Friday, February 26, 2010

Organizing the Barn

My brother built me two nice & sturdy shelves in the barn, which will make lots more room in there. I can keep all the shavings, wood pellets, nest boxes, cat litter, and whatever else I have in there up on those shelves and out of the way.

I had been in & out the last couple of days, so when I got home today I spent some time organizing the barn. It should be much more spacious in there soon! There's just a bit of organizing left to do.

Brianna's babies are 3 weeks old now and they are soooo cute! Hopefully Sunday will be nice and I can get some pictures of them. It's almost time to start typing Daisy's babies . . . they grow so fast!

Insulation is ordered too! It should be here next week. And then whenever we have a nice day, we can get the barn cleared out, the buns out of it and my brother can spray the foam insulation. It'll make a big difference, especially in the summer, Lord willing.

Yeah, I know, I mention "my brother" whenever a big project is done on my barn. I actually have 4 brothers, but the brother I mention is my 17 year-old brother, Norayah. He's such a blessing and does great construction work!



Sunday, February 21, 2010

Herd Health & Management: Part 1

Maintaining a herd that is healthy and produces well takes good herd managment and a clean environment. I hope to be able to do a few of these type of posts over the next few days to couple weeks, as I think of topics ;).

~ Herd Health & Managment ~

Good herd managment is a must when you have animals of any kind. At times I think some people may forget about it, because "they're just rabbits." But really, rabbits require just as much knowledge & management as any other farm animal, just on a smaller scale.

There is a lot that goes into keeping a good, quality, healthy herd going.

1. Proper feed is essential. A lot of new rabbit breeders in particular don't realize the problems constantly switching feeds can cause. It can really tweak the rabbits systems out. I found out the hard way once we moved to Oklahoma and I had to find the right feed. You can see some of the feed posts I did last year when I was using a lousy feed, Purina Fibre3, and after I switched at here, here and here. Thankfully it has been almost a year now and my rabbits continue to do wonderful on PenPals.

I did quite a detailed post about feed last summer and you can find that at "What Feed to Use?"

2. Adequate housing, clean conditions and proper ventilation are also extremely important. Cages that are too small for the particular breed or size of rabbit can cause a lot of problems.

Mini lops need to be in cages no smaller than 24”x24”. And that is only for does without litters and bucks. If the doe is raising a litter, she needs to be in a 30”x30, 30”x36” or at the smallest a 24”x30.

If the mini lops are in cages any smaller, they will be very cramped and not able to move, stretch out & run around like they need to be able to.

Years ago I once picked up some New Zealands from a person who had them in very tiny cages. Had to be 15x24” or 18”x24 at the most. They were tiny! Those rabbits could not fully extend their back legs when they were in a large pen because they had been grown & raised in those tiny cages and never able to stretch out. Mini lops are a bit smaller than a New Zealand, but the above sizes are still way too small for them.

The smaller cage sizes can be fine for some of the smaller breeds that are only 2-3 lbs. But, even bigger cages would be needed for the large breeds like the meat breeds or even French Lops, Rhinelanders, Belgian Hare, etc.

The cages should be kept clean, so that the rabbits are not sitting in their own waste. If the wire on the bottom of the cages is let to pile up with fur, droppings and who knows what else, it'll lead to health problems. It's just common sense not to let them sit in their own droppings anyways.

It takes time to make sure your rabbits stay clean, because some rabbits can be messier than others, but it is well worth it. Worth it to have a healthy herd.

When I give the rabbits hay, there are some who seem to always end up pooping on the leftover pile of hay about a day after I give them hay. So, I instantly have to clean it up, otherwise it'll lead to a nasty mess. With babies that mess can happen even quicker, especially if you are someone who likes to give your babies hay every day ;).

Poor ventilation will lead to health problems also. Especially respiratory problems. Rabbits have very sensitive respiratory tracks. The ammonia, fur & dust will accumulate and burn the rabbits' noses.

Ventilation needs can require even more maintenance when it comes to certain times of the year. If you use an air conditioner in the summer, ammonia smell can build up very fast if you do not keep your barn extremely clean. I use ZAPS-IT in the summer to kill ammonia smell & molecules. It works wonders. It makes it so that I can dump the pans every other day, instead of every day. I still rinse the big trays off every day, but I don't have to do it twice a day this way.

Part 2 will come tomorrow, Lord willing :) . . . if I have a moment to blog tomorrow.



Amanda's due date was this Tuesday, the 23rd. I got her box all made up and ready to give to her yesterday, then I palpated her again and she wasn't prego anymore. She must've reabsorbed sometime. Oh well, praise the Lord.

But, on a good note, I was able to get Jana bred to Brad on Friday night. That was nice! I can't wait to see how their babies will turn out, as they compliment each other so well. There are some things I really don't like about Brad's body, but Jana compliments him so well and makes up for his weak areas nicely.

Cori, Kaylee, Amanda, Britney and maybe Molly all need to be bred sometime here too. Hopefully I can get them bred over the next few weeks.


Friday, February 19, 2010

Pictures finally!

Pictures are finally up on the website. Yesterday was the perfect day to get pictures. So beautiful, warm (55 degrees) & sunny.

A lot of the rabbits are in great condition (not molting!), so I took the opportunity to get some pictures of a few of them.

Daisy's babies can all be seen at She has 5 does and 4 bucks. Nice buck:doe ratio. I'll put a few of my favorite pics of them here though ~

And Brianna's babies are getting so big & cute ~

Finally I was able to get updated pictures of Kyle now that his coat looks nice. He gets a funky looking coat when he molts because he's a sable. He is turning into such a nice buck, praise the Lord.

