Friday, July 30, 2010

Molly's babies!

Pictures of Molly's babies are up on the website now ~

And here are a couple pictures of the meat rabbit (Production White) baby . . . which is being raised by Molly :). It's size doesn't show too much in these pics, but it is definitely going to be much bigger than the rest really quickly! It's a lot longer than Molly's babies and acts so much older, it's pretty funny. You can clearly see it's built differently than the Mini Lops here!


Wednesday, July 28, 2010

New baby pictures!

Pictures of Cori's litter and Kaylee's litter are now up on the site. You can see them at:

Cori's litter
Kaylee's litter

Hopefully I can get pictures of Molly's babies up tomorrow, Lord willing . . . still have to take the pictures.

Have a great day!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Pictures of Sunday's Work

Here are a few pictures from yesterday and some that I took this morning.

Kaylee being a weirdo and laying under the feeder. Why she liked it there, I don't know!

The front of the barn after we finished "landscaping" it some :).

Much cuter now :)! The little house is a house I keep out there for our cat who stays on the outside of the bunny barn. He used to be my barn cat in California, but since he's been outdoors for years, he did not want to be kept in this barn now. So, he patrols outside the barn!

The meat rabbit barn. It's right next to my barn in a spot that stays shaded all day long. That one piece of sheet metal will be the only "solid" piece on that wall. Fencing will be over the rest of that wall and two of the other sides. The north (where most storms come from) side will be a solid wall though. In the cooler months we'll probably have tarps to put at least on the west side (the side with one solid piece) and maybe some on the other sides. We'll just take it month by month.

The organized pile of extra carriers, tubes (to lay in) that I give the bunnies in the cool months and the extra 5 gallon water jug. That jug will probably go in the meat rabbit barn.


Sunday, July 25, 2010

Britney & Nicole . . . and more

Britney & Nicole both palpate positive as of today, so that is exciting :)! Just have Jana left to palpate.

Today was a long, very profitable day spent working outside. We got a lot done. 2 dump-cart fulls of rocks moved from the area between the house and my barn. It was like an obstacle course to pull a wagon or dump cart out to the barn. If you knew the area we're in, you'd understand why there are so many rocks. The ground up here in this particular part of NE Oklahoma is incredibly rocky. We picked up a lot of rocks, but there are still plenty to go around. Never a shortage of rocks around here! It's so rocky, it's almost impossible (or takes *forever*) to dig holes for fence posts by hand.

I picked up some landscaping bricks at a local auction for super cheap, so my little sister and I fixed up the front of the barn with those and a few other things :). I'll be sure to get some pictures soon, Lord willing!

Then we organized and moved the carries and extra supplies that are on pallets outside my barn to make room in front of the meat rabbit barn that's we're building. And we also got siding on one of the sides. Just have one more side to put siding on, then fencing on the rest. We have to have it done within the next few days, before I go on vacation! It's a small little barn - 10'x10', but should work perfect for the meat buns.



Saturday, July 24, 2010

Palpates Positive . . .

The first two of the 5 does I bred last week were ready to be palpated today - 10 days along. Sarabeth & Brianna - they both palpate positive. Praise the Lord :)!

Tomorrow I have to palpate Nicole & Britney. Then in another few days Jana will have to be palpated.

The babies are all doing great! It looks like Kaylee has 5 pointed whites, which is great. I was hoping she'd mainly have pointed whites, since she had such a big litter.  Hoping for all blue pointed whites - that'd be so nice! And all 3 "pinks" of Cori's are pointed whites. One of them is really light, so I'm hoping it's a different color. We'll see!

Well, that's about it for now! Have a great day :)!


Tuesday, July 20, 2010

3 Week Olds!

There are new, individual pictures of Kadence's litter on the website now. You can see them here :)! They are such cute babies. 3 bucks and 4 does . . . nice split! But, I'll put a couple pictures here just for fun . . .

And here are a few pictures of the almost-two-week old babies :).

One of Molly's ~

Cori's sable steel . . . this baby is so wide everywhere. He reminds me of a seal (the animal, not the color, haha) ~

And one of Kaylee's babies. They all have AMAZING width between their eyes . . . thanks to their daddy's big head. Can't wait to see how these babies develop, since this cross is so perfect!

I was able to get Jana bred to Cameron last night, so I'm thankful for that :)! They should have some pretty babies! I will have to post pictures of Jana's little guy, Dillian, who I'm keeping. He is 10 week old and a gorgeous boy (just took new pictures today). She throws the prettiest babies ever!


Friday, July 16, 2010

Lots of new stuff!

