Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Friend For Bunny

Does your bunny need a friend?

Yes! - You!

In the wild, rabbits are social animals and enjoy the company of their families. In captivity, rabbits usually do not have the space required to be housed together.

Rabbits are very territorial by nature and require their own living space. There are ways to alter their natural behavior. If you spay or neuter your rabbit, there is a fair chance that you will be able to bond the rabbit with another one. It does n0t work 100% of the time, but if both rabbits are altered the chances are good.

Sometimes two unspayed does from the same litter or two does bonded at a very young age (less than 8 weeks) will remain close enough that they will share a living space. Two dominant does will not. If you separate the does for even a short time that may be enough to break the bond. It will be impossible to predict the compatibility of two does until they are full grown.

Two bonded rabbits are very cute to see, but understand that this is not usually natural. They usually have to be spayed/neutered to remain together and even then there may be some fighting. The cost can be pretty high as well. It can cost $400+ to have 2 rabbits altered.

Rabbits can be just as happy bonded to you. This way they can have their own living space full of toys to play with and still have you as a friend to play with from time to time. Since they are territorial, bunnies are quite happy to live in their own space provided they are given plenty of play toys to keep them from boredom. If you do have two bonded rabbits, they will not look forward to spending as much time with you, because they will already have a friend.

Do not expect that your rabbit will always easily accept you as their friend. It may still be best to spay/neuter your rabbit to allow them to easily bond with you. However, it is easier for your rabbit to bond with you than with another rabbit. With a little patience, you will end up being your bunny's best friend.

Springtime All Year Round

I have been very lucky with breeding my rabbits. When I first started breeding rabbits, I think my luck was purely accidental. I have learned much since then and realize the importance of heat and light if you want to have an easy time breeding rabbits year round.

Rabbits naturally breed in the Spring when the days get longer and the weather warms up. I have found that by giving my rabbits 14+ hours of artificial light and keeping the temperature between 55-7o degrees my rabbits are willing to breed 99% of the time.

Keeping the bucks and does in the same room also helps to keep the does willing. I think they can communicate to each other in their own way.

Many breeders have troubles getting their rabbits bred at some point. There are many people who think rabbits will breed anytime, but conditions have to be favorable. If you try to set up your rabbitry so that it is always springtime you shouldn't have any troubles.

You should also be sure to breed does as soon as they have stopped growing and are mature (usually between 5-8 months of age). If you wait any longer, I've found they are less likely to be good breeders. All of my best brood does had their first litter when they were 6-7 months old and all of my worst ones were later starters (first litter around 7-10 months of age). They must have their first litter before they are 1 year old or they could have troubles kindling.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Bath for Bunny?

Full baths are never recommended for rabbits unless they are caked with mud or a dangerous substance like gasoline. It is very rare that a bunny will need a bath. Bathing your bunny is sometimes very dangerous.

Rabbits clean themselves very well and they will take care of small spots of dirt in their own time. I've had some white bucks that don't clean their face very well and occasionally I will have to give them a spot bath. I use a spray bath made for bunnies. You can also use a powder bath.

PLEASE do not get your bunny completely wet unless they have rolled in the mud or it would be dangerous for bunny if you do not clean him. A rabbit's fur takes a long time to get soaked in the wild and takes just as long to get dry. They are not made for getting soaking wet. Rabbits get too stressed when they are wet and can go into shock, have a heart attack or die from illness after getting cold/wet if not thoroughly dried.

If you bunny has a poopy butt (usually younger rabbits), you can either cut the fur around the anus or if that isn't enough then clean the area with a warm wet sponge. Be sure to always dry wet areas quickly with a hairdryer on low.

If your bunny is constantly getting dirty, you might need to look at his cage. If you are using a solid bottom, you may need to switch to a wire bottom to keep bunny clean. The litter box might need to be changed more often. You might need to clean the urine guards or feeder more often.

