Friday, April 24, 2009

Colony raising, anyone?

It's a beautiful spring day and the warmer weather started me thinking again about colony raising. There is an extensive section in How to Raise Rabbits that is dedicated to the pros and cons of colony raising. Rabbits do enjoy being outdoors and they love having the opportunity to move about, run, play, jump, and dig. The above photo shows one of my Dutch does, "Sofie"; she particularly enjoyed her adventures outdoors in her fenced-in exercise area. It's fascinating to watch the natural instincts and behaviors of domestic rabbits playing outdoors. The digging was especially entertaining to watch---the dirt was flying as she burrowed into the sod. At one point, a large crow flew overhead and Sofie immediately flattened herself against the ground, trying to make herself invisible to the bird.
So while I have not yet attempted any type of "full-blown" colony raising, I do see the benefits of occasional opportunities for rabbits to enjoy the outdoors and do the things that they would in a more natural setting. But I sleep much better at night knowing that they are safe in their hutches in the rabbitry. :-)

Friday, April 17, 2009

Welcome to How to Raise Rabbits!

For the very first post on this brand new blog, I suppose it would be apropos to write something by way of a brief introduction. If you've already read How To Raise Rabbits, you know that it is a brand-new 192-page book, published by Voyageur Press and written by Samantha Johnson (that would be me). The book is filled with full-color photographs by Daniel Johnson (my talented pro-photographer brother) and covers all topics related to rabbit raising. If you haven't yet seen How To Raise Rabbits, then you'll become acquainted with the book as you browse the blog and keep up with the future posts.

HTRRabbits is my second book on rabbits. The first, The Field Guide to Rabbits (Voyageur Press, 2008) is a full-color guide that is designed as an introduction to the 47 rabbit breeds currently recognized by the American Rabbit Breeders Association (ARBA). I am also the co-author of How To Raise Horses and Horse Breeds: 65 Popular Horse, Pony, and Draft Horse Breeds, and I have written articles for several magazines including Hobby Farm Home, Out Here, Rabbits USA, Pony Enthusiast, and Welsh in Canada. In addition to freelance writing, I raise Welsh Mountain Ponies and Holland Lop and Dutch rabbits. I'm also a horse show judge, and am certified with the Wisconsin State Horse Council and the Welsh Pony and Cob Society of America.

I hope you'll check back here from time to time, as this blog will feature updated information on HTRRabbits but also on topics related to raising rabbits, from breeds and showing to colors and care. Enjoy!