History of Ralph's Rabbit Ranch

History of Ralph's Rabbit Ranch

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Rabbits - Pesky Critters or Valuable Resources

Today, rabbits are entrenched throughout the United States primarily in the southern and central areas of our country, with scattered populations sometimes seen in our northern deserts.

Although the rabbit can be a notorious pest for some home owners - we must remember that rabbits proved useful to many American citizens especially during the depressions of the 1890's and the 1930's, as well as during periods of American conflicts such as the Civil War,  WWI and WWII. 

Trapping rabbits helped farmers and cattlemen by providing them something to eat as well as earn an extra income by selling their meat and fur.  In some cases selling rabbits became a way for many earlier farmers to help pay off their farming debts. 

Rabbits meat was fed to working dogs out in the great west and often boiled then diced only to be fed to poultry many farmers and ranchers had. 

Later, with the introduction of refrigeration frozen rabbit carcases were exported and traded internationally. Rabbit pelts were used for years in the fur trade and are still used as a primary source of material in the felt hat industry. 

Friday, October 24, 2014

Kids and Animals - Sometimes its funny

Clancy brought a magazine into work today which had this really neat article.  It highlighted how kids understand and describe animals that they find under the sea. 

Below are is a brief summary of some of their thoughts.  Hope you enjoy - I found it amusing.

       1. An Octopus is an animal that lives under
           the sea and has eight testicles.

     2.  Sharks are ugly and mean and have big
          teeth just like Emily Harris

     3.Some animals in the sea are dangers. 
        Electric eels give shocks and they live in
        underwater caves where they plug
        themselves in to recharge. 

       4.  Dolphins are mammals that breath
            through a special ass hole on the top of
            their head.

           5.  Oyster have little balls and they are called

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Good Costume Idea or Bad?

Please share your thoughts.  Is this a good rabbit costume or a bad idea? Halloween is almost here and we plan to take a few rabbits out Trick & Treating.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Win A Lucky Rabbits Foot

Here is your chance to win a lucky rabbits foot.

If you know of a restaurant, bistro or cafe that has rabbit on the menu let us know ans we will send you an 'Official Ralph's Rabbit Ranch Lucky Rabbit's foot. 

Just send us:

1) The name of the establishment

2)  The city in which it is located

3)  The state that it is located

Sorry - Federal law prevents us from sending winning rabbits feet to overseas destinations

*** Offer expires November 15th, 2014

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Jack-O-Lopes … Fact, Fiction or Legend?

Here are some interesting thoughts to
ponder.  Take a few minutes read this
article and share your opinion. 

Every culture across the globe has legends; legends that persist because some are based on fact and others because so many people in that culture believe in those legends.

Amazingly many of the legends around the world involve animals.  All animals described in legends are called cryptids. a word from ancient Greece - specifically the Greek word krypton - which means “hiding” or “to hide”. 

Scientists refer to legendary animals as cryptids because they have no solid physical evidence to support that they ever existed.  None have ever been captured and they can't find sufficient fossil remains.

Examples of cryptid creatures are numerous. For instance in Tibet there is well established legend regarding the Yeti - better know as 
the Abominable Snowman. The yeti is a mysterious bipedal creature {bi pedal basically means it walks on two legs upright like a man}. For years the Yeti has been reported to seen roaming the snowy peaks of the Himalaya mountains.

Also in Scotland there is a legendary creature known as the Loch Ness monster.  Nessy as it is affectionately called is said to be an aquatic monster.  Many believe it is some sort of prehistoric water based dinosaur that some how survived extinction by living deep beneath the surface of Loch Ness, the deepest loch in Scotland.  Though it has not been confirmed many sat it has underground channels that lead to the north sea.

In Latin America there is the amazing animal known as the Chupacabra – a fierce pig-like dog that farmers and plantation owners have had numerous encounters with.  The Chupacabras destroy crops and kill livestock during their nocturnal foraging activities. Reports surfaced in early 2004 that the Chupacabras had migrated northward and entered many areas of southern Texas, Louisiana and New Mexico.

