Blog, Evergreen Rabbitry

First Rabbit Litters of 2022: How Everything Went

In these photos, Mopsy’s litter is 4 days old (2/08/2022), Cottontail’s litter is 5 days old (2/07/2022).

Pairings, and Their Litters:

So, as you’ve seen in the title (and photo), the first litters of Evergreen Rabbitry are here! We bred all 3 of our does on January 7th (1/07/2022).

  1. Corduroy x Cottontail litter arrived on, February 7 (2/07/2022)
  2. Blackie x Flopsy litter arrived on, February 7 (2/07/2022)
  3. Blackie x Mopsy litter arrived on, February 8 (2/08/2022)

Cottontail had 6, but lost 1.

Mopsy had 7, and didn’t lose any.

Flopsy had 10, but unfortunately lost all of them.

We have 12 kits total!

How Did They Do?

Unlike Cottontail and Mopsy, the days leading up to “nest box day” (day 27 or 28), Flopsy kept making nests and started doing so around day 20! I was not expecting this, as no one really mentioned their Rabbits prepping so early unless it was a false pregnancy (I will make note here, all of our does are first timers). She did this almost every other day, since the 20th day mark. So, after talking with some people, I decided to save all the fur she would pull and I gave it back in her nest box on day 28.

Cottontail, didn’t start nesting until the day before kindling, and Mopsy never nested at all, until a couple hours before (or the time of) kindling which is much more what I was expecting especially as a beginner still, myself.

“Cottontail x Corduroy” Litter of 5, Born 2/07/2022.

On day 31, Both Cottontail and Flopsy kindled on the wire, and not in their nest boxes. This resulted in Flopsy’s kits spread throughout her hutch (all ice cold to the touch) when I went out for morning chores. Although I did try to revive them all, in case they could make it with some extra warmth; they still sadly did not make it. Luckily though, Cottontail only had 1 kit out of her small nest (I tried to revive it with the others, but lost it too) while the other 5 were snug and warm enough still. I didn’t even notice the 5th kit until later, which was a nice surprise!

Then, day 32 (next day) Mopsy kindled a litter of 7 in her nest box, with enough fur to keep them warm. After losing 11 kits, we were so glad that Mopsy’s litter came so smoothly, and that all of them survived.

“Blackie x Mopsy” Litter of 7, Born 2/08/2022.

What Next?

Over all, I’m very glad to be with 12 healthy kits from our 2 does; Cottontail and Mopsy. Flopsy was re-bred on Thursday February 10th (2/10/2022) to Blackie, and we hope for a better outcome. Her new due date is March 13 (3/13/2022). Right now though, we are just thankful she is still healthy after everything, and is ready to try again. We are blessed to be able to raise these Rabbits up well, and once they are all old enough (8wks+) get them to some families who will use them on their own homesteads.

These first litters, we are focusing on just getting through the litter process with our Rabbits. However, as we have mentioned before, we are planning to use some of the next litters for one of our meat sources as well! So with our next litters to come, we will be adding a whole new step to our journey with this Rabbitry. While my daughter and I enjoy caring for these sweet, baby Rabbits (until they go to their homes) my husband and I will continue prepping for our first time ever doing our own butchering of an animal.

Lastly:

I hope this helps any of you who are first timers, especially those with first timer Rabbits! We are still pretty new to this and actually, we’re coming up on a year of owning Rabbits this July. We are still learning the different aspects of Rabbitry, but over all, I definitely recommend doing it if you have been interested in having Rabbits for your own homestead!

More updates on the litters pictured above (as well as future litters) will be posted to our Facebook Rabbity page (linked here) and thank you for following along on our Rabbitry endeavors so far! We will have more to come in the future as our litters come and go!

Evergreen Rabbitry

Evergreen Rabbitry: Pricing + FAQ 

Since starting this Rabbit journey, we’ve personally had experience with the “expensive” and the “cheap.” We’ve seen Rabbits (here in Washington) go from, $15 (lowest we saw with a pedigree) to $175 and heard of some around $700 for their show quality. With that in mind, we had to narrow down what we would do with ours. In our Rabbitry, we are focused on breeding quality Standard Rex Rabbits that can be, and are raised for meat. Meat will be the main purpose we have them for; that and they make great garden fertilizer! We’ve discussed it, and we have set a price for our Rabbits that we feel comfortable with at this time, and hope others will be too.

