My mother has been raising rabbits professionally on a national level since I was about two years old, and I am constantly surprised by the amount of pointless information I have accumulated throughout that time regarding the little fuzz balls; not of my own choosing mind you. While I did take 4-H as a child, winning a number of awards for my own rabbit stock, I guess it should be no coincidence that I know a thing or two about them. Yet, despite fully understanding the reality of what it means to raise rabbits professionally, I am still occasionally disheartened when I see the less perfect go off to slaughter.
Saturday tends to be the prime time for us to take a car-load of rabbits to the Hillsdale Auction; a weekly ‘catch-all’ sale held at the fairgrounds in Hillsdale, MI. Though mostly popular with the stereotypical hillbillies and rednecks, it has become the target location for us to remove unnecessary rabbits from our possession in a legal manner. Like any auction, those interested in purchasing our goods, in this case rabbits, can place cash bids; and the highest bidder wins. We walk away with cash in hand, and they walk away with snake food, dog food, and/or pet store inventory.
Depending on the time of the year, we tend to take around 15-30 rabbits per trip. While this may seem like a high number when discussing the quantities of rabbits, bear in mind that the stock within our possession is probably around 150 rabbits in total. I do remember a couple of incidences as a kid when we had around 250-275 altogether; though fortunately that has slowed down considerably since we moved.
As I get older though, I am finding myself thinking about the fate of the rabbits within our possession more and more, especially when my parents become unable to care for them all. Right now everything is structured like a well-oiled machine, but that isn’t going to be the case forever. My mother is currently ranked #1 in the nation for Chinchilla Dutch, so I can only imagine how difficult it is going to be when the inevitable release from that title comes into play. When so much of our life is intertwined with that which we love; whether it is cars, collectibles, art, or rabbits, removing that deep-rooted bond can be earthshattering.