P.F. Chang's Style Bunny Lettuce Wraps- Treats for Rabbits

When you want to spoil your bunny babies!

~Fresh Bunny Lettuce Wraps~
(Yes, my idea came from a recent visit to P.F. Chang's)

1 Organic Romaine Lettuce Leaf
1 Organic Small Carrot
1 Small Raspberry
1 Small Piece of Fresh Pineapple
~I use a handful of an organic spring lettuce mix~ 

I use one large lettuce leaf.
Place everything else on this lettuce leaf.
Tie together with either a long piece of timothy hay, 
or slice another long piece of Romaine for it.

This is a great and healthy treat for your rabbits. If you can tie it up tightly, they have to work their way into the wrap to discover all the goodies!
All rabbits need fresh foods in addition to their daily hay and pellets. The use of romaine lettuce, as well as spring mix is a great way to add some variety, to their diet, as well as increase their water intake. The piece of pineapple adds vitamins, as well as bromelain, this is believed to help break down any fur that may be in their gastro-intestinal tract. The carrot of course is simply a treat, as is the raspberry. Once again, they do have vitamins, and added water value, but you must watch the quantity because of the higher sugar.

Herbs for Rabbits- An Introduction

Rabbits are herbivores. 
While their diet, in the wild, mainly consists of dried grasses, plants, and the closest vegetable garden, it is important to remember that rabbits have access to all varieties of herbs that grow wild. They will eat these in the wild and gain the benefits of extra water intake, fiber, and the medicinal qualities they provide. When people began moving rabbits out of their natural habitat, pellets became the main diet, and this can be devastating to their long-term health. Which, of course, long-term health wasn't the original intent of pellet food. Pellet food was basically created to quickly fatten a rabbit up so that it could either breed or be used as a food source sooner. Now, some pellet companies are far superior, and I use a great pellet that I am absolutely thrilled with.
When I start to plan the weekly diet for my rabbits, I try to make sure it is filled with items 
that will help build their immune system.
Our new series, 'Herbs for Rabbits,' will be focusing on a new herb in each post. 
(Just to clarify, not all herbs are safe, please research prior to giving an herb to your rabbit.)
Ideal Daily Diet
  • A rabbit's diet should consist of at least 80% high quality timothy hay. This is the most important, as it keeps their digestive tract running. I give unlimited hay at all times.
  • 1 Egg Cup amount of a high quality pellet
  • A variety of fresh foods
It is important to give a variety in the fresh foods, because your rabbit will get bored of the same choices everyday. This is where herbs come in. People tend to give too much fruit in a rabbit's daily diet, and the extra sugar leads to obesity. While a little fruit is perfectly fine, get your variety from herbs.
The best thing about fresh herbs, is the fact that from spring to fall, you can grow them yourself, and have this item, basically for free. In the winter months, I purchase them at the store. 
I love to give them fresh because it is a great way to increase their daily water intake, but I will also sprinkle some dried herbs over their pellets. 

My rabbits, of course, have their favorite herbs:
Chamomile ~ Parsley ~ Lemon Balm ~ Thyme
Echinacea ~ Cilantro ~ Dill ~ Sage ~ Oregano

While the rabbits firmly believe they are getting a great treat, I love the fact that each of these herbs have been specifically chosen to enhance their immune system.  Each one is full of vitamins and minerals that a rabbit's system desperately requires. While pellet companies are great at compacting this into their product, I just feel that free-choice fresh is best, and most natural to their 'wild' way of life. 

Example Meal Plan
Here is a great example of a 'meal plan' that your rabbits will really enjoy from The Rabbit House!
They suggest using this as just an example to show variety, and to purchase fresh based on what is in season, and what is available in your local shop. 
(Also, if you feed grass and weeds from your yard, make sure that there have been no chemicals sprayed on them, and that they aren't in an area that catches run-off from a road or drive-way).

So, keep an eye out for the next installment of Herbs for Rabbits. 
We are planning our garden, and can't wait to share it all with you!

Oven Cleaning and Chicks: A Lesson Learned the Hard Way

 If you have followed Happy-Days-Farm for very long, you have probably heard this story before, but I am sure I will bring it up every year when people start talking about hatching eggs, and buying chicks.

