Xerocles rabbit thread

Baymule

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I used mineral oil for ear mites. A few drops a month kept the mites away.

Yes you can use the Formica table for grooming your rabbits. Any/Everything I use to slaughter gets a Clorox bath, there should not be any residual blood on your table.
 

Baymule

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Speaking of violating a sheep’s Butt, I’m on track for running them through the chute again tomorrow. Need to do a worm count on a few of them. While I’ve got them in there, might as well drench them all with Garlic Barrier again.

@Duckfarmerpa1 ypu should move to Texas, we’d make great neighbors!
 

Xerocles

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It's cold outside and so I'm stuck inside, so let's get back to the story. Everybody got your popcorn ready?
One thing I missed yesterday that I forgot to mention. Since we live only about 25 miles apart, we have very similar weather patterns. He uses water bottles for watering. I asked what he does about frozen water bottles. He said....don't have many days where it stays below freezing all day...... They.....usually......thaw out by mid morning.... o_O
Only had a few tubes to burst from frozen water!
Baymule would drive all the way from Tx to kick my butt if I said something like that!
So, anyhow, I'm home with the rabbits. Started with the buck. Scruffed just enough to get his front feet up, then hand under the chest and other hand under the butt...with fingers between and around back feet to stop any kicking. Then into a "hug" on my left forearm with head at the crook of my elbow. Just went into great detail there so you guys know ive learned SOMETHING.
I looked like a freakin professional and everything went beautifully. Eased him butt first into a SPARE doe cage on the back of the run because I wanted to put a spreader bar on his cage (buck cage vs doe cage. Doe cage has baby saver wire). Done, and done. Proud of myself. Then the does. Red first. Kinda skittish, (after all, a lot was happening in her world) but I caught her in a corner, trapped her down, and carbon copy of buck. Into her cage and all is well.
Then Cruella, Cali doe. Transport cage was about 16" X 20". It was like trying to catch the Tasmanian Devil. Finally trapped in a corner. Light scruff, left hand under chest, and it was like trying to hold a....well...Tasmanian Devil. Finally gave up, scruffed her with hand under back feet, and on to her cage.
I had already decided to give them a week, routine feeding and watering only, with observation, to allow them to settle into the new environment.
One of my previews mentioned "hell to heaven". Here it was. HUGE cages compared to what they had before. They used a large portion of that first afternoon on their hind feet. Oh to be able to stretch up to full length! And rest pads to get their feet off the wire. Several minutes before they discovered this. Food and water of course, but also hay. I was a little suspicious, because they nibbled some pellets, sniffed the hay and turned away. This guy didn't keep them supplied with hay. I KNEW it! So, stressful day, what the heck, a small treat. One carrot stick, each. Through the wire, no interaction yet. They ignored the carrot sticks. Still in their cages the next morning.
I spent a couple hours near them, training Nyx, the dog, that they were new family members and not to be messed with. She caught on pretty quick with only a few verbal corrections, that she could look, but not touch. She is fascinated by them, and so far, minding her manners quite nicely. I also putzed around the shed with little things so they could see me and learn I was not an immediate threat.
Dusk came on. Final check of food and water. Nyx got to sleep inside because, why take a chance.
And tomorrows another day. Nite-nite kiddies.
 

Xerocles

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@Duckfarmerpa1 and @Baymule
You guys KNOW you're pretty disgusting, right?
And you revel in it. Thanks ladies, I appreciate you.
Oh, and ducks. About your emergency kit. I realize I'm asking a lot of your time, but you don't teach someone to walk by saying just put one foot in front of the other. Much of that kit went right over my head. I know simethicone. I used gallons of it for my daughter. Now there's a long and interesting story. But when, and to whom, do you give it, and what are the signs that its called for? Surely not because they scream nonstop and sleep less than 2 hours in a row for 4 weeks?
 

