Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Baby pictures are up

Alright, Jenny's babies pictures are up now! You can see them here.

I also put pictures of Tara's, Brandy's & Laci's babies up. I'll put them here for fun too :).

Tara's babies ~

Laci's babies ~

Brandy's babies ~


Monday, February 23, 2009

Picture time for babies

I was able to get pictures of Jenny's babies and the 3 other new litters today. I don't have time to get them up on the site right now, since we've got company coming over in a bit and I have to get dinner going ;). But, I hope to be able to get the pics up tomorrow!

Will leave ya with one of Jenny's babies though . . . the little girl I like the best and will probably keep.

I need some name ideas for her . . . something that stars with a J or K, since her sire is Kaden and her name is Jenny.


Sunday, February 22, 2009

Not much happening, but something I wanted to share

There is not much to update on the bunnies. I hope to get pictures of Jenny's babies tomorrow. It does look like Laci has two pointed whites, so that is exciting :). Look for a more detailed blog post tomorrow!

I wanted to post something that is completely not related to rabbits, but that is something very near & dear to me. Something I posted on my other blog and something that needs awareness.

If Only . . .

On February 11, two little girls died in Eastern Europe from the flu. These little girls had Down syndrome and because of that were put in an institution. Many of the children in Eastern Europe who are born with a diagnosis of Down syndrome, are placed in orphanages and when they turn 5 years old are sent to an institution. The children, once placed in an institution, typically die within the first year of being there. This is a very sad reality and something that happens all the time.

If only the perspective of doctors in these countries would change.

If only the doctors would not tell the parents the "state will do a better job" of raising these children that have something "wrong" with them.

If only parents weren't deceived into thinking these children are such a hardship.

If only countries wouldn't make adoption such an expensive, complicated process, so many more of these "unwanted" children could have families.

If only these children were given love, they would thrive.

But, instead, the children in these orphanages and institutions are left tied to cribs, starved, neglected, shunned, and unloved. They die at a young age and hardly anybody knows. Just like these two little girls below.

Margarita ~
Katarina ~

While I'm at it, if you are unaware of what I am referring to with the mental institutions above, click here to go to a particular post on my other blog.


Friday, February 20, 2009

Milk Toxemia

I thought of this topic, because of Brandy's babies . . . more on that later.

Milk Toxemia can be a silent killer, in a way. Milk Toxemia is when a doe overfeeds her babies and they die from that. It may not make much sense, but it is a real threat.

Often times it will occur in small litters - I've seen it in litters up to 4 babies. The doe has so much milk, but not enough babies for it, so the kits get way too much milk. This is a concern for the first week to 10 days particularly in small litters with a doe who is a heavy milker.

One of my chocolate foundation does, Vail's Swissy Missy, was classic for this. I lost 3 of her 4 babies in her first litter to this. Yeah, I learned about Milk Toxemia the hard way.

Swissy was known for small litters. I think her biggest litter was 5, but she typically had 2 or 3. So, with each of her litters, a day or two into it, I would take the babies away from her and only give them to her once a day, until the babies were 2 1/2 to 3 weeks old. She was such a great mom, she would sit in the box feeding the babies for awhile. So, there were times that I had to take the babies out of the box while she was still in the box. She'd realize they weren't in there and jump out and then I could take the box out again.

Her daughters have continued her trait of being an excellent mother and heavy milker. I really like it if they have large litters or for fostering purposes. Thankfully, her daughters have not followed her trait of having small litters, so milk toxemia has not been a concern.

Sugar has always had large litters of 8-10 babies, with one exception of a litter of 4 (and she did not over milk, thankfully :)).

Brandy has always had 6 babies in her litters, which has been great. But, Brandy's current litter is only 4 babies. This morning, with the babies being 4 days old, I noticed that their bellies are massively full. Brandy has been feeding them well! I took the babies from Brandy and will only give them to her once a day until they are older.


Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Been a few days . . .

