At Everbreed, we are committed to creating the most used and most loved rabbit breeding software. So, we have started Case Studies to showcase our customers and how they are using Everbreed to better their rabbitries. For this article, we spoke with Mary Naggs of Walter’s Farm in Volcano, Hawaii and we will focus on how they use Everbreed to help manage their rabbit endeavors.
Introduction to Walter’s Farm
Located in Volcano, Hawaii, Walter’s Farm is a multigenerational operation that is named after their 8-year-old son, Walter (the boss). Among Silver Fox and Rex rabbits, the family also raises miniature Highpark cattle, Nubian dairy goats, Katahdin-Dorper hair sheep, and a variety of poultry including chickens, geese, and turkeys. All of the family’s eggs, milk, honey, and a majority of their meat is produced right on their homestead.
Walter’s Farm is the only Silver Fox breeder in the state of Hawaii and their breeding rabbits had to go on numerous trips and flights before finally reaching them. As they are developing their breeding program they are only currently selling Silver Fox breeders to a local farm-to-table chef. They used to also be the only Rex breeders but they have since shared genetics with other homesteaders, who are enjoying their own litters now. Currently, their rabbit program consists of 14 breeders total, 7 are Silver Fox (2 bucks and 5 does), and 7 are Rex (2 bucks and 5 does).
How Walter’s Farm is using Everbreed
This homestead has been using the Everbreed app for over a year and a half. Originally, a good friend and mentor of theirs, Ashley Carrube at Rawhide Ranch Rabbitry, recommended Everbreed to them. Ashley sold Walter’s Farm their first Rex rabbit and facilitated bringing the breed back to the Big Island, as there were no active Rex breeders in Hawaii at the time. When they purchased these rabbits, Ashley recommended the app. This is because she used it and even sent them the pedigrees for the purchased rabbits via the app. Mary states, “It was seamless.”
Tracking Information and Making Breeding Decisions
Walter’s Farm uses Everbreed to track all sorts of information on their breeders, current litters, and planned litters, like age, parentage, and color genetics. When they do a health check on their rabbits they set up a “bunny clinic” tent. Here, they weigh each rabbit, give them a look over, trim their nails, etc. and they always have the app open to add current weight and note any treatments. They especially love the “Task” feature which allows them to note when to put in nest boxes. Another feature they enjoy is the automatically generated pedigrees for kits. When you have all of the data entered for your breeders in the app and they have a litter, the pedigrees will automatically generate for the babies in the litter. Mary mentioned, “This makes it super easy to provide pedigrees to a buyer in the event of a sale.”
Additionally, Walter’s Farm projects the Everbreed app onto their TV for discussion purposes. The family will gather to look at photos and breed profiles to discuss attributes, type, parentage, and genetics. This helps them to make informed and efficient breeding decisions to meet their goals more quickly.
The Impact of Everbreed
Notably, Everbreed has helped to keep Walter’s Farm organized. They’ve said, “With rabbits, it can get confusing quickly, especially if the rabbits look similar, such as Silver Fox rabbits. It can also be easy to forget their names, parents, grandparents, birth date, etc.” Having this app has helped them calendar breed dates and never miss a nest box date, so they can avoid any unfortunate situations.
Walter’s Farm is focused on sustainability and renewing the emotional connection to their food, including their protein. Since these animals represent the family’s meat, their goal is to improve the overall size of the rabbits at harvest time, around 12 weeks. The rabbits they butcher have been born on their farm and they have cared for them every single day of their lives. Mary says, “Thanks to our careful tracking using the Everbreed app, we know everything about them. We know everything that went into their bodies, and as a result, we know exactly what we are consuming.” They very much value the lives of their animals, their health, and their happiness. At the end of Mary’s message, she says, “The app helps us keep all of the information organized so that we can provide the best care and achieve our goals.”
Keeping track of all of the crucial details in your rabbitry such as pedigrees, due dates, treatments, and more can vastly affect the efficiency and productivity of your rabbitry. Walter’s Farm is a wonderful example of an operation that is thoroughly using Everbreed to improve their rabbitry practices and their rabbits.