Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Website Update, Pointed White Sell Out & More

I updated the website this morning - adding and removing some buns, as well as updating pictures.  I also updated the for sale page.

After much thought, I've decided to sell out of my pointed white Mini Lops. I've enjoyed working with them for the past 6 years, but times change and I'd like to focus on growing my chocolates & lilacs. And also work more with the reds. The pointed whites have come a long ways since I started working with them, so it is a hard decision to see them go. But, what I have now, are very nice bunnies, as I've cut them down anyways over the past few months to just my best. Transport to ARBA Convention is available for $25/rabbit, or I can ship them. I only have 3 left anyways - Hoppin's Jade, Hoppin's Kayla & Hoppin's Katrina. All 3 of them are very nice (a blue pointed white buck & 2 black pointed white does). You can see more info and details on the for sale page

The rest of the buns are doing well. 

The response to my last blog post on Rabbitry Husbandry, was a lot bigger than I expected with almost 170 page views on that post. I've received some crazy feedback and also some supportive feedback. The bottomline to the whole thing is that any rabbit breeder (regardless of who you are) needs to keep a clean barn, and clean cages so that you have healthy stock.

That's about it for today...just a short post! I have more to post about later :).


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Rabbitry Husbandry....thoughts on the good & bad

First off, the buns are all doing well! I've got several does bred and due in the next several weeks. The litters are all doing good as well :).

There has been a lot of talk in the rabbit world - on facebook, message boards, email groups, etc - over the last month or month and a half about the Six Bell Rabbits (Debe Bell) which were seized by Animal Control in Colorado.

At first, the report of the police & AC coming in without a search warrant and taking all 190+ rabbits was astonishing. But, when more pictures came out of the condition of at least some of the rabbits at this rabbitry, I can completely understand why AC took the rabbits. Now, I don't agree that the AC should've taken the rabbits like they did. If they were going to do something, they should have given a fine, told the rabbitry owner to clean up the situation and then followed up on it.

At first, I felt bad for Debe Bell, because from what I had heard it sounded like the AC came and took the rabbits without any cause or problem. But, in reality, there was cause for concern in the *AC's mind* by these pictures below.

These 4 pictures below were taken by the Jefferson County Sherriff's Office in Colorado.

Once I saw the above pictures, I was not surprised one bit that the AC would take the rabbits. Quite frankly the above pictures are disgusting. Sure, the rabbits themselves look healthy, but they will not remain healthy for very long in a cage like that. It'll cause all sorts of health problems.

Yet, there are still many, many rabbit breeders (show rabbit breeders) who are fully behind Six Bells Rabbitry and arguing around what these pictures show. In my opinion, these pictures show rabbits that have not had their cages cleaned or taken care of for a length of time....well over a week.

There are several facebook pages set-up either to support the Six Bell Rabbits or they were started because of this situation. I am not on any of these pages, but I happened to look over some of them.

One is called Save the Six Bell Rabbits

Another is called Show Rabbit Protection Society and there is also a blog for this FB page.

And the last one I found is called Rabbit Breeders United.

I've tossed around the idea of writing a blog post on this ever since the first news article surfaced about this. But, I hadn't felt like I should. On a rabbit board I'm on, some quotes were given from a couple of the above FB pages. I went to the pages, found the statements and thought I would share a couple of the quotes from the Show Rabbit Protection Society page. Once I saw these quotes, I felt I should post something on my blog about this situation.
"Yay, keep it up. You are deprogramming yourselves. And what else do we want? We want the rabbit to EAT poop. Rabbits eat their poop. Cecotropes. Remember? Defend the poop!! We want rabbits to poop, to sit in it, to eat it, to knock it around their cage and we never want the poop to stop! Defend the poop. A poopy cage is the number one sign of good rabbitry husbandry!!!!"
And another quote, 
"I think something is radically missing in the whole discussion of poop and Debe Bell's rabbits. People who want no poop, those who think there is too much poop. come on people, we raise rabbits right? What is a sign of serious emergency illness in rabbits? No poop. As rabbit breeders, we WANT poop, lots and lots of poop, 24 hours a day poop, because pooping rabbits are healthy rabbits? Remember everybody? Hello? Why is everyone suddenly acting like poop in a rabbit cage is a PROBLEM?"
I've been raising rabbits for almost 9 years now and I know what it takes. I know rabbits poop a lot. I know they can get the "string of pearls" when molting which will get stuck on the cage. I know if you leave hay in a corner of a cage the rabbit may insist on pooping and peeing on the hay, which clogs it up and doesn't let it fall through to the tray.

