Saturday, April 14, 2012

Guinea pigs

So last night I went to a book sale in London.  Sold one piggie, and then picked up two .. one a return from sale, and one a rescue pig.

 the one I sold
 The one returned, best offer takes him home
The rescue pig.  Talker, nicely behaved pig.
has dark eyes, not red.
Best offer takes him home.

Blossom Kindles - April 14, 2012

Well did Blossom ever give me a shocker this morning.

I knew she was expecting, I expected her normal six kits.

She gave me 11 kits!  ELEVEN!!   one was DOA, but she has ten BIG kits in the nestbox.

Very well done girlie!   She got a nice lettuce leaf this morning to and was totally ravenous. :)


Friday, April 13, 2012

Blue Lagoon - kindles April 13, 2012

 blue lagoon

Seven kits.
Good nest.
Good momma thus far.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Vivian Kindles - April 12, 2012

Vivian kindled today.  Seven kits.  A real mixed litter.  Her last litter she gave me black, chestnut, smoke pearl, and japanese.
She's always such a goofy momma rabbit.  I really like this young does' attitude and just wish her ears were better.  She's just a gem personality wise.

 Aero Bar

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Jade kindles - April 11, 2012

one day early.

seven kits - in a mixture of broken and solid, in black and chocolate.

 Spice is Dad
Jade is mom.

First time for this

I was checking Meggie's kits this morning and as I was counting to make sure all eight were still there and that they were well fed, I noticed that two kits were joined together and I said HEY.. something is not right here.

I found a placenta and umbilical cord joining two kits together.

So I cut off the placenta and cord so that both kits would move freely.

Hopefully there will be no adverse affects to this.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Best Practices - Training kits

About 90% of my young stock ends up going to pet homes.   The remainder tends to go to breeder homes.

One of my pet peeves is getting rabbits from breeders that are a pain in the butt to handle.  They kick and fight when you want to pose them, or clip their nails, or give them a brush out when they moult.   ACK!  Drives me nuts.  No need for bunnies to be brain-dead when it comes to being handled for these necessary things.

To that end, I want to raise rock solid youngsters.  Kits that can handle about anything that is thrown at them without freaking out.

1. dealing with people other than me

About the only thing I can't do reliably is introduce them to strangers a whole lot.   But I can get them used to children (my son and his friends).   I can do some introduction to strangers via children who aren't allowed to have one, they will often come over in the nice weather and play with bunnies on the grass.  I get my hubby to come out to the rabbitry and just say hi to the babies and occasionally I'll bring some sensitive types into the house and plunk one down in his lap.  :) 

2. having nails trimmed.  

I play with bunny feet.  I turn them on their backs.  I fiddle with their feet.  I reward good behaviour.  I do it at least once a day with the little ones until they are five weeks old, and then once a week until they are about 3 months old.  That seems to do the trick with them.  I used to do it a longer but have learned once they get the early training in, they are good to go.

3. being handled every which way.

Do you know what three year olds do with bunnies?   They pick them up by their butts.  They grab the fur and lift.  Six year olds will make them dance.  :)  NOT always the best way to handle a rabbit, but KNOWING THIS, I get my bunnies used to the fact that sometimes their butt hair might get pulled, they might be held upside down, they might end up snuggled upside down in an arm, and such like.  I try to handle them every which way I can.  Gently, slightly roughly, tossed into a cage (MIND.. I do this in such a way that they are not harmed or scared).   I want them used to a sensation, but in a safe, non-scary manner.

4. introduction to foods other than pellets

Do you know how very difficult it is to get a bunny that is stressed from a move to eat when it doesn't like the pellets you are offering it?  and it's never had oatmeal or hay in its' life?   Wow... MEGA difficult.  ERGO.. I make sure that every rabbit I own is used to foods like greens (parsley, carrot greens, lettuce, etc), oatmeal (rolled kitchen oats, or horse oats), hay (either regular horse hay or hay cubes), and the occasional snack of fruit (generally apples).  They also get bread crusts, leftover carrots or peppers or whatever I happen to find in the house.    