It's been a few days since I posted a blog. I was going to post a blog Monday, but I had a slight emergency come up and that blew my Monday night.

All 3 of my girls, Laci, Brandy & Tara, kindled spot on their due date - Monday. Rarely do all my does do that, but I was glad :). Laci has 3 kits - all "pinks" - will be REWs or pointed whites. Brandy has 4 kits - 2 charlies, 1 broken, 1 solid - all chocolate agoutis (choc. chins or choc. chestnuts). Tara has 2 kits - a black & a chocolate.

I had bred Tara to Deckles & Kaden. But, it looks like her babies are Deckles. Kaden doesn't carry self and both of Tara's are selfs. So, Deckles must be the dad. First live Deckles babies, yay!

Chocolate & Clara both were ready to breed on Monday, so I bred them both. Chocolate to Brantini & Clara to Kaden. I plan on breeding a couple more does this week too.

Tattooing is something I have slacked on big time since we moved out here. Before we moved, I had a great routine down. Tattoo'd every litter when the babies turned 4 weeks old (seems to be the easiest age to tattoo). But, the move & all the stress that went along with it, threw my routine off big time. But, Jenny's babies are 4 weeks old, so I went ahead and tattoo'd them Monday. 5 babies into tattooing and having a lot of issues, I decided to see if the needle was dull. Sure makes things easier if you have a sharp needle! I was able to get the last 3 babies done no problem. So easy.

I'll be typing and getting new pictures of Jenny's babies later this week or early next week, Lord willing.


Friday, February 13, 2009

Hay Time For Babies

Some pictures of the babies munchin' their hay this morning. It's fun to watch the babies play & munch the hay :).


Thursday, February 12, 2009

Hay & Nestboxes

We've had some problems with the hay that we have been feeding. We were buying hay from a ranch just a couple miles down the road from us. It was alright for awhile, but it is moldy. I've always been skeptical of the hay, but never been too serious. Mold can cause major problems. So, I've quit feeding that hay. My sister has goats, so they bought some new hay and had it delievered.

$4.50 a bale to have it delivered here! Cheap, I tell ya! This hay is a mix of blue stem grass & bermuda grass. It's very nice hay. Smells good. Looks good. And the bunnies like it a lot! What a relief to have nice hay again.

I gave all the bunnies the new hay yesterday and of course, Brandy started nesting away. I gave her a box a day early and she's made a gorgeous nest.

Tara & Laci got their boxes today. Clara & Tatianna both must've reabsorbed their litters, as they have no babies in them. Bummer. I haven't had does reabsorb litters for awhile, so this was dissappointing. I guess they aren't completely settled in from the move yet. I know it's been hard on them!

Because I haven't used a few of my nestboxes for a couple months, the mice have decided they made good spots to leave tons of droppings & pee in. Ugh, so annoying. I had to change the bottom of one of the nestboxes, since it was just so nasty. Just have to save enough money to be able to cement the floor of the barn and then the mice shouldn't be a problem anymore.


Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Showing Rabbits

I have some down time tonight, while we are sitting here listening to the rain and intense thunder & lightning. Yea, there is a tornado watch out for our area.

Anyways, I thought I would post a blog up that I started working on a few days ago . . . on the topic of showing rabbits.

I was not sure what to expect the first time I attended a rabbit show. Of course this has to be in the context that I had been to dog shows a few times before rabbit shows. Dog shows are . . . umm . . . very formal & "proper", to say the least :). I was envisioning that when I went to my first rabbit show.

When we talked into the outdoor cow barn the rabbit show was in, our envisioned "dog show atmosphere" was gone. Dirt floor. Tables set up with coops that the rabbits were put in before the judge. People sitting around in lawn chairs with rabbits spread out all over the place. And, the biggest thing . . . nobody was dressed in suits. What a relief! I did not want to have to show rabbits with the "dog show atmosphere."

Showing rabbits is easy-cheese once you get the hang of things. "Getting the hang of things" doesn't take too long either. Just find a breeder who's willing to answer questions and help ya out. Most rabbit breeders are friendly and willing to help.

