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tle
Jan. 4, 2009, 08:49 PM
one of my does had her first (and MINE!) live litter today. She was earlier than "norm" and thus I was unprepared. Luckily I checked in on the gang in time to catch them before the little things chilled too badly and died. Now I have 5 kits in a nestbox in my dining room and a first time mom that I'm not entirely sure ... ok, I'm REALLY sure doesn't have a clue. Hopefully she's figure it out in the morning when I take them out for feeding... otherwise??? Advice is always welcome.

Simkie
Jan. 4, 2009, 09:49 PM
Wait, I'm confused. Did you take the kits away from momma?

Why would you "take them out" for feeding?

A quick google search turns up that they should not be removed from the doe and they should not be handled before they're furred.

tle
Jan. 4, 2009, 10:04 PM
google's all nice and well, but I'm going on 3 different rabbit lists with advice from breeders who've been at this for several years... some as much as 40 years. I just thought that someone on here might have more ideas.

If the doe has the kits on the wire and not in a nestbox, in fact makes no attempt whatsoever to make a nest, then it's not like you can't handle them. if you don't, they will die. Same with when it's cold out. Rabbits only feed once or twice/day... so taking the nestbox away from momma (who's out in the cold) and bringing them back to her for a couple feedings per day until of course they're furred and able to fend for themselves IS a good thing.

Simkie
Jan. 4, 2009, 10:10 PM
Well, good luck then. I'll be surprised if momma accepts her babies after having them taken away. I hope they're able to survive.

county
Jan. 4, 2009, 10:19 PM
GOOD LUCK!!!! We have a doe up in our attic that had two kits last week brought her in when it got down to -26 a couple days before she kindled. The little ones are doing great.

eventchic33
Jan. 4, 2009, 11:29 PM
No advice other then lots of peace and quiet! I know mine didn't like to be disturbed. We want pics though, bunnnies are so cute when they just get all their fur and are still tiny!!!!

msrobin
Jan. 4, 2009, 11:56 PM
Oh how sweet. I cannot wait to see pics!!

tle
Jan. 5, 2009, 09:04 AM
Simkie... I appreciate the concern, but seriously... you're going to condemn methods based on what you google?

Thanks all. We're down to 4 of the original 6 this morning but theyr'e still all wiggly. I think they'll be cuter when they actually get some fuzz on them. I *think* mom is doing ok with them... she spent about 20 minutes in the box when I took it to her this morning. Have some calls in to folks to find out if she's doing things right -- I don't know and she's a first timer who gave birth on the wire... something tells me she's clueless as well. :-) Here's hoping!

JSwan
Jan. 5, 2009, 09:10 AM
I'm completely ignorant on this subject but am intrigued. Do you raise these for meat, fur or pets?

Sorry if the question offends, my neighbor raises them for meat, I've eaten rabbit, but it doesn't seem to be regular American fare for some reason.


county - why are there rabbits in your attic? All I've got in mine are mice. :lol:

Simkie
Jan. 5, 2009, 09:27 AM
Simkie... I appreciate the concern, but seriously... you're going to condemn methods based on what you google?

A little touchy, aren't we?

I'm not condemning you at all. I am a little perplexed as to why you'd come here asking for rabbit advice when you've got such excellent rabbit resources available to you. I raise pet mice, have some excellent pet mice resources and wouldn't even think about posting here if I had problems. If you're so sure that what you're doing is right, why are you asking us for help?

Good luck with your bunnies.

tle
Jan. 5, 2009, 09:33 AM
The primary goal is meat (for us and for the dogs) but I'm also keeping a very close eye on show and pet sales. Took one of my does and a buck to my first ARBA show on NYE and the doe won her class! The doe that has the babies now already has a Grand champion leg when she won Best of Variety at a show in November. I want to be able to have quality show stock but simply cull REALLY hard for the meat. Should provide us with meat and improve the stock quality. We've also started buying culls from other breeders... although we have 4 left from our last purchase that hubby refuses to butcher. We ended up buying 1 mini satin and a bunch of netherland dwarves and hubby is one where he doesn't mind butchering, but has to be useful/make sense. He got to the last few of the dwarves and he said he couldn't do any more that size... it no longer made sense. Anyone want a pet?

