure to check the temperature and moisture conditions the following day. If the material is too dry or is heating up, water and mix again for the next few days.

If you plan to use your worm castings as a soil amendment, make sure that the castings are kept slightly moist and protected from sun and bad weather when storing. Poor handling, such as storing in areas leached by rainwater,  will result in a loss of the nutrients.

THE RED WORMS LIFE CYCLE

Red worms are hermaphrodites meaning that each worm is both male and female. It still takes two worms to mate as they can not reproduce on their own. When a red worm is sexually mature you will see the bulbous gland around its segments this is called the clitellum it looks like a swollen band about a third of the way down the body. It takes 3 months for a newly-hatched red wriggler to attain sexual maturity. Adult red wigglers secrete a number of egg cocoons after  mating, and after an incubation period of about 21 days, between 4 and 6  juvenile worms hatch from each cocoon. The cocoon is a small yellowish grain almost looking like a grain of rice.  As soon as they are hatched the worms are ready to start their diet of rabbit poop. The hatched worms first appear as a tiny thread like white worm. After about 8 hours they start to gain their hemoglobin and change to a pale pink then turning to a brick red color. It takes up to four months for a healthy and well-fed red wiggler population to double in number.

VERMICOMPOSTING

Vermicomposting is the process of using worms to convert organic matter to compost. This process is as old as time. This is happening in the forests and pastures every day naturally. By using worms under your hutches you are creating a controlled system of vermicomposting and you can harvest the worms for bins and the awesome worm castings.

One of the greatest pioneers in vermicomposting was a Michigan biology teacher Mary Appelhof who started the idea of home vermicomposting. In 1972, she realized she wanted to continue composting in the winter months despite living in a northern climate, she started with 1 pound of red wiggler worms, or Eisenia fetida, from a bait dealer. She created a shallow bin in her basement, loaded it with bedding and added her food scraps. By the end of the winter, they had consumed 65 lbs. of garbage and produced worm compost that resulted in impressive vegetables in her garden. Her book “Worms Eat My Garbage”  Is a must have book for the homestead library!  This is a great way to continue your soil production through the winter months. I have a few bins in my basement for holding my worms and composting in the winter, this is my added insurance in case all my outside beds die off in the winter.

WORMS AS CHICKEN FOOD

I have mentioned using your worms as fish bait and vermicomposting, But remember your chickens LOVE worms! It gives them  a great protein intake. I sometime have problem’s with my Silkies digging up the beds and eating lots of my worms . You can harvest a few worms and toss them inside the coops or runs for them to eat off the ground, or put them in bowls. But there’s also a better way to feed worms to chickens. You can choose to dry them, and then grind or crumble them. You can dry worms by placing them under an electric light bulb, in a oven, or inside a greenhouse. When they’re dry they are ready to be crushed or ground up, you can then add the crushed worm pieces as an additive to your usual chicken food supply. By drying the worms they are easier to save as a winter food source. Red Worms as a organic chicken feed can be a good idea for you to promote on your homestead. Even to sell and saving you money on chicken feed. Worm is about 80% protein.

If I have missed anything or you have questions, please leave some comments. I update my post all the time when I get new ideas or information. Join the Rabbit Revolution! By subscribing to my site and checking us out on Facebook

GROW A SURVIVAL GARDEN NOW- for you and your rabbits!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThere are many preparations and skills needed for running a successful homestead in good times or bad. Now is the time to learn these skills weather you live in a urban, suburban, or rural setting, you can start by growing some food to feed your family and rabbits.

Start today by building your knowledge, library, and skills to handle all the chores needed to run a homestead. Start a garden, plant some vegetables, fruit,berry and nut trees, and of course start raising rabbits! This way you will to have the skills needed when the bad times may come.

As you learn these skills you eat healthy food, you save money, as less grocery’s are needed and no taxes are paid for growing your own (yet). Seeds cost little money and can be free if you learn to save your own.

It is because today we are so far removed from our food sources, that we must relearn these skills that our grandparents knew. This is also why some of our forefathers often screwed up and starved to death because of lack off knowledge and skills.

Let me start with saying when I first started gardening and raising rabbits that I have killed plants, lost rabbits, and had some failures and setbacks as I first started, but do not give up the results you get in the future are worth it. The time to make mistakes is now while you can still purchase food to replace your mistakes without starving to death.

Lack of experience is a big problem in the amount and consistency of your harvest. Even experienced gardeners have bad years. Nature can work against you bugs, drought, flooding and other weather related issues can cause a lack of production, as you gain experience you will learn how to overcome these issues.

