The Diva’s connection with Champagne D’Argent rabbits, begin just after “buying the farm.” We parked in the driveway of our Twenty-Eight acres of heaven, during the floods the week of July 26, 2006. The rain stopped, the sun came out, and a rainbow appeared. After looking at the ceilings in the house and the basement and finding them to be as dry as a bone, we were sure The Maker of All Things intended the farm for our use, and we put in an offer.
We wanted to start learning about the animals we had decided upon for the farm. Since sheep, pheasants, geese, and honey bees couldn’t fit where we were living at the time we decided on having a few Champagne D’Argent rabbits that we purchased from Rabbit Breeder, Ed Hildebrand in PA. The MWM wanted to go French with all of the animals – so, Fifi and François were our first trial rabbits. We had two huge cages set up for both of them that took up most of our metropolitan living room.
I was not too keen on having the lagomorphs until we actually moved to the farm, and preferred the idea of reading about what we wanted to do via the books she began piecing together for a huge “self-sufficient living” library. The MWM wanted to experience the real thing – there was no putting him off.
I rationalized to myself, “How noisy could a couple of rabbits be anyway?”
The rabbits moved in. I cried in bed every night. I loved the rabbits but their cages were right against our bedroom wall, and I didn’t get a lick of sleep. It was like living next to punk rockers in cages slamming into garbage pails. The MWM smiled and said “They like the night life baby.”
The Diva did not find that comment funny. The rabbits were nocturnal, not me.
Later, we settled on moving the now four rabbit cages and their occupants to our kitchen/dinette area. This was much further away from our bedroom, and against a solid outside wall. Pierre and Paris had joined the gang bringing our total to four adult Champagne D’Argent rabbits, plus “babies.” Remember folks – this is a 500-square-foot residence. My kitchen was now basically null and void. Each time the oven door creaked, the rabbits looked at me as if to say, “It’s not rabbit tonight, is it?” I felt guilt-ridden and was considering turning vegetarian.
Like I said, I LOVE the MWM very much – So we ate out a lot in NJ.
I cleaned my kitchen sometimes twice a day. The MWM cleaned the cages every day – house rule. It was like a spotless laboratory – most of the time. We even involved our neighbor upstate who lives about 2000 feet away from our farm. He has two rabbits who we bought from our original breeder, but from different blood lines.
We were hoping that by the time we moved, we could breed ours with his and begin to really increase “the herd” as the MWM referred to them in the barn at our farm where they will live – not in the house!
We are fixing up, painting, and looking at redesigning one side of our barn right now – figuring how many rabbits we can fit. Once at the farm, I will visit the little cuties outside every day with their pine-cone treats and will hopefully sleep well at night.
The plans have changed somewhat on the NJ end of things – we had an unexpected move where the rabbits were not welcome. The Diva must say that she is relieved; they have been transferred to a newly built cabana at the MWM’s mother’s home just over the border from NJ in NYS. Part II of my Champagne D’Argent Rabbit blog will focus more on the construction of this Cabana and the beginning of our meat rabbit operation.
Our Central New York property has room barn expansion and also came with two ponds that the beavers think they own. We are in the midst of negotiations with the beavers.
Each time I visit I dream of gardening, the animals, fixing up the house and the barn, even the beavers, and just plain and simple happiness that will be our future security. Sure, the winters are bad – but the Diva can’t resist enjoying a good book in front of a roaring woodstove and watching the snow fall outside her picture window. Just remind me I said that two months from now, huh?
More about Champagne D’Argent Rabbits, and how we intend to include them in our small farming dream next week. Life is good; be well.
Muck Boot Diva
Sit in on dozens of practical workshops from the leading authorities on modern homesteading, animal husbandry, gardening, real food and more!LEARN MORE