Eric Rapp is a third generation farmer, who has been working with rabbits since he was big enough to help his granddad carry a bucket of feed. His granddad believed in everything being natural and organic, and Eric carries on this legacy by insisting that everything that goes into Rare Hare Barn rabbits be as wholesome as possible.
Callene Rapp is relatively new to the world of rabbits, but enjoys the challenge of working with the different heritage bloodlines in the breeds they conserve, to minimize inbreeding, which is always a risk in dealing with a small breed population.
Since 1999, Callene has been the Sr. Zookeeper at the Children’s Farms at the Sedgwick County Zoo in Wichita, KS, home of the largest collection of rare breeds of livestock in the United States. Eric also worked at the zoo until March of 2008, when he left to pursue the rabbit business full time.
Since 2003, Callene has served on the Board of Directors of the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy, the premiere rare livestock breed conservation association in the country.
We raise our rabbits as humanely as possible. Our cages are much larger than those of a commercial rabbitry, to allow the rabbits more room to move around and express natural behaviors. Our cages are also taller, which allows the rabbits to stand up and survey their surroundings, which enables them to feel more secure.
And, when they look around, they have a wonderful view of the surrounding countryside. Windows allow for natural sunlight and ventilation, and the rabbits can often be seen basking in the sun. A cool cell and misters prevent overheating in the summer and allow for year round production. Curtains can be raised and lowered (by hand) according to the weather, which in Kansas can change at a moments notice! Many rabbitries experience temporary sterility in their animals due to summer extremes in temperature, but Rare Hare Barn has been able to overcome this challenge, while still encouraging the hardiness rare breeds are known for..
Eric's mom in front of her fathers rabbitry in 1946