A year ago this month, I brought home these two girls, innocently enough, to gather a little luxury fiber for my spinning and knitting. In that year I've added 2 more Angoras, and 3 Mini Rex for a total of 7 rabbits.....plus a chicken! 'And I'm not even breeding them! (dang! Those baby coats look good on those girls!)
I would love to breed a couple of my rabbits, but really had a pang of fear and dread put in me recently when reading on one of the Yahoo Groups that a "cull buyer" was planning to attend an upcoming show. I had never heard that term before. That's even worse than knowing the extras go in the freezer. "Cull buyer" - it sounds positively Dickensian.
The reality is you can always breed more animals - rabbits, in my case - than you can reasonably sell, and the future for the extras is grim - pet stores, food for snakes (the mini rex), etc. - something I just will not do. I found out this week that spaying and neutering rabbits at the local 'exotic' Vet runs $298, per bun, before pain meds. So......I won't be doing that anytime soon, either.
It's got to be a very difficult balance for those who breed livestock - to breed enough to develop the characteristics / wool / fliber, etc. that you want, while not creating so many you have to harden your heart and mind to the consequences of what happens to the unwanted ones.
A downer post. Sorry, but it is one of those hard things the farmer has to think about, whether they are farming in the rural, suburban, or urban setting.