But the best example of a cryptid in the north America is Bigfoot. Stories of Bigfoot {or a ape like man} have been reported for centuries in the United States and Canada.  Native American tribes and the early pioneers who traveled westward in their Conestoga wagons on the Santa Fe and Oregon trails all recount tales of Bigfoot.  Even today, hunters and fishermen from Wyoming, Idaho, Washington State, Oregon and Northern California often file reports with their state and local government authorities saying they saw a hairy ape like creature in the dense wooded forests along the mountain ridges.

Because we raise Rabbits here at Ralph's Rabbit Ranch, it only natural I think that we often get asked - mostly by school aged children - to confirm the legend(s) of the Jack-O-Lopes. 
All I can honestly say is that twenty years ago I would have said there is absolutely no such creature at a Jack-O-Lope - the large rabbit like creature with antlers. I would have dismissed it as a fairy tale; however, today I am no longer really sure.

After having attended hundreds of rabbit conventions, livestock trade shows and breeder conferences across the country, I heard so many Jack-O-Lope stories; that I can no longer discount them as false.  Today I can't say for sure that Jack‑O‑Lopes did not - or do not - exist.

Here are a few things I've learned since I started raising rabbit.  First the official name for the north American Jack-O-Lope is the Americanus Delicioso Conjo Carne. Just read the information below and decide for yourself if Jack-O-Lopes actually did exist or whether they still inhabit unpopulated areas of western America today.

First and foremost, fossilized remains of what appear to be an antlered or horned rabbit type creature have been found in all of the lower 48 states as well as in Alaska (but not Hawaii).

Second, libraries and major universities in both Spain and France contain hand-written reports from Spanish conquistadors and French fur traders who traveled to the new world. All these reports on file chronicle what these early explorers believed were encounters with large horned rabbit-like creatures in the new world. All these describe how men on these early expeditions were afraid after seeing “vast herds of hopping, long eared, horned creatures”.

Third, twenty-nine native North American tribes to this day from Kansas to California have detailed folklore which they pass down from generation to generation referring to “the great rabbit with antlers”. Amazingly each year, many Native American cultures perform annual rituals and ceremonies to give thanks to these 'hopping horned creatures' who helped and protected their ancestors.

Fourth (and this blew me away), when members of the famous Lewis and Clark expedition party which was authorized by President Andrew Jackson in 1804 returned back to Washington DC, three years later, the men on this expedition all shared identical, detailed accounts of large herds of hopping horned creatures. The majority of these first-hand accounts of sighting these creatures occurred along what we now call the Missouri and Colorado rivers in the far western half of the American continent.

Now here is what it really gets weird. During both the 19th and 20th centuries, just about every American elementary school student was taught that Christopher Columbus discovered America in 1492. We now however know this is not true. Archaeologists have assembled a preponderance of evidence that suggests Asian and Polynesian seafarers made routine visits to the west coasts of both South and North America. Pottery, metal objects, skeletons and weapons from Pacific Island based cultures have been found from British Columbia all the way south to the tip of Chile {or Cape Horn}. 

Likewise, there is irrefutable archaeological proof that Norsemen from Scandinavian countries, such as Norway, Denmark and Iceland all landed in Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and other various locations along the northeastern shores of what is now Canada and the New England. These Nordic hunters and explores actually constructed permanent shelters and hunted all kinds of animals and fish in the new world.

Scientists now know for a fact that rats are not indigenous to the Unites States; they believe rats were introduced to America from the ports of Spain on Columbus' three ships - 
the Nina, the Pinta and the Santa Maria. Its believe rats stowed away on the ships before leaving port and hid in the hulls of the ships during their voyage across the Atlantic. The rats would have have disembarked down the anchor ropes when the ships entered the waters of the New World for the first time. 

Interestingly a growing number of paleontologists and zoologists theorize that seafaring Scandinavian countries like Norway, with their flat-bottomed “Viking Longboats”, also carried unwanted animal cargo's. Their unwanted cargo however was wild Scandinavian hares. Many believe the wild Scandinavia hares hopped on the ancient Viking vessels at port and made the voyage to North America. Once the longboats arrived in new world harbors, the hares simply hopped onto shore.

Scandinavian hares are extremely adaptive creatures and could have easily adjusted to life in the new world. 
Scandinavian hares are feisty animals; not at all like their timid rabbit cousins who live in central and southern Europe. Wild Scandinavian hares can run at phenomenal speeds and they possess tremendous agility – all characteristics they developed living on the frozen tundra of Scandinavia. Once on North American soil these wild hares would have had access to an unlimited supply of food and no known predators to worry about. 

