This has been one of the busiest summers I can remember. 

In August we took a trip to Utah as a family, and when we got home my parents came to visit from Texas. In September, I flew to Oklahoma so that a good friend and I could drive together to Tennessee for a homeschool conference. After being away from my family and responsibilities for a week, the weight of those responsibilities really hit me when I got home.

A beautiful sunset I got to enjoy on my ferry ride home.

I tend to beat myself up for not doing enough, but I was quickly overwhelmed by my workload and realized that I do A LOT. Is all of it necessary? Or even productive? Nope. For example: is it necessary for me to have nine breeder rabbits and five litters at once to feed my family of five? 


All those extra rabbits are fun, but definitely more work than I need right now. Granted, I only bred so many rabbits so I could sell them to a cull buyer, but he retired right before my rabbits got to weight. So I'm now stuck with 38 rabbits that I never intended to keep or butcher myself.

Drowning in rabbits has definitely been stressful, but it's also been a learning experience. I've had to get comfortable using more efficient methods of dispatching that I never thought I could handle. And I've gotten a lot faster at processing my rabbits, because I've had to process so many. 

Most importantly, I've realized that I need to keep my rabbitry small. Two bucks and three does are able to produce more than enough meat for my family. There's no reason for me to keep more and create more work for myself.

Here's Jasmine, my tricolor rex doe.

Thankfully, I've got a friend nearby who was willing to take four of my breeders for me. Now I'm down to my goal of two bucks and three does, but I've still got 25 grow outs that I need to cull...

I decided to keep the rabbits that served my breeding program best. Rabbits who are low maintenance, have good type, and are lighter in color (because I hate seeing black fur all over my meat). That means I'll no longer be breeding purebred black silver foxes or rex rabbits. 

My current breeders are Luna (a blue silver fox doe - for her size, type, and temperament), Jasmine (a tricolor rex doe - for her type, heat tolerance, and coloring), Chuck (a chestnut New Zealand/Silver Fox cross buck - for his type, temperament, and heat tolerance), and Chaos (a tricolored mini lop buck - for his type and coloring). I'll be choosing my final doe from one of my current Silver Fox/Rex cross litters. 

This is Chuck, my New Zealand/Silver Fox cross buck.

I loved my purebred rex buns, but their nails grow much faster than my other rabbits, and their feet are more sensitive. I couldn't stand them getting sore hocks and dealing with long nails because I couldn't get out there enough to properly care for them. I especially loved Bandit, my black silver fox buck - but I'm just not a fan of having black fur stick to my meat, so it didn't make sense for me to keep breeding him.

From now on, I'll only be breeding a few hardy "meat mutts". I will breed mainly for temperament, type, disease resistance, and heat tolerance (but I'll be shooting for some fun colors too!).

All that to say: Downsizing has been hard, but also a huge relief. Once I get all my grow outs taken care of, I'm taking a nice long break from breeding. It will be nice to be able to focus more of my attention where it belongs - with my family!

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