As mentioned above, we are focused on raising meat for our family, first. Therefore, we won’t be selling too many litters. The plan is to be selling around 6-12 Rabbits a year (or about 1-2 litters), to primarily pay for their feed costs. This set amount, of course, will depend, and vary, on how well our does do and how big the litters are. Below is a little FAQ and the pricing we have set for the future litters/rabbits we won’t be keeping, to hopefully make it easier when your family is thinking of taking one of our Rabbits home to your own homestead!

When we first built our 2 hutches

Pricing: Updated January 2022

  • Pedigreed Rabbits: $50 
  • Non-Pedigreed Rabbits: $45
  • Meat Breeder Trios: $120

2 does, and a buck (Pedigrees are included, but also optional)

FAQ:

Deposits, Returns, and Pick Up Day:

  • Deposits: 

If you have chosen a specific Rabbit that you want placed on hold for a later pick up date, we can do that! But we ask a deposit be placed of 50%— half the total purchase price— to hold the Rabbit and secure your spot for it. The deposit is not needed for the wait list; only when you have chosen your Rabbit and need to have it put on hold.

  • *Deposits are Refundable* We understand that buying an animal can be a big commitment. So, if something comes up and you can no longer take the one you have on hold, we can refund the deposit.
  • Online Deposit Transfer Options:

Zelle, Venmo, PayPal, and Facebook Pay.

Fail to Pick Up Rabbit?

If I have contacted you, stating your Rabbit is ready to go and have asked to schedule a pick up day, and you do not respond within 2 weeks; your deposit will be automatically refunded, and you will not receive the Rabbit. Rabbit will then be posted as available again.

We Can Refuse Any Sales:

We also obtain the right to refuse any sale before or during the sale process; before the full payment has been completed.

Rabbit Pick Up Day:

  • Pick ups will be done at local public location only for the safety of our home, family, and animals.
  • Location and scheduling can be discussed with me via private messages through our Facebook Rabbitry page, email, blog contact page, etc!
  • What you will need and what the Rabbit comes with: Each Rabbit always comes with a small bag of transition feed (pellets) to help them adapt a little easier to their new diet. The one thing we do ask of you, is that you bring a carrier (box, cage, kennel, etc) to hold the Rabbit during your car ride home as we don’t recommend holding it by hand during it’s first car ride, in a new environment; potentially causing stress on the animal.

Returns: 

We do not accept returns. We make sure that we only sell the healthiest, best looking Rabbits from our litters. Once it is out of our care, it is your families responsibility.

Which is why we encourage you to research before you buy! Rabbits can take time to get settled in; new place, new food, new friends maybe, new water even! Rabbits can be sensitive to environment changes, so we encourage you to give them time and make it as less stressful as possible if it seems the Rabbit is not yet settled in. If you have any questions after bringing your Rabbit home, we are always here to offer our help and any informative resources we know of!

Cottontail (when younger)

When it comes to the care of our Rabbits and selling; We will only ever- to the best of our knowledge- provide healthy, well taken care of Rabbits, as this is how we treat all of our animals. We will never sell a hurt, unhealthy, or even aggressive/unsocialized Rabbit to you. We strive to keep our communication clear, honest, and straightforward– especially when it comes to getting one of our animals a new home. We unfortunately know what its like to be on the buying end of that stick (no honest communication), and it’s not fun for anyone! We keep all our animals as healthy, and safe from predators as much as we can. However, we also understand that even though it’s a rare occurrence with well taken care of animals, sometimes things happen and animals can get taken by a predator, or even develop a health issue regardless. 

Pedigrees:

  • Pedigreed Rabbits come tattooed with their pedigree ear number (on left ear) that is listed on the pedigree paper. Please note* they come with a paper copy, but I can also email a copy of their pedigree as well.
  • If the pedigree is ever lost, contact me with your name, and the Rabbit’s ear number and I should be able to get you a copy no problem.
  • We cannot pedigree your Rabbits after the sale has gone through with non-pedigreed Rabbits. Once the sale is final, they can no longer get a pedigree.

Most importantly,

A Rabbit’s pedigree paperwork information and their physical tattoo, cannot be changed or altered after leaving our care.

Lastly:

Updates on litters and what Rabbits are available, will be posted to our Facebook Rabbitry page: Linked here!

Any further questions on buying a Rabbit from our Rabbitry, please contact me through our Facebook Rabbitry page!

Thank you!

Blog, Evergreen Rabbitry

“Start Up Cost and Break Down: Raising Rabbits For Meat”

First snow with our Rabbits.