We know from the works of Charles Darwin and the theories he purported in his book 'The Origins of Species' that every order of animals has a predisposed natural instinct to reproduce. Perpetuating the population is paramount to ensure survival of their species. 

Scandinavian hare could have naturally mated with other indigenous animals here in north America. Hares, just like rabbits, have a short gestation period with frequent breeding periods throughout the year.  Wild Scandinavian hares could have easily been the link that evolved into the Jack-O-Lope creatures we hear so much about in North American legends.

The hare population could have exploded within just a few years. The growing herds of Scandinavian hares would have naturally had to migrate and the way they would migrate would be westward and southerly throughout all the North American continent.

Now the sheer size and physical strength of Scandinavian hares would have made it impossible for them to successfully mate with the small indigenous rabbits already habitatting the new world. The thought of a Scandinavian hare mating with a native American rabbit would be tantamount to a St Bernard trying to mate with a Chihuahua ‑ it just wouldn’t or couldn't work. 

So it has been postulated that these large Scandinavian hares would have begun to mate - often with other species more appropriate for their size – animals such as coyotes, foxes, weasels, otters and even small deer. Yes, deer!

There are small deer, deer such as the Andean Pod, a deer prevalent in many if out southern states. Andean Pod deer stand roughly 16 inches high and weigh approximately 20 lbs - making them perfect mating objects for Scandinavian hares. In addition, during their southerly migrations the wild European hares could have came in contact with the Key deer of Florida, as well as other small species of deer that habitat throughout the Florida Keys region.

If the wild Scandinavian hares had mated with these small deer, this could easily explain antlered offspring.  Large fast running rabbits with antlers would have easy translated into Jack‑O‑Lopes, a word that represents a hybrid between a Jack rabbit and an antelope.

Now here are three facts you should consider before you discount the legends of the Jack-O-Lope:

A) Native American folklore purports that buffalo and Jack-O-Lope freely roamed the North American continent in massive herds.  They both had similar and predictable migration patterns.

B) Many early European immigrants heading out west stated in their diaries that they would not have been able to survive their journeys had it of not been for the abundance of food they had to choose from:

     1) Buffalo (or bison which we call it today)


     2) Large horned prairie rabbits (the Jack-O-


C) The back and forth migration patterns of the massive buffalo and Jack-O-Lope herds had a tremendous impact on the north American landscape and its vegetation. Their sheer numbers in each herd helped transformed the woodlands of North America into vast grasslands and prairies providing early pioneers with limitless open plains to plant their crops.

It was not until after thousands of Europeans, starting with the Pilgrims, then the Puritans and eventually the western pioneers that the massive herds of Jack-O-Lope were brought under control. Once the new settlers brought in their domesticated livestock and had a stable supply of fresh meet; their dependence on the Buffalo's and Jack-O-Lopes as a food source was no longer needed consequently it is believed they began to systematically slaughter them to prevent overgrazing of the lands they needed for their domestic livestock.

So there you have it - everything I know about the Jack-O-Lope. Now you tell me – are Jack-O-Lopes fact, fiction or legend? Are they cryptids (fictional creatures) like so many believe or are they, or were they real?

Please feel free to share any thoughts or comments you would like.  At Ralph's Rabbit Ranch we do more than just provide great tasting Rabbit meat.  We try to answer questions and share American history.  

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Win a Lucky Rabbits Foot

Here' is your chance to win a "Genuine" Ralph's Rabbit Ranch lucky Rabbit's foot.

Please take a moment to review the "Collective Comments" listed below by people who were likely to have said something about the gourmet rabbits sold on Ralph's Rabbit Ranch.

After reading the 'Likely Collective Comments' listed submit a comment you think is fitting for Ralph's Rabbit Ranch. If we can use your comments we will send you your very own genuine Ralph's Rabbit Ranch Lucking Rabbit foot. This prized objet d'art is believed, by many cultures and societies from around the world, to hold some mystical force that can keep one out of harms way and bring good fortune.

