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My baby is getting old. She's now 10 years old. Her weight has dropped considerably and she's not eating much and she's breathing hard. Today I gave her fresh pellets and she grabbed a few and that was it. Yesterday she ate some carrot pieces. Her eyes are getting heavy. I'm sure it won't be long now. I'll spoil her while shes still here.
Rest In Peace Baby. April 2006 - March 8, 2016
So, I've decided to start an actual blog. Seriously. I doubt too many people actually read the ones on here, but if you do, Thank You. I will still post here sporadically (much like I've been doing) But I want to give you the link for my new blog site. It will contain not only posts about rabbits, but about chickens, homesteading, recipes, pets, and beauty products. Maybe if I join a gym, I'll throw that in there, or maybe some photography. Who knows what the future will bring!
Anyway, here it is: hopingtohelp.weebly.com
So, I've got two litters right now. One born from Hope X Chester. She had 4, 2 bucks, 2 does. One of each is blue Vienna Marked. There is something wrong with the little VM buck. His head is tilted to one side. These kits seem to have finer fur, thinner faces, longer thinner ears. The bodies seem narrower, but have a nice topline. The other litter, Georgia X Heart, 2 BEW. They have nice solid bodies, very round, with round heads and nice ears. They're eyes are smaller than the other litter.
So, I don't really know much about genetics.
If I breed Hope X Chester again, will I have the same outcome? Should I breed her to her brother (Heart) instead? I know that's a touchy subject. I don't really have another buck...
Should I keep breeding Georgia X Heart? Or should I try her with Chester?
And what about my new girl? Which buck should I try her with first?
Ugh, someone help me!
Wen to to my first show yesterday! Finally!! Got here just in time (horrible sense o direction and lots of rain) Found a spot at the back at a table by myself and waited. They did the breeds in alphabetical order, so Netherland Dwarfs were more than half way down. The show started at 10. Around noon they did a showmanship thing upstairs for the kids and I grabbed a couple of hotdogs and a tea. I kept checking on the silent auction out back where I bid on 2 t-shirts and a water bottle. And I had to stop myself from bidding on the Mini Satin that was there. (I didn't win anything)
They called on the Mini Satins and I knew they would call the ND soon (and sometimes it was hard to hear) So I moved up and squatted on the floor next to Chester. Then they called ND Sr. BEW bucks, and chocolate. So up I went, Frank opened a hole for me and I threw Chester in. The judge pulled him out, put him back in, took out Frank's (there were only the 2) then took Chester back out and gave him second place. I heard him say that he had a good topline, but that is body was a bit long. Nice color to his eyes, wide forehead amd good substance to his ears. I really wish I would have stood a bit closer so I could hear better. Frank's buck won BOB 2nd runner up BIS. Beautiful animal.
I have to work hard to beat that!!
So, I have a few rabbits in the building now that are getting on in age. Haze, who is my baby, is now 9 years old. I give her unlimited feed, occasional hay, and now that it's spring, she gets plenty of dandelions, grass, clover, branches, etc. She's doing great. She has plenty of energy, she still likes to dig, and roll, and run. Sometimes she gets a bit overweight and I cut her back on her pellets and feed her unlimited hay.
Cotton, on the other hand, (who is Haze's 8 year old daughter) belongs to my mother. She has recently started to lose weight very rapidly. I'v felt a mass in her pelvic area that does not move and one in her abdomen that does. She hardly eats her pellets, but I keep her dish filled. She's not really interested in hay, but I make sure she has it. I give her black oil sunflower seeds and gobbles them up. Everyday I give her a giant handful of dandelions and she sits and eats them until they are gone. She eats grass when you give it to her, but I don't know if it will give her gas by eating too much. I'm not sure what to do. I just keep feeding her because I feel that is better than her not eating at all. She's at the age that I feel like it's not worth putting her through any invasive procedures in this point in her like. I just want her to be comfortable until my mother makes the call to get her put down. Any suggestions are welcome.
So. I took the rabbits (Apollo and Daisy) to the Big Ex. I took them down Sunday night. Gave them both food, water and hay. They were terrified with all the quaking and honking from the birds. Until I put them in the cages and they realized they were next to new rabbits. Then they didn't even notice I was leaving. I went Monday morning to feed and water them and give them more hay. They seemed nervous, but otherwise alright. Tuesday was judging day. Judging started at 10:00 am and the barn was scheduled to open at 12. I showed up early to feed and water them, but they wouldn't let me in. I was told that they feed, water and clean out the rabbits and I had to do nothing! 1:10 they finally opened the building so I could come in a see my rabbits. And this is what I found! I know it's not really anything to be proud of, considering Daisy was the only Netherland Dwarf there and apparently Apollo was too large to be a Mini Rex, so they turned him into a Rex. But this is all very new to me. I'll take anything. The young fellow there must see my concern for my boy, it being so hot and all, he makes sure that Apollo has a frozen bottle. I went back in today (Wed.) and everything is the same. Always have water, food and an ice bottle. So far, so good.
I've had some issues. I won't deny that. I thought there was an illness in my barn. I started doing research immediately. I wanted to try a boost all my rabbits immune systems. I researched herbs (but being early April and having a horrible winter, they weren't readily available) I found a vaccine called BunnyVac. I contacted the company and was told they do not ship to Canada. Yet. I hope. Plan B. I came across something called VetRX. It is supposed to be made up of mineral and herbal oils. You can add it to water for immune booster. You can apply it to ear mites and fur mites, and you can put it under their noses to help them breathe better if congested. So, I ordered a bottle. It was less than $20. I got the bottle and added drops to all the water bottles and bowls. Then I realized....it's oil. It floats on water. I figured eventually the rabbits would get to it. But I don't think they did. At least in the bottles anyway. It coated the inside of bottles. I left it, thinking that they may be getting some of it. Then it started to mildew. Bottles are very hard to clean. The bottle brush can really only reach certain spots, and you can't fit your hand inside. Some of the bottles even started to strip. And you can't clean it out. I'll keep the VetRX and try it in case I ever have furmites or earmites. But if you try this stuff, DON'T put it in your water bottles! It may be better suited to crocks and dishes. Now I have to buy several new bottles.
Another lesson learned the hard way.
Finally got rabbits entered into the Big Ex. Was so much easier than I expected. I entered one Mini Rex buck and one Netherland Dwarf doe. Guess I'm going to have to get my rabbit carrier put together now...
So, as of right now, I'm hoping to have a litter born on Mar. 5. Fingers crossed.
I plan on attending my first rabbit show on April 12. I'm very excited, and I have no idea what to expect. I'll have to travel all the way there by myself (about 1 1/2 - 2 hrs) I have yet to order a carrier for the rabbits. Also, not sure who to take. I was going to take Dixie, but she's missing the fur on her chest. Not sure if it will grow back in time. It was suggested I treat for fur mites. Next time I get to Bridgewater, I'll have to see if they will give me a tube of Revolution without having to make an appointment.
Breeding Netherlands is a challenging process. Veterans are great. They know what to do to get bred, they are normally receptive, the usually take, they take care of a litter. First timers are tough. Right now I'm working with 2 of my first timers and things aren't going so well. Neither are being receptive. At all. I thought I had them both bred before Christmas. First timers are harder to palpate because their stomach muscles are tighter. I'm not the most experienced, so that is probably some of my problem. Neither kindled. I'm trying to get them bred. I've tried keeping them in the bucks cage for a few days to make them more receptive, and that didn't work. I'll have to try some more tricks. (If you have any, please let me know) The moral of this story is....DON"T GIVE UP!