But, the rabbit NEVER has to have poopy cages, especially like the above pictures show. I've never had that in my rabbitry. Someone may be surprised by that. But, it is the truth. Why? Because I stay on top of keeping the barn and cages clean and free of poo. When it's not summer the trays get changed once a week (during the summer, they are changed every couple days), but the poop still does not pile up into the cage.

I highly disagree with the statement that "a poopy cage is the number one sign of good rabbitry husbandry." You don't need poop IN the cage with the rabbit for someone to know that the rabbit is pooping. All droppings should be in the tray BELOW the cage, not piled up in the cage. There is no way I want my rabbits to sit in their poop. That's just disgusting and totally unhealthy, in my opinion.

Any good rabbit breeder will know that it's unhealthy for a rabbit not to poop. They will die, if not treated soon & correctly, from GI Stasis. But, that's not what I'm talking about here. A pooping rabbit is a healthy rabbit. But, it does not need to e, and should not be, sitting in it's own feces. If there is proper rabbitry management, a rabbit never needs to have a pile of poo in it's cage.

A few "string of pearl" droppings hanging on the bottom of the cage wire is one thing. But, if it's maintained and those are brushed off every few days (or even once a week!), it will not build up, in my experience.

So, since today was barn cleaning day (it had been a week), I decided to take some pictures before cleaning the barn. Someone may be surprised by that. But, I thought it would help show that a dirty barn really doesn't have to be that bad.

I didn't take these pictures to say "see what I can do", but I took them to show that a rabbit barn does not have to have poop piled up into the cages after just one week between cleanings. It just doesn't have to happen.

This doe had a few "string of pearls" on her cage floor, but they were all hanging through to the bottom of the cage and she has no pile of poop in her cage.

See, how it hangs through! And there is still space left between the bottom of the cage and the tray (which is full, because it's been a week since cleaning).

This doe likes to poop in one corner of her cage, but there is still plenty of space between the tray and the bottom of the cage.

And even a doe with a litter of 7 babies. Their tray is full and ready to be dumped, but it's not built up so high that they have piles of droppings in their cage. That hay in the corner is just from the night before :).

And my retired does who have the solid bottom cages. It's been a week for them since their cage was cleaned as well.

And now the barn after cleaning is done :)!


Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Website Updates and more

Just a quick update here with a few pictures.

The website is updated with some new pictures and updates.

Rum's babies are up on the site now. They are adorable little things - 3 does, 1 buck. You can see them here.

Kahlua's babies are doing great! They are getting big. I'll be getting new pictures of them soon, Lord willing.

The weather has been gorgeous since last Saturday. I'm very thankful for it! It seems like fall is finally here. It's actually been chilly at 45 degrees. Such a relief after a L-O-N-G, H-O-T summer.

The does have all been very willing to be bred, so we should have lots of litters soon. Abby is due the end of the month (bred to Lam). Krissie (bred to Lam), Allie (bred to Scotch), & Abilene (bred to Landon) are all due the beginning of next month. By the beginning of next month I can breed my reds. I'm so excited!! It'll be so neat to have box fulls of RED babies.

Just a few pictures now.... of my favorite juniors in the barn right now. She is simply beautiful.

And another cutie in the barn! Millie is such a doll and has some of the cutest looks ever.

Abilene is so pretty! She finally bred this morning...she's been a stubborn little doe. Hopefully she'll have a nice litter from Landon the beginning of next month.

Just a couple pictures of one of Kahlua's babies. She's a beautiful, SUPER promising girl! Posed pictures of the whole litter will be up soon, Lord willing....along with who is available. 

Isn't she cute?!