Working a garden now also lets you learn what to grow and what you like the taste of. Also by using heirloom plants so you can save seeds and even develop a strain of plant that will grow better in your area. This is also true with rabbits and other livestock as generations of that animal grow they grow accustomed to that climate and produce offspring that will grow and produce better. By saving and breeding the best you will have the best. My favorite saying is “Save The Best, Eat The Rest”

Every year I try to grow something new in the garden and learn a few more skills. This year I am growing Black Oil Sunflower Seeds to make my own oil and feeding the rabbits and chickens the byproducts. I am working on making a small scale oil press in the workshop for the sunflower experiment. This year I am also trying to grow Yacon as feed for the family, rabbits, and chickens. This is not usually grown in my climate but it has been done.

You will need to learn when do you start seeds where you live and what planting zone your state is?
What is the date of first and last frost?
What grows well in your area or in your soil?
Will you and your faimly eat them?
What plants to grow for your rabbits?
Do you really want to wait to find out after the Shit hits the fan?
Do you have your hutches built for your rabbits? What about the materials and tools to build them with, wire, wood, sheet metal?
Do you have everything you will need for any emergencies for your family and your livestock. These are just a few of the things you should learn now.

You need to plan now for what animals you want to raise, You need to know which wild plants will kill you and your rabbits and what wild plants weed will feed you and your protien source. You will need to know about rabbits. What is the gestation A rabbit?, How to feed a rabbit without pellets?, When to breed your rabbits? All this information and more can be found on this website, our Facebook page, all the guest podcasts and blogs we have done, We are now launching our new RABBIT REVOLUTION RADIO SHOW and the new YOU TUBE stuff for July. I will be constantly updating this post as time goes on. Thanks for reading my stuff. Join The Rabbit Revolution by liking us on Facebook and listening to the radio show. Raising Meat Rabbits To Save The World!

BREEDING SCHEDULES

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWhen you start with rabbits you should worry more about learning all you can about raising rabbits and not how many a year you can get, you will learn with your rabbits as they grow and go through their life cycles. Your rabbits will teach you lots more than I ever could!

Learn how to butcher, cut up a whole rabbit and the MANY rabbit recipes, find your favorite recipes and grow some of the herbs and other ingredients in them. Learn how to freeze, smoke, and even pressure can your rabbit meat. When you have all this information and experience under your belt, then you can worry about high production!

If you have a crazy work schedule (like me) there are ways to help with this so your does will kindle on certain days of the week.

If you breed your does on the weekend (do not forget to mark that day on your calendar) 28 days later put in the nest boxes. The 28th day should fall on the weekend again, this works out well if the weekend is when you do your weekly rabbit chores (cleaning cages, emptying drop pans, bleaching crocks and bottles etc.) and since you are working in the rabbitry is also a good day to put in the nest boxes. The doe should have her litter during the week on day 30 or day 31 after breeding (remember you marked the breeding date on the calendar!). This should be on a Tuesday or a Wednesday. Rabbits will usually kindle at night so if you work days you should be home in time to check on the new litter. If doe doesn’t kindle by day 35 you should breed her again. This again should fall on a Saturday or a Sunday.

I breed my does on a Wednesday. This is because I work during the week and never know what time I will get home. This way the does will kindle on the weekend when I am home working on the homestead.

When I first started with rabbits feed was cheap and everyone was using pellets. I could breed some of my high production New Zealand’s to get 8 big litters a year. Now I am looking to be more self sufficient with my life and my rabbits. With this new change I raise less rabbits (easier to grow and harvest food for 10 rabbits than 50) and a more natural feeding program I am happy with 5 to 6 litters a year. The litters may be a little smaller but the cost and sustainability is priceless!

How many litters a year can I get from my rabbits? This question I get asked all the time. There are many factors including types of feed and hereditary factors. Here is a breeding schedule for the amount of litters a year you want. Remember raising rabbits is not perfect you many get a doe that misses, or loses a litter.

LITTERS A YEAR-
4 Kindle litter- Rebreed 60 days after kindling- Wean kits at 60 days- Kindle next litter 91 days
5 Kindle litter- Rebreed 42 days after kindling- Wean kits at 56 days- Kindle next litter 73 days
6 Kindle litter- Rebreed 28 days after kindling- Wean kits at 42 days- Kindle next litter 59 days
7 Kindle litter- Rebreed 21 days after kindling- Wean kits at 35 days- Kindle next litter 52 days
8 Kindle litter- Rebreed 14 days after kindling- Wean kits at 28 days- Kindle next litter 45 days

4 to 6 litters a year are more likely with a natural feeding program, 6 to 8 litters a year will require more management and the need for a high protein production pellet.

