Karen Patry, who has owned and operated Angora Rex Rabbit Ranch in Port Angeles, Wash., for years, has got you covered, whether you’re interested in feeding a family on rabbit meat or want to know what kind of breed to buy for a class pet.
As the webmaster of raising-rabbits.com, Patry has also spent years answering people’s dwarf, Flemish, foot-thumping, cardboard-chewing queries: What breed should you get if you’re raising meat rabbits? Why do false pregnancies occur? How do you shear a rabbit? What toys do they like?
The book is smartly laid out, organized in Q&A format with general information at the beginning, then specific chapters on breeding, housing, diseases and injuries. Most of the information is useful on a small or large scale, and the ethics of breeding and raising meat animals are discussed at length – for instance, Patry reminds us it’s “highly unethical” to breed animals with malocclusion, or teeth that grow incorrectly and cause pain and discomfort, sometimes cutting through a rabbit’s cheek.
The chapters on health go into great detail – there are sections on respiratory diseases, infections and intestinal issues, and instructions on how to take a rabbit’s temperature, identify mites and administer medicine.
What’s lacking are instructions on butchering – The Rabbit-Raising Problem Solver is concerned with keeping the animals alive and healthy, so if you’re planning on raising meat animals, you’ll need a supplementary guide for that part. But if you’re considering adding a bright-eyed, bushy-tailed companion to your home or farm, this book is well-worth a cover-to-cover read.
The Rabbit-Raising Problem Solver: Your Questions Answered about Housing, Feeding, Behavior, Health Care, Breeding, and Kindling
by Karen Patry
328 pages. Storey Publishing. May 6, 2014