Start Up Cost: (Housing, Food, Animals, Misc.)

So, obviously because we had never done this before, there was a “start up” cost to get the items needed to begin raising our Rabbits. Building the hutches, getting the feeders/waterers, making the nesting boxes, and getting a small animal tattoo kit (for the pedigreed rabbits)— that all cost us around $520 total. My first “Rabbit Hutch Post” has a cost breakdown and a supply list, if you are also looking at building your own hutch! (We did 2 hutches, but they have slight differences when compared to each other. They can both be found in the Rabbitry section or in Archives). The 5 Rabbits themselves (3 does, 2 bucks) cost a total of $395.

However, please note, pricing for the actual animal can change with different locations, breeds, breeders, etc. A lot can vary with that. I did still want to add it though, so you can see the exact cost breakdown of our Rabbitry’s start. We also have all of our Rabbits pedigreed. That can too, change the pricing.

We have this book- good info for beginners!

Food Cost, Per Year: (Hay, Pellets)

Per year with 5 Rabbits (including the 3-6 months we will have kits during a year) it costs us about $340 dollars for their hay and pellets. The way we have it worked out is, we sell the litters from one doe, while the other 2 does litters we keep for meat purposes. Out of the 3 does we have, selling 1 or 2 litters from the one, a year, (with an [rough] average of 6-8 kits a litter) we will hopefully be making the money back to pay for all their feed costs! Making it so the rabbits essentially pay for themselves.

Doing it this way, will also be more efficient for our current amount of space! Right now, we don’t have enough room to have more than 2 litters going to the freezer at a time, so we had to plan it out carefully. This feed cost, does not include all the scraps from garden, and the pasture time we hope and plan to give them during the Spring and Summer. So with that in mind, I’m interested to see how this may change (or not change) our feed costs at the end of this year.

Our buck, Blackie (one of two).

In total, we did everything at about $860, not including the $395 it cost to buy our specific Rabbits ($1,255 to be exact with that).The only yearly cost will be on the feed, which is the $340, but again, should be made back and paid through selling a litter (or about 6 rabbits a year).

How Much Meat Will We Be Getting?

We are a family of 3, with #4 coming in a few months for reference. On average, does can have 6-8 (although some can have up to 14!) kits per litter. For our current size family and space, we will breed them anywhere around 2-3 times a year— depending on health, and quantity of course. The rabbits will give (an average) about 4lbs of meat, per rabbit. We will be getting, hopefully, around 96-128 lbs of meat per year from our litters.

This for us, means we will not have to spend as much money on our chicken meat, because we will be trading our chicken, for rabbit meat this year! I will update you on this and if we even saved money with that, at the end of 2022. We still plan to eat chicken meat, as we do still like it, but I want to try the trade off this year to see how it goes for us and to see if we can save any money at all, by doing so.

Also a good book! Has some different housing designs as well!

Breeding Begins Now!

We bred all 3 does today (January 7th) to get some litters in February. This breeding is mainly as a “trial run” to see how they all do! We are hoping for healthy rabbits; the does and their litters! Two pairings were switched, since my last posted update, as well. I had one doe who (on her 2nd time now) seemingly hated being bred with our solid black buck, so I decided to try switching bucks, and it worked! She was still not in love with the process, but was much calmer! I had 3 “fall offs” with everyone so I’m hopeful for good results.

Pairings:

  1. Solid chocolate buck x Broken castor doe #1
  2. Solid black buck x Broken castor doe #2
  3. Solid black buck x Blue otter doe

We have decided to wait for the second round of litters to process any of them for our meat, as well. That way we can get a good handle on the first time breeding and litters. If everything goes smoothly, the next round of litters should be around June sometime!

Updates to come! February 7th is the due date!

Blog, Evergreen Rabbitry

“Rehoming, and Buying Another Rabbit.”

Finally, we re-homed, Tyrell.

Sticky Situation: Rehoming Tyrell


As many of you may know, we got a Blue Rex buck a few months back, now. Unfortunately, It was a very sticky situation, straight from the beginning. The owners, were not completely honest with us at all, and the rightful owner, left the buck in the hands of a relative for us to meet with, because she was leaving the state, for schooling. This relative, however, knew nothing of the Rabbit, other than to drop it off to us, so he could answer no questions. 