You should have a calendar in your rabbitry or a calendar in the house just for your rabbits, I have a large calendar hanging in my rabbitry so I can see when to put in a nest box, I put the cage numbers on the date when the nest box should go in and when they are due. Here is a gestation chart that I use all the time.

31 Day Gestation Chart

Jan—–Feb——-Mar——April——May——June——July——Aug——Sept——Oct——-Nov——-Dec——Jan
1———–1————–4———4—————-5———–5———6———6——–6———7———7———–8————-8
2———–2————–5———5—————-6———–6———7———7——–7———8———8———–9————-9
3———–3————–6———6—————-7———–7———8———8——–8———9———9———–10————10
4———–4————–7———7—————-8———–8———9———9——–9———10——–10———-11————11
5 5 8 8 9 9 10 10 10 11 11 12 12
6 6 9 9 10 10 11 11 11 12 12 13 13
7 7 10 10 11 11 12 12 12 13 13 14 14
8 8 11 11 12 12 13 13 13 14 14 15 15
9 9 12 12 13 13 14 14 14 15 15 16 16
10 10 13 13 14 14 15 15 15 16 16 17 17
11 11 14 14 15 15 16 16 16 17 17 18 18
12 12 15 15 16 16 17 17 17 18 18 19 19
13 13 16 16 17 17 18 18 18 19 19 20 20
14 14 17 17 18 18 19 19 19 20 20 21 21
15 15 18 18 19 19 20 20 20 21 21 22 22
16 16 19 19 20 20 21 21 21 22 22 23 23
17 17 20 20 21 21 22 22 22 23 23 24 24
18 18 21 21 22 22 23 23 23 24 24 25 25
19 19 22 22 23 23 24 24 24 25 25 26 26
20 20 23 23 24 24 25 25 25 26 26 27 27
21 21 24 24 25 25 26 26 26 27 27 28 28
22 22 25 25 26 26 27 27 27 28 28 29 29
23 23 26 26 27 27 28 28 28 29 29 30 30
24 24 27 27 28 28 29 29 29 30 30 31 31
25 25 28 28 29 29 30 30 30 31 1 1
26 26 29 29 30 30 31 31 1 1 2 2
27 27 30 30 31 1 1 1 2 2 3 3
28 28 31 1 1 2 2 2 3 3 4 4
29 1 1 2 2 3 3 3 4 4 5 5
30 2 2 3 3 4 4 4 5 5 6 6
31 3 3 4 4 5 5 5 6 6 7 7

To use this chart, find the month and day that the breeding occurred and then straight across to the next column on the right to determine the due date, this is based on a 31 day gestation. Remember that 31 days is the normal gestation time for most rabbits, but it’s not uncommon for does to kindle their litters from day 28 to day 32. I always put my nest boxes in at day 27 or 28.

JOIN THE RABBIT REVOLUTION! Start raising rabbits today! LIKE US ON FACEBOOK and get daily information on rabbits and homesteading. I am looking for more ideas for posts please email us at riseandshinerabbitry@hotmail.com and let me know what you want to read about. Working on RABBIT REVOLUTION RADIO a weekly online radio show about rabbits and more! Thanks for reading! May your litters be large and grow fast!

ARE THERE AFFECTS FEEDING RABBITS GMO FEED

If you follow my blog or my face-book page you already know what GMOs are, but here is the basic definition -Genetically modified foods (GM foods, or bio-tech foods) are foods derived from genetically modified organisms (GMOs), such as genetically modified crops or genetically modified fish. GMOs have had specific changes introduced into their DNA by genetic engineering techniques. These techniques are much more precise than mutation breeding where an organism is exposed to radiation or chemicals to create a non-specific but stable change. The scientist at Monsanto started inserting genes from bacteria and viruses into crops. That’s were they got a crop that could either survive a application of the company’s herbicide glyphosate (roundup) or produce its own insect killing pesticide. Coming soon the USDA will be approving Agent Orange resistant crops (this have been proven in studies after Vietnam to cause cancer and birth defects).

Research has shown lower levels of nutrients in crops sprayed with Roundup. These crops are specifically engineered to tolerate the herbicide Roundup, whose use has increased with the release of Roundup-Ready GM crops. Glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, decreases nutrient availability and uptake in plants. Some of these nutrients help plants and animals fight disease. Recent studies have shown a link between high rates of spontaneous abortions and infertility in livestock fed GM Roundup-Ready crops.

