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"The righteous man regards the life of his animal." ~Proverbs 12:10
In the 4Shoes Rabbit Hutch
Why Eat Rabbit?
Farm raised rabbit is a healthy & delicious alternative to grocery store meat of any variety. Rabbit is a low calorie, low sodium, lean white meat high in digestible protein; it has a mild flavour (similar to chicken) with a high calcium content & almost no cholesterol, making it the ideal protein for heart health or weight loss & maintenance diet!
We raise a sturdy, medium size Rex breed that is also well suited to life as a pet.
Happy animals are our first priority.
Our rabbits are housed in large hutches with 6 separate compartments so that the bunnies may spread out & enjoy. We feed pellets in the morning, sweet green hay @ night, & occasional treats. In nice weather (even in winter) the bunnies also enjoy playing in the sunshine in a large outdoor pen where they can do a little leaping, a little twisting, a little running & jumping, a little digging, a little nibbling, & a little relaxing.
4Shoes Floki is the chief buck in charge & at large. He's a handsome broken red buck; bold & strong, he likes to explore & hop around loose as much as possible.
Floki has every quality we want to pass along.
Red is a sable colour doe with a sweet & cuddly temperament, who loves sunflower seeds.
Red's first litter was a healthy NINE kits! She was such a good & attentive mother that ALL 9 have survived & thrived.
Siggy is a striking solid black doe who has strong opinions - no nestbox. Ever! Siggy builds & maintains her own nests wherever she pleases. She is a very good mother, but she's happy for the kits to move out of her hutch once they are weaned too.
MaryJane (called just EmJ) is a broken blue doe with a black stripe up her nose. EmJ is a great dam (who also declines a nestbox) who doesn't mind all her kits constant commotion after weaning.
EmJ & Siggy like to share a large double hutch during the winter rest.
Manic MinPin tentatively tastes lovingly grooms little Frost. He is a lightly coloured broken blue buck who made a surprise entrance to the world after Papa Floki made a literally! 3 second visit into EmJ's hutch while it was being cleaned.
Frost got a jump on Spring.
4Shoes Chops & Bacon
Happy hogs make better eating!
Our pigs are raised organically without added hormones. They live outdoors in a large grassy enclosure where they root to their heart's content, wallow in their mudhole when it's hot, & nap inside their luxurious Porker Palace whenever the mood strikes them.
Q: What do you call a pig driving a car?
Did you know that pork is just as lean as chicken meat?
Pork is also an excellent source of Vitamins B6 & B12 & many other nutritional building blocks that our bodies require. True story-Click here. Put some pork on your fork!
4Shoes Steak & Eggs
Where's the BEEF(?) Miniature Herefords.
We chose Miniature Herefords for their reportedly (*we'll get back to you on the accuracy of these statements) high dress out % (as much as 70% compared to roughly 45%), their excellent feed conversion rate, & their smaller ecological footprint. Mini's boast all the same qualities of regular sized Herefords but (because of their small stature) eat a little less than 1/2 as much food while doing less damage to pastures & fences. In the summertime, 4Shoes beef grows fat out in large pastures ringed by large shelter-belts of mature trees. Winters are spent closer to the barnyard where they vaccuum up hay, give you the coweyes till you pour the grain, & then they'd rather you just f-off. They have shelters & we can keep an eye on them right from the house as they chew their cuds; which also means we can see all the mess those short-legged crap machines leave everywhere. Literally.
'Crispin' is an Olde English word for 'Shoemaker'; fun fact that won't win you any money (unless you are DEEP into competitive Trivial Pursuit).
Crowing about the Coop.
Does it even make sense for a bird-shy farm wife to try chickens at all? Will the desire to eat homegrown eggs outweigh my trepidation in the face of The Borg Chicken Collective? Only time will tell.
The 4Shoes first foray into the world of birds is a real toe-dipper of a deal; 2 or 3 older hens still regularly laying. Sound pretty tame?
It could still get hairy.
*Update: May 28
The henhouse is now occupied by 3 old white biddies! After snapping this photo, the condo was moved (kit & kaboodle!) inside of a large grassy chicken yard with a big dust bath & plenty of both sunshine & shade.
The lucky mother cluckers are (l to r) Dorianne, Ed L., & Cara; the old girls wasted no time, settling down to business within an hour of moving in!
*Update: Dec 8
Dorianne, Ed, & Cara all recently went peacefully to the henhouse in the sky. They were 3.5 years old & had produced well into their final days. Because of these 3 old biddies & the scrumptious eggs they provided, we will have laying hens every year.
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