I also found out, right before we left that he had been in his same, tiny cage for 10 whole days while they were gone, just before we picked him up. His rump, was covered in his own fecal matter said the relative, and he had to clean it off the buck’s bottom, before they gave him to us. He was also molting, which wasn’t a problem as all Rabbits molt, but he just looked, a little rough. I thought “well, he probably will get better super quick, and I can’t leave him like this with someone who has no clue what to do.”

Tip #1: Never buy an animal, because you feel bad, unless you fully have plans to commit to rehabilitating that animal, as you may not find a good home for it as quickly as hoped for.

We use these for their pellets! As our Rabbits dig in bowls.

Well, after that, the actual owner sent me his pedigree over email, and then told me he was “a product of genetic testing, nothing to worry about”. Compared to my other Rex’s, he looked a little off, quality wise. Not super noticeable, but definitely something was different. I contacted a few breeders, who said that is probably fine, and truly is nothing to worry about, but he still just looked off to me.

Over the next couple weeks, he wasn’t getting healthier, even with my efforts, to fix him up. So, we put him up for “sale” hoping someone would want him. We communicated to other breeders about our situation, and researched a lot more; we came to the conclusion he needs a pet home where he can get special care. Sadly, no one around here wanted to take in a Standard Rex who cannot be bred, or used for meat.

Luckily though, we finally found a small rescue local to us, who takes Rabbits and contacted us.  Long story short, we have successfully re-homed Tyrell, to someone who can treat him so much better! I should have never put myself in that situation, and if I had known what to look for better, I would have seen the quality he was, was not great for our breeding standards, at all. I just got too hopeful I could fix it quick, and didn’t know enough about what good, quality Rabbits look like.

Tip #2: It’s okay to say no to a breeder, if you are not comfortable with how the animal looks or acts! The breeder should know, the buyer has the right to say no, and it may just not work out. That’s just a risk, when it comes to selling animals, it might not always sell to the person who is interested.

So anyways, I’m glad that whole situation is over with, and I will not make the same mistake, twice (hopefully). I could not risk him, bringing sickness to my other Rabbits due to his poor health, and his weakened immune system, or for him to get worse through Winter.

New Buck:

Welcome, Corduroy!

This next buck, I researched like crazy for, and persuaded my husband a tad bit too, as he wasn’t, cheap. Good quality usually, if not always, isn’t. We both know that, however and with that, on top of the fact that we will not be buying another breeder Rabbit for a while (that is the plan if everything goes accordingly) is why we are comfortable with going forward. 

We do not want to end up with another, Tyrell situation, and I have not bought from this breeder before (it was a recommended breeder) so I asked her a ton of questions and told her that we have dealt with bad breeders previously, she was honest and open to all my questions, so I think we scored there! So far, the Chocolate Buck named “Corduroy” looks great! Can’t wait to see some babies from him and one of my does this Spring!

Planned Breeding Pairs: Spring 2022

So we have 3 does, and 2 bucks. The pairs that I have in mind to use, are listed below. I have one doe who may throw Charlies (almost all white; 10% color or less), just due to her coloring, and she also was pretty, small for a Standard Rex. She took longer to gain weight, and we don’t want that for our Rabbitry, as we are hoping to sell them (and use them ourselves) as meat Rabbits and/or show Rabbits in the future, however, I still would like to see how she does, if she has big, healthy kits, regardless. If not, and she produces smaller Rex’s I will re-home her, and hopefully keep a doe, from one of our litters, who is better suited for giving good sized, and good colored offspring. I’m really hoping she works out though!

We do not plan to get anymore outside breeding Rabbits, as we will just keep offspring of certain pairs to breed in the future or switch out, if these ones can’t breed for some reason. Currently, they are all first timers and anything could happen, as they are still learning. I am and will be preparing for all the things, in regards to their breeding process. I am still learning the ropes of genes, and color pairings, how colors work together, and how some don’t. With that said, I’m not confident enough to say what color offspring, these pairings will throw. However, I do have a general idea, and I hope I will be somewhat close, if not correct! We’ll see how great that turns out, though. I will let you know!

Pairings: Spring 2022

#1: “Blackie” x “Cottontail” (Solid Black buck, Broken Castor doe #1).

#2: “Corduroy” x “Flopsy” (Solid Chocolate buck, Blue Otter doe).

#3: The Test Pairing: “Blackie” x “Mopsy” (Solid Black buck, Broken Castor doe #2).