We know very little about the effects of genetically modified organisms on livestock and human health. Researchers in Italy have performed a study on some of the effects, and their results were released last year. They fed one group of pregnant goats rations with non-GM soybean meal and another group with GM Round up sprayed soybean meal. The mothers received this diet for two months prior to the birth of their kids. Then the offspring were fed milk only from their mother for 60 days. The results showed DNA from the GM Roundup-Ready soy in the blood, organs, and milk of goats. Also, the kids of the mothers fed GM soy had substantially higher levels of an enzyme, lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), in the heart, muscles, and kidneys. Similar metabolic changes have been found in studies of GM-fed rabbits and mice, as well.

The word is spreading that rabbits fed pellets from company’s that use GMO grown products in the manufacturing of their pellets are getting sicker. Laboratory GMO fed rabbits have had organ damage, reproductive failure, high death of kits, stomach legions, smaller bodies and organs, low immune responses, and higher death rates. There is no actual facts that I have, just resource’s and articles I have found.

The way a rabbits digestive system works is that the beneficial bacteria that needed in the gut must flourish and adapt to their food source. If this bacteria is off it will cause all kinds of digestive problems such as enteritis, bloating, wasting away and more! If the bad bacteria starts flourishing this can cause coccidiosis and other problems. Last year I have had a rash of emails, phone calls, people stopping by the rabbitry to ask questions about problems with their rabbits. The only common factor in all these cases is the use of GMO pellets. Not just in one area (from California to Maine) or season (Spring to winter)! I do not believe that they are stress related. I am lucky to feed the lowest amount of pellets I have too, to keep my rabbits productive and healthy. By feeding rabbits a more natural diet and keeping a closed herd, has been the best thing for me and my rabbits.

A result in tests done on rabbits fed gmo soy-meal was released found Roundup Ready Soy Changed Cell Metabolism in Rabbit Organs, Rabbits fed GM soy for about 40 days showed significant differences in the amounts of certain enzymes in their kidneys, hearts and livers. A rise in LDH1 levels in all three organs suggests an increase in cellular metabolism. Changes in other enzymes point to other alterations in the organs. When cells are damaged in mammals, LDH levels are elevated. It is a key indicator of cancer, and LDH remains elevated after a heart attack. Increased LDH is associated with several other health disorders

A German farmer who had 65 cows die after he fed them genetically modified Bt corn has filed criminal charges against Syngenta, alleging that the company knew the corn could be lethal to livestock, and covered up deaths that occurred during one of their clinical feeding trials. Swiss bio-tech Syngenta committed a grave criminal offense by deliberately withholding the results of a feeding trial in which four cows died in two days. The deaths prompted the company to halt the test. No health problems or deaths were reported in the control group, which was not fed the genetically engineered Bt 176 corn.

Thousands of livestock deaths have also been reported across India, as a result of grazing on genetically engineered crops and feed.

Alfalfa is the number one forage crop in the United States. In January 2011 the USDA approved the release of genetically modified (GM) alfalfa, raising the prospect that some non-GM alfalfa will be contaminated by GM alfalfa by cross-pollination from bees (could this also be the health problem bees are having?). Soon the first cuttings of GM alfalfa will be harvested and fed to livestock and be in your rabbit pellets with the GMO soy products. I have been called a conspiracy theorists but is this a way to control the food supply. You will not be able to raise any animals without the use of GMOs. This is why I push the Natural diet for us and our rabbits! Please comment your thoughts and ideas!

COOKING RABBIT- HINTS AND TRICKS

Unless you’re a vegetarian, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t consider eating rabbit instead of ham, turkey, chicken or beef for dinner. This country still has the Easter Bunny syndrome! Europeans, especially the French, Italians, Portuguese, Spanish, Hungarians and Germans eat lots of rabbit.

If we can get over our prejudices, eating rabbit makes a lot of sense. Four ounces of roasted rabbit meat has 175 calories and 7.2 grams of fat, slightly less in both categories than skinless turkey dark meat. And rabbit meat has more flavor than chicken, to which it is often compared.

Rabbit is an all white meat that’s lower in cholesterol than chicken or turkey (164 mg of cholesterol in rabbit vs. 220 mg in chicken), has just 795 calories per pound (chicken has 810 calories per pound), and has the highest percentage of protein and the lowest percentage of fat of any meat. In short, meat doesn’t get any healthier. If you want more information I have a post in the October archives on the HEALTH BENEFITS OF RABBIT MEAT check it out. Now on to cooking rabbit!