Judging of all likely comments received will take place on Monday, August 18th at 1pm here at Ralph's Rabbit Ranch in pristine Lugerville, Wisconsin. 

Up to 25 lucky Ralph's Rabbit feet will be awarded and mailed out to the winners. Authors of winning entries will be contacted via Face Book message to confirm an appropriate mailing address. All lucky rabbit's feet awarded will be mailed out via the US Postal Service utilizing 'First Class' mail service.

Sorry only one submission per person will be allowed.

Below are the rules for all likely comment submissions:

1) All submissions must be in English

2) Photo's and artwork will not be allowed

3) The use of profanity is not permitted and will automatically disqualify the entry

4) 'Likely comments' should reflect the statement or thoughts of likely well known public figures, celebrities or historical characters either real or animated. For example it could be conjectured that Tony the Tiger is likely to have said -" Ralph's Rabbits ... There Great" or Elmer Fudd could be conjectured to have said "Walphs Wabbits are Waskley Wabbits"

5) Points will be awarded for originality and creativity

6) Bonus points will be awarded for "Likely comments" postulated by federal lawmakers and foreign heads of state - China and North Korea excluded of course.

Reminder: Ralph's Rabbit Ranch along with its subsidiaries and affiliate holding interests reserves the right to share any entry submitted on Face Book or use in other print medias.

Good luck and we hope you win.


Read the notice below:

Ralph’s Rabbit Ranch® 

… The Pride of Wisconsin Ranching

Featuring - Gabe’s Gourmet Rabbits®

Homegrown and free range - our barley and alfalfa fed, koshered gourmet rabbits are raised exclusively for discriminating diners with exquisite taste.

Collective comments 'likely shared' regarding Gabe’s Gourmet Rabbits®

Living in D.C. we’ve forgotten how great Wisconsin rabbit taste. Thanks Ralph for an incredible meal.
Tommy Thompson – former Governor of Wisconsin

The best part about shooting a film in Wisconsin was enjoying delicious burgers brought over daily from Ralph’s ranch.
Johnny Deep – Actor … While filming Public Enemies

You don’t have to be a Master Chef to prepare an elegant and gourmet meal for your family with Ralph’s rabbits.
Gordon Ramsey – 16 Star Michelin Chef

Ralph, your sautéed rabbit loins and red cabbage are definitely worthy of an Oscar! I give you two thumbs up.
Julie Roberts – Pretty Woman

If Ralph’s Rabbit Ranch were located in Chicago we would be larger than L.A. and New York City.
Richard M. Daley – former Mayor of Chicago

My visit to Ralph’s Rabbit Ranch was the best adventure I ever had. You guys are great!
Pee Wee Herman – Entertainer and Television Personality Extraordinaire

Seen animals from all over the world but am now convinced gourmet rabbits come only from Wisconsin north of the picket wire. .
Jack Hanna – Director of the Cincinnati Zoo & TV Personality

Gabe’s Gourmet Rabbits® Now shipped anywhere in the US or Europe next day air -fresh or frozen for your discreet dining pleasure.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Public Safety Advisory

Just received this information from a friend and wanted to get it out ASAP. The US Homeland Security Agency has just issued its latest advisory notice which we we should all take heed. If your work involves serving the public or dealing with a lot of foreign customers this information could save your life.

According to homeland security the number one tactic terrorists and ‘disturbed US citizens’ are now using is - to conceal their weapons. 

Concealing or disguising their weapons from the public is necessary especially when they enter government buildings, large transportation centers, metropolitan business centers and outdoor public gathering places.

Please look closely at the picture provided. 

At first glance - to an untrained eye – this might look like a normal “Red Solo party cup”; however if you study the picture carefully you might be able to notice there is a fully loaded, automatic Glock 18 - C pistol carefully hidden inside the red cup.

Analyst and forecasters at Homeland Security believe terrorists and disturbed American citizens may soon be using this ‘Red Solo cup’ disguise trick to conceal their weapons.

During these troubling times is important we all stay vigilant. We urge you to share this information with your colleagues, co-workers and neighbors. Remember if you, your co-workers or neighbors, are not able to spot a weapon disguised like this you might just be the recipient of a cup of hot lead.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

A Little Ranch Humor

Most people don't know this and hey - that's okay.

What are the brims of cowboy hats turned up on the two sides?