As for the question offending... doesn't offend me. I'm actually glad someone asked because it opens the door for me to talk about it -which I really want to do because it's an interest, not to mention all the similarities I'm finding between rabbit and horse care... it's really a lot alike. I tried on the "other" board and was massively flamed for it. :(

If anyone wants to see pictures, I have some of my breeding/show stock online at www.SerenityValleyFarmOH.com -- just click on Rabbits. Z is the one who won her class last week... Roma is the one with the kits now.... Cassie should be due late this week (although I never successfully palpated her).

tle
Jan. 5, 2009, 09:35 AM
Simkie... I'm really sorry. I didn't mean to come off like that. I do have excellent resources on my lists and maybe I shoudl stick with them. But I'm also of the opinion that knowledge can be found anywhere, so I figured it couldn't hurt to ask here too. I know a lot of horse people are into other animals... you are. I guess part of my instant defensiveness is from being flamed to a crisp on other boards for wanting to discuss anything with my rabbits. For taking that and applying it to your comments, I apologize.

Subira
Jan. 5, 2009, 09:40 AM
If she had her babies early that would be why she didn't pull any fur. Rabbits that have their babies on wire don't really seem to know what to do with them until they are in a proper nestbox - luckily you got to them in time! All should be fine, if momma is going in the nextbox, she will feed the babies.

What breed do you have? I raise Palominos and American Chinchillas. Rabbits are fun!

tle
Jan. 5, 2009, 09:54 AM
Subira... thanks. I keep watching really closely and am still really hesitant to say "YAY we have kits!" in case more perish... but I'm hopeful.

I have New Zealands... whites, blacks and broken blacks. Wouldn't mind including reds but that may have to wait til we're on the farm and can expand. The kids want "pets" so I think they're going to end up with Mini Rex. I had standard Rex when I was in 4H in high school and really enjoyed them... but with the Minis, given the cage sizes we have, I can put both pets in 1 cage (probably the really nice outdoor hutch we got from the grandpa).

They are fun!

county
Jan. 5, 2009, 10:20 AM
J Swan my wife moved this doe in the attic to kindle because it was -25 here and she was afraid they would freeze to death. She raises Silver Fox rabbits and thats what this one is shes hoping to get a really nice doe from the litter to keep for breeding. She also has a few meat type does that she raises meat rabbits from and sells. Mostly New Zealands. Back in the 70's I had over 200 rabbits and had meat contracts I sold to. Now my wife has her Silver Foxes as a hobby to breed and show.

Subira
Jan. 5, 2009, 01:20 PM
Mini Rex are awesome little rabbits! I started with them..just be prepared if they decide to show there is tons of competition! They are very popular right now.

My dad used to raise new zealand reds and apparently we are getting some whites from someone. Good luck!

Simkie
Jan. 5, 2009, 07:25 PM
How are your baby bunnies, tle? I hope they're all plump and happy :)

tle
Jan. 5, 2009, 07:34 PM
Thanks Simkie for thinking of us.

Unfortunately they're not plump and happy at the moment although I'm trying. I tried a couple different ideas tonight... stuff like bringing mom to babies instead of taking the box into her cage, putting her in it and covering with a towel (keeping her in AND calming her to outside stimuli), even flipped her over on her back and put a kit on her teat. One of them was going gangbusters on finding and latching on. Unfortunately, he didn't get anything. I tried squeezing her myself and got nothing. I don't think she has any milk to give. I'm currently waiting for some unpasteurized goat milk (with egg yolk and honey) to cool down to try and hand feed. Several folks say that it's worked, but handfeeding doesn't work very often (VERY low chance). But... my first live litter -- have to try.

I really wish my broken doe had taken when she was bred the first time. She's had 2 litters and I could have fostered the black kits to her. But she didn't take and is due later this week.

Simkie
Jan. 5, 2009, 11:04 PM
Oh, tle, I'm sorry about your babies :( I hope they take to the goat's milk...

Is this sort of thing normal with rabbits? It would break my heart!