5. Movement from one cage to another

In the spring I put bunnies out on grass, in the winter I bring some into the house for a day or two, I'll move rabbits willy-nilly from one cage to another, from one tent to another.  I want them to be used to the fact that life changes and they don't need to stress over it.  Rabbits that stress are rabbits that don't stay in my rabbitry.

I want bomb proof easy to work with rabbits.  

 NOTE: I cannot guarantee what any rabbit will do in your rabbitry, or in your pet home, but I will certainly do my best to give you a level headed rabbit that is a pleasure to handle and work with.   How you handle your rabbit (s) and the environment you raise them in will also have an effect on them.  But at least I want to do my best to give you a good start.

What do you do to get your rabbits used to life outside YOUR rabbitry?

Meggie - kindles April 10, 2012

two days early.
A litter of nine.
One was DOA.
All look to be healthy and will probably be magpie, but time will tell for sure. 

 Aero Bar

Hoppin' Circle - March Wrap up

At Home Pets tackles the tough topic of spaying/neutering rabbits.

The Kelfla Project explains how she values a group effort in her goal of beating the standard.

Fuzzibutt's Rabbitry makes her wrap up debut with a post about how her rabbitry was in the news!

The Nature Trail plays 'Hide and Seek' with a pair of Polish babies.

Who Says Rabbits Lack Personality and Spunk?

an interesting article you may like to read.

who says rabbits lack personality and spunk?

Clips from the article follow

One of the biggest general misconceptions about rabbits is that they just sit there in the cage gnawing on stuff — like great, big hamsters — and don’t do anything interesting all day.

 “Admittedly, I was one of those people who thought rabbits were bereft of personality,” says Shaun T. Gorman, an engineering consultant who’s been living with house rabbits for about seven years. “I figured that as animals of prey, their short life spans short-circuited any hereditary ‘personality’ traits and left them with a pretty basic eat-sleep-poop-survive life structure.” He continues, “Ahh, I know differently now — they are little people, with huge ears and lots of body hair.”
NOTE: I would NEVER characterize bunnies as being people..little or otherwise.  It diminishes what they are.  Rabbits are very individualistic and have their own way of looking at the world.  Calling them people removes what they in actuality are.   BUT the fact that they are quite different I thought was worth pointing out in this article.

  She notes that many people try to play with a rabbit too quickly after the animal arrives, which can often frighten a rabbit even more. “This is a prey species that takes a while to settle down and learn that you are not a predator,” she says. “The best way you can convince the animal that you are not a predator is to stop acting like one — you want to be laid-back and let your rabbit come to you.”
I have learned that with MOST rabbits, give them about three weeks to settle down and the bunny is yours.  BUT do play with your bunny.  Get it used to your scent, your mannerisms, and your household noises.   DO NOT just wait for the bunny as that's giving a lot of power to a bunny with a very small brain :)   but do take into account that calm, quiet people de-stress rabbits quicker than boisterous noisy ones.  :)

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Yesterday I planted

my rabbit garden.

Complete with dandelions, greater plantain, lesser plantain, chicory, chickweed, and queen anne's lace.   i also planted some wild lettuce out front. 

I transplanted all the parsley into the rabbit garden as well.  We can eat from it, but most of it goes to the rabbits simply because we have too much of it.  :)   It's an excellent standby for the rabbits.   So hopefully that will get going soon. 

Last fall I had taken some prickly lettuce seed and planted that, as well as moving a couple of mature plants I had.    This will serve the bunnies well I think.  Particularly if I can get it growing well by say July when we take our holidays.  This will make it easier for my bunny people to give the rabbits greens every other day.  (at least thats my hope!).  :)

 When it's growing well I'll need to put a picture in.  :)

For now it is looking something like this only bigger.
A few growing plants and mostly dirt.