"But my bunny likes to get a bath." Did your bunny tell you that? Remember bunnies usually get very still when they are nervous. Just because he is not protesting it does not mean that he is enjoying it.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Litter Box Training

Rabbits are usually surprisingly easy to litter box train.

Rabbits can be litter box trained at any age, but it is generally easier to train them once they are older.

Step 1: Wait until you can determine which area the bunny uses as his/her "potty". If you can't determine this yet, the bunny is too young.

Step 2: Place a litter box in that corner of the cage and fill it with bedding. I recommend wood pellet bedding. Add some of the droppings to the litter.

Step 3: Move the box if the bunny changes his/her potty corner. Usually they start using it right away.

It is pretty simple. The biggest mistake people make is putting the litter box in too soon and then it is usually used as a bed instead. If this happens, it is probably best to turn that litter box into a bed and buy a different one to be used as the potty. I've never had a bunny I couldn't train.

Not all litter boxes work for all bunnies. Some litter boxes are too shallow. If you find that there is urine close to the box but outside of it, then you may need to buy a box with higher sides. The bunny might he half in and half out of the box while eliminating.

As I said, I recommend wood pellet bedding to be placed inside the litter box. Cat litter is not safe if eaten and I've tried the scoopable litter designed for rabbits and it does not work well. The scoop does not catch the small pellets, so it has to be changed very often and it is very expensive.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Spaying or Neutering Your Pet Bunny

If you are contemplating the need to spay or neuter your bunny, you are not alone. This is one my most often asked questions.

These procedures are not necessary. However, they can be very helpful in prolonging your pets life and eliminating bad bunny behaviors as well. It will also allow you to bond 2 rabbits. Un-altered rabbits will not usually bond, unless they are 2 does from the same litter.

If cost is not an issue, I would tell you to make the appointment today. Not only will you reduce the chances of cancer, you will also more than likely calm your rabbit down and make him/her a more enjoyable pet. Unfortunately, the cost of a spay/neuter in this area is a bit high and it usually has to be considered.

Neutering Your Buck

Neutering is usually a good bit cheaper and a less risky procedure. It can be done once the rabbit is mature at around 3.5 to 4 months of age. Some un-altered bucks do end up spraying urine. I have noticed it in around 10% of my bucks. Others tend to want to breed and that drive can lead to unwanted behaviors, such as mounting. These behaviors can be reduced or eliminated by neutering.

It usually costs between $100-$140 to have a rabbit neutered. Some vets require an overnight stay, but I would try to avoid that if at all possible, due to noises of dogs barking, etc (unless the vet only treats small animals). Rabbits are very nervous creatures and the combination of stress, medication, lack of appetite, etc can cause digestive distress which is a leading cause of death among dwarf rabbits. It would be much better to have the bunny recover in the comfort of your home where he is less stressed.

Spaying Your Doe

Spaying is usually done to reduce the risk of cancer in does. Most vets will not spay a doe until she is full grown at 6 months of age. Unspayed female rabbits have a very high risk of uterine and mammary cancers. They can also get irritable once they are mature and ready to be bred. They tend to be more territorial and hormonal than the bucks and spaying helps calm them down.

It usually costs between $150-$250 to have a rabbit spayed. It will require an overnight stay, but they should be released within 24 hours. A rabbit should NEVER fast, so be weary if a vet tells you to do this prior to the procedure. It can throw the rabbit into digestive distress. Do not have a rabbit spayed at a clinic that treats large animals, unless they are kept overnight in an area with no noise from dogs barking. You should also visit your bunny after the procedure to show her that she has not been abandoned. Some rabbits will get very depressed and it will slow recovery or lead to other problems.

Take a bag of bunny food with you to the appointment and a toy that he/she likes. You might also want to take a small blanket with your scent on it, so they feel more at ease in their surroundings. I take a small baggie of oatmeal and parsley, since it is good for stress. If you have well water and the clinic has city water, you might want to take a bottle of water with you. Some rabbits won't like the taste and can get dehydrated.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Cages, Cages, Cages!!

There are so many cages to choose from. It can be hard to decide what to buy for your bunny. There are some questions you need to ask yourself before you go out and buy your cage.

