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Pastured Rabbits

Free-Range Ducks & Geese

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Last modified on April 12, 2013.

2006-2013 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 we no longer have the Runners and are down  to just a few Welsh Harlequins and Golden Cascades, we try to maintain a flock of at least 30 laying ducks and six laying geese.  Several males are on hand so we can offer hatching eggs. We have three breeding rabbit does and one buck.

Our newest endeavour 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, and now generally only have two or three "brush" goats from about May to December.

Who knows what we will try next?

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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 hutches as well as inside our barn. They are fed commercial feed with occasional treats. We also pasture 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 and geese free-range, and spend most of their days frolicking in the stream in our backyard. They enjoy dining on scrumptious young grass as well as any succulent insects they can catch. They are confined to the barn at night for protection from predators where they snack on a locally-made feed to help round out their diet.

We practice rotational grazing for the goats. This helps ensure minimal exposure to parasites decreasing the need for regular deworming treatments.

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For Sale

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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