Welcome back! It’s been awhile. Lots of changes have been made here at Abernathy’s. The most exciting one is that we had a (human) baby! Our human baby is now 2 years old and we couldn’t be happier with our new little family.
Rabbits! Ah, so much has happened with the rabbits. We’ve made the decision that we will no longer be breeding any purebred rabbits for the time being. The reasoning? Primarily, the reason is that purebred rabbits are just never quite as healthy as hybrids. They get sick, they get hurt, they die for no reason while our hybrids stay healthy and happy no matter what. There’s nothing worse than putting energy and heart into a beautiful rabbit that just up and dies for no reason way before its time. What can you do? Purebred rabbits are bred to look a certain way. Health comes second.
That being said, breed one purebred meat rabbit with another purebred meat rabbit and you get… An amazing healthy litter of F1 hybrid mutts. What will they look like? Who knows! That’s part of what makes it fun, for me at least. Then you can save the best rabbits from that litter and breed them out again to another purebred rabbit. Then you get… Even healthier mutts? Sometimes! It’s called hybrid vigor and it’s for real.
You can select for whatever you want. I have a strain of rabbits that does particularly well on forage. Not that they don’t all enjoy their fresh greens, but this strain will eat forage first over pellets, do better on it and eat more of it than my other rabbits. It’s pretty obvious why I find this trait desirable. There’s no guaranteeing rabbit pellets are going to be available forever.
First and foremost I breed for health, temperament, grow-out rate, litter size, mothering ability, pelt quality and appearance. When you buy a rabbit from me, you are buying nine years of that selection process. It’s pretty great.
We have also stopped raising Coturnix quail. It was interesting while it lasted but it became more work than it was worth. Quail eggs are charming and healthful, but they’re annoyingly small and don’t keep well. The birds themselves are cute and delicious, but they’re also dusty and violent, and the males can be noisy. Maybe we’ll get back into them someday when we have more space.