I got some new pictures of Cameron. He was a bit thin over the top for a bit, but I added just a little more feed to his daily amount and he has filled in super well!

Kadence palpates positive. It took forever to get her bred, it seemed like. Hopefully she'll have some gorgeous babies, just like her mother, Jenny, always did!

Amanda is due on Tuesday, so her box will have to go in tomorrow.

Since it was such a nice day yesterday I got the barn all cleaned out and reorganized. I've had to keep wood shavings on the ground for the last few weeks, since everything has been so damp and moist out here. It's made a big difference in the barn, particularly since I have a dirt floor. It makes it feel so much cleaner in there ;).


Thursday, February 18, 2010

Coming . . .

Pictures & a more detailed blog post are coming soon, Lord willing! I have pictures of Daisy's babies (individual pictures), Brianna's babies, Kyle, Brad, Cameron & Nicole. I spent most of the day outside today since it was so warm, sunny & gorgeous, so the picture & updates will have to wait until tomorrow, Lord willing.


Friday, February 12, 2010

Not much

Well, there's not too much to blog about right now.

The weather has warmed up a lot the last day or so. Daisy's babies are 3 weeks old now, so I left them with her last night. I had been bringing them in every night so they wouldn't freeze if they got out of the box. They were all fine & bouncy this morning!

I was able to get a bit of barn cleaning done today, so that was nice. Didn't have to wait two weeks until the weather warmed up!

I tried to get Jana bred this morning, but she would have none of it. So, I'll keep trying. I was going to get her bred yesterday, but forgot. I'm trying her to Brad this time around.

One of Daisy's babies has a white spot in one of it's eyes. I just noticed it last night. I don't know if it's just nestbox eye - where something poked it's eye. Or, if he is blind in one eye. I am thinking he may be blind in that eye, as he seems to act like he can't see out of that side. We'll see how he does as he gets older. He's one of the cutest & smallest babies of the bunch.

I will try to get some pictures of Brianna's babies. The sable chinchillas are a very interesting & pretty color!


Monday, February 8, 2010

Chinchillas Galore!

There are so many chinchillas in my two current litters. Hopefully some of my other does who are due over the next few weeks will have some different colors.

Daisy's 9 are all black chinchillas - 4 solid, 5 broken.

Brianna's 7 are 4 black chinchillas and 3 sable chinchillas. I was hoping they were chocolate chinchillas, but they have that distinctive funky sable color to them. This will be exciting, as I've never had a sable chinchilla in my barn before. I did not even think Brianna carried anything to be able to produce a shaded. But, obviously she does. Will have to work on her genotype to figure out where she got what from ;).

Amanda is due in a couple weeks and she'll probably have some chinchillas. But, hopefully some steels too.

Megan palpates positive. She is bred to Kyle. It'll be interesting to see if we get any kind of fun colors from them.

Kadence finally was receptive to being bred yesterday. And Brad was active enough to let me do table breeding. Brad is seriously the slowest buck I've ever had or seen. So slow. Hopefully he'll pick the act up more as he gets older. I do have to remember he is very young still.

Jana aborted her litter last night. She was due in a week, so she was 3 weeks along. What a bummer, but praise the Lord anyways. She had 3 babies in her cage last night. I am thinking she may have had a 4th baby since there was a 4th placenta in her tray. I don't know why she would've aborted, as she seemed fine earlier in the day. She acted fine this morning. First time I've ever had a doe abort a litter in the 8 years I've been raising rabbits.

I was able to get the barn cleaned yesterday. It feels so much better in there now! I even cleaned the big trays off with 4 gallons of white vinegar and they look way better. I was just able to squeak in a cleaning before another storm hit. Yep, it's snowing again. There's about 2-3 inches of snow outside. The snow has stopped for the time being though. We'll see if we get anymore or not. Hopefully not. The sun is supposed to out tomorrow . . . but we'll see. I never believe that until I see it out here ;).


Saturday, February 6, 2010

Daisy's Chinchillas

Here are a few pictures of Daisy's babies that I took a couple days ago. They are getting very fun & cute!

Brianna kindled to a nice big litter yesterday - 7 babies! My second Cameron litter :). It even looks like there are 3 chocolates in the litter. What a fun surprise, since I did not expect Cameron to carry chocolate.


Thursday, February 4, 2010


We got about 10"-12" of snow last Friday. The weather has been wet & cloudy since then. We have yet to have a day of sunshine. The sun peeked out from the clouds a few times yesterday, but not much. But, the weather has been above freezing, so everything has been melting. And is still melting. Which makes for some mucky, muddy, nasty conditions! Everything is sopping wet and so muddy.

It'll be nice to have a sunny day to be able to clean the barn out. It needs some cleaning! I did a little bit today (the stuff that desperately needed done), since the weather was only misting this morning. That's one thing that was nice about California, the sun was out so much! The clouds are out all the time in Oklahoma it seems! Praise the Lord, I wouldn't trade this. Oklahoma is much better than California.

Daisy's babies are doing awesome. They are getting to the really cute & fun age . . . open eyes and getting so interactive. I've been bringing them inside at night so they don't freeze if they get out of their box. They are so cute in the morning when I take them out to Daisy. They all go nuts! All 9 babies are still going strong. I'm very thankful Daisy has had enough milk to fully supply all of her babies.

Brianna is due tomorrow. I'm not sure how many to expect with her, since she doesn't look huge. But, Daisy didn't look huge with 10 either. And they are half sisters, so . . .

Amanda palpates positive. I was able to get Megan bred on Friday. I bred her to Kyle. They should make a nice match. We just have a few more does to breed - Kadence, Britney, Cori & Kaylee.

I will try to get some pictures of Daisy's munchkins soon. Maybe tonight when I bring them in or in the morning.