Thursday, February 26, 2009

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.


VTmama said...

Awww.... Sorry it was so rough! I've heard that rabbit cries are awful!

Isabelle said...

WOW your my hero! i could never do that! Sorry it cried :(

Anonymous said...

Hey isn't always that bad my son and I have been tattooing for 3 years now and it depends on the rabbit... it is easier if you have some help holding them. Have been told you can tattoo by the moon or the zodiac sign, but haven't found that information yet.

Natalie said...

Okay... but why? Lots of bunnies? Keeping track of them? I have heard a bunny cry, and it's not an easy sound to forget. This sounds like a rough job.
Poor bunny... poor you!
Oh, hello, btw. I am cruising around the interwebs and got all caught up in this post. Nice to meet you. I look forward to more of your Not farm-Small farm ventures!

Kelly said...

Thanks for the comments all!

Natalie: Yeah, it's hard to tell one white rabbit from another white rabbit... so tattooing is a necessary evil :) Thanks for the comment! :)

Cindy said...

Its so lovely to see such well loved bunnies and friends!!
Nobody has told me that this is the wrong way to get the word out...about the best rabbit food that is now out on the market...I hope this isnt tacky!? But please do take the time to check us out and let us know what you think...we even have free samples!!! We have a facebook page too..Sherwood Forest Natural Rabbit Food!!! Let us know what you think!! We are interested!!! We love the bunny lovers in the world!!!

Kelly said...

Cindy: I don't normally allow advertizing/spamming on my blogs, but you were so nice.

I'm always interested in anything that my rabbits might enjoy. Despite what some people think, even though these are not pets, but are meant for consumption by myself and my family, I still want them to have the best lives possible. So, thank you for the information. I'm sure that my readers will be interested!

Anonymous said...

Have you tried wrapping them in a towel? I've been reading and watching videos on this, in a video a man wrapped his bunnies in a towel. The bunny jumped but it didn't go far... Might be worth a shot. (I haven't ever done it, but you're so honest with the experience if you tried it I'm sure you would let us know how it works) Thanks for posting about it and sharing your experiences. It really is more helpful than you may know! Now to read more of your stuff ;) ...

Babygirl said...

there are numbing gels, sprays and lotions out there you can use on the rabbits ear. sanitize the ear, put numbing gel (or whichever you use) use gloves to apply because your fingers will go numb and become tattoo'd by accident otherwise. Allow at least 20 minutes for it to fully numb the ear, then tattoo. the rabbit doesn't feel the ear so it doesn't react.
Also helps to swaddle the rabbit in a towel with only the ear sticking out.