The website is updated today with pictures of the new litters on there. Kadence's babies are almost 3 weeks old, so be watching for individual pictures of them the beginning of next week or so.

4 of the 5 does that I needed to get bred are bred. They are:

Scotch X Brianna - bred the 14th
Scotch X Nicole - bred the 14th
Kyle X Sarabeth - bred the 14th
Scotch X Britney - bred the 15th

I have just one doe left to breed and that is Jana. She's been giving a bit of a hard time for some reason, but hopefully I can get her bred in the next day or two.

Also, I created a facebook page for Hoppin' Herd of Hares. Check it out and become a fan :). Just search for "Hoppin' Herd of Hares."


Thursday, July 15, 2010

In the News!

We're in the news :) . . . that is our local newspaper, the Tahlequah Daily Press. I received a call the other day from Josh at the Daily Press asking some questions and permission to reference our rabbitry and website in the article they were doing on raising rabbits. Here it is . . . I think he did a pretty good job on the article!

Rabbit raising hops ahead


Rabbits are growing in popularity as both pets and meals at the dinner table.

TAHLEQUAH — Tara Parker knew she loved rabbits when she first saw one of the creatures at age 2.

Her love of the animal grew as she, too, grew up, and her first few rabbits eventually became a collection of nearly 100.

Now a senior in high school, Parker and her family travel nearly every weekend all across the country, participating in American Rabbit Breeders Association shows. She’s dedicated to her furry friends, so much that she - or, technically, her rabbits - has won some major awards.

During a show in Jefferson, Wis., in April, she became No. 1 in the nation as a breeder of Californian rabbits.

“That was with a baby I’d raised since it was 4-1/2 weeks old,” said Parker.

Thursday, July 15, kicks off the annual National Rabbit Week celebration. While many people consider rabbits a pet-friendly animal, they’ve also been historically known as a nutritious source of meat.

“That’s the kind I raise - meat rabbits,” said Parker. “In fact, I just sold 12 yesterday. They’re known for having some of the healthiest meat.”

For some reason, Parker said, she’s never had rabbit as a meal. Perhaps it would change the way she feels about raising those 100 creatures with soft, fluffy-white fur. She’s not too sure the exact reason.

“But they are really growing in popularity as a meat,” said Parker.

Domestic rabbit meat is mildly flavored, tender, and pearly-white, said Eleshea Martin, co-owner of Martin’s Bunnies, a rabbit-breeding business in the Keys area. She and her husband, Thomas, continue to expand on their business of offering rabbits for sale (as both pets or meat rabbits), and also offering tips on choosing the right bunny, caring for it, or even finding the right rabbit recipes.

“All breeds of domestic rabbits can be used for meat,” said Martin. “However, many meat producers prefer breeds such as the New Zealand White and the Californian. These rabbits have good body shape and conformation. Their dress-out percentage - the amount of meat they will provide - is also good. Short-bodied, heavy-muscled rabbits usually yield more meat than a long-bodied, lean rabbit.”

Rabbit meat is known to be high in protein content and low in fat content, with low amounts of cholesterol, sodium, and saturated fatty acids. It is often substituted in place of chicken in recipes.

Martin said because rabbits grow and reproduce quickly, does can produce many times their own body weight through their litters of bunnies.

“It only takes about three months from the time a doe mates until her litter is ready for the table,” said Martin.

For those who’d rather have a rabbit for a pet than for dinner, local breeders are also available with various shapes and sizes of hares.

Qadoshyah Fish owns a small rabbitry north of Tahlequah, in the Moodys area. Hoppin’ Herd of Hares focuses on raising, breeding and showing quality mini lops. She says they are “the best breed,” a conclusion she came to after trying several different breeds at her rabbitry.

“Mini lops are a very easy breed,” said Fish. “They have no birth problems, have medium to large litters, come in a variety of colors, are very friendly, very adorable, have huge heads and a compact body - just a lovable little bunny. Whenever we walk in the barn all the bunnies are running back and forth in their cages, staring at us, and appear to be waiting for somebody to come and say hi to them.”

Starting a rabbit collection may be fun at first, but they do require special care and attention, said Parker.

“They’re a very easy pet to raise and very easy to house break to a litter pan,” said Parker.

But the more rabbits a person has, the more expense and time will be required.

“I feed my [100] rabbits 60 pounds of feed a day,” said Parker. “It takes me two hours every day - one hour to feed, one hour to water. And that’s not counting the time to groom.”

Rabbits drink a lot of water. Parker said her bunnies can consume a 32-ounce bottle of water a day, maybe more during the hot summer months.

