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Pastured Rabbits

Free-Range Ducks & Geese

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Last modified on February 28, 2021.

2006-2021 by Mary-Frances Bartels. All rights reserved

Who Are We?

Rudolph's Rabbit Ranch and Waterfowl Farm is the name given to our family's "microfarm" in central Ohio. Its humble beginnings were on a small suburban lot near Denver, Colorado. The year was 1994, and the Bartels family desired to replace some commercially-raised meat with a more wholesome alternative in our diet. Our foundation breeding stock consisted of four rabbits --- three does and a buck. Fast-forward ten years when the family was able to fulfill a long-time dream of having a house with some land. We headed east to the small hamlet of Centerburg, Ohio. Wanting to increase the family's consumption of healthful protein even more, we added three Brown Chinese geese and 16 Khaki Campbell ducks --- chief egg-laying breeds within their respective species. In 2006 the "ranch" expanded by adding a few more Brown Chinese geese, about 30 Welsh Harlequin and Golden Cascade ducks. In 2009 we added a handful Indian Runner ducks. In 2010 we added  15 Golden 300 hybrid layer ducks.  Though our duck breed mix varies, we tred to maintain a flock of at least 30 laying ducks and seven laying geese.  Several males are on hand so we can offer hatching eggs. We have three breeding rabbit does and one buck.

One endeavour we tried for a couple years involved raising goats for both meat and milk. We started with two Nubian wethers for meat in 2007. The next year we purchased two half-Kiko/half-Nubian does. One was already bred and we kept one of her twins, a fawn doe, for breeding. In November and December 2008 all three does were bred to a Kiko buck for spring 2009 kiddings. Kikos are a rare, but hardy, breed from New Zealand.  We have since gotten out of raising goats full time. At some time in the future we may return to having brush goats during the growing season.

Around 2015 we started raising a limited supply of Christmas geese and the next year added layer chickens.

For 2021 we plan to raise several broilers (chickens), pekin ducks, and a few turkeys for meat.

Please note: In 2020 for a number of reasons we cut way back on the animals that we keep, focusing more on our original purpose of providing meat and eggs for our family.

Who knows what we will try next?

Want to know what we're doing now? Check us out on Facebook.

Rudolph's Rabbit Ranch & Waterfowl Farm

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Our Animals

When it comes to caring for animals, our top priority is their welfare. We provide roomy accommodations, protection from inclement weather, fresh air and water, clean feed, sunshine, and lots of attention.

Most of the rabbits are kept in wire cages, both outside in a portable carport, or as we call it, the rabbit tent. They are fed commercial feed with occasional treats and hay. We have pastured some rabbits in "rabbit tractors." "Rabbit tractors" are simply "chicken tractors" for rabbits. Ours are essentially very low lying cages on wheels that allow the rabbits access to the underlying grass. The tractor is moved as needed to give the animals fresh grass for grazing. As the rabbits dine, they also fertilize the pasture.

The ducks, geese, and chickens free-range, and the waterfowl spend most of their days frolicking in the stream in our backyard while the chickens help clean up detritis dropped from our bird feeders. They all enjoy dining on scrumptious young grass as well as any succulent insects they can catch, and are confined to the barn at night for protection from predators.

We practiced rotational grazing for the goats using "electronet" fencing. This helped ensure minimal exposure to parasites decreasing the need for regular deworming treatments.

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For Sale
(subject to availability)

Prices and selection subject to change without notice

Looking for something not listed, but think we should carry? Ask!

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Photo Gallery

Rabbits

Waterfowl

Goats

Other Critters

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Contact Us

We may be contacted using any of the following:

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