Sportpony
Jan. 6, 2009, 08:17 AM
I used to raise rabbits (for the table) 30 years ago when I lived in Montana and just started again last spring here in Kentucky. I'm not as experienced as a lot of people that have bred rabbits for years and I've noticed a lot of things have changed, too, since I raised them before. (Thank goodness for the Internet and a couple of the "rabbit boards"!) I know I was always told before not to handle the kits before they were 3 or 4 days old at the earliest ... now the experienced breeders tell me that once the doe is through, they take the nest box out, check the kits to make sure there isn't a dead kit and that all the kits are healthy and normal, then put it back in. I've done that this time and have had no problems with the does.

I've not had to deal with a doe that didn't pull hair when she kindled or one that didn't have milk so I'm afraid I don't have any "hands on" experience that might help. The one thing I do, which is something I've done with horses and dogs as well, is feed my does a pinch of raspberry leaves ... and a handful of good, leafy alfalfa hay. Both seem to help milk production.

I have the standard Rex for meat and the pelts, plus a pair of the Velveteen Lops (a breed developed from Rex and English Lops that have the Rex coat and lop ears) as an experiment for pets/ show rabbits though I probably am not going to show much myself.

Good luck ... and sorry that your first experience has been so stressful. How early was she?

tle
Jan. 6, 2009, 09:05 AM
Not sure it's "normal"... but this time of year does seem to present "issues" with breeding. I guess Mother Nature really is trying to tell us something. Plus the doe is fairly young -- I talked to the breeder and mentioned that if possible I'd like to get one that was bred so I could be up and running faster ... I'm not sure she should have been bred already given her size. I will rebreed her... jsut not sure it will be soon. She kindled on day 28... so not terribly early, just earlier than I was ready for. I was going to give her a nestbox that day but went out and she had already started having them.

I've heard of raspberry leaves. Have to keep that in mind. And all the rabbits are getting alfalfa mix hay on a daily basis. I know with the complete pellets they don't "need" it, but I like giving it and they like eating. Figure it gives them something "normal" to do, ya know?

Tried a goat milk/egg yolk/honey mix on the kits last night and this morning. About noon they'll be 48 hours old and really do need something. They didn't drink overly well, but I think I got something into them. I'm hoping my broken doe kindles in the next few days and I can foster them onto her. she's an experienced mom (the only one I have) so here's hoping. So far, all 4 are still wiggling around.

Sportpony... are you on Rabbit Talk?

Subira
Jan. 6, 2009, 09:07 AM
I'm sorry to hear that things aren't going well...It is very difficult to save rabbits via handfeeding. Everytime we've ever tried, we've lost them. Typically if we have a doe that isn't taking care of the babies we give the babies to another doe with babies. It doesn't sound like you have that option though.
Good luck and don't be discouraged if your first litter doesn't go quite as planned.

tle
Jan. 6, 2009, 09:13 AM
Yeah... it's frustrating and hard. I talked to a breeder with lots of experience on the phone last night. He's the one I got my whites from and has been VERY helpful. He said he usually doesn't bother and let's nature take it's course but understands with this being my first litter than I have to do something. it's true. In another year, I might not go to this bother... but right now... I have to try. Especially since I may have a foster situation available by the end of of the week. Worth a shot.

Is it spring yet?

goeslikestink
Jan. 6, 2009, 09:16 AM
ask aventura2 she breed rabbits and a lot of them

Auventera Two
Jan. 7, 2009, 04:02 PM
google's all nice and well, but I'm going on 3 different rabbit lists with advice from breeders who've been at this for several years... some as much as 40 years. I just thought that someone on here might have more ideas.

If the doe has the kits on the wire and not in a nestbox, in fact makes no attempt whatsoever to make a nest, then it's not like you can't handle them. if you don't, they will die. Same with when it's cold out. Rabbits only feed once or twice/day... so taking the nestbox away from momma (who's out in the cold) and bringing them back to her for a couple feedings per day until of course they're furred and able to fend for themselves IS a good thing.