Are you keeping the bunny outside or indoors?
Is the bunny a buck or doe?
If you are a breeder, how much space do you have?

Indoor Pet Bunnies

There are a lot of nice pet bunny cages at your local pet store. Some have solid bottoms and wire sides/top. Others have a wire bottom with a pan to pull out and clean. Both are fairly easy to clean, however I don't recommend them for all rabbits.

Bucks should definitely have urine guards. If you have a buck with short hair, I'd recommend a solid bottom cage. It is also a good idea to purchase a litter box for solid bottom cages. If your rabbit has longer hair, you should definitely get a wire bottom cage to keep the bunny clean. You can then buy urine guards to attach to the inside of the cage.

Does don't necessarily need urine guards, so I recommend buying a wire bottom cage with tray. You can then determine if urine guards may be needed in the one corner they use as their potty.

Outdoor Pet Bunnies

There is really only one type of outdoor hutch that I recommend. The hutch should have two compartments with a doorway in between. One side should be protected from the weather with wood sides and door. There should be a roof and wire bottom on both sides. There should also be a piece of wood cut to place in the enclosed side in cold weather which is able to be moved to the other side as a resting board in the summer.

Breeders or owners of multiple rabbits
(meant for those who keep them in a building)

When I first got into breeding, I had a hard time deciding what cages I should buy or make.

If you have plenty of space and dirt floors, you might prefer hanging cages. They are cheaper to make and easy to shovel out and clean.

If you are like most of us, space is an issue and we have to get stackable cages. I use mostly Havahart cages, but I also really like Bass Cages. It is more difficult and costly to make your own stackable cages. I haven't been able to come up with a plan to make them that actually saves enough money to be worth it. The Tractor Supply Company will give you a discount if you are buying a bunch of them, so it's around $50.00 for one cage with water bottle, feeder and stackable hutch kit (legs). I've ordered cages from Bass Equipment that are just as nice or nicer for my bucks at around the same price. There are a lot of companies that make nice ones, though. You can also purchase them and pick them up at rabbit shows to save on shipping.

The one mistake I made from the beginning was that I didn't buy urine guards. You should definitely have urine guards for any stacking cages that you buy. It will keep the cage nice much longer and give you extra years before needing to buy new ones. Plus it will keep your floors dry.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Jersey Woolies

The Jersey Wooly is also known as the Dwarf Angora in Europe. The Jersey Wooly was developed by crossing the Netherland Dwarf and the French Angora. They weigh between 2.5 to 3.5 pounds. These rabbits are very affectionate and playful. They love to be around other animals especially cats and small dogs. Jersey Woolies are very intelligent and can be taught some simple tricks. Most Jersey Woolies have very friendly personalities. As pets they range from laid-back lap bunnies to outgoing explorers. They have an easy-care coat, due to the high ratio of guard hairs. Once they are 6 months old, they require very little grooming, but they should be given hairball preventative treatments. These rabbits were officially recognized by the ARBA in 1988.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Growing Up!

These are pictures of a bunny of mine named Princess. Bunnies are born with no hair and their eyes are closed. After a few days the hair grows in, but their eyes are still shut. At around day 9-12 the eyes open. Between day 14-18 they will leave the nestbox and begin to eat a little food and hay. They will be weaned at around 7 weeks of age. At 6 months of age they are considered an adult.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Walk the Bunny

Your bunny will probably end up walking you, but it is a fun way to give your pet bunny a little exercise. There are special leashes/harnesses made for rabbits. Please do not use a cat collar and leash. You could injure your bunny. Do not pull on the leash. Just give the bunny a little freedom to roam around and eat some dandelions. Most bunnies seem to really enjoy it. :)

Thursday, August 14, 2008


I usually wean my rabbits between 6-7 weeks of age. Weaning begins much earlier, though. Kits begin the weaning process as soon as they start eating on their own. This usually occurs between day 14-18. At that time, they are still getting the majority of their food from their mother's milk.

