Monday, February 18, 2008

The kits are growing rapidly and are looking very healthy. They are now supplementing themselves with pellets, water and hay. I will make some initial judgments on sex this week along with colors.

It was so nice outside I started moving some of the hay out of the floor area of the rabbit shed. I clean throughly twice a year, spring and fall. I use it around my apple trees and in the garden. It is the perfect material, hay partially composted with rabbit manure. Rabbit manure is a cold fertilizer so it can be used without composting first.

Monday, February 11, 2008

One of my bucks, a fawn, decided to have a bout with wool block. I knew he was approaching the time to pluck his wool. He had extra fur lying about the cage and the occasional bit of wool dragging from behind.

Friday morning he was lying with his head down and wouldn't come to greet me. After finishing with the other rabbits I brought him inside for immediate action. I administered two capsules of baby simethicone by cutting them open and put the drops in his mouth. I gave him a deep, but gentle tummy massage to help get the intestines moving again. Watch what you are doing with this. The intestines can be ripped if you are rough or not careful. I plucked the loose wool from him and fed him as many sunflower seed as he would eat. I exercised him while he was inside; run about the house a bit to also help get the intestines moving. When I put him back in his cage I gave him a few dandelion leaves, and an extra handful of Timothy hay.

The next day he was improved only a little. When I took him out of his cage he seemed more lively and when I took him out into the yard to look for more dandelions he was much more active.

By the following day he had recovered fully.

This was all brought on because I fell behind on getting him to the table for plucking. Angoras are like cats in their grooming habits, except they do not have the ability to vomit, therefore they cannot throw up fur balls like a cat. The fur lodges in the intestines and can create blockages if large enough quantities of wool are ingested.

A gassy bunny is a happy bunny.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

When I first looked into angoras I did all kinds of research on which breed would be suitable for me. I concluded that the Satin Angora was the right rabbit. I couldn't find one breeder in Texas or even in the adjoining states. I ended up having a breed trio shipped to me. Lacey was part of that trio from Lisa Somerville, in Ohio.

Lacey was a successful show rabbit for Lisa and a fine breeder for me. She lived to be over 5 years old. Un-spayed females tend to succumb to reproductive cancers. I suspect she was experiencing this as her last 4 litters produced kits in many different sizes of gestation. None of which survived. I retired her from breeding for the current cycle. She was also bloating in the abdominal area. And she had an abscess over her right eye which probably originated with a tooth problem.

This all sounds bad, but she never exhibited pain. Was eating normally, bowl movements were good, and had a full shiny coat. Four week ago the abscess was very large and ready to be worked on. I lanced it, cleaned it out, and packed the wound with antibiotic cream. She allowed me to do it with very little struggle. I decided then that if it re-occurred that I would put her down.Even thought she didn't show pain from the abscess, I know it had to have been putting extreme pressure in her facial area. And if it ruptured internally she would die slowly of septicemia. The abscess did come back so it was time.

She is the rabbit I compare all my prospective keepers to. She produced a fine prime coat with the right amount of guard hair to wool. Good shoulders and rump. Never had wool block even though she was not a big hay eater. The perfect angora temperament.

She was buried in an area of the yard reserved as the pet/rabbit area. Only a select few get that treatment.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Not quite 2 weeks. I transferred 2 of the ermine does' kits to the red does' litter for nursing. It seemed the smaller kits were being pushed aside and not getting their fair share of milk. I moved the 2 biggest white kits over for ease of recognition since the red doe produced no whites at all.

They have been able to catch up. When does have litters this close in age it makes fostering much easier.

Unfortunately, after a week, one of the white kits I put in the red doe litter
doesn't seem to be getting enough milk. So I moved him back with his original litter mates.

The colors have darkened significantly for both litters. I was afraid the ermine had had all whites again but, within 2 days of birth I could see a few would be fawn. Eyes are just starting to open.