Free Rabbit Food (and People Food): Oxeye Daisy

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Leucanthemum vulgare is an iconic perennial flowering herb that is native to Europe but can be found all over the world. It’s also called the dog daisy, common daisy or moon daisy and can be seen in fields, woodlands and along roadsides. It has serrated to dentated dark green leaves and spreads via rhizomes.

I have a large patch of this in my rabbit forage field and the bunnies always go for these juicy stalks first when they get their daily bundle of wild grasses. The dead nettle has died down for the most part and so the oxeye daisy makes for much of their non-grassy forage this time of year, now that it is getting hotter.

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The young leaves of this herb can also be used in salads, and the dried leaves have a bitter and tingling flavor similar to that of valerian. The immature flower buds can be marinated and used like capers, which is what I’m preparing today. They have a unique, delicate sweet and spicy flavor that complements many dishes such as smoked fish, salads, pates and sauces.

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You must select tightly closed flower buds to ensure the best flavor and that no bugs have made their way in. Then take 1/2 cup apple cider or wine vinegar and 1/2 cup water mixed with 1 tablespoon sea salt and use to cover your flower buds in a glass jar or ceramic crock. Refrigerate and they will be ready to use after three days but will keep in the fridge much longer than that.

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Easter Sunday Rabbit Road Trip (Plus Tiny Chicken)

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We were contacted last week by a local retirement home that desperately needed some bunnies for their Easter party, since they had advertised it everywhere and their previous bunny wrangler had backed out.

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We agreed, and spent a few hours today introducing some of our rabbits to a very enthusiastic bunch of seniors and their grandkids. As a special treat, Tiny Chicken the Old English Game hen came along as well.

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The bunnies did very well and were very well-behaved being placed on so many strange laps for photographs. They enjoyed their spacious box filled with treats while the kids gave them lots of love and attention.

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Tiny Chicken surprised me by being the best behaved little chicken I have ever seen. She sat quietly while being petted, picked up, loved and hugged by dozens of kids. She never once tried to fly off even though she is an excellent flier, and just calmly trusted that I would not put her into a dangerous situation. I’m very proud of her and now I know I can bring her to events with no problems. She was a huge hit.

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We couldn’t have done it without the help of our lovely Miss Nanaimo contestant who was stationed at the bunny pen making sure everyone was gentle with the animals. Thanks for a great day!

 

Meat Hybrid Bunnies for Sale

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Our latest litter of adorable meat hybrid bunnies are now six weeks old and ready for new homes. They’re a triple F1 mix of 1/4 Creme d’Argent, 1/4 Standard Rex and 1/2 Champagne d’Argent.

These hybrids are part of a breeding program we’ve been working on for years now. They have better grow out rates, improved health, large litters and calm, friendly temperaments. If you’re tanning the pelts, they are easier to flesh and produce a better quality end product. Of course, they make great pet rabbits as well!

There are 11 kits available, with half of them being silvered black and the other half agouti which will likely also develop some silvering. Get in touch if interested!

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First Champagne d’Argent Litter

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After almost two years of failure, first with a doe who just wouldn’t take and was later diagnosed with a very unusual amount of internal body fat despite a lean diet; then with our current doe who stubbornly refused to breed for nearly six months, we finally have our first purebred Champagne d’Argent litter!

I’m so relieved! This litter has been such a long time coming that I started to wonder if we would ever get any kits at all. In the meantime, our Champagne buck Gonzague has already sired at least half a dozen hybrid litters. I knew the issue definitely wasn’t with him.

Mathurine’s first litter went as smoothly as can be. Although she was a couple of days late, she pulled fur like a wild woman and gave birth to nine healthy kits, a very respectable first try. Champagne d’Argent kits are all black at birth and slowly develop their silvering with time. I’m looking forward to observing their progression!

If you’d like to reserve a Champagne d’Argent rabbit, please get in touch with us ASAP to get on the waiting list. They are purebred and pedigreed from an excellent lineage.

 

New Standard Rex Litter – Spring 2017

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We have our first Standard Rex litter of 2017. After one false pregnancy where I think the problem was too much winter weight, Fire Opal has kindled a modest litter of six healthy kits.  There are five solids and one little broken. Two light coated and four dark. Not sure what colors these will end up as, but likely some opals and castors as per usual.

There’s already a waiting list started for this litter, so if you’re looking for a purebred Standard Rex bunny, please get in touch with us ASAP.

 

Introducing Butternut

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Butternut is a triple hybrid F1 doe who is the latest addition to our meat breeding program. Her mother is Caraway, who is a Creme d’Argent/Standard Rex cross, and her sire was Scorch, a Californian buck that I have since sold. She was the largest in her litter and has matured into a beautiful young rabbit with lovely markings.

She has been bred for the first time to Gonzague, my Champagne d’Argent buck and is due mid-April. Her litter, if it’s successful, will be our first quadruple hybrid F1 meat rabbits.

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