Monday, July 28, 2008

And so the summer goes on. The rabbits are having a lazy time. My main job is to watch them for heat related problems, keep the water coming and manage the wasps.

We have had 6 days of 100+ temps in a row, 14 days this summer at 100+, and we will be at 100+ for the next 7 days or so with no possibility of rain. The humidity is low so that makes it bearable.

Part of my breeding program is to have rabbits that can tolerate the heat with minimal assistance. I am now starting the fans when there is no breeze. So far it is going fine.

The wasp are never ending. They are coming in for the water and are being just a general nuisance. I had one doe stop eating, but she seemed fine in every other way. She kept coming up to the cage door everytime I came in and seemed to be asking for something. I didn't see the wasp on the her bottle at first, but them when she went over to her water, sniffed it without drinking and then looked at me. I really looked closely at the water drip and saw one standing guard.

My pest spray of choice is no name brand, original flavor, mouthwash. I put it in a spay bottle and keep it handy in the rabbit hutch. A couple of sprays and they are off and away. It does not kill them and they will come back looking for their nest. I suggest a bit of liquid soap added to it if you want to knock them down and keep them from flying.

Wasp have their place, just not so close to the rabbits. So I just run them off a couple of times and that is usually enough. And I don't have any pesticide residue floating around my rabbits.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

We have had record heat, but the rabbits are coping nicely. June had 3 days of 100 degree + days. Rainfall is also down so that is not helping.

Grooming and maintenance is all that is happening now. The yellow jacket wasps are making their presence felt a bit earlier this year. I have had to clear out 3 nests, 2 small and one large. I actually don't mind them until they start getting aggressive about the water bottles.

Every spring I have to watch for red wasp and yellow jackets making nests in the rabbit hutch. The red wasp usually go off to other nesting sites once I remove them from the hutch, but the yellow jackets just come back and start again in the same general local. You have to give marks for tenacity.

Some of my cages needed a bit of maintenance. The cage clips I used to originally construct them with were corroding away so I put in some zip ties. They are easy and fast to apply. Now I just have to see how long they will hold up.