Hobby Turned Business for Cherokee Flats Rabbitry
A family in Farmer City enjoys rabbits so much, they turned it into a business. They breed and sell rabbits for food, pets and competition.
"They're fluffy and cute and snuggly," said Crystal Smith, Co-Owner of Cherokee Flats.
Smith spent her childhood raising rabbits. In 2004, when her son decided to join 4-H, she knew just the project for him to take on.
"I was like bunnies, mommy can do that. So we went ahead and got rabbits," Smith said.
The smith family started with four rabbits and now...
"Probably 25 give or take with babies coming up," Smith said.
What started as a 4-H project, is now a business, Cherokee Flats. They sell meat breed rabbits as well as various breeds to sell as pets. "Currently we have New Zealand red and white. We have Satins in chocolate and black and broken. I've got my English Spots over here. And we have Mini Lops," Smith said.
The work to take care of the rabbits, starts in the morning.
"Feed, watering and of course winter is a booger because the waters freeze so you have to take all these bottles in, thaw them out, put fresh water in and bring them back out and you do that a couple of times a day," said Smith.
In the morning, the rabbits are given oats to eat.
"As filler feed. It's kind of easy on our feed bill, but it's also good for them. It puts healthy weight on them and they love them," Smith said.
At night, the rabbits eat pellets, but besides feeding, watering and cleaning cages, smith says rabbits don't require much else.
"They don't require shots like dogs and cats do so that kind of saves you some money. They are a caged animal so spaying and neutering, while it is good to do with cats and dogs, we don't require it or recommend it for rabbits. They usually don't handle anesthesia that well," said Smith.
While Smith says rabbits make excellent pets, they are a responsibility. "We try not to sell any birthday bunnies, Christmas bunnies, Easter bunnies unless that family has proven to us that they've had animals before," Smith said.
These rabbits give the Smith family a reason to spend time together.
"When things get rough we come out here and we play with the bunnies and we look forward to the new litters coming."
Those new litters are coming in January.
In farmer city, lindsey hess, abc news channel 20/15.
Wednesday, April 23 2014, 10:23 AM CDT