Sometime during that time frame in which I was between seven and ten years of age, Sister always two years my junior, we had rabbits. My clever male parent, I see in retrospect, determined to raise rabbits for the purpose of consumption of same at our dinner table. Ever the one to kill as many birds as he could with one stone, Dad acquired two adult does of breeding age. I think in the case of rabbits that that is almost anytime after the bunny is weaned. But I digress. Now the father had constructed two very nice hutches and placed them at the back of the property, next to the outhouse. But he did not throw the rabbits into their new homes and start raising bunnies. No. He "gave" a doe to me and one to my sister.
How wonderful is this? Now, each child has a "pet" rabbit, along with the requisite care one must bestow on a pet. You see how this works? Already, Dad not only has breeding stock for table meat, he has caretakers for the project, caretakers who can "learn" responsibilities and the routines that accompany them. Oh, no one ever said my father was not a clever man.
Now, you might ask, "But how, with only two does, are you to obtain offspring?" Why that is the easiest thing in the world. The neighbor directly across Seventh Street from our house had rabbits of his own, and he had a buck! This buck would visit our rabbits, betimes. And always, always a month after the visit, both does would have a litter of offspring. These were not pets, no matter how cute they were. They were Dad's property. The upside of that is that he took care of turning them into meat, stretching and hanging their hides and so on. And after Mama worked her magic, we enjoyed them at the dinner table!
My pet was a beautiful gray rabbit, blue eyes and of the sweetest disposition any animal ever had. Sis's rabbit was a white doe, pink eyes and schizophrenic. That is not an official APA diagnosis, it is my conclusion in retrospect after observing her behavior for two or three years. The night she had her first litter, she gnawed her way out of her hutch, carried her babies to the nearby sweet corn patch and buried them. This warned Father that in future he would be required to remain alert to the birthing process so that he could remove the infants from harm's way. This also meant that my lady bunny had to double up on nursing responsibilities, and sometimes that meant as many as 22 children to care for.
Fortunately, we took no rabbits with us when we moved. But chickens were in our future.