We raised and showed Standard Rex for years, (and my mom still does.) Some breeders DO take the box of kits into the house, and only take them out for feeding. They do this because it's true that does have VERY potent milk and only feed the kits about two times a day. Some does don't want to be in the same cage with the babies all day. In the wild, does would never hang out in the birthing wing of the den 24 hours a day with her babies. She would be out foraging for food, socializing, napping in other areas of the den, etc. We never took our does away from kits, but some people do it.

Rabbits don't have the sense of smell that many animals do, and handling the babies makes no difference whatsoever. We always pulled out every one of the kits, checked them for problems, took photos, etc. Never had a doe quit the litter. We had 75 holes (cages) with breeding stock, and well over 200 rabbits in the height of our breeding and showing hoorah.

Often first time does don't pull fur. Many breeders always consider the first litter of a maiden doe to be a sacrifice. We had pretty good luck, but ocassionally a doe doesn't pull fur, and doesn't nest, but has them on the wire.

That's the "joy" of raising a prey animal that literally "breeds like rabbits." :lol: As much as people hate it, rabbits truly are disposable. Nature has designed them to be able to pump out babies every few months, in large quantity. And with that comes the fact that many of them die. It is what it is.

We tried lots of different things on weak kits that weren't sucking, especially if they were of a really rare color variety, but truthfully, the only way to raise babies that aren't getting enough milk is to put them on another does that does have enough milk. We never bred so that only one doe would kindle at a time. We always timed it so we had at least 5 or 6 kindling at once. That way if you have a doe that has 11 kits, you can pull off a few of them and put them with a different doe who only had 3 or 4 of her own. Otherwise you lose kits. And when you're selling them for $150 each as junior show stock, you try to make sure you don't lose them!

tle
Jan. 7, 2009, 04:21 PM
Well, unfortunately starting out, timing kindle dates wasn't available.. plus with only have 3 breeding age does anyway... well... I did what I could. I'm not 100% convinced the broken doe is pregnant but I'm willing to give her the benefit of the doubt - especially since I don't have a breedable buck yet.

As for the current litter... unfortunately, the last one died this morning. Here's hoping the doe has figured out what she's supposed to be doing for the next one though. Raising meat rabbits (showing is 2ndary although this doe already has a BOV win with a leg on her) she has to pull her weight or I'll replace her even if she is nice.

Auventera Two
Jan. 7, 2009, 04:46 PM
We culled lots of buns with legs on them because they couldn't breed, or wouldn't raise the kits. GC legs are only as good as the kits you can produce and sell as a result. Sure, there's the personal satisfaction of it, but I agree with you, that if they don't do what you need them to do, you can't always keep them.

In our experience, most does that have the first litter on the wire go on to have other litters and raise them without any problem. The problem does that we would get rid of were the ones who were so spastic they would jump in and out of the box and crush kits. There's too much heartache in that to keep breeding those does back again.

Oh, you mentioned your kids getting into Mini Rex. If they plan on showing, look out! Mini Rex and Netherland Dwarfs have the biggest class sizes of all and the competition is fierce. If they like Rex fur, they might find the Starndard Rex to be more rewarding on the show table. :lol: But - of course, you live in the Midwest so you'll probably have the Roloff rabbits to compete with, and my mom's line. But its still easier than the Mini Rex, where one breeder will turn up at a show with 30 rabbits to put on the table. The Midwest is THE area for Rex and Mini Rex.

tle
Jan. 8, 2009, 10:40 AM
Thanks for the advice. Nice to hear that others are in the same mindset.

Yeah, I've noticed a LOT of MR in the area... that NZ, ND and Holland Lops seem to be REALLY popular. My only real criteria for the kids is that we get something small so I can only relinquish 1 cage if they both want a rabbit pet (I only have 14 cages to start with right now so it's kind of at a premium). I guess I'm guilty of pointing her at the MRs because I enjoyed my rex when I was in 4H... but I'm pretty open to whatever she wants (although IMHO Polish look funny!). We have a culled Mini Satin at the kennel right now that is adorable. My plan actually is to take her to a show and let her pick what she wants.