Jointing a Rabbit-

Working with rabbit is very much like working with chicken. Think of the forelegs as wings. There isn’t much breast meat but the saddle or tenderloin makes up for it. When cutting up a rabbit, remove hind legs and forelegs and the saddle (or have the butcher do it). The bony rib cage can be used for stock. A 2-1/2 pound rabbit should serve 2 people, more if you have a rich sauce or several side dishes.

Although a rabbit can be roasted whole (stuffed or unstuffed), it is most often cut into pieces and cooked slowly in a casserole or stew. Domestic rabbit, although available as saddle or legs, may still need to be cut into smaller pieces before cooking.

1. Lay the rabbit, on its back, on a chopping board and cut the legs away from the main carcass with a large chef’s knife. (To cut right through the bone, it may be necessary to tap the back of the knife with a kitchen weight or mallet, protecting the back of the knife with a cloth.)

2. Cut down the center of the legs to separate them. Then divide each leg in two, cutting through the knee joint. Cut the body into three or four pieces, making the last cut just below the ribcage

3. Cutting lengthwise through the center of the breastbone, divide the ribcage section in half. If you wish to remove small bones from the flesh around the breastbone, use pliers or pull them with your fingers.

Rabbit Cooking Hints and Tricks-

For safety, cook rabbit until it reaches 160 degrees F.

A rabbit weighing between 2.5 lbs and 3.5 lbs makes six portions: two saddles, two thighs and two front legs.

Either cooked or raw, rabbit meat freezes very well.

Rabbit meat can be grilled, roasted, braised, fried or barbecued. It also makes great terrines and pates, and the liver and kidneys are delicious.

It takes 60 to 90 minutes to cook rabbit meat at 325F (160C).

Rabbit can easily be used in recipes calling for chicken, turkey and veal.

As rabbit is a lean meat, it is important to baste it often when roasting to avoid it drying out.

Excellent rabbit seasonings include parsley, rosemary, sage, bay leaf, lemon-grass, coriander, and basil.

Rabbit may be soaked in a marinade of sugar or honey, red wine, or olive oil seasoned with herbs.

Fryer rabbit can replace chicken in almost any recipe, but if you’ve never cooked rabbit before, it’s a great idea to start with a trusted recipe.

When barbecuing rabbit, marinate the meat first or baste it with a mix of lemon juice and olive oil with herbs. Grill it first on high heat, than continue to cook it on medium heat for a further 40 to 45 minutes with the lid closed.

Fresh herbs marry very well with rabbit meat. Try basil, lemon grass, coriander, bay leaf, parsley, rosemary, thyme, marjoram, and sage. It also works well with wine-based sauces and fruit sauces made with raspberry, pear and apple.

Use rabbit legs as a substitute for chicken in paella or other dishes.

Though white wine is often used to deglaze the pan that rabbit is sauteed in, you can also use grappa (the fiery Italian clear brandy) and balsamic vinegar.

Rabbit liver is unusually large and unusually delicious. Sear it on both sides in clarified butter, leaving it pink inside. Then add a few shallots to the pan with some wine, port or brandy and cook a few minutes. Process with a touch of cream, salt, pepper and a pinch of allspice or nutmeg for quick pate.

When roasting whole, buttered or lard with pork back fat, or wrap in foil to keep the flesh moist and tender. Or bone the main body and fill with a stuffing. Baste the rabbit frequently during cooking.

Marinate in wine or olive oil, with aromatic vegetables and seasonings, before cooking to help tenderize the meat.

Poach or braise young rabbits; stew or casserole older ones.

Use a rabbit to make a terrine. Grind the rabbit meat with 2 shallots and mix in 2 eggs, two-thirds cup heavy cream, 2 tbsp. shelled pistachios, 1 tbsp. dried cranberries, 2 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley, and seasonings. Place in a pot lined with bacon slices and bake in a water bath at 350 degrees F for 2 hours. Add 1 and one-quarter cups liquid aspic after cooking. Allow to cool and refrigerate until set.

Roasting rabbit-
To roast a rabbit, rub it down with olive oil and chopped herbs and place it in a roasting pan. It may then be baked just like a chicken, at about 350 degrees F. (A 2 pound rabbit takes about 1 – 1 1/2 hours to cook at this temperature.)

Braising rabbit-
Begin by browning the rabbit in a little olive oil. Then place the meat in a pot and cover it about a quarter of the way with water. Cover the pot and allow the meat to simmer for about an hour.

