Jehle Bunny Business: lessons learned from rabbits and chickens

April 20th, 2015 by Patricia Jehle Leave a reply »

A personal experience from my family gives you, my readers, a bit of information about me; and at the same, it time gives you some points to ponder regarding start-ups.

 

Jehle Bunnies for sale!

My two sons are entrepreneurs of sorts. They have a bunny business that we in the family call the Jehle Bunny Business. My husband, Patrik and I are the venture capitalists and my husband is chief of marketing and sales by default. Luckily or not, bunnies pretty much take care of themselves regarding re-production.

 

50 rabbits!

The first year the boys started the venture, there were almost fifty bunnies running about our extensive garden. I had sleepless nights thinking of what could happen if the babies had more babies. It did happen a few times, but for the most part my sons were pretty good about checking out the sex of the babies and keeping them apart.

 

But sometimes bunnies escape. To this day, this remains a problem, as our animals are so-called “happy” bunnies. They are free-range with movable fences that are not always perfectly escape-free. But I think our maximum number of rabbits we have had remains at the fifty mark, and that was only once.

 

Loss happens

Unfortunately, there were losses. That year of the fifty bunnies, a main coon cat discovered the babies and regularly carried them away in broad daylight until they were too big to be taken. The cat owner felt no remorse, even though at least one neighbor tried to guilt her into it. But cats are rather wild and hard to control. We then discovered one could put coverings on the tops of the cages. It stifles the adult mothers’ movement a bit, but it keeps the babies from being eaten by cats and other creatures. Of course, the rabbits are in secure cages at night because we have foxes and weasels in the neighborhood. We also discovered that the rabbits can die an untimely death, even if all the health and safety suggestions. Loss happens.

 

Marketing remains “the issue”

Considering that the boys had their own business and bought a few things like a fancy camera and a laptop with their earnings, they have never been very motivated in the sales and marketing area. The elder is more likely to sell a rabbit than the younger, but if one looks at personality, it is interesting. The elder is the classic introvert, the younger is more of an extrovert. What is the issue, here? Is it motivation? Ownership?

As the boys get older and leave home, I have suggested downsizing even a more drastic change: bunnies as pets with the end of the business. This suggestion has not been met with the most positive of responses, and surprisingly most of the protest comes from my husband, the de-fault rabbit farmer, because when the boys are gone for any reason, he feeds and waters the bunnies, sets them in their outdoor cages and puts them away at night. So what have we learned from our boys’ entrepreneurship? In my next blog I will write the lessons we have learned. Stay tuned.

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