The process of weaning can be a very stressful time on a dwarf rabbit. Roughly 25% of dwarf rabbits are born as peanuts and can not digest food. These peanuts are also deformed and die within 1 week of birth. Unfortunately, there is nothing that can be done to save them.

"Faders" or "Runts" also occur in dwarf rabbit breeds. These kits are usually born small and show a lot of good show quality characteristics. They do well the first 2-4 weeks, but then gradually fade away. I believe that there are some dwarf rabbits born that are not quite normal, but not a peanut either. They are something in between. From my observations these rabbits usually grow fairly well while they are on their Mom's milk. The problem develops when the Mom is no longer able to provide everything the bunny needs solely through her milk. I don't think the digestive system is formed well enough to handle solid foods yet. The kit usually loses weight gradually over a few days and goes into digestive distress. I have had a few of these kits make it through this stressful period. I think that some of them are just a few weeks behind and it takes a bit longer for their digestive system to develop completely. I have fed them electolytes, hay, baby food, probiotics and more. It usually doesn't work and they fade away. Maybe some of them would never be normal. I can really only guess. I do know that this seems to occur most with small does or brood does with a very large litter. It also seems to have a genetic component. I would not personally breed any faders that live to a breeding age, although they seem to live normal lives once they make it past 12 weeks of age.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Thrianta Rabbits

The Thrianta rabbit is one of the newest breeds to be recognized by the American Rabbit Breeder's Association in 2006. Thriantas (pronounced Tree-an-ta) are known as "The Fiery Red Rabbit" or the "Fire of the Fancy". They have a beautiful orange-red coat and brown eyes. Thriantas are between 4-6 lbs, which makes them a good small sized pet rabbit.

The Thrianta traces its history back to the Netherlands in 1938, when Mr. H. Andreae, a school teacher, began developing the breed as a tribute to Holland's royal house, the House of Orange. Bred from Black Tan, English Spot, and Havana rabbits, the Thrianta was accepted in the Netherlands in 1940, but the original standards, stipulating a hint of tan coloring under the orange top coat, made the breed difficult to maintain. World War II also took a toll on the Thrianta population, as the Netherlands were invaded by German forces just days after the breed's first official recognition. By 1966, Thriantas were no longer listed in the Dutch standards.

Thrianta rabbits look like a larger rabbit in a small package. For those interested in the longer ears and sweet personality of the large breeds, but don't have the space. You might be interested in these fiery rabbits. They probably come with a higher price tag though, since they are still fairly rare and hard to find ($75-$100).

Vanodine - Great for Everything!

It's wonderful to find a product that is so useful for many different things. I had always heard about how great Vanodine is, but I didn't realized it until a breeder gave me a little bit for a rabbit sold to me with some sore spots behind the ears. Once I tried it I was hooked.

Vanodine is a pet friendly product that is used for general disinfecting. It is also used to keep wounds from getting infected, good for sore hocks and can be put in drinking water to clean out watering systems and bottles. It's good for ringworm and respiratory infections, too. It can be used in a misting system to keep everything germ free. It is a wonderful product to clean nesting boxes with. It is completely safe and so useful in a rabbitry. It does contains Iodine though, so it will temporarily discolor a white rabbit.

Here are ways to put Vanodine V18 to good use:

General disinfectant for cleaning - 3 tsp/gal
Spray for wounds, eyes and nose - 1 tsp/gal
Drinking water - 0.5 tsp/gal
Misting - 1.5 tsp/gal

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Flying Bunnies!

I am an experienced shipper. I say this because I think I've already made every mistake imaginable and have learned from them all. I have shipped my bunnies to Canada, Hawaii and Domestic US.

My first shipping experience was to Canada. Luckily, Canada only requires the same paperwork/vet certificates. The only problem is that I booked a flight on a date when the inspections office was closed in Toronto. Well, that was not the only problem. Actually, the airline I booked the flight with also did not accept rabbits as cargo (United). I show up at the airport (a 1.5 hour drive from me) and they tell me I have to go to the main terminal. I guess they thought I was traveling with the bunny. It was a big hassle and eventually I learned that I could not use United as a carrier. I contacted Air Canada and everything went well the second time around. After this experience I promised my husband that I would no longer ship rabbits.

