Thursday, February 26, 2009

A Bunny Aside...

Hey... if any of you rabbit people out there are having a hard time finding hutch and/or buck cards.... here are mine! You can download them to Excel or whatever and edit them for your own use. Merry Christmasish.

Hutch Cards:

Buck Card:

Tattooing Rabbits SUCKS!

It is a nice warm day today so I figured it would be a good time to tattoo the rabbits. I didn't want to do it during the cold weather because the cold puts enough stress on them, and I didn't want to wait much longer because I'm planning on breeding Sonny and Cher on the 1st.

SO, I re-read my books and got what supplies I thought I'd need ready. I had my tattoo kit, my green paste ink, baby wipes to clean up with, paper towels, alcohol swabs to pre-clean the area and a plastic shoe box to put the rabbits in to keep them still.
I used the alcohol swabs on all three rabbits left ears about 10 minutes before I was planning to tattoo them. I wanted to give the alcohol time to evaporate before I did anything. (You always tattoo the rabbits left ear so if you show them the show officials can write in their right ears). If anyone's ever given themselves a shot (which I have) and you didn't give the alcohol time to dry it SMARTS!!!

I decided on a numbering system for my tattoos quite a while ago. You only have 5 spots to work with so I had to revise my idea a few times. Here's what I came up with...

Sonny's tattoo is now M0807 because he is a male and was born in August of 2007.
Cher's tattoo is now 06071 because she was born in June of 2007. I didn't use an "F" but instead used a "1" after her DOB because I am WAY more likely to keep more than one female from a litter than I am a male. So she is the first (only) female from June of 07. If I had another female from her litter she would be "06072".
Joplin's tattoo is 10081 - can you guess when her birthday is? :P

Here is a picture of the pliers with Sonny's tattoo numbers in place.
If you use pliers be SURE to test out the pattern on an index card before you use them!! As you can see from my index card, the first time I set it up I had them completely backwards!!!

So once I had the pliers all set up for Sonny I reached into his hutch and put him in the little box. I smeared a good amount of the green paste on the area where I was going to tattoo, got the pliers out, clamped them on his ear (he HATED it!!) and then smeared more paste over the newly punctured area. All in all, Sonny took it like a man. I was thinking, well, I could tell it hurt a little, but it doesn't seem too bad! YAY!!

Sonny post-tattoo

Rennie watching from a short distance

Oh how naive I was. I set up Cher's number, punched the test card and went over to Cher's hutch. ! was happy with my victory and picked her right up and plopped her in the shoe-box. I smeared her ear with the paste, got the pliers and clamped down.

Yeah, did you know rabbits could CRY?!?!!?! She freaked out, jumped out of the box and was trying to run away from me with the pliers still attached to her ear. She was SCREAMING! OMG, I felt SO BAD. I held on to the pliers though, I didn't want to have to do this again. Once I removed them I grabbed her and smeared more ink on. Then I took a break. My heart was beating so hard. My poor Cher!!!! The chickens were freaking out and "baa-gawking" all over the place.

After his mom's ordeal, this is where Rennie ended up, in the neighbors yard.
Not so funny anymore huh Rennie?!?!?
After a short recess I decided to get going with Joplin. Stop procrastinating! Maybe she'll be ok, like her dad! Yeah... Ok, re-read the previous paragraph. Joplin takes after her mom. POOR BABY!! Afterwards we were both shaking and covered in ink. I was SO HAPPY that I didn't have any more rabbits to tattoo!!!! (At least today).

Joplin post-tattoo... Poor eyes bugging out
Yeah, so that was my adventure today. I am planning on tattooing any "keeper" rabbits in the future, just because, well, you HAVE to if you want to keep track of a bunch of identical white rabbits. But I will NEVER take it for granted! *Deep breath* I'm taking it easy for the rest of the day!! After I go out back and give these three some carrot.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

A Typical Snowy Morning

"Come on Mom!!!!!"
(Yes, that is a Steelers jacket!)

"Get with it Lady! Feed Us!!!"

"Oh yeah, nom nom nom..."
"Oooh! Am I getting fed! YAY!"
(This is why we call him Chuckles)

"Hey, is that midget getting some food?
What is it? I'm not sure I approve!"
"Me either, lets check this out..."
"What about US?!?!?!"
"Oh sure, feed the bachelors last, we see how it is..."

Now, finally, it's time for MY breakfast!

Monday, February 9, 2009

The Boys Last Day...

This morning I went to the store and bought some freezer bags for the boys. I was planning on butchering them this afternoon, once the sun came out. As I was waiting for the clouds to blow away I got a phone call. The man I had been talking to about getting a Californian buck was calling me to see if I still had the two boys available! Talk about saved by the bell! About 20 minutes after he called the sun came out. If he had called any later they would have been bunny burgers!!!

BUT... when he showed up to get the boys he had a TRUCKLOAD of rabbits... Yes, I gave in to temptation... I traded one of the boys for this ADORABLE rex doe. Isn't she CUTE? They have really short dense fur that makes them feel like velvet. Plus, they are commonly used as meat rabbits! SCORE! I'm going to breed her with Sonny and see what happens. (Since Sonny is an albino all the babies will have their mothers coloring - hopefully they'll inherit the texture too!). I have a sneaking suspicion that she is already pregnant though... she has a HUGE stomach and her little teats are sticking through her fur. I put a nest box in there just to be on the safe side. We'll see!! (She was sold to the dealer as part of a foursome - 3 girls and 1 boy - so if she is preggers they will probably be purebred!)

So the boys were saved and I have a new girl! Since I haven't had much time with her yet, she's still unnamed. Any ideas?

Monday, February 2, 2009

Our Egg Sign... and a Rabbit Rumble

It occurred to me the other day that I hadn't posted a picture of the new sign I made!
In other news, the baby rabbits hormones have kicked in! The two males who have been sharing a cage are now separated! I was filling up the feeders and generall putzing around near the hutches when I noticed that the two boys were... um... "overly excited". That was ok, I mean, they weren't hurting each other... But then it escalated into all out fighting! They would run from either side of the cage and RAM each other! There were chunks of bunny fur flying!!! So, now they're separated.

Lesson learned! I will NOT keep babies this long again! (btw: they are just under 4 months old). I am planning on "taking care of business" some time this week. :(

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Rennie Rabbit and Molly

Some pictures I took this morning... for your amusement... :). By the way, those marks on Rennie's side aren't from Molly, they are pee from him hanging out underneath his parents' hutch. Ewwww.... acid rain...

Super Bunny

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Renegade Rabbit

We have an escapee!! One of the three males from Cher's litter flew the coop day before yesterday and has made himself quite at home in the pine trees behind the hutches. He's having a blast and seems to find it very funny that, try as I might, I can't get my hands on him!
He's figured out that the poop piles under the hutch are nice and warm!
We've decided (well, he has actually, since I can't catch him!) that we're going to let him roam the yard and "see what happens". He's already made friends with our cat Molly, they've been playing tag all morning - he does as much of the chasing as she does! Since he's made himself stand out from the crowd he's earned a name... Rennie (AKA Renegade Rabbit).
See him laughing at me??
Here is a shot of the new hutch. It is a MESS because it's been snowing non-stop for over a week and neatening up is not a priority right now. There are three sections on the top (with trays under them to catch the droppings) and eventually it will have 2 grow-out pens on the bottom for future litters. The striped awning flips down to give them some protection from the wind. This is in a temporary location. I'm planning on building a shed near the wood pile this spring for all of the hutches to go into. You can see the other two boys in the last cage... they didn't get out... Rennie's a sneaky one!