Stewing rabbit-
Chop the rabbit meat into small pieces (about one inch square). If desired, roll in flour or seasonings. In a preheated pan with a little olive oil added, brown the meat on every side. Place the meat in a large pot and cover with boiling water. Cover the pan with a well-fitted lid and simmer for at least two hours, or until meat is tender. Add vegetables to the last hour of cooking.

Sauteing rabbit-
Thin cuts of rabbit (no more than one inch thick) are suitable for sauteing. First, preheat a pan and add a small amount of olive oil. Place the rabbit in the pan and brown both sides, cooking until it reaches 160 degrees F.

Shreaded rabbit–You can use either stove or crockpot to cook the rabbit ahead of time. But don’t boil it… simmer it very gently so it barely bubbles. Simmer for 1 to 1 1/2 hours or until meat falls of bones, Remove and allow to cool. When cool,pull meat from the bones and shred. You can freeze the meat for later use or make all kind off foods with this! I have made Rabbit Tacos,Rabbit Salad Sandwiches,so much more. I like to use apple juice for part of the liquid. I use a bay leaf or two, some herbs and some black pepper and allspice for seasonings.

Here’s a very simple but tasty grilled rabbit recipe for the outdoor barbecue. Preparation time, 15 minutes, Cooking time, 80 minutes. Serves 4 to 6.

1 fryer rabbit, cut up
1-1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 cup cooking oil
1/2 cup sherry
1-1/2 tsp seasoned salt
Rub rabbit with salt and pepper; place over medium hot bed of live coals. You can use a gas grill. Make sauce by mixing oil, wine and seasoned salt together. Keep rabbit well basted with sauce, turn often while cooking 1 hour or until rabbit pieces are tender.

For More Recipes Check Out The DOMESTIC RABBIT RECIPE PAGE

MAKING MONEY WITH RABBITS

Money RabbitA backyard meat rabbit breeder can make a little money if he or she is resourceful and hard-working.

You will not be able to quit your day job. But to supplement your income? Absolutely. There is a saying, “There is money in rabbits it’s just getting it out of them that’s hard”! It depends on how you define “profit.” If you are looking for profit with a cash value, you aren’t necessarily going to get ahead with rabbits, unless you find a niche and then spend a lot of time cultivating your herd to fit that niche. However, if you think of profit like being able to eat healthier meat, that costs less cash than it would if you bought comparable meat at the grocery store, then I think you’d profit in that way.

By raising your own meat rabbits, butchering and processing them yourself for your own consumption it is totally worth it! This has benefits in that you know the history of the meat, how the animal was treated, whether drugs were used, and how it was slaughtered, handled, and stored. That is money saved! A rabbits value is worth more this way than it could be if converted in to cash, because the value of money is changing, but we, and other people, are always going to need food to eat. This is just how I look at it. Rabbits are like money in the bank. Money can be made! But a profit is hard to come by with rabbits but it can be done.

Like starting any small business you won’t be an overnight success. You have to market, plan and budget to get money out of rabbits. So, there is money in rabbits but just like anything else, it takes work.

Remember that it cost more to raise junk rabbits than it does to raise good ones. Part of trying to make a profit with rabbits is how much you can save! Learning to keep rabbits healthy and clean is important.

If a doe doesn’t raise her babies consistently, cull her. The longer you hold a rabbit that cannibalizes her offspring, refuses to use a nest box or scatters them on the wire the more feed you have into her and the more you will lose on those offspring if you ever get any. The three strike rule applies to breeding does! Remember if you’re looking at making money you have to look at the little things and the big things. A quarter’s worth of food isn’t a big thing, but a quarter’s worth of food multiplied by 100 rabbits adds up a great deal on a daily and monthly basis! Manage for efficiency.

One group of breeders ran the numbers and in order to make a full time living off of rabbits required an efficient set up of at least 200 working does. Those 8 ounces of pellets that isn’t very much takes on new meaning when you start going through over 100 pounds per day! You notice the spilled feed because that’s wasted money. Keep records up to date and tattoo every rabbit you plan on keeping. Keep weights on the parents, the offspring and how many in each litter. It’s a lot of labor but record keeping will save you money. I go through the rabbitry every quarter and review the does production records and know who to cull and who to keep.

Those just starting out with rabbits need to examine their reasons for getting into breeding rabbits and what their goals are. A common mistake is to start with too many rabbits. A reasonable starting point might be one buck and three does. I recommend that these rabbits be purchased while they are still young. This way they will have a chance to become acclimated to their new surroundings prior to breeding. As the new breeder gets accustomed to the rabbit hobby, then, and only then, should he or she decide to increase the size of the herd, and then slowly. Start slowly!

