Through the Thorns: Raising Rabbits

by Josée

Over the summer my husband and I decided to start raising rabbits for meat consumption. When our four fuzzy Champagne D’Argent rabbits arrived we were excited to start our venture. We started with four breeding rabbits, two males and two females. We had to wait a few months before breeding them because the females were too young. When we started our breeding attempts the rabbits wouldn’t breed! September, October, November and nothing. December came and we got some chilly -30 degree Celsius weather so we put our breeding pairs together to help them stay warm (we keep our rabbits outside). We hoped that they’d get pregnant but were resigned to the fact that we wouldn’t be seeing any baby rabbits until the spring.

Tonight when my husband went to feed the rabbits he saw something very devastating. Our two female rabbits had indeed become pregnant 4 weeks ago and both had litters in the night. We had nothing set up for them and all eleven of their baby rabbits died in the cold. The female rabbits looked distraught and their frozen babies were laid around the cage – my heart broke…God had entrusted these rabbits to our care and by our negligence their babies all died.

I was quickly ordered to bed by my husband because I was starting to have a lot of contractions. My mother, who grew up on a farm, shared some consoling words about losing baby animals and reassured me that the rabbits would be alright. She did point out a positive fact “at least you know they can breed”. Very true, I just wish the death of the babies hadn’t happened the way they did.

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