Showing expenses can be costly too, but it all depends on how involved the person wants to be, and how far they want to travel.

“Our only month off from travel is July,” said Parker. “We go all year round. I’ll take 20-30 rabbits at a time, and it will cost $3 per rabbit in each show. There are usually two shows each time.”

Of course, selling prized rabbits can also help offset those costs. Parker has seen some hares go for several hundred dollars a piece.

As for a life span, Parker said most of her rabbits live an average of 6-8 years, though she’s had some make it as long as 12 years. Rabbits also multiply quickly if not separated. The gestation period for a rabbit is only about a month long, and rabbits can start breeding as early as 3-4 months of age. They can birth as many as 10 babies, known as kits, each pregnancy.

Parker keeps her bucks and does separate to controll the litters, but with 100 bunnies now and college life about a year away, she and her family are left trying to figure out just what to do with the furry creatures.

She’s going to need a very spacious dorm room.
Check it out

For more information on Martin’s Bunnies, go online to or call (918) 457-9579. For more information on Hoppin’ Herd of Hares, log on to or call (918) 598-4007. For more information on the American Rabbit Breeders Association, check out

Rabbit recipe

Baked rabbit with potatoes and onions:

1 fryer cut up

4 potatoes (quartered)

4 large onions (sliced)

Large can Italian tomatoes

Olive oil




Salt and pepper

Cover bottom of pan with oil, add chicken, potatoes, onions. Cover with tomatoes and season. Drizzle with oil. Bake at 350 degrees for about one hour or until tender. Broil last five minutes on each side of rabbit to brown.

(Courtesy of

(Yes, I have quite a bit to update on with the rabbits, but that'll have to wait until tomorrow, Lord willing).


Sunday, July 11, 2010

Baby Bunny Pictures

Here are pictures of all 4 litters in the barn at the moment :) ~

Kaylee's litter -

Molly's litter (+ one meat rabbit baby - the odd one in there) -

Cori's litter -

And finally Kadence's litter .  . . they are so cute!



Friday, July 9, 2010

20 babies in 2 days!

Well, my 3 does who were due the 7th have all had their babies.

Cori had 7 babies Wednesday morning. One of her babies was a DOA, so she has 6 live babies. 4 "pinks" and 2 sables.

Kaylee had 8 babies Wednesday night. All of her's are "pinks" (since she's bred to Jake), so I'm really hoping she has a lot of blue pointed whites. It's genetically possible, since she's a blue pointed and Jake carries it.

Molly finally had her litter today, Friday. She had 6 babies. All are blacks (and I think all are agoutis, but will have to check again) of some kind, since she is bred to Cameron. Should be some typey babies though!

The meat rabbit doe we have also had a litter, but she only had 4 (2 were DOA). So her two babies were fostered off to Molly & Cori so that we can rebreed her. She more than likely had such a small litter because the buck she was bred to had only been here a day or two when she was bred. So, it was probably low fertility on his part, since her other two litters were litters of 9. Hopefully she'll have a large litter next time!

Kadence's babies eyes are all opening. They are getting to that really fun age now, where they are jumping in and out of the box :).

Baby pictures to come soon, Lord willing!


Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Kadence babies and random pictures

First off are some pictures of Kadence's babies, who are 10 days old now. There is such a variety of colors: broken chocolate chestnut, 2 chocolates, 1 lilac, 1 chinchilla, 1 chestnut, and 1 chocolate chinchilla.

This is the little broken chocolate chestnut and it's gotta be my favorite! I'm so hoping this baby will be a keeper. Chocolate chestnuts are such a pretty color.

And the little lilac baby. This baby is a chunk-a-munk!

I'm working hard on litterbox training 3 of my retired buns. Truffle's been litterbox trained for years, but Brandy, Sugar & Striper have been giving a tough time. After asking for some tips on a rabbit breeder forum, I think these 3 are slowly picking it up.

Striper doesn't seem too happy to have his cage size cut in half, but guess what, it's forcing him to use his litterbox! Hopefully he'll be back to his full size cage soon. It'd be nice to have these 3 litterbox trained when I go on vacation to California in a few weeks.

This is our Production White meat rabbit doe. She's due tomorrow and man is her belly huge! Look at that prego bulge. I've never seen a rabbit look so "pregnant" before!

I have 5 does to breed next week. I'm waiting until the 14th that way the does will be due a few days after I get back from California in August (Lord willing). I'll be breeding:

Brianna X Scotch
Nicole X Scotch
Britney X Scotch (or Cameron)
Sara X Kyle
Jana X Cameron