heelgirl4381
Jan. 8, 2009, 02:23 PM
Wow, I never thought I would be reading about rabbits on COTH. I used to raise and show rabbits with my dad and through 4H. I joined 4H for the horses but then my sister got a pet rabbit and it peed on her so she gave it to me! It was a Mini Lop named Muffin. We also raised Mini Rex and Netherland Dwarves. I was quite successful at the shows if I do say so myself! Now when I tell people I used to show rabbits they look at me like I am crazy! I just tell them you can show anything! (saw a PBS special on people who raised and showed ferrets!) Good to know I am not alone.
Sometimes we would have does have the babies on the wire (even though they had a nestbox) but it was too late to save them. We never had to hand raise any. We did have one doe that tried to pull one of her babies out and in the process removed one of its front legs. That baby turned out to be the most beautiful Mini Rex that we named Trihop! :lol: She got to live in the house with us b/c she was special and lived a long time for a rabbit (about 13 years). Good luck and let us know how the baby bunnies are doing!!

TB Fan
Jan. 9, 2009, 12:52 PM
I'm sorry, this whole discussion about struggling to raise rabbits in order to butcher them and eat them later is grossing me out. I have two, they are well fed and happy pets and always will be.

tle
Jan. 9, 2009, 01:12 PM
I'm sorry, this whole discussion about struggling to raise rabbits in order to butcher them and eat them later is grossing me out. I have two, they are well fed and happy pets and always will be.

Then by all means, don't read it. Go be with your well fed and happy pets -- I certainly begrudge you NOTHING in keeping rabbits as pets (we'll soon have 2 as teh kids want them). But don't destroy a great discussion simply because you have a problem with it. Thanks.

Nothing from the Broken doe yet. I still have my doubts I'll get anything from her. Contemplating buying a very nice black buck. Hmmm.... have to think on that one. That said I think I found a "home" for the 3 netherland dwarf culls we ended up not processing. YAY!!

JER
Jan. 9, 2009, 01:35 PM
I'm sorry, this whole discussion about struggling to raise rabbits in order to butcher them and eat them later is grossing me out. I have two, they are well fed and happy pets and always will be.

Rabbits are more sustainable than say, cows and chickens. And rabbit meat is leaner and healthier. I'd rather see people raising hormone-free, antibiotic-free, organically-fed, ethically-kept rabbits at home than buying commercially-farmed meat in the shops or restaurants.

I'm quite certain that tle's rabbits are also 'well-fed' and 'happy', even according to your criteria.

I also have two pet rabbits -- a Rex and a regular ol' rabbit, both from rescues -- but come from a culture where it's not 'gross' to eat bunnies.

tle, can we talk rabbit recipes? How are you preparing your meat?

tle
Jan. 9, 2009, 01:46 PM
Thanks JER. My buns ARE well fed (won't breed or be in good condition for shows or meat otherwise) and happy. :-) Heck they regularly get some apple as treats even! Just having a hard time getting kits (but from what several rabbit breeders on lists have been saying, this has been a hard winter for everyone).

Recipes? Don't have any good ones so far. I think we're going to end up doing quite a bit of jerky but I am looking forward to a good BBQ roast sometime soon. We have a 4# roaster in the freezer that we just need to work into the meal plan rotation soon... although he may be better as jerky since he was about 7 months (poor guy... was too small and his testicals never dropped -- so he couldn't be shown OR bred). but I'm happy to hear of good recipes if someone has them!

Texas_Charm
Jan. 9, 2009, 01:47 PM
Fun conversation.. I used to raise and show Holland Lops and Mini Lops .. French Lops for food.... My daughter currently has Dutch and we just got our first Lionhead.

Her show bunnies are off limits for the dinner table.. lol .. but I told her that when we get moved to our land (hopefully this spring) .. I'm going to start raising some for eating .. yum yum and very healthy..

We are just starting to breed our does this year (3 of them) ..

JSwan
Jan. 9, 2009, 01:55 PM
I'm enjoying this discussion as well. I did not realize that some of you posters ate rabbit meat, much less raised them for that purpose.

What I mean is that you don't hear much about Americans eating a lot of rabbit and it is just plain delicious and lean and healthy meat. Never figured out why it just isn't really a common dish in the US. (regional/ethnic cuisine aside). I've got a great cookbook with rabbit recipes but never thought to raise them, just hunt them with my beagle. (she was turning into a somewhat decent rabbit hound)

I'll have to read up on it.

