Episode 413 S15-18
Virgis Ch 18
Discover the benefits and trials of raising rabbits with Survivor Jane. Continue the adventure with Chapter 18 of the novel Virgis.
Survivor Jane raises a rabbit breed called Champagne d’Argent, the “color-changing rabbit.” Jane has found that these bunnies tend to be more docile and grow to be large animals that provide plenty of meat. They are born black and turn silver over time.
Jane started her bunny-raising experience, the same as most homesteaders, including myself. She bought metal cages, stacked them two rows high, and created a system to harvest their poo. Their droppings are incredibly beneficial to any garden. Unfortunately, she found out, like all of us do, that their urine is very corrosive and eats everything metal.
Jane’s philosophy is that anything you have on the homestead should be easy to care for and work for you. This traditional method of raising rabbits was not working. Having heard the rumors that rabbits would kill each other if allowed to live together, she decided to risk it and grow her bunnies in a colony format. Guess what? They don’t kill each other, and they thrive as a colony!
The bunnies live in a shed. Cut in half, five-gallon buckets with holes drilled in them to let out urine are attached to the wall for nesting boxes. The momma rabbits ensure the babies stay there until they are ready to come out. The males and females live together without issue. She doesn’t know how many males or females she has or the ratio because there is no reason to worry about it!
Jane uses dog waterers with gallon jugs on top to ensure they have water and feeders like a trough attached to the wall. Rabbits eat most leafy greens and vegetables. You don’t have to rely on pellets. You can feed them grass clippings from the yard or grow sprouts to feed them.
The shed has a kitty door where the rabbits can go out into an outside yard during the day. They dig profusely. You need to know that, but they should have ample space to hop around. Jane was concerned about airborne predators, so she suggested a cover. Vines grew above her pen, which worked great to hide the bunnies from airborne predators while providing shade.
Jane’s husband, Rick, harvests the rabbits at about three months old. Rabbit is like chicken. It takes on whatever flavor you want to impart into it. It can be tough and doesn’t have fat. If you want to make bunny burgers, you will need to add some pork fat. However, if you marinate it well, you can put rabbit meat into almost any recipe. If you put it in the slow cooker or Insta-pot, you will have a delectable dinner.
The Changing Earth Series
Like so many women, Jane was a self-professed "oblivious-to-what-was-going-on-around-me" city girl. She was clueless about politics, the economy and the ever changing weather patterns around her.
It wasn't until she personally experienced a life-threatening assault at gun-point, live through several violent hurricanes, and watched as her 401k dwindled down next to nothing that her eyes began to open to what was going on around her.
In 2008 she took a huge leap of faith - quit her corporate job, sold her home for next to nothing, cash-in my 401k which was even more next to nothing - and moved to Western North Carolina to learn to live a more self-sustaining and self-reliant lifestyle.
Giving up the life of eating at different restaurants each night and having her nails and hair done every two weeks - she began to research how to prepare for uncertain times and still retain her "girlie-ness". While searching preparedness web sites she noticed that most were "male-oriented". Frustrated at the need to research a word, phrase or term that she didn't understand each time she went on one of these sites, it began to dawn on her that the reason she didn't understand these sites was because a lot of them were written by men, and as we all know, men and women speak a different language and therefore process information differently.
Jane decided then and there to make it her mission to educate others; with an emphasis on women, on how to better prepare themselves by creating the website SurvivorJane.com - writing on a multitude of topics dealing with disaster survival and preparedness; while interjecting bits and pieces of humor on personal experiences, discoveries and her journey along the way.
SurvivorJane.com also reaches preparedness-minded men who may have just begun their preparedness journey, or have sent the women in their lives, albeit, girl-friend, wife, daughters, mother, aunts or grandmothers to the site and in the process was also helped to better understand preparedness from a women's perspective.
As an additional outreach, Jane uses social media networks. She is the creator of the internationally recognized hashtag #PrepperTalk on Twitter that brings preparedness-minded people from all over the world together to discuss preparedness ideas, suggestions and information with one another. It is currently the Largest Prepper Community on Twitter.
Jane has been featured on National Geographic Channel's Doomsday Preppers (Season Four) and in Newsweek Special Edition Off-Grid, Prepper and Shooter Magazine, Prepared Magazine. She is a contributing writer to National Geographic Channel's Doomsday Preppers BlogTV.
"Where There Is No Cosmetic Counter" and it's 1st Revision: "Emergency/Survival Hygiene" were written out of a need to bring more awareness to one of the most overlooked areas in Preparedness: "Personal Hygiene" by showing easy ways to make survival personal hygiene products. After all, infectious diseases are the number one cause of death worldwide.
In her book "What Could Possibly Go Wrong: How To Go From Completely Clueless to Totally Prepared" she "talks to the reader" in easy to understand language about her personal experiences and what she has learned could go wrong around us and how we can better prepare ourselves and family for these uncertain times.