“It was Greek to me!”
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Last time I posted (hehe – 5 weeks ago… Sorry folks, apprentice life is pretty busy…) I started talking about rabbits… Since then I have become entirely in charge of the rabbit operation and enjoy it more every day…

I know you’re saying “That’s great, but that doesn’t tell me any more about the rabbits or how you care for them…”

Never fear, today I’m hoping to translate some record keeping language… When I first started learning about the rabbits I felt a lot like Casca in Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar: “It was Greek to me…” ! All of the rabbit cages have number tags hanging on them… Some tags have a simple number. Some have a number and a “B”. Some have “B” and a number…

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SO MANY NUMBERS… SO MANY TAGS…

What do they all mean???

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After I found out what they all mean, it makes so much sense… It’s so simple! Numbers like “B6” denote a buck…

Numbers like “40b” denote “bunny” groups. These “b numbers” are given to a group at the time of weaning – 6 weeks.  These groups will grow for another 6 weeks without their mother. At the end of that time, I’ll decide whether or not to save new does or bucks for future breeding…

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A simple number tag denotes a breeding doe.  These tags are given as soon as a young doe has been bred.

With the warmer weather lately, I’ve even been able to get our hare-pens up and running! It’s so nice to see the young bunnies enjoying the fresh grass every morning after they’re moved to a new patch… Between 7 and 8 weeks they’re old enough (and big enough) to go into these shelters. If they’re too small, bunnies are really good at squeezing through the slatted floor. 🙂  They’ll stay in these harepens until they’re 12 weeks old…

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So there you go… Now, when you visit Polyface, you’ll be able to walk into our Racken house and know what all of the tags mean on the rabbit cages! You’ll also see several hare-pens in various locations around the farm and smile – knowing that these rabbits are truly living life to it’s fullest! 🙂

 

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About Hannah Hale

Hannah hails from McComb, Mississippi, where she farmed with her parents and three sisters. Home-schooled all her life, she grew up helping her grandfather on his Black Angus farm and working with her family to raise dairy goats, laying hens, and bees. Her love for animals blossomed through her involvement in 4-H and cattle showing. Hannah discovered Polyface through a lecture by Joel, and while reading his book You Can Farm, she realized that her life-long dream of farming could become a reality. The summer of 2013 saw Hannah a Polyface intern, and she was subsequently chosen to become an apprentice. Now married, Hannah helps her husband as they work as Polyface rental-farm managers. She is thrilled to have the opportunity to be part of the Polyface team and learn from the best. In the future, Hannah wants to farm full-time and keep Jesus central in her life.
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5 Responses to “It was Greek to me!”

  1. Karen P says:

    Very cool post, Hannah. It’s a great system of record-keeping. Plus I appreciate the close-up shots inside the ‘harepens,’ and recommend the slatted floor construction. I suspect it may reduce incidence of parasites in the weanlings. –Karen

  2. Looks like fun! We have a batch of bunnies (I call them bun-buns) out on pasture (our backyard) right now. Totally got the idea from Polyface 😉 Thanks for sharing! We are homeschooling our two children and it’s great to hear from homeschool graduates!

  3. Hi Hannah

    I am a recent convert to the Salatin way of framing. We are working on a Chicken broiler design and want to start a rabbit tractor as well.

    What design do you recommend?… (the one that goes on the grass and move every day or so) Maybe you can post some photographs of the ones you use. In exchange I will share with you my design plans based on the images. Used an iPad app called Woodcraft to design a 12′ x 12′ chicken tractor and will do the same the rabbit tractor.

    Also what book or reference do you recommend for raising rabbits the “Salatin” way.
    What bread of rabbits do you use? I heard Joel mentioned (in video) that Daniel has bread them over years to be good pasture rabbits.
    Any possibility to buy a pair of breading rabbits from you guys?

    Also would be cool if you can refer me to the person who takes care of the chicken broilers at Poly Face Farms. Maybe they post in forums like this and I could ask some questions that might come up. I need less help there as we have raised them before but not in the chicken tractors. Only in a fixed enclosure with no grass whatsoever.

  4. Kristin says:

    Hey Hannah! Thanks for sharing about the bunnies. Would the rabbits get out of a regular chicken tractor? Is that why you use the slats on the bottom?

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