Those that are raising them - are you raising them for home use, for sale, or both?

Texas_Charm
Jan. 9, 2009, 01:58 PM
Only home use here .. but I have a friend with a lot more rabbits and she gets calls from people looking for 2-4 lb frying size rabbits .. so she does get some outside business ..

She sells them live though ..

county
Jan. 9, 2009, 02:02 PM
We raise them to eat and sell. My favorite way to eat them is smoked. When I butcher a pig and smoke the hams I always hang a couple rabbits above the hans and let the rabbits smoke along with the hams. Yummy!!!!

JSwan
Jan. 9, 2009, 02:03 PM
I wonder if she does that because the regulations are too expensive to comply with?

tle
Jan. 9, 2009, 02:04 PM
We still live within the city limits so we're really limited to size. I only have 14 cages and that includes the outdoor hutch the grandparents gave us (that will house the kid's pets when we get them). So most of what we're doing is for home use (us or the dogs), although I will be selling hides and stuff done with the hides when it warms up enough to tan... and have no problem selling either for meat or for show as I have some quality show rabbits (my Sr NZ White doe won her class at a recent ARBA sanctioned show!) When we move to the farm (2010) I hope to really expand the operation and do some serious business -- whether that's for show, for pet, or for the table (or puppy dish)... I'm ok with all of it.

JSwan... if you come across a couple good recipes, please post them! :-)

Texas_Charm
Jan. 9, 2009, 02:05 PM
I'm not sure she's concerned so much with that as the fact that if she kills and cleans it's going in her OWN fridge .. lol.

JSwan
Jan. 9, 2009, 02:14 PM
This thread reminded me that I need to thaw a chicken for dinner. (raised and butchered by me!)

I've got several rabbit recipes and can post them or PM them. One is really simple, the others are pretty detailed.


A friend of mine took a class in tanning. She did a pretty good job.

Auventera Two
Jan. 9, 2009, 02:19 PM
We sold all our culls as either meat or pets. We could not butcher them ourselves, but had no problem if other people bought them for butcher. We did however quit giving them to one man when we found out his practices were not humane. You have to REALLY screen meat buyers and make sure they are credible and humane.

And I hate to say it, but some of our bunns that we considered culls for showing in this area, were good quality show rabbits for other parts of the country. We live 40 minutes away from the greatest Rex breeder in the US with more grand championship stock than a person could ever hope to see in one location. So the rabbits we put up on the table here had to be the very best of the best that we could breed. But we did sell a lot of "culls" as show stock that went on to get good placings and wins elsewhere in the country.

It is VERY hard if you're limited on holes. We always had at least 75 holes, and at times of the year, more than that. We also used a double horse stall (with the wall removed) as a doe pen. We'd keep around 20 or so does in there so they could run "free" and not be caged. We rotated breeding does out so that they didn't spend all their life in a cage. I can't imagine trying to do it in town. I give you a whole lotta credit!!! :eek: :D

Texas_Charm
Jan. 9, 2009, 02:24 PM
Awww .. and it's FUN to have rabbits on the ground.. we can't where we are either .. due to being in city, but our GC doe that quit producing last year has lived this year in my friend's barn on the ground .. She is 8 or 9 now .. and a TOTAL pigpen .. but happy.

My daughter will put a rabbit on the ground in the "barn" everyday when she feeds .. it gives them some stretching legs time .. lol.

On another note (and in response to the poster who was grossed out) .. my poor daughter tried to join a rabbit forum because she LOVES her rabbits .. and she got a hard time because her rabbits live OUTSIDE and in CAGES .. If you REALLY loved them, you'd have them INSIDE with a LITTER BOX..

It kinda hurt her feelings, but she doesn't love her rabbits any less.. they are her little babies.. (thus the reason they are off limits for the table )

Different strokes...

JER
Jan. 9, 2009, 02:55 PM
On another note (and in response to the poster who was grossed out) .. my poor daughter tried to join a rabbit forum because she LOVES her rabbits .. and she got a hard time because her rabbits live OUTSIDE and in CAGES .. If you REALLY loved them, you'd have them INSIDE with a LITTER BOX..


