In April 9 Issue
With Easter Sunday just a few short weeks away, one Russell County man has gotten back into a business that makes this time of year very busy for him. Why? He sells rabbits, or hares, and bunnies, of course.
For the past several days Shane Wells has been set up near the Russell County Animal Clinic doing just that. Wells' setup is a trailer attached to his truck complete with large rabbit cages which allows passers-by to see the rabbits … and are they eye catching.
"I sold $100 worth (Tuesday)," he said. "I do it because I enjoy it. If I sell a rabbit or I don't that's fine. What tickles me is these kids that come up here, there smiles are worth a million bucks."
Wells, who is from Eastern Kentucky originally, said he began raising rabbits at an early age as he grew up on a farm near Morehead.
"As a teenager in the mountains there is not a lot to do," Wells said.
"Its work in the coal mines, get drunk, do drugs, or fight and I didn't do drugs or drink or like to fight so I decided to raise rabbits."
Wells said he was poor as a teen and first started raising them to eat, something not uncommon to those in the business. "I prefer a tame rabbit over a wild rabbit. If you raised rabbits you didn't have to wait for a season," he said.
It was at this time a friend approached him about getting into the business as well and purchased an expecting doe from him.
"We got a pretty good little business going, trading them in and out," Wells said. When it came to Easter, folks began to want bunnies for their kids and Wells obliged, as he usually ended up with the grown rabbits back anyway.
Following high school, Wells' bunny business went on a hiatus as he went to college and then entered the military.
It wasn't until he returned from the service and moved to Russell County that he got back into raising rabbits as it was something he had always enjoyed doing … that was three months ago.
"You start with five and the next thing you know you've got 50 and then 500. They multiply fast," he said jokingly. "It takes 31 to 35 days from time of breeding for a rabbit to have babies and they'll usually have between eight and 11 at a time."
He said while some people charge outrageous prices for rabbits, he tries to keep his on the lower end as he just does this for hobby and not really to make a large profit. For example, does, which are the money makers, go for anywhere from $13 to $16, as many of them could be expecting. On the other hand a 4 month old buck will run you $10. Baby rabbits will run around $10.
"A lot of time around Easter, people like buying them." He has many different breed types and something to offer everyone who may be interested in a rabbit.
Wells, whose girlfriend Tammy Campbell works for Dr. Coffey at the animal clinic, said he currently has around 65 rabbits, including his Flemish Giant buck, which weighs in at close to 20 pounds.
"He's a big boy," Wells said. "He's trained to walk with a harness, just like a dog."
Wells said he also may be set up some next week as well, weather permitting, as he makes his rounds before Easter on April 24. If not, he said anyone could reach him at 270-634-4194 or through Tammy at the animal clinic.