June 30, 2009

End of the Project

When we came back from our holiday at Victoria Falls we peered through the “windows” of the rabbits’ home, but failed to find any rabbits.

On the Sunday, we met up with the boys from the Boys’ Brigade who said that they had decided to abandon the project.  The weather was too cold now for the rabbits.  (It’s certainly cold – we’ve had no water some mornings until the sun melts the water frozen in the pipes.)

I guess if it was easy to breed rabbits here, we would have seen them for sale by now.  (Live chickens, by contrast, are for sale by the road every day in our local town.)  So, with the benefit of hindsight, perhaps the failure is not too surprising.

The boys have, however, proved themselves to be diligent in looking after the rabbits over the months and, when the original bag of food ran out, they clubbed together to buy more rather than come to me for more money.

They say they want to try another project – although not rabbits again – but want to go away to decide on a plan before they talk to me about it.  I look forward to hearing what they have in mind.

April 26, 2009

Unfortunately …

… the baby rabbits did not survive.

We suspect that there was too much disturbance as boys came to and fro to admire the offspring, and that the mother rabbit then rejected the babies.

We look forward to more success next time.

April 10, 2009

Easter Bunnies

Today, Good Friday, the boys discovered four newly-born baby rabbits.  Their mother is the black and white female.easter-bunnies

We’re all hoping that they will survive.

March 1, 2009

Sad Faces

The boys came up to me after church on Sunday, with long, sad faces, to report that one of the black-and-white female rabbits had died.

They had made water and feeding “bowls” for the rabbits by cutting an old car tyre in half, along the centre of the tread.  This produced circular bowls that were impossible to tip over.  But the boys had come to the conclusion that the rabbits had contaminated the water in the bowl and it was this that had caused the rabbit to die.  So they have abandoned the water bowl and, as the boys volunteered themselves, are learning from their mistakes.

The remaining three rabbits seem healthy but, alas, not pregnant.

February 15, 2009

The Male Arrives

On Sunday, the male rabbit arrived to join the three females.  The supplier had let the boys down and so there had been a delay in obtaining the male.

The Male Rabbit Arrives

The Male Rabbit Arrives

For those watching the finances of the project, all four rabbits cost R50 each, and they are still on their first bag of food.

February 9, 2009

Boys’ Brigade Wedding

The leader of the Boys’ Brigade at St Agnes got married at the weekend.  The ceremony took place on Saturday at the church in the bride’s village, but on Sunday everyone came and joined us towards the end of the service at St Agnes.


The Boys’ Brigade gathered together before the service to practise their singing, dressed in their white shirts with scarlet sashes and bow ties.


They formed up as a guard of honour for the entry of the bridal party into church, following the brass band.


The whole occasion was marked by several speeches and a lot of singing.

You can watch some of this by clicking here on wedding singing.

February 7, 2009

The Females Arrive

The three female rabbits arrived today – one white and two black-and-white and are settling into their new home.

The Three Female Rabbits

The Three Female Rabbits

They seem a little apprehensive about what the future holds for them.

February 4, 2009

The Boys’ Brigade Rabbit Project

Next to our house, on the west side, is a low stone building about four metres square.  (If you go to the “Home at St Agnes” page on our web site, you can see it in the satellite photo.)  It was built a while ago when the local Boys’ Brigade decided to make money by breeding rabbits and selling them.

When we visited last July, I asked what had become of the project and was told that it had stopped because the rabbits were eating all the profit!  Well, the boys are going to try it again, and you can follow their progress here on the Rabbit Blog.

They have come up with a Business Plan.  They are going to buy four rabbits – three female and one male – at R50 each.  They plan to run the project for six to seven months and hope that, in that time, each female will have six babies, which they can sell for R35 each.  They estimate they will get through five bags of food, costing R35 each.  So, for an outlay of R375 they hope to bring in R630, giving them a profit of R255.  (At R14 to £1, that’s a profit of around £18.)

The credit crunch reached Lesotho long before the UK – it is part of life here – so we are giving them a loan to get them going, which they have promised to pay back out of their profits.  Below you see a picture of the seven lads who came to collect the money, against the wall of the rabbit “hutch”.


We started them off with R250 – enough to get a rabbit starter kit of four rabbits and a bag of food.

Let’s wish them success.