The 'house rabbit' types can get pretty inflexible on the topic of rabbit-keeping.

My rabbits used to live outside in my yard, in large cages with attached exercise pens. My male liked to roam free in my (fenced) yard but that had to stop after the grey fox (who could climb the fence) moved in. Now (I moved), they're in their cages with pens on the ground floor of the house but I'm building a big pen in the barn. Hopefully, I'll have bonded these two by then -- my new female has only been here for a couple of months since my last female died of natural causes (I'd had her for 8 years and she was older than that).

The Rex is very quiet but very particular about interior decorating. Her litter box goes here, her sleeping box goes here, water is here, etc and if you want to talk to her from exactly 10am to 2 pm, she keeps office hours on the 2nd floor of her cage (does not go up there otherwise). These are locations she chose herself -- she completely rejected my original decorating scheme.

Texas_Charm
Jan. 9, 2009, 03:12 PM
LOL aren't they funny ... we've had to change waterers/feeders etc because certain rabbits just won't HAVE a certain type .. they are VERY good at letting you know when they aren't satisfied with WHATEVER .. lol.

When the weather is nice, and we eat dinner outside, we will turn a rabbit out in the backyard and let them hop around while we eat.. If we have a pen of youngsters, we'll turn them all out and they just go NUTS its so funny.

MintHillFarm
Jan. 9, 2009, 03:16 PM
I had a pair of lovely Flemish Giants for a time; Lois and Clark. Several unsuccessful and sad endings to the babies, that I couldn't stand it anymore. I had the male castrated as it was not going to be with any babies surviving...good luck, I wish you the very best for your bunnies...

tle
Jan. 9, 2009, 03:24 PM
LOL! Mine aren't quite as picky on decorating, but personalities definitely come out. My little white buck is a trip. He's the nosiest critter... always watching and BEGGING. I hope he grows up as nice as I think he's going to as he'd be great to keep around as a main herd buck for a while. He's quite the character and a great temperment. One thing I told myself going in (and actually wrote down when I started) -- I REFUSE to keep a rabbit that has a nasty temperment regardless of how nice they are or how nice the babies are they throw. It simply would not be worth it. My white doe copped an attitude with me for a few days last month -- charging and nipping at my hand whenever it was within range. given her quick change of behavior, I can honestly say it was hormones... she started about 4 days before she kindled and by day 2 afterwards was back to her sweet self. THAT i can live with (although we do have words on it).

Texas_Charm
Jan. 9, 2009, 03:33 PM
Oh man, and there can be some NASTY attitudes .. All my lops were pretty nice .. sweet even.

These Dutch are something else .. does are nasty or just NO personality .. the bucks are very sweet .. But they (dutch) aren't my favorites ..

I think I'm going to get some Harlequins .. They get big enough to eat also .. *grin*

Paddys Mom
Jan. 9, 2009, 04:51 PM
Can anyone tell me what kind of rabbit this is?
http://good-times.webshots.com/album/569583486pyBQmq?vhost=good-times

I know he is male and that's about it.
I don't know how old.
He was abandoned at my trainer's old barn and I adopted him.
He lives in the basement in a large dog cage and hops around the basement for recreation.
He is picky about his house too - don't touch the newspaper he carefully shreds! ;)

Texas_Charm
Jan. 9, 2009, 08:29 PM
Definitely a harlequin of some nature .. maybe mixed with Dutch ..

http://www.centralpets.com/photos/mammals/rabbits/photo_rbt4286.html

http://www.rabbitandcavydirectory.com/Images-BG-F-J/Keiser1.jpg


Very cute rabbit ... you're an angel for taking him.

Hampton Bay
Jan. 9, 2009, 10:59 PM
All this mention of letting the rabbits out in the barn, etc has me curious.

I have two rabbits that belonged to my ex-bf's daughter. They are just pets, and both are very friendly. They are currently in a large cage together (2'x6', 2' tall), and they have a little shelf they like to hop up on. But as the younger one gets bigger, I am noticing that the girls really don't have a bunch of room to hop. Their cage is out in my feed room, and I have it on legs so that it is easier for me to clean out, and because I was worried about the snakes when the younger one was smaller.