Blog, Evergreen Rabbitry

“New Experiences In A Beginning Rabbitry: Real vs False Pregnancies”

Flopsy, and Cottontail. 2 of 3 breeder does.

Although we have researched a ton about (Standard Rex) Rabbits and how to care for them, what to expect when breeding, and all of those things. We still don’t have much experience with it! We’ve only been at it since this last June, so in total, about 5 months. If you have followed along, you probably expected (as did I) baby Rabbit pictures everywhere, around the 20th of September! Unfortunately, baby Rabbits never came.

First Breeding: Expected Litter

We decided to do one breeding with 2 of our 3 breeding does in August, to get September kits, just before it got super cold out. All precautions were taken, as they bred for the first time— both the buck and the doe’s first time! That went smoothly, he fell off quite dramatically, twice! I took that as a good sign, and expected a litter in 31 days. We bought a Rabbit the very same day, who also got bred (at the breeder’s) for the first time as well. The breeder had said, the doe never lifted her tail, but there was still a chance she could be expecting. I originally didn’t expect her to be, but both Rabbits started acting different around half way through. I got high hopes there would be 2 litters, for sure.

I saw them looking a bit bigger, acting different (affection wise), eating different amounts of hay and pellets, and drinking more water. So, I became hopeful that both breedings had turned out successful! The day before the due date, one doe pulled just the smallest amount of hair, but enough to see tufts of hair, in the hutch. I figured she was in the process of doing such, and I had just interrupted it. The due date came and went, and still no good reaction to the nest boxes and no hair pulling, any further. I am assuming, after thinking on it, that the doe who pulled hair, had a false pregnancy. She did just move to a new place, around different bucks and such, so that makes sense. Where as the other doe, wasn’t showing any signs at all really. I think, she never showed signs and I was just hopeful for her to be, and that was all.

 I never knew how difficult it would be to identify a true pregnancy, from a false pregnancy! Or how to tell if that’s even what happened, with them.

Probably going to get this, for some of our messier Rabbits!

Waiting Until Spring: More Hopeful

Now, I have decided that since they both did not take, and it is now Fall,  I will try again in the spring time, hoping they will be more willing to try again! I’m starting to think its better this way, as there were a few times, one of my does escaped! I had to fix and tighten, a couple things on the hutches. I will just continue preparing our set up, for the baby Rabbits, this Spring. We cannot wait to have them, and gain that experience! I’m sure once we have a few litters, it will be much easier to tell the difference between a true and false pregnancy, in the does that I have. Once we get into the swing of things, I may try to breed them through Fall/Winter, but that all depends on how it goes, and how my Rabbits handle their pregnancies!

Rehoming a buck:

Tyrell, is one of our breeder bucks. You may have heard of him, if you have followed along on our social media page, or I’m sure I’ve mentioned him on one of these Rabbitry posts. We bought him a couple months ago, now. He is a 1yr old Blue Rex Buck. His previous owner, was going away and had to get rid of her Rabbits. So, I saw his picture, he looked healthy, and we decided to buy him! However, as we are still very new to this, we are still learning what to look for, quality wise, in the Rabbits we get. So, we brought him home, and looked at him, compared to our other Buck and we just aren’t sure if we want to breed him for our Rabbitry. 

Like I stated previously, we are fairly new to this, and are still learning what to look for. We want the absolute best quality, considering we will be selling to people. He is a great tempered buck, nice coat of fur, but for a breeding buck we aren’t too sure, and that’s what we needed him for. He just doesn’t fit our personal standards, so far. In our Rabbitry, we got Rex Rabbits for being, versatile. He just doesn’t seem very versatile (as in being for meat rabbit and pelts, garden fertilizer, show rabbit, etc).

Tyrell.

With that being said, we have decided to try and re-home him, to someone who can get better use of him. With us, we need any room we can get and we cannot afford to have a buck who does not breed for us, currently. We are planning to do meat in the future, but not at this moment in time, as I know most people just cull the unwanted Rabbits they have. We just couldn’t with him, and not knowing really, where he came from at a year old now we didn’t feel comfortable, with that option. That is why we have chosen the route, of rehoming. 

We have yet to find him a home, but we sure hope someone pops up soon! because he sure is a great buck, and we need to get a new breeding buck soon, for our Rabbitry.

That is all the news, and updates for us right now. Wish it could have been more exciting, and had tiny little rabbit pictures, but its where we are with that! Was it hard for you, to distinguish the difference between true and false pregnancies, in your does when you first started out?