Learn the basics and learn to do things the right way with a couple dozen does. If you’ve chosen a handful of GOOD rabbits to start with you can easily build a herd by keeping back the best does and only the very top bucks, marketing the rest as meat or feeders. I always say keep the best eat the rest. This way you grow into it and see the amount of work needed. Perhaps when you hit 30 does that might change your mind or perhaps you will find that covering your feed costs is just not worth it! Only add cages as you sell rabbits. MAKE them pay for themselves!

The first step in making money with rabbits is adjusting the attitude to not expect to make money with rabbits. It can be done, but not as often nor as much money as many believe. Start with good solid equipment. Cages, with feeders that allow enough feed to be fed at a time without wasting from digging it out or dumping bowls over, are important. Don’t keep diggers around. Those rabbits that dig the feeders and waste food are another money pit to eliminate.

No backyard meat rabbit breeder should start the hobby/business with the idea of getting rich quickly. There are many scams such as offers to buy back fryers from stock purchased from the swindler and there are lots of them! Sometimes he refuses to buy the fryers. Even if he does pay for the rabbits, the grower is responsible for shipping costs, which can exceed the amount received for the animals. Though rabbits can be prolific, kit mortality can easily be 25% or more when you get into high production. Profits are really only possible with hard and steady work. Secondly you must learn proper management. Rabbits must have proper nutrition or they cannot breed efficiently! A natural diet will not work for this type of production they need high quality pellets to boost production.

Make sure to have a market! If you’re raising smaller breeds this might be pre-killing for snake food or pet food. Larger breeds might be the same or for filling a freezer and selling tanned furs. Compost the manure sift it and bag it up to sell to gardeners. Raise worms in the manure and sell fishing worms or sell the red worms for vermicomposting. By using all the sources of products a rabbit produces will help you make your first dollar!

RABBIT MEAT-
The most important reason for raising rabbits of course is for meat, you can butcher them to lower your food bill. Does it make you money, NO but saves it from your grocery bill. In order for the cost of the meat produced by a backyard operation to be equal to or possibly better than what would be spent at the supermarket, each doe should successfully raise 36 fryers per year (six litters of six fryers each). Any doe that does not perform properly should be culled. Ideally fryers should reach “market weight” of 4.5 to 5 lbs. by eight weeks of age, and most certainly by 11 weeks.

If the fryers will be sold to a meat processor it should be noted that some facilities will not accept fryers over 11 weeks old. Meat processors also generally prefer white over colored rabbits. For this purpose the Californian, though having dark brown “points”, is considered white. You can sell fryers at “live Weight” or sell the meat after you have processed it depending on your local laws. To locate a meat processing plant, the best thing to do is go to different grocery stores and ask where they are buying their meat from. Explain that you are thinking of raising rabbits and are researching the market possibilities. Many of them will be happy to help you. When you have located several (Make sure to have more than one buyer!) markets who might buy your product, contact them and see if they would be willing to purchase live animals from you.

If possible, set up a contract with them to produce whatever you feel you are able to do. But do not sign anything. Remember they are making more money than you and their profit is higher they have no rabbits to feed, they buy them as cheap as possible and sell them as high as they can. There are lots of swindlers in the meat market. They will wait and offer you less if they know you are sitting on rabbits. Of course a big part of having rabbits is enjoying them.

If you have 40-50 working does depending on breed you might have 100-250 bunnies in boxes and growing at all times. You must have a plan for marketing either commercially for meat if you’re near a buyer or making your own market. Remember if you’re selling commercially they can dictate the breed so sometimes Rex, Satins or colored furs are penalized. If you’re using it yourself this isn’t a factor. Make sure to have more than one buyer. Many a rabbit breeder has been stuck when a buyers does not need the 50 fryers you have ready for him.

Another meat market would be pet owners that feed their animals the BARF (Bones And Raw Food) diet. BARFers, as they are called, aim to provide their cats and dogs a more natural diet than kibbles. A newer, and more inclusive, term for BARF is “raw feeding.” Sometimes a variety of meat sources for this diet are scarce, so these pet owners are more than happy to discover a meat rabbit breeder near them. Selling to the dog food market can be profitable at $4/lb. There is one rabbitry that I know of that did this and just about put themselves out of business because they couldn’t keep up with demand. I also raise my rabbits for dog food. This is a good market you can butcher and sell rabbits as pet food with no USDA restrictions. Also snake and reptile owners need to feed their animals. You can sell rabbits at every age and size for this market.

