Oh but a hopeful happy camper I am. :)
the picture above is Lem. I have a gal who lives stateside who is thinking to take him and Milkshake and two youngsters home. I am ecstatic! I did NOT want to have to cull this boyo to make room in my rabbitry and Lem is such a soft touch of a rabbit. Likes behind the head scritches and is just so easy to work with though he is annoyed at me right now because I have him in a too small cage.
another reason I am so happy is my lover boy Bandit will be moving into a pet home at the end of the week. My Mr. Smooshie face has a lovely pet home with a well experienced owner wanting to take him home. :) woot woot!
Another reason to be happy is Shimmer found a new home today. She is heavily pregnant but going to a well experienced home where she will become a retired breeder and pet for a lady and her daughter.
I've seen ads up on kijiji with people giving up their bunnies due to their personal hay allergies and I've had people ask me what to do if they have a hay allergy.
Here's my first response:
you don't HAVE to feed hay IF you are feeding a good pelleted diet. You really don't have to.
So what exactly is a good pellet diet?
Well first I'll tell you what it is not: it's not the feed that comes with sunflowers, corn and bits of coloured stuff in it. The coloured stuff tends to be flour and fat with food colouring. Why on earth do you want to feed that? Corn has it's advocates and dissenters. The biggest problem with corn is it can carry mytotoxins in it which is not so good for bunny tummies. It's not the stuff that is barely 12-14% protein. Rabbits need a certain amount of protein to be healthy.
A good pellet looks and smells fresh. it has a nice green colour. It is 16% protein with a decent fibre. As odd as it sounds, the best way to tell how much long fibre a pellet has is to much on it. just a little and it won't hurt you...but if you have longish bits in your mouth, it has good fibre. :)
BUT let's say you don't want to give up giving your rabbit SOMETHING good to munch on.
well you have some alternatives
Remembering to think green or treelike since rabbits are herbivores NOT vegetarians..
1. carrot tops, parsley, beet greens, kale, romaine lettuce
2. apple branches tend to be fairly easy to find, the sisal houses, and wood chew toys.
3. green grass, dandelions,
all these things have fibre. perhaps not as much as hay does (as it is dry and therefore more fibrous) but they still have fibre and are good for bunny tummies.
What if bunny says BUT I WANT MY HAY!!!!!
consider giving hay cubes. These are compressed mini bales of hay and for some reason, those allergic to hay often find they work best.
Or consider treating your bunny like a spoiled toddler and put up with the temper tantrums. Bunny WILL adjust. He will. And a good transition as he adjusts is to give a small treat of regular kitchen oatmeal. Just a tsp. but it's enough and has fibre in it as well.
Love your bunny but work with what your allergy tolerances will handle. Your bunny will be adjust to what is best for you. :)
Over the past two days I've sold four bunnies and gained two.
Sold were the last two babies from Vivian, one kit from Oreo, and Vivian (holland lop doe).
Gained was a kit back from Sera (doe bred for young rabbit breeder), and a young buck the gal couldn't sell.
Sprite is a young buck who was thought to be a doe until got closer to maturity. he's a black jap holland lop. I'm debating keeping him as a replacement for Aero Bar. But may yet sell him. What he has going for him is nice colour and small size. Temperment is okay. Was rather hoping for a tricolour to replace Aero Bar so it's a bit of hmm...
This is the young girlie I got back from breeding Sera to Bandit. For some reason she's a martinized fawn, not quite what I expected. She is for sale. Decently handled, small sized young female.
Gina is a black holland lop doe that I got on trade for a himi mini rex. I bred her to Soldier in the hopes of a decent litter. I had bred her to Bandit when she first got here and she was a dud with that litter. I had high hopes when she actually built a nest this time three days early. She gave me five kits last night, two light, three dark. Hopefully she will care for them.
Milkshake surprised with a litter of nine kits. Four were born on the wire, but I found them in time to plunk them into the nestbox. it's a first litter for her and Spots pictured below. The litter looks to mostly be blue and black magpies, with one chocolate magpie.
Akara above and Aero Bar below had six kits. All are looking to be jap, though two I"m not sure about. Just hoping for not the odd colour of the last litter. Time will tell, I'll know more by Tuesday morning.
Today I got some rabbits bred, I have a fellow wanting a solid coloured polish for his job, so I thought I'd try to get him one. :) Hopefully I will get some nice kits from the matches I made today. Button, pictured below, I bred to Mitch.
One of the things I find fascinating about raising rabbits is the sheer amount of ways people choose to breed their rabbits.
My methodology: I breed in 2 or 4's normally. I check does for signs of readiness, I pick times when I know I'll be around to see them kindle and to sell their offspring. I stick the doe in with the buck and allow him to mount her 2-3 times and then I pull her out and I'm done.
Other methods I've heard about
1. put doe in with buck, allow to mate as often as they wish until they no longer wish to do so. Remove doe to own cage. Done.
2. bring buck to doe's cage. This can be risky as many does don't much like having their space invaded. Done.
3. Bring doe to buck, allow to mate 2-3 times, then remove doe. anywhere from 2-12 hours later, return doe to the bucks cage for a repeat breeding.
4. Breed a doe to a variety of bucks. Those who do this say that it increases the amount of offspring desired. This would NOT be useful in a show/pedigree program as you'd never to be sure which offspring belongs to whom.
5. MOST methods allow to independent breeding, but there are some folks who will ONLY table breed and have trained their bucks to wait until they position the doe and then assist in the breeding. Table breeding has it's place and time, but is not a method I tend to utilize though I have on the odd occasion (like when you have a doe who WANTS to be bred but simply won't lift for the chosen buck).
NOW, with all methodologies used it is good to be able to see what other folks do so you can try things differently if you have a problem doe.
For instance... I had a doe once who was a bear to breed until I learned that she prefers the buck to come to her. If I did so, she would breed eagerly. Her daughters were the same way. :)
I've had does that I've purchased in or had given to me that could be challenging to breed and learned that sometimes table breeding can be an aid.
I had one doe that I struggled to get kits off of, and one time decided I'd go out every four hours and breed her...and finally I got a litter of five kits off her. Previous attempts at breeding had resulted in litters of ONE. Rather tiresome that.
I have one buck that won't breed rapidly. he will breed once, and then he'll cuddle and make nice for the next five minutes. I've learned, let him breed, let him cuddle for a minute, remove the doe and 10 minutes later give the doe back. I dislike this prolonged breeding routine and will be looking to replace him at some point.
So different methods sometimes work.
MY preferred method is to let the rabbits simply do their thing without any more interference than necessary. That's what works best for me. :)
four pups, littered earlier than I expected her too.
three girls, one boy. Only one born without any brindling.
the sole survivor of a litter of three. Two were peanuts though who survived longer than normal. She's got a fairly plush coat, and I'm not entirely sure what colour she is. I'm suspecting she's a muddy cream. Pretty lass though.
I have been breeding rabbits for a quite a few years. I thoroughly enjoy them as animals and think they make great pets. I also like to take some of them to rabbit shows to see how they measure up to the standards.