So three cowboys can fit in a pickup truck.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Kung Pao or BBQ's Rabbit Which Do You Prefer?

In case you have never eaten Kung Pao - Kung Pao is a well known Chinese meal associated with the Szechuan style of Chinese cooking.   Kung Pao generally includes chicken, chilies (which gives it its full flavor) vegetables and peanuts; however, other common bases for Kung Pao are shrimp and pork.  

Recommendation - If you like Kung Pao chicken or pork or shrimp we are sure you will love Kung Pao rabbit we make it all the time at the ranch and everyone loves it.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Haggis or Rabbit Which Do You Prefer?

The national dish of Scotland is commonly thought of as haggis. A quick definition of haggis is sheep's liver, onions, suet, salt and oatmeal. Traditionally all these ingredients were placed in a sheep's stomach and then simmered in water for a lengthy time to make sure everything is cooked.

Some people think haggis is a delicacy while other are downright repulsed at the thought of eating such a concoction based on it unique aroma. To maximize the acceptance of haggis modern receipts often recommend sausage casings be used rather than an actual sheep's stomach.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Rabbit Trivia # 9 What is Rabbit Meat?

Something people are unaware of.  With with all its healthy benefits - lean and packed with protein - rabbit meat does not have a strong flavor.  In fact many people find the taste of properly prepared rabbit meat irresistible. 

Because rabbit meat does look dark (similar to color of chicken legs and chicken thighs) many shoppers and home cooks erroneously refer to rabbit as a dark meet.  However because rabbit is so low in fat it is actually considered a white meat by food industry professionals.

Rabbit is generally most flavorful when it is 'quickly prepared' such as in pan frying or when it is BBQ.  However true lovers of rabbit meat prefer to cook their rabbit slow as a in stew. 

One thing most professional cooks and Chefs agree on is that rabbit meat should never be roasted or oven baked - without a high fat content the meat with just be to dry to really savor. 

Finally, the flavor of rabbit is thought by many to be very  comparable to a roasted chicken - though we wouldn't say it was identical.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Have you ever noticed that herds of grazing animals all face the same way?

As most of you know - Ralph's Ranch is a Rabbit Ranch - our job is to raise Gourmet Rabbits.  We do not raise beef nor dairy cattle therefore we we found this story about revelations made by Google Earth very interesting.  It was sent to us by one of our customers and we found it interesting.

For the past 2 1/2 years we have been noticing this more and more since it was brought to our attention?  Is it a coincidence or is it really a phenomenon?  

If any of you readers are - or were - cattle people or worked on a dairy farmer we would sure appreciate any insights you might have on this fascinating subject.

Thanks Ralph

Below is the short article for you to review.  Any thoughts you can share will be greatly appreciated. 

{These cattle are grazing - in an perfect north to south position}

Images from Google Earth have now confirmed that both dairy and beef cattle tend to align their bodies in a north-south direction when grazing.

Wild deer and horses also display this behavior. This is a phenomenon that has apparently gone unnoticed by herdsmen, hunters and people living in wooded areas for thousands of years.

Scientists say the Earth’s magnetic fields may influence the behavior of animals when they graze.  Remember the Earth for all practical purposes is a actually a huge magnet, with a magnetic north and south pole.

Scientists have long known that many animal species such as birds, butterflies salmon and whales etc. use the Earth’s magnetic fields to guide them during their annual migrations - its like a natural built in GPS.  
Detailed studies have also confirmed that bats use an “internal magnetic compass” to help them sense their direction.

The next time you drive past a herd of deer or a herd of horse stop and look at them.  Are the majority facing either a north or south direction? 

Dr. Sabine Begall, from the University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany, studied the magnetic sensors of mole rats – small African animals that live deep underground in tunnels - that never come above ground.  Their tunnels are always dug in a north / south pattern.

Professor John Phillips, a sensory biologist from Virginia Tech University, believes there might just be a sixth ‘magnetic;’ sense in the animal kingdom” - especially among cattle, horses and deer.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Rabbit Trivia # 8

Rabbit meat is a heart -patient's friend. It contains less calorie value and sodium than all other meats - plus it is almost entirely cholesterol free.

If you are worried about your heart eat more rabbit meat.

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