RABBIT PELTS-
If you’re using rabbits for meat what will you do with the furs? Throwing them away is not making maximum use and can be wasted money thrown away. Pelts should be saved at slaughter time (If not using right away freeze them to sell or tan when you have more to make it worthwhile. Rabbit pelts can also be sold for a small profit or used to make clothes, toys and other trinkets to be sold as a finished product or just selling the tanned hide (see our post TANNING RABBIT PELTS for more information).

I have sold frozen pelts to people who want to learn to tan and do not even raise rabbits. Remember that fryer pelts are best suited for craft-type projects, while stewer pelts are better suited for use in hats, coats, etc. It is recommended that if you are planning on selling the pelts to a commercial tannery that you raise white rabbits because the white pelts can be dyed to any color desired. I prefer natural colors and have found that local homesteaders would rather have natural colors than dyed pelts.

Tanning them is not always an easy process but not hard to do, but an exchange may be made with a local tanner in which they get to keep a percentage of the tanned hides for them in exchange for tanning a percentage for you.

Also you can raise angoras. You can sell the fiber or products made for the fiber, I find this to be a good bartering item, if you happen to spin, angora blend yarns can sell for a premium If you have an eye towards that expensive angora wool. Remember the amount of time grooming that is needed on top of the feed, special cages, handling to keep the wool clean and other factors needed to keep top quality rabbits. You can make money with angora fiber. I have a few angoras but we use all the fiber we produce. Someday I will get into the angoras more (aha thinking of retirement!)

RABBIT MANURE-
Rabbit manure is considered one of the best available. The manure is excellent and is the only manure that does not need to be aged before using as fertilizer. It contains more nitrogen and phosphorus than many other manures and more potash than most. Even when applied fresh, it will not burn plants. Gardens with rabbit fertilizer consistently applied most often yield much better results! I screen it, bag it up in feed bags, and sell it with a information sheet in early spring. It all sells out and I have a waiting list for more. (for more poop information check out our post THE BENIFITS AND USES OF RABBIT MANURE) Gardeners may be willing to pay for manure or composed manure for a higher cost. Because of the complimentary nature, many rabbit raisers also raise earthworms (or Red Wigglers). The worms will break down and clean the bed just under the rabbit cages, turning the manure into black potting soil. Several species of worms, most notably night crawlers and red worms, can be grown in the manure. The worms help keep the manure from smelling bad and could be sold to gardeners for vermicomposting or fishermen for bait.

BREEDING STOCK- For Show Or Meat Stock
In order to get top dollar for your stock you have to make a name for yourself. (or should I say your rabbits) Only sell your best for breeders. Do not sell anyone the runts, slow growers,rabbits in bad condition, or ever from a bad bloodline. This is how you get a good name. Sell one junk rabbit and they tell everyone! Sell one good rabbit a they keep the secret to themselves. (But they always come back when they want more rabbits) I have sold many a rabbit that I wish I had kept! There are many misconceptions about showing and breeding rabbits just like every other animal. People see a $75 show animal and think wow $75 if I sold 6 per litter that’s $450 and six litters per year is…wow that’s a lot! They run to the local sale barn and buy old cages and cull rabbits that are “just as good as those at the show.” Remember earlier I said junk cost more to raise! Buy the best rabbits you can find! What they are often buying are breeding problems, attitude problems, health problems and most of the time as far from a show rabbit as you can get.

They don’t do the research so they lose the first two litters and they give everything away swearing rabbits are just a money pit. The big thing to realize is that $75 show animals have hundreds of dollars in breeding behind them and often many years of selective breeding. For every show rabbit there are several that end up in the freezer. It is possible to make a little money if you do things the right way. You must make a concerted effort to market, and market everything! This means from the wasted feed to the poop to the meat to the offspring to the furs. Find a market. If you’re also raising show rabbits pick out those prospects and get them on a show feed. Keep records up to date and tattoo every rabbit you plan on keeping. Keeping weights on the parents, the offspring and how many in each litter is a lot of labor.

PET RABBITS-
I will not really be going to go into this subject because I think it is not worth the money to sell rabbits as pets. It never seems to work out. They feed the wrong food, use the wrong housing, the kid lose interest and the rabbits starve, never have fresh water. My meat fryers have lived a better life than some of the pet rabbits I have sold. There is good money in Easter bunnies and it could be a good market for some, just not for me. I wish the parents would stay more involved!

RABBIT SUPPLIES-
Always have extra cages, feeders, waterers, bags of feed, bales of hay and shavings on hand so when someone buys rabbits you can offer them more. With shipping costs skyrocketing they are better off paying a few dollars more to you than getting those cages online.

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

Calendula (Calendula officinalis)

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