I am wondering if I can give them an escape outside into what will be my chicken pen, or if the chickens will bug them (or they will bug the chickens). Also, they are pretty friendly right now because they have been caged and handled a bunch. They actually squeak every time they hear me coming. Will letting them have run of the chicken pen (with use of the cage so they have shelter) make them less tame, so that if I need to handle them I might not be able to? These are my first bunnies, and while I will miss their squeaking when I go to feed the horses, I can't help but think that they might be happier and less work for me if they had a little yard.

And, will they burrow out? I could always put down some chicken wire and then cover it back up with sand, but I don't really want to do that if I don't need to. We do have coyotes out here, and I don't really want them to turn into snacks.

Texas_Charm
Jan. 10, 2009, 08:34 AM
They will burrow out .. when i had rabbits loose permanently, it was a constant struggle to keep their holes filled in and keep them in the pen .. lol.

You could, however, open the door to their cage and let them out while you feed so that they can stretch their legs. WE rotate letting our rabbits out to run and play while we feed. They get to where they run to the door and in essence say "me me" .. hoping it's their turn to get down and dig and play.. lol

I don't know about the chickens, but I do know that I had to worm more regularly when I had bunnies going on the ground regularly ..

Have fun!

Auventera Two
Jan. 10, 2009, 12:08 PM
On another note (and in response to the poster who was grossed out) .. my poor daughter tried to join a rabbit forum because she LOVES her rabbits .. and she got a hard time because her rabbits live OUTSIDE and in CAGES .. If you REALLY loved them, you'd have them INSIDE with a LITTER BOX..

It kinda hurt her feelings, but she doesn't love her rabbits any less.. they are her little babies.. (thus the reason they are off limits for the table )

Different strokes...

Ohhhh yeah! Been there, seen that. There are two types of "rabbit people." Those serious breeders who breed and show, sell culls, ARBA members, etc. and then those who pay $65 for an unidentifiable, unpedigreed, unregistered pet store bunny who keep the one bunny in their living room with a litter box and give treats that cost $19 per ounce. ;) :lol:

Ours were kept in holes (cages) but they were rotated out so they all got free time in the stall. The bucks who had to be kept separate got thrown in the horse trailer at least one day a week so they could run and dig and do whatever it is that happy bunns do. We had several large breeding cages that we built ourselves. One cage is 6 feet long, and 2 feet deep, and would house one doe and her litter until the litter was weaning age. Then the doe would go into the doe stall, or back into a normal sized cage.

We always bought carpet scraps and kept hay in the cages so they always had relief from the wire. Thin furred feet or cage sores is a SERIOUS fault, up to a disqualification in Rex so we were very careful to never let their feet get sore on the wire. Thats the biggest problem with caging rabbits is the wire.

I think we wormed 2x a year. I don't remember doing it more than that. Our barn floor is concrete so digging out was impossible. But boyyyyyy they'd sure try! It seriously reduces the need to trim nails though! After a few days in the doe stall, the nails were ground down where they should be.

Hampton Bay
Jan. 10, 2009, 03:09 PM
They will burrow out .. when i had rabbits loose permanently, it was a constant struggle to keep their holes filled in and keep them in the pen .. lol.

You could, however, open the door to their cage and let them out while you feed so that they can stretch their legs. WE rotate letting our rabbits out to run and play while we feed. They get to where they run to the door and in essence say "me me" .. hoping it's their turn to get down and dig and play.. lol

I don't know about the chickens, but I do know that I had to worm more regularly when I had bunnies going on the ground regularly ..

Have fun!

What if I buried chicken wire on the "floor" of the pen, secured it into the existing wire fence, then covered it back up with sand? They should be able to dig, but not get thru the wire I would think.

I'm not sure I can let my girls out in my feed room though. Too many places for them to be hidden or to get loose, and then I might not be able to catch them again. I could maybe make them a run inside the feed room though.

As for worming, I didn't know I needed to worm them? What do you use?