This blog post is long overdue but since I'm getting a lot of emails from breeders lately, here it goes!
We used to sell to breeders but due to many different reasons, we no longer will be effective April 2018. I'm not against breeding, I mean I am a breeder myself. I do believe if you breed any kind of animal, they should be apart of your family and not just stuck outside in a tiny cage and fed twice a day. If that's how you are raising you "pet" bunnies or any animal, shame.
There are several people who are interested in getting into breeding. We all have to start somewhere right? When I first started out I googled A TON of information and Facebook also has groups you can join that cover just about any topic you can think of! It's one of my favorite sources to use. There are several good books out there to help you understand rabbits from A-Z as well.
Some good books I've read are "Good Rabbitkeeping" by Sue Fox. This book covers a galore of information like the different rabbit breeds, diet and nutrition, behaviors, taming and training, and breeding. Another great book is "How To Raise Rabbits" by Samantha Johnson. This book goes a little deeper into breeding and what to expect when you have baby bunnies and how to care for your does when they are pregnant.
I am not the rabbitry for you beginner breeders to buy your bunnies from because I simply don't have the time to answer all the questions. You may think you just have one question for me but I hear this multiple times a day. It's not only you. I wrote this nice long email to a lady who was asking about breeding her buns and told her about all the groups to join and books to read and she responded to me that she just would rather ask me because I was a good source. I talk to between 50-100 people per day now and it's only increasing so I have to direct my business in a different direction. I want to spend my energy and time answering questions to past adoptees and for people who'd like to have rabbits as a companion. I have helpers that come to socialize with our buns but I am the only person that responds and meets all the families that contact us. This is a full time deal for me 7 days a week. I offer to all our families that adopt a bunny from us that they can contact us anytime with questions and as Blue Clover has grown tremendously in just this past year, I have to sort through what I can and can't do. I am only going to be answering emails from past families that have questions or possible future families that are interested in taking home one of our babies to be a companion. I try to keep the website packed with information for everyone to read up and have an understanding of what it takes to own and care for bunnies. If you ever have any questions (not breeding related), that you can't find on the website please contact me and ask away!
I will vent a little on here since it's my blog... I get messages from people that say " I put my boy bunny in with my girl bunny and they had babies, what do I do now?" These questions irritate the tar out of me and no offense, how irresponsible can you be? Before you put a boy bunny and girl bunny together, do some research. They will breed even if they are related! Rabbits don't have a heat cycle, their eggs drop down when they are bred. So they can get pregnant anytime. PLEASE please please don't breed at all if you haven't done the research and preparation it takes to care for a pregnant doe and baby bunnies. It's sad how many messages I get on instagram from people that say " I just bred my doe, now what?" You will not get a response from me. Now there are some exceptions such as families that buy two bunnies from a breeder that are both supposed to be the same gender and then a few months down the road they unexpectedly have babies! It happens more than you know and I understand that it's not your fault! My best advice is read up and google questions. Maybe join a group on Facebook where many people have the time to respond to your questions. Or better yet, hopefully you adopted from a responsible breeder and you can contact them and they can help you. Sorry to say this....but you get what you pay for. Search and read sales policies and read reviews before buying a pet. Just because a bunny is $5 and the ad on craigslist says they are friendly doesn't mean they have good and healthy breeding does and bucks. Ask to see pictures or ask to visit. Ask questions!! If they can't answer easy questions than that is a sign. STAY AWAY!
Anyone that adopts a bunny from us can contact us at anytime with any questions. If it is health related, I can only give advice based on my experiences. I am not a licensed vet so I can't tell you what to do but if I have experienced something similar I will give you advice on what I did and then always say if you have any doubts of their health at anytime, to take them to a vet. I get potty training questions, bonding questions, and I've even had to coach people on how to hold their bunnies properly. I am here for you for the entire life of the bunny and I will support you the best I can! So if you are a family that has adopted from us, please don't be afraid to ask any questions even if it seems silly. I want you to be comfortable and confident in raising your bunny/bunnies!