Duckfarmerpa1

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DISCLAIMER: what I am about to write may sound like I am upset or disappointed with the deal I made. I'm not.
I hope the guy I bought my rabbits from is not a member of BYH. I haven't seen anyone else from SC on here, so maybe I'm safe. If not, I'm about to pi$$ somebody off. Well, if the truth hurts, maybe you should change the truth.
Got to his farm. Nice respectful largish, well maintained acreage with several pretty respectable outbuildings. And he invited me to drive behind the house to the rabbitry. Aghast! o_O
Now I am of the mindset of "if its not broke, don't fix it" and I suppose his cages kept his rabbits inside. But what a mishmash of ancient, dilapidated, amaturish looking collection of cages. I made better looking hutches, alone and without help, when I was 9 years old. He had maybe 50 or 60 hutches.
I suppose if I had the experience of many of you (or I already had rabbits) I would have thanked him for his time and trudged back home at this point. But I suffered from the newby affliction of "I got empty cages, and I don't have experience and I want a rabbit NOW!
I went for advertised NZ red does, 6mo, solid and broken, registered. $25. I only wanted one, preferrably solid. He told me, via phonecall, he only had two left, both broken.
I asked, since 6 mos is prime breeding age and I don't have a buck, how much would he charge me to have her serviced. No charge, but no promises. Fair enough.(later he told me no luck on the breeding).
He showed me the does, both to my unexperienced eye, well put together, blocky, rounded, alert, with big backends. Meat rabbits. I still hold to this assessment, but will admit my ignorance on this, and an experienced eye might tell me I have culls.
Anyhow, back to housing. We made conversation, a quite congenial young man, while I looked around, assaying the environment and asking all pertinent questions I knew to ask. He was relaxed, ready with answers, and seemed honest and sincere. Yes, his rabbits were full time caged, no "ground time". Had been doing this since a teenager (late 20s/early 30s now). Only diseases he had ever had and had to treat for was ear mites. No coccidosis ever. Shared that he did no showing, and very little in the pet market, but dealt with mostly one or two "processors" and one had recently passed. Only time he had major losses was a couple years ago when we had two weeks of temps above 100f (I remember that year). Said he lost a lot. His information was straightforward.
The cages. Small. Only about 24" wide. Would have pushed to be 16" tall. Barely enough room for these meat rabbits to turn around. Wire bottoms, many were 1X1 wire. No resting pads. No sign of hay or hay racks (" we just throw it on top of the cages"). But again, none visible. This was noontime.
Each cage did have a tag attached with pertinent info; breed, sex, age, some codes I didn't decipher.
Now I have been accused of being somewhat callous about animals and their place in the scheme of things. And, giving credit where credit is due, I think this guy was honest and aboveboard, but even more callous than I. Meat is meat. You raise it. You eat it. You don't pamper it.
Anyhow, to the deal. I know this is long and likely boring.
We had not agreed on a deal. And I had casually mentioned that I was also trying to find a Californian, cause I wanted to compare growout, etc. So, he said his buyer who had passed away was a Cali buyer, cause he needed white pelts in addition to meat. He (my seller) was not fond of Cali, just liked the color of his reds, and had gotten rid of most of his Cali stock. He had one pair left and IF I bought the red doe at $25, he would sell me the pair of Calis @ $10 each. $10 for a 10 lb stewing rabbit isn't bad, even if all you do is cook it. And these were 18 month registered breeding stock. I stuck my hand out and reached in my pocket.
Now, I only brought one transport cage, which the does could go in. He found a cardboard box for the buck. Scruffed only, not even back feet support. Buck in the box. While I taped the box and placed it in the truck, he loaded the does into the carrier, so I didn't see him interact with them. That's important, and I'll tell you why, tomorrow. Your eyes are probably tired by now, anyhow.
OMG. I just looked back and this is LONG. I should have broken it down, but I don't see how.
As far as the 1x1 hardware cloth for cage bottoms..that’s the route you want to go. Larger holes will get the long nails of the rabbits stuck...paws/tow gets stuck..this way they bounce on top. 16” high is short but many breeders don’t care that rabbits love to jump. I breed rabbits for fun..not money..an we only ate four out of...a ton! So...our regular cages are very big and nice...but..I’m glad you got your new bunnies out of there!
 