The first thing you want to do when you get to the show is check in, to make sure the show secretary knows you are there. Sometimes this is where you will do Day of Show entries as well. Check-in is typically at least an hour before the show starts, but many breeders get there before that.

After checking in and getting your spot set-up, you will want to go see what breeds each judge is going to be judging at their table. There will be a piece of paper hanging on each judge's table listing the breeds he is judging and how many will be in each breed. They will also be in order of how they are judged.

You will want to take note of what order they are in, when your breed will be up and what table they will be at. Check the judges table every so often to see if your breed is going to be up or how close the judge is to getting your breed up on the table.

Once your breed is up, the judge or his helper will place the show remark cards in front of each "coop." You will find your rabbits remark card. The card will have your rabbit's ear number on it. You'll place your rabbit in the coop that the show remark card is in front of. You will then flip the remark card over, so the judge knows the right rabbit is there.

Another thing you will want to note is what classes in your breed are up. There are senior buck, senior doe, junior buck & junior doe classes. Depending on the breed there may be color classes and solid/broken classes as well. Some breeds also have an intermediate class - in both bucks & does. Typically the seniors go first (buck, doe) and then the juniors (buck, doe). In Mini Lops there is solid senior bucks, solid senior does, solid junior bucks, solid junior does, broken senior bucks, broken senior does, broken junior bucks and broken junior does. Get the order?

If your rabbit does not win top place, you will take the remark card when the judge is done going over your rabbit, and your rabbit back. If the rabbit places 1st in it's class, you will leave the rabbit on the table until Best Opposite, Best Variety, and Best of Breed placing.

That's a pretty decent run down of a rabbit show. Have fun showing!


Monday, February 9, 2009

3 weeks old

Jenny's babies are 3 weeks old, so it's time for their individual pictures. I was able to get their pictures this morning. Her babies are all so good and sit still relatively easy (that is for 3 wk old babies, LOL). Jenny actually has 5 does and 3 bucks, instead of 4 & 4.

You can see the individual pictures of them all here.

But, for fun, here's a few pictures ~


Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Barn updates

Sorry for the lack of updates, I have had a pretty busy week. I was going to write a nice, informative post last night, but ran out of time. So, you get an update post for now and I'll try to write a more exciting post another day :).

Jenny's babies have been able to stay with her all the time now for the past several days. Jenny seems to have caught on really well and she is taking great care of the babies. I sexed her babies today and she has 4 bucks & 4 does. Nice even split :).

Broken chins - 2 bucks, 1 doe
Broken chestnuts - 1 buck, 1 doe
Solid chins - 2 does
Solid chestnut - 1 buck

Here's a couple pictures of the munckins ~

It's a beautiful, cool day today, so I was able to clean the barn out. It was much needed. It always feels good to get that done again :).

I was given 5 cages, and one 4-hole carrier from a family I know in Missouri. I helped get them started in rabbits a few years ago while they lived in California. They ended up moving to Missouri about 3 years ago and brought their rabbits with them. But, they have slowly stopped breeding & showing for various reasons. Now, we are only about 3 hours from them, since we've moved to Oklahoma too :)! Laura offered me these cages a few months ago and my cousin happened to be making a trip into MO yesterday, so he was able to pick them up. They are nice Bass cages! 3 of them are 24"x30" (baby cages :)!!), and 2 are 24"x18". Thanks so much Laura!!

With the cold weather that comes with Oklahoma winters, there are times that I would like a screen door on my barn so that I can at least let some light and air in. It's often times too breezy to open the tarps up (be way too much of a cold draft). So, I mentioned that to my 16-year-old brother and asked him to build me a screen door of some kind. He is very mechanically included, so we figured out how to build it very easily. He's great at welding, so he made me a very nice, very sturdy screen door out of scrap expanded steel and an old bed frame. It only cost me $15 for the hinges & latch - and only took him a day! Look how it turned out. My brother's great!!