Canticle Farm Rabbits
Rabbit are a new venture at the Farm. Our tween daughter has wanted them for years, but we resisted fearing that she wouldn't really have the commitment level to stick with it. When we finally gave in she surprised us by sitting down and researching rabbit breeds that were best for homesteading and landed on Silver Fox rabbits. We began to look for these beautiful rabbits and had little to no luck. There were no breeders that we could find in our area, and we really wanted to buy from reputable breeders in the south in the hopes of finding rabbits that were more acclimated to the heat. It took about a year to find a breeder with stock for sale. Meanwhile the daughter was building up her rabbit fund and learning about rabbit care. Our farm mentor surprised us again with a heirloom rabbit hutch and some other great cages that were surprisingly just the right size for these big bunnies. Finally it was off to a somewhat local rabbit show to meet the breeder and get hands-on with Silver Fox rabbits. As a breed, Silver Fox are very interesting rabbits. They were bred in the United States in the 1920's to be a dual purpose breed, both meat and fur, and their fur mimics fox fur both in texture and in the way it stands up when you brush it up and won't fall back until you smooth it with your hand again. They are very large rabbits with bucks weighing in at 9-12 lbs and does averaging 10-12 lbs. They are very docile and friendly and the does are great mothers raising large litters with plenty of milk and a willingness to foster. The Livestock Conservancy lists Silver Fox as a "threatened" breed which they define as fewer than 1000 individuals estimated globally.
Our rabbits have become quite the useful edition around the farm. Their manure is super rich in minerals and nitrogen, yet is not "hot" so it can go straight on plants or in the soil without burning anything. They also love to mow the grass growing between our garden rows, and look super cute! We may occasionally have a few individuals available for sale. All our rabbits are purebred, but we will not sell animals with pedigree unless they meet the Silver Fox standard of perfection (SOP) and we will not sell kits before they are 8 weeks old.