Three years ago, we learned a very valuable lesson about raising chicks.
 I am going to share this again, in hopes that some people will not make the same mistake that we did. We purchased six, beautiful, little chicks from our local farm store and had raised them, by hand, in the house for four weeks.  They were precious, spoiled and completely tame. We had even given them names already. We had raised chicks many times at this point, but on this particular day, the perfect storm of events taught us a lesson we will never forget.

LoveFeast Unique Online Shop

Here at Happy Days Farm, we have a few brands that we tend to always favor. 
When we are wanting something new or different to decorate with, one of our first stops online is LoveFeast. They have so many beautiful and unique items. 
You have probably seen the velvet pumpkins throughout the fall popping up in photographs, but we were delighted when they sent us this beautiful little heart, a heartgram!
What a great and unique Valentine present that will last, not wilt or be eaten within a few days!
During the fall, we decorated with the velvet pumpkins constantly. They are so beautiful, and they seem to have them available in every color you can imagine! 
(Plus, they have them available in linen and leather)

Don't be fooled though, their shop contains much, much more than these velvet pumpkins. I am currently loving the wire heart that is on their front page right now. They have everything from jewelry, accent pieces, tablecloths, etc. Head on over to their shop and browse for a bit!

P.S.- They have given Happy-Days-Farm friends a secret coupon code to 
get free shipping on anything in their store this month!
Coupon Code: HDFFSJ

Guineas Are Loud!

This is a complaint I often hear.  I was asked recently by someone what they could
do about their loud guinea fowl. Unfortunately, it is the nature of the beast. If you are
considering raising guinea fowl this is one thing you must consider first!
Do you have neighbors close by? If so, you may not want to add guineas to your flock.  We have eight acres and the lot adjacent to one side of our property is vacant. We also live
about six miles outside of the city limits! Our guineas feel that it is their duty to inform us of any
intruder, possible intruder, delivery person, or visitor in the vicinity. Sometimes, they deem it necessary to announce MY approach to the chicken yard.

Timber Creek Farm- Do You Know Where Your Gloves Come From?

With the popularity of backyard farming increasing dramatically in the last few years, the
spotlight has been on the idea of sustainability, and the farms that are able to make this claim.
Webster's defines sustainability as 'able to be used without being completely used up or destroyed.'
This idea isn't something new. It was and is an important part of life on the farm. Many people don't realize that this is still the primary goal of many small family farms.
A few years ago, we were shocked, as a culture, to realize that an entire generation of children were growing up with incredible education access, but no real knowledge of things like gardening, livestock, animals, farming, etc. This way of life seemingly was becoming less and less popular, to the point where children didn't even know where an egg came from when they were asked. I am curious to know if they would have any idea about where their wool sweater or gloves came from.
Photo Credit: Janet Garman Timber Creek Farm

Stocking Stuffers For Your Flock

When you start your Christmas shopping, don't forget your favorite flock members!
Here are some great stocking stuffer ideas that we are doing! (Yes, we will have a stocking for the chicken coop! Santa wouldn't forget them, although,
I have a feeling Chachi will have a lump of coal!)
Every good Christmas present has things you need, as well as something you want!

So, we begin with the needs- Waxelene! This is a must have for combs and wattles in the winter. It helps prevent frost bite. Vetericyn is ALWAYS in our first aid kit to treat any and all wounds, scratches, or anything! VetRX is another item that we always have on hand. It is great for treating/preventing respiratory issues. You can apply directly to any chicken exhibiting issues, or put a few drops in the waterers, and treat everyone at once. Finally, I am getting some extra ProBios for their feed mixture. Your flock needs to have good bacteria in their gut, just like we do. ProBios is the best way to add probiotics to your flock.

A few wants for the flock always include meal worms and forage cakes, as well as some nesting box herbs! (Even your flock likes their nesting boxes smelling like herbal heaven!)

Of course, our favorite mealworms are live! We order them from Rainbow Mealworms and our friends get 10% off by using the code HAPPY10

Our flocks favorite Forage Cakes, Cackleberry Treats, Hot Cakes, and Baby Cakes are made byFarmer's Helper. They are also available at Tractor Supply Company

One last thing that will be in our flocks stocking is the Nite Guard Solar. This tricky little device is solar charged, and gives the illusion of eyes at the coop. This helps to ward off predators.

I included an absolutely adorable stocking kit as the last link. I admit it, it is more for me than them, and it is a splurge, plus a fun project! So, just keep your flock in mind as you are doing your Christmas shopping this year!
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