My second shipping experience was to Miama, Florida. I made arrangements with Delta and everything went well until we were back home after dropping them off and got a call from Delta explaining that the cooling system wasn't working on the plane and they couldn't ship the bunnies. I was pregnant and hormonal and NOT happy with the situation. The bunnies were sitting at the airport and they said we had to come get them ASAP. My husband had to drive 3 hours after an evening work event. He got home around 1AM and had to turn around and drive back to the airport at 4AM to drop them off at American Airlines to make the trip to Miami. This was the second time that I promised him I wouldn't ship bunnies anymore.

I have had a few very good experiences. I shipped to Hawaii twice with no problems using Continental. I also shipped to Minnesota using Northwest and had no problems. Each time I have promised my husband that I wouldn't ship anymore.

In order to ship rabbits, you must have a special carrier with ventilation on all 4 sides and a solid top and bottom. The rabbits need individual compartments with a food and water dish in each compartment. This is the easy part. You also need a vet health certificate dated within 7-10 days of shipping date. This is also pretty easy, but you have to be sure the temperatures in the departure and destination city and stops in between are good. I don't ship in the hot summer. The hard part is to find an airline that understands the rules and regulations for shipping rabbits and is capable of making everything go smoothly. You also need to check and see what the hours of operation are for any inspection facilities. Bunnies do not need any vaccines and rabies is not an issue.

What I have learned from shipping rabbits is that as many times as I have promised not to ship again I always end up doing it one more time. I think my poor husband has realized this and he now just goes along with whatever I decide. I have also learned that I definitely need to stick around until the bunnies are in the air or at least be half expecting a call to tell me that they couldn't get on the flight and are now sitting and waiting for me to come rescue them.

It is a pretty exciting feeling to know that my little RBB bunnies are all over North America. I guess that is why I will continue to ship. For anyone interested, it is pretty expensive. It ranges from $250-$350 for 1 to 6 rabbits. That price includes the carrier, vet health certificate, cargo charges and gas money for me to travel to the airport and vet.

Meet Joharv!

Meet Joharv my Bengal cat.

He is a purebred neutered bengal cat. Okay, so he is not a rabbit. :) I do have some other pets besides rabbits. :) Bengals are wonderful pets. I'm allergic to cats, but not to him because his fur is different. He can also fetch, beg and comes to his name.
The name Joharv comes from a movie I watched as a kid called "The Night Train to Kathmandu". There was a prince of an invisible city in the movie named Joharv (silent v). Bengals are a cross between a domestic and Asian Leopard Cat (ALC). They are highly intelligent and can learn all kinds of tricks. Too bad my husband hates cats! Unfortunately for him the cat was part of my life before he came into it. :) He doesn't mind Joharv too much. How could you not love a cat that fetches?

Timothy Hay?! Alfalfa? Timothy-Based Pellets and Orchard Grass?!? Help!

Yes, I know there are so many foods to choose from for you pet bunny. It can get confusing.

I use alfalfa-based pellets with 16% protein and feed unlimited timothy hay or orchard grass which is slightly sweeter. The reason that I do this is because my rabbits are used for breeding and need a rich diet. Alfalfa-based pellets are also good for bunnies that need to gain weight. This type of food can be used for rabbits in all stages of life, but should not be fed free choice to adult rabbits. I give my dwarf bucks around 1/4 cup per day.

The timothy-based pellets are a great for indoor adult pet rabbits. I do not recommend timothy-based pellets for growing rabbits. If you are using timothy-based pellets, it is okay to give your bunny some alfalfa as a treat.