Xerocles

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As far as the 1x1 hardware cloth for cage bottoms..that’s the route you want to go.
Shhhhhhh! Don't say that too loud. I was on the "other site" when I started building my cages. I had about 200 ft of 1X1 wire, for free and was going to use it all around. When I announced that, it was like I had committed high treason against the state or something. I think they burned my avatar in effigy. 1X1/2 was the only thing acceptable. 1X1 and babies (100% they made it sound like) would break legs, and adults would develop horrendous sores on their feet. I didn't know what I was doing, and the outcry against 1X1 was so strong that I relented and BOUGHT 1X1/2 for the bottoms, letting much of my 1X1 languish in the "future use" pile. I don't know. I'm a novice. So when I have a large group telling me sternly that I'm doing something wrong, I accept their opinion and change plans.
 

Xerocles

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Well, lets get back to story time. Now where we? Oh, yes. Hay. Well, I pretty much was certain of the answer to my next question. If they weren't used to hay, they probably never got GREEN STUFF. I have wild violets on the west side of my house, which are the only thing growing (and blooming) right now. Not wanting to upset tummies not used to such stuff, I grabbed 1 handful of violets to share between the three, a bare nibble for each. I began with Cruella....shes my test case. Now, when I pulled the violets, a few dead leaves had fallen on them, and so the dead leaves came along also. Cruella approached my offering, and nibbled on one of the dead leaves. Didn't even sniff the violets. Same with the other two. They didn't even recognize the green sruff as food. Later in the day, C did discover the violets cause they were gone. As was Salvador's. But Hunny bunny never ate hers. They just wilted away on the cage floor.
Oh. Salvador's name. Anybody figure it out? Look carefully at his picture. Not as obvious in a picture as in real life, but see the little "handlebar mustache" he has coming out from the dark markings on his muzzle? The instant I saw him in his cage when we got home, I said "you look like Salvador Dali!". I just hope his offspring don't look like Dali's work!
While I'm on the subject of Salvador. We've got a problem. Actually two. These rabbits are wild. They've never been handled. At all. Being the eternal optomist, I think I can calm them (well, two of them at least) enough at least for normal functions. But Salvador has ear mites. Pretty sure. Head shaking and scratching. I got the mineral oil. Trying to give him the week's acclimatazation before I start messing with him. But even then, not sure how to hold a rabbit who doesnt want to be held, and still have a hand free to put drops in the ears. But thats not the worst. You should see his nails! They're horrendous. I mean they don't even point downwards anymore, kinda go out to the side. NO IDEA how I'm gonna deal with that. Do they make sedatives for rabbits? Can I "swaddle" him like a newborn, wrapping him tightly with one foot at a time sticking out? Suggestions are appreciated.
This looks like a good time to take a break. With the nasty weather, and me being stuck inside, I might continue in a bit.
 

Baymule

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1”x1/2” is the proper bottom wire and up the side baby saver wire for rabbits.

Ear mites. Get eye dropper ready, hold down rabbit firmly with other hand. Squirt. Squirt fast! Rabbit takes off shaking head, flinging droplets on you. Ick. Get over it. Get eye dropper ready and do other ear. Repeat every day. The crud will loosen up, q tips help dig it out.

Toenails on a wild rabbit. Good question. It’s been a LOOONG time, mine were handled and tame. I would get a good hold on ears and scruff of neck, sit in chair, put rabbit in lap, trim with other hand. It would probably be a good idea to do a few dry runs but have clippers ready just in case it goes ok.

Anybody else?
 

promiseacres

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1”x1/2” is the proper bottom wire and up the side baby saver wire for rabbits.
I definately agree!
You can use a towel to wrap them up to trim nails, or holding them as Bay said. If they are pink just cut until the color, have cornstarch on hand if you get them too short. Might take a few trims on a regular schedule before they get to looking good so don't feel like you have to take them back all at once.
 
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