So back on track to the no selling to breeders thing... We raise our rabbits to be completely social with us. We not only bond with our baby bunnies, but ALL of our adults as well. They aren't just "breeding stock", these are my babies. I spend hours and hours every single day spending time with them, talking to them, picking them up, ect. When it's nice outside I have several pens I setup in the backyard. They get to run around and eat fresh grass and dandelions. Not only are they socialized with but they have an 1,800 sqft house all to themselves that I just remodeled! Talk about spoiled... I know it's a bit much but it's worth it to have happy healthy animals with free range space. I don't know the conditions or how other rabbitry's raise their bunnies and words and pictures can be deceiving. I want to believe all of you and it's not that I don't believe some of you, but I have had a few bad experiences where I almost cried on my way home from seeing these rabbitry's. I am not here to blast anyones name so I will never give names of who these people are. But I don't want one of my babies that I so delicately hand raised to go into a breeding program and just get fed twice a day and a head pat here and there. That's not a suitable life for a rabbit. Again, not all rabbitry's are like this!! There are some really great ones out there from what I can see from their website and reviews.
The other day I had a very disturbing conversation on the phone with "the biggest rabbitry in America". Again I don't give names so I won't say it on here. A girl that comes and helps with our buns told me about them so I thought I'd check them out. They had some really cool colors but as I kept scrolling down on their bunnies for sale page, it literally never ended. I thought to myself...it had to maybe not of been updated or maybe they had some employees that helped out. Then they had a video of their setup. It was tiny cages and it just kept going and going with what looked to be like hundreds of rabbits. As I looked through the litters I could see the color of the dam and sire and babies and some were genetically impossible to get. I know I don't know it all so I went to my genetics Facebook groups and asked on there from the pros. So anyway... I'm talking on the phone with the owner because I had some questions. He said they had 135 breeding holland lops. 135!! That's a lot. He said they breed 6-7 does per week. So I asked if he had employees or how it worked. He said it was just him and his mom or maybe he said step mom. The point is, it was two of them. He said some other people would come over and cover if they were out of town or what not. This is when my heart sank. I asked him if he socialized with the baby bunnies and he responded with "oh yeah every day". He said they had 400 rabbits for sale right now!! 400!! People let me tell you there is no way on Gods green Earth that two people are socializing with these 400 babies every day. I have anywhere between 10-35 babies per month and when we socialize with them we don't just pet them while we're walking by to feed them. They have a run in our living room where I sit in and hold each of them and snuggle and talk to them. EACH individually. I can tell the same colored ones apart, that's how close I am to them. There's no way two people are "socializing" with 400 bunnies per day. I also asked him what size their cages were. He said they were 18x30 up to 24x30. I'm not against cages, but I am against those size cages especially with no free range time. I asked if the rabbits ever got to go in pens outside or taken out of their cages. He hesitated and trying to find his words said..."well....yeah about every two to three weeks we let them out for a little bit". TWO TO THREE WEEKS?! My heart is breaking just writing this right now. I could tell by the way he answered that he was lieing or just really had no idea exactly how often the bunnies were let out. Lastly I asked him about genetics, pretending I didn't know much. I asked how he could of gotten a frosty colored baby from a blue tort and black otter. He said "throw everything you think you know about genetics away. I've been breeding for 11 years and have had impossible colors come from my breedings." Genetics don't lie and there are some crazy things that happen but either he doesn't know his colors or he couldn't remember who exactly he bred to who. Or maybe I'm just being rude but this conversation really bothered me. I told him I was interested in coming to see his setup this summer and he said they don't breed too much in Summer, mostly just for Easter and Christmas. HORRIBLE!! People if you ever talk to a breeder and the conversation is anything like what I am describing right now...run. Some people say that they are rescuing the poor bunnies from that mill but you aren't. You are giving them business which they keep increasing their breedings. Their bunnies started at $250 so if you do the math and they had 400 bunnies for Easter and 400 for Christmas, that's $200k per year. This ladies and gentleman is called a bunny mill. If you have a different opinion I respect that and maybe this blog isn't for you to read.
Wow that felt really good to get off my chest. I will not name the rabbitry or their names so do not ask. I've given enough information that if you ever came across their website you will know what i'm saying!
So due to one thing after another, I can't imagine one of my babies being sent to a place like that or being housed in a tiny cage and never let out. I did cut back a few months ago and was just selling to breeders I have a trusting relationship with but then came the floods of emails how it wasn't fair that certain people got a bunny from me but they couldn't have one. So I just decided to cut it all off completely and my mind is made up. I still have people emailing me telling me they take good care of their bunnies and they are apart of their family as well. They are pleading to have one of our babies still. All I have to say is good! Keep up the good work and give breeders a better name! There are no more exceptions. We are selling to pet homes only and I would appreciate if everyone could respect my change in direction! I love seeing all the great things on instagram with certain rabbitry's and it fills my heart with joy! So keep up the good work and never stop improving your rabbitry, not for money's sake but to better the care you provide for your fur babies!