It is very important to find out what your bunny has been eating and try to buy some of that or something very similar until he or she is full grown. Rabbits do not like a quick change of diet and have to be monitored closely to be sure they are eating and growing well. I always provide a couple of weeks worth of transitional feed when someone buys a rabbit, but I am also happy to pick up a 25 lb bag of Manna Pro from the Tractor Supply Company for people who buy a bunny from me. I like to know that my bunnies won't go through the stress of moving to a new home and a change of diet at the same time. This is probably the number one cause of death the first couple of weeks in a new place. Even 24 hours of not eating can throw a bunny into digestive distress and cause death.

When you feel it is the right time to switch your bunny over to a new diet, please do so very gradually. You should mix the new food with the old food 50/50 for at least one week. You should also be sure that the protein content is the same. If a rabbit is used to eating 16% protein and you suddenly give him 14% protein he will still eat the same amount and lose weight. If you start feeding that same rabbit 18% protein he will gain weight.

Please do not buy the eye-catching pet store rabbit foods/mixes full of nuts, seeds, fruits, etc. These are not made for rabbits. They are made so that people will buy them thinking that bunnies want this pretty diet. They contain too much sugar and junk food. It would be like eating hot dogs, potato chips and soda every day. :)

Monday, August 11, 2008

Do you have anything cheaper?

I sometimes get asked this question by people who want a cheap pet.

I can understand that people want a good deal on a rabbit. Everyone wants a good deal. Let me ask you a question though? Let's say you buy a rabbit for $20 compared to $100. Most of my rabbits are well under $100, but I'm using that as an example. A rabbit will live 8+ years usually. This means the $20 rabbit will have cost $2.50 per year and the $100 rabbit costs $12.50 per year. If you have been very careful with costs and your rabbit never gets sick, you might get away with only spending $50 per year on food and bedding. Add that to the $100 for a very basic rabbit cage set up and supplies and you will have spent $500 over 8 years. Of course you are going to want to provide your pet with treats from time to time and possibly an outdoor play pen, etc. My point is that yes you can always find a cheaper bunny somewhere if you search for one, but I think it's worth paying a tiny bit more for a bunny that you really want, instead of purchasing based on price. In the end is $10 more per year that much more to get the pet you wanted?

In case anyone is interested, I spend around $1,000 on rabbit food alone in a year and $400 on bedding. I have spent around $2,000 on my cages and $3,500 on my bunny barn. I wish I knew what it costs me to heat and cool it. Over 3 years, I'm guessing I've spent around $10K. All of my "bunny money" goes to keep my bunnies happy, healthy and comfy. Yes, I just depressed myself a little bit with those numbers. LOL

How did I become a rabbit breeder?

I get asked this question all of the time.

I feel so lucky to be doing something I really love. No, I don't make any money doing it. However, I love animals and enjoy having new babies in the nestbox all of the time.

When I was around 10 years old, I finally talked my Dad into buying me a netherland dwarf at the Huntingdon County Fair in Pennsylvania. He was a Ruby-Eyed White buck without a pedigree. Knowing what I now know, he had great type and he was full of personality. Soon afterwards, we bought a black himalayan doe. My Dad and I made a bunny motel on the side of his shed. It had electricity with lights for them and everything. I remember working on it with him and painting it when it was finished and the excitement of putting our two bunnies into their new homes. Of course, what happened next was bound to happen. Queenie had her first litter of kits. It was winter and only one survived. A little girl named Buttons who looked just like her but a little smaller. Later we bought 2 more rabbits. A black doe named Sunshine and a sable marten named Martin. Sunshine had a litter of 6. Two of which went to live in my Biology class (as pets! - no disecting!). I still never dreamed that I would grow up and have a rabbitry.

I went to college and studied in Moscow, Russia and then Bremen, Germany. I made the terrible mistake in Germany of buying a netherland dwarf rabbit and keeping it in my apartment. I don't know how I was thinking that I'd bring it back with me to the U.S. I had to give the bunny up and I learned a valuable lesson. You have to be ready to make a lifetime commitment.

