Pickles, wearing her leash.
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We have a new critter on the homestead: Pickles, a Polish rabbit doe.

Let me be clear that Pickles is a pet. My daughter's, really. But we are hoping Pickles will lead us up to rabbit as livestock. Here's how.

My daughter adores her buck, Buddy. He's really an excellent pet, and our daughter has long had aspirations to breed him and sell the offspring as pets. Not only do we love her entrepreneurial spirit, we love encouraging our girl to work with animals. (Actually, I feel she has a special way when it comes to critters. Give her an animal that's ornery with everybody, and she'll soon have it well least around her. Buddy himself had a rough start on our homestead, back in July of 2016. He bit me repeatedly, several times drawing quite a lot of blood. He bit my husband, too. But he would never dream of biting our daughter.)

Buddy in one of the rabbit hutches.
Our girl saved her birthday money to buy the cages and equipment to house a doe and kits, and we finally found a doe we thought she could breed with Buddy. (Bonus points if you get the reference to Buddy and his wife Pickles!) She's already something of an expert caring for rabbits. Now we want her to become an expert at breeding them. And then, when we can afford the housing for them, we hope to add meat rabbits to the homestead.

(Please don't worry about Buddy and Pickles safety. Polish rabbits are really tiny - 3.5 lbs, tops. They would not be worth butchering! Besides, pets are pets, not livestock.)

Buddy and Pickles haven't met yet. We're first letting Pickles get acclimated to her new surroundings and new caregiver. It should be pretty amusing to see Buddy's reaction to his "wife." I will keep you updated.

By the way, if you're interested in having a rabbit as a pet, we highly recommend the Polish breed. Not only are they small and therefore easy to hold and carry, but they tend to be more laid back than some breeds. Their small size also means they can easily live in smaller cages (though it's always good to let them have access to the outside; we use a ferret leash for this purpose, which you can see in the photo of Pickles at the top of this post.) Plus, their oddly proportioned bodies are just plain cute!

Related Post: An Introduction to Raising Rabbits for Meat

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