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Local girls jump into bunny business

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Amanda Roy and Angela Shoemaker have been in the business of raising rabbits for more than five months now--and things are really starting to hop.

Starting with one “unwanted” rabbit the girls adopted back in April, the pair now have 23 bunnies. The breeds now include lops, short-haired rexes, jack rabbits, dwarfs, and one angora.

“We have to keep them separated,” noted Shoemaker’s mom, Rhonda, adding the purebred bunnies are kept at their Frog Creek Farm.

Living in harmony with ducks and kittens, among other animals, the rabbits are allowed a fair amount of time out of their pens. Only at night, when predators are dangerous, are they penned up.

“We’ve spotted foxes, and last night, we had a coyote at the door,” Rhonda Shoemaker noted. “The cat scared it away, though.”

The girls stressed they sell the bunnies not so much to turn a profit but rather as a means to support the daily cost of caring for the rabbits.

“We like taking care of any kind of animal but we have to sell them to afford to keep them,” Angela Shoemaker said.

Prices range from $8-20, with the most expensive being short-haired rexes, which do not shed.

“They make good pets,” Roy noted.

In fact, the rabbits can be trained to use a litter box. And a fair number of local people have them as house pets.

Roy also offered a couple of tips on how to best raise the rabbits. First of all, never feed them lettuce. A diet of rabbit-feed pellets, carrots, and oats will suffice.

And be sure to start caring for a rabbit while it is young. That way, it will be comfortable around you and make a good pet.

Although the business has done fairly well, especially around Easter, Rhonda Shoemaker stressed it’s also a lot of work. “You go to the cabin and you have to come back and feed them,” she said.

Still, they all have come to accept and love caring for the rabbits. In the words of Rhonda Shoemaker, “It’s all part of the daily activity of Frog Creek Farm.”

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