I was planning to be an FBI agent, with my background in Russian Language. Unfortunately or fortunately I was in a car accident which gave me a back injury to prevent this. I met my husband in Baltimore while I was an instructor for Homeland Security and we moved out here to Winchester, VA to allow me to be a stay at home Mom (since it is less expensive to live here than where we were).

It was our 1st wedding anniversary when I met Skittles. Skittles was in a pet store in Myrtle Beach and I just fell in love with him at first glance. He is probably a dutch mix and the store was selling him way too young!, but I had to get him. After talking my husband into it, we went back to the pet store the next day and waited in the parking lot until it opened and luckily he was still there! I had it in my head that all of Myrtle Beach wanted him.

We moved into our first house with Skittles and it wasn't long before I knew what my hobby was going to be. I joined a bunch of rabbit clubs and e-mailed breeders. This time I wanted all the information that I could get before breeding. I was able to get some good pedigreed breeding stock and helpful advice from a number of breeders. My hobby grew from there. I have had hundreds of rabbits born here now and it is always exciting for me. I lay awake sometimes thinking up rabbit names and worrying about the new litters. I have pieces of paper all over the house with rabbit ideas, genetic codes, breeding projects, cage building plans and thoughts scribbled on them.

Rabbit breeding is not a business for me. It is a hobby that keeps me happy and at times makes me sad. It is not a hobby for everyone. Many babies don't make it. Moms have trouble kindling. I can't keep them all and sometimes it is even tough to see them go. It is important to me that they have good homes. I enjoy giving and receiving advice. It is where my thoughts go when I get stressed out with the joys of parenthood or financial concerns. I am lucky to have such a hobby.

Too Cute for Words!

The baby bunnies are just too cute right now. I wish I could have lots of people come and visit them just to hear all of the "Awwwws". Unfortunately, they are also VERY fragile and jumpy at this age. I don't know how many times I've had one end up on the floor running all over the place (behind and underneath cages) and I get so worried one will end up injured. To protect my little ones, I have to keep visits short and hands off at this age. Once they are over 4 weeks old, they are a little easier to handle but not by an amateur. I get so many people asking me if they can come and see the little ones, but I usually have to say no. It is just not worth stressing them out at this age and risking possible injury. Plus, you can't even tell what their personality is going to be like yet. They are just soooo cute, though. :)

To Worm or Not To Worm

Worming is not always necessary. I do it fairly regularly since I get new bunnies into the bunny barn and will sometimes take my bunnies outside. Pinworms are regularly found in rabbits and most of the time it is not a real cause for panic. I do worm mine because I think the rabbits stay healthier that way and it might help prevent "faders". If you have an indoor rabbit that does not go outside and is not in contact with other animals then you probably don't need to worry about it. I use Wazine 17 that you can find in a feed store (Each 100 mL contains 17 grams Piperazine Base). I add 2 Tablespoons per 1 gallon of water and fill up their water bottles and watering systems with it for 5 days straight. I saw some pinworms in my rabbitry back in 2005 but I haven't seen any at all since I've been worming them. Ivermectin also works, but it can be difficult to give the correct dosage on a small rabbit and it needs to be repeated. I use Ivermectin given orally for mites and to prevent wry neck at 0.1 ml/lb. I'm not a vet though and this is just what has worked for me.

Blue-Eyed White Lionheads

I am so excited to have 2 double maned blue-eyed white lionheads now. They were both born here and are a result of hard work and patience. I started out with a couple of lionheads from Cimmaron's lines with great manes and bred some very nice blue-eyed white netherland dwarfs into them to get F1 vienna-marks. The F1s had great manes for single maned lionheads, although the does were better than the bucks. It took many litters before I actually got my first blue-eyed white lionhead. Unfortunately, that one ended up not having a mane! Anyway... many litters later and now I have Silverado and Pearl. I can't wait until Pearl has her first litter of double-maned lionheads. It is so exciting for me. :)

No time for posting!

Okay, well I thought that my blog was a good idea. Then I had a second child and there was NO time for posting anything new. I'm hoping to have a bit more time now, so I'm giving it another shot. :)