2015 GRIT's Guide to Backyard Rabbits 

2015 GRIT's Guide to Backyard RabbitsAre you considering adding livestock to your homeplace? You may be looking at chickens, but why not take a closer look at rabbits.

Yes, rabbits, for meat, for the manure to help your garden grow, and for the fur to work with in fiber art and crafts. Or you could have a youngster in 4-H who would like to show the lagomorphs. Where do you start?

You start with the fourth edition of GRIT's Guide to Backyard Rabbits. The 2015 issue includes articles on raising rabbits, selecting heritage breeds for meat or show, creating homes and equipment for your rabbits, feeding and breeding advice, living with wild rabbits in your garden, and calming and showing your pets.

Pick up a copy of the 2015 GRIT's Guide to Backyard Rabbits, learn more about the creatures you hope to add to your homestead, and discover an unusual, yet practical, breed of animals to populate your backyard.

Find the issue on the newsstand, or click here to order a copy for your home.

rabbit | Lynn Stone

Raising Rabbits for Meat and Breeding Stock

An experienced rabbit owner offers her take on raising the furry critters, and provides details on why rabbit meat is good for us, how to select the best stock, and which type of rabbit is the best for whatever purpose. Callene Rapp also takes a look at housing, breeding and births, and what to do with the bounty. Rapp and her husband, Eric, are the owners/operators of The Rare Hare Barn in Kansas, home to a host of livestock rare breeds.

Learn more.

Keep a clean hutch for happy, stress-free rabbits | iStockphoto.com/Lya Cattel

rabbit breeds | courtesy Voyageur Press

An Introduction to Rabbit Breeds

In an excerpt from their book, How to Raise Rabbits, authors and experienced rabbit owners Samantha and Daniel Johnson give the reader a tour of the most popular rabbit breeds and what to expect when looking for the breed that is perfect for your homestead.

Are you looking for a breed to win prizes on the show circuit? Are you looking to raise and breed rabbits, with a particular color or type in mind? Or are you just starting out and looking for an all-around guide to give you a good overview on the animals and what to look for?

The chapter looks at 47 breeds, all recognized by the American Rabbit Breeders Association, and includes information on sizes, shapes, fur types and colors. All as a way to help you navigate the various breeds of rabbits. Take a look!

Jersey Wooly | courtesy The Livestock Conservancy  Polish | courtesy Voyageur Press

Left to right, Jersey Wooly, Polish

DIY Rabbit Homes and Equipment

You’ve decided to raise rabbits, and you’ve selected a breed and perhaps a breeder from whom you plan to purchase stock. But wait. You need to think about housing before you bring home those furry pairs.

Managing Editor Caleb Regan takes a closer look at wire rabbit cages. What do you need in a rabbit hutch? Will you need a frame? Do you want a row of hutches or are you planning to stack them?

Adapting plans from Storey’s Guide to Raising Rabbits by Bob Bennett, Regan offers materials lists and detailed directions to create a wire cage, a hutch frame, a rabbit shed, and a waterer. Once you have the hutches in place, it’s time to bring those wonderful rabbits home.

Click for the book or for the ebook plans.

How large to make a rabbit hutch? | Fotolia/dzain

Rabbit homes | illustration by Nate Skow

loving rabbits | Caitlin Carpenter  loving rabbits | Caitlin Carpenter

How to Love a Rabbit

GRIT Blogger Cait Carpenter really loves her rabbits. She writes instructions for you to do the same, offers her advice on selecting a rabbit for the youngster who wants to get into 4-H, and explains why she chooses to raise rare breeds of rabbits.

Her posts are chock full of wonderful tips, clever and humorous phrasing and cute photos of bunnies from her own backyard.

Check out How to Love a Rabbit; Choosing a 4-H Rabbit; and Why I Raise Rare Rabbits. You’ll be glad you did.

nibbling | iStockphoto.com/Stephen Muskie

Rabbits in the Garden

Shannon Saia asks an age-old question: What do I do about the rabbits in my garden?

Dealing with wild rabbits – those that want to eat everything in sight and everything you’ve planted – is a difficulty many gardeners face every growing season.

How to grow enough produce for her family while dealing with the marauders is a tale Saia offers up with humor and graceful acceptance of the inevitable.

Rabbits in the garden | iStockphoto.com/Lachlan Currie

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