Xerocles rabbit thread

Baymule

Herd Master
Joined
Aug 22, 2010
Messages
19,795
Reaction score
49,178
Points
803
Location
Northeast Texas
I used to breed 20-30 does at a time so I only lost a few nights sleep. I was out in the barn every 2 hours checking on them and had drop lights over every nest box. The barn had a welcoming warm glow. LOL
 

Xerocles

Loving the herd life
Joined
Nov 11, 2019
Messages
540
Reaction score
1,538
Points
173
Location
Clinton (piedmont) SC
Use a 60 or 100 watt regular light bulb and place the aluminum shield over the nest box on freezing cold nights. Just keep the cord UP off the cage or you'll get fried rabbit sooner than you wanted, but you already know that.


Bayco Sl-300 8.5 Inch Clamp Light with Aluminum Reflector, Size: 8.5 inch, Silver
I couldn't stand it. Had to get out in the sunshine for a bit. Besides, I didn't want to be struggling with this on the night of. And it has to get the Baymule stamp of approval.
20191214_123846.jpg
Of course I have to replace the chick lamp with a "normal" 100 watt. And of course no hay in the box. Just put it in to make sure everything fit. Is the placement right or do I need to reposition?
 

animalmom

Herd Master
Joined
Dec 19, 2009
Messages
1,760
Reaction score
1,771
Points
323
Location
North Central Texas
Good job on the love birds!

I'm of two minds on the heat lamp issue... use them with my goats kid and it is cold but have not used a heat lamp with the rabbits. Usually the moms pull enough fur to make a very cozy warm nest and I try to have extra fur stashed away for the few times I though she needed more fur in the nest.

I save fur from the summer time when I brush the rabbits... put the brushed out fur in a ziplock type bag. When the rabbits molt I grab fur by the handful and add it to the bag. Occasionally a doe will pull tons of fur and I grab some of the extra and pop it in the bag. Comes in handy.

Regarding free feeding... the only time I free feed (keeping feed, which I define as rabbit pellets in the food dish 24/7) is 3 or 4 days after the doe kindles. This gives her the time for her milk to come in before you ramp up the groceries. Otherwise my Calis get fed in the late afternoon and get about 1/2 each... unless the night is going to be in the 20-30's then I give them another 1/4 cup.

Now about Cruella... poor thing, find her a better name, something cheerful and nice like Jessica. You want her to be a good bunny, a nice bunny, a pleasure to have around and that may be difficult with her current name. Just saying. She apparently has had no contact with nice people, does not know about the nice things in life and has a bad attitude. She is in self-defense mode. Start with just talking to her kindly, work up to finding something she reallllllly likes to eat and treating her with a little piece in the morning. For example, if you find out she likes apple then save her a little piece in the morning just for her. I have some rabbits that go crazy for grapefruit peel, some are junkies for bananas or melon rind. She needs to feel safe. You can do this... you already care about her welfare. 1,000 Bravos for getting her out of that environment. Given time she will be a calmer bunny. She may retain a degree of alertness but she is a bunny and prey and prey is always alert.

I have some rabbits that love being touched at any time, some like it on their own terms but I have never had a rabbit that did not get to the point of greeting me at the front of the cage any time I was near... in expectation of something nice.

I think you are doing just fine.
 

Xerocles

Loving the herd life
Joined
Nov 11, 2019
Messages
540
Reaction score
1,538
Points
173
Location
Clinton (piedmont) SC
Lamp on top of the cage. No heat lamp. Is that cardboard?
Lamp on top of cage. Got it. But you said "place the aluminum shield over the nest box". Please remember, you're not dealing with the brightest bulb on the tree, here. Take me by the hand and lead me, please.
No heat lamp. Check. That's just what was in there from the brooder box.
Yes, that's cardboard. (SIGHHHH.) yes, I know it will be shredded and destroyed. Cardboard is free. It's single use and compost. No worry about pee and poop. Toss it, dunk the wire in disinfectant, and set it aside for next time. I just make sure the cardboard has as little printing as possible, and was originally used for things such as paper products and not chemical things.
Glad I took this picture now. I knew you needed to preview it, and I'd feel bad about calling you at 2:00a.m. on Jan 11. (Though you'll probably be up, birthing a sheep or something anyhow.)
Ya know, in spite of my being a misogynist, I gotta say, you're a great lady.
 

Xerocles

Loving the herd life
Joined
Nov 11, 2019
Messages
540
Reaction score
1,538
Points
173
Location
Clinton (piedmont) SC
Alrighty then. Lets talk about Cruella. I didnt give her that name. She gave HERSELF that name.
Quick recap, she was nearly impossible to get out of the transport cage. But I won't hold that against her. Stress and all.
Well. Let's start by talking about me. Now I don't know rabbits, but I know animals. So whenever I am around a new animal, my voice is lowtone and soothing, my movements slow and deliberate, with no "from overhead" movements (predation fear and all). Basically, I am as non-threatening as possible. Yet I know enough to not show fear (unless it is truly called for).
So, she's in her cage, food, water, and hay pre-installed. Door latched, and I left them alone for the evening to settle in.(well, I peeked a couple of times before dark, just because.
Next morning, after basics, I was going to offer fresh violets (see, showing love). I opened Cruella's cage door (first time I'd opened it). Not even a hand inside. She growled and charged me. Not a foot stomping, or a "hopping forward", but a full on charge, from 3 feet (remember her cage is 3 feet deep) away, stopping AT the cage door. Now, I was NOT expecting this, and almost as quickly as she reached the door, I jumped back about a foot. Reflex. Realizing what I had done (acting scared/submissive) I immediately stepped back to the open cage, fully expecting a maddened bunny on my chest. But she retreated. I dropped the violets into her cage and closed the door, moving on to the next pen. She charged again. I was prepared this time. I stood my ground and slowly raised my hand and placed it, palm flat, on her cage, at her face level. (Against the 1/4 inch baby saver wire...I'm no fool). She retreated.
I had several reasons to be near the cages that morning, putting the spreader bar in the buck cage, moving him, etc. Every time I got near C's cage, she charged me, even when I wasn't directly approaching her cage. Every time, I slowly pressed my palm to the cage, to allow her to sniff if she cared, or allow her to try biting if she felt necessary. This has continued from Monday through today (Saturday) although the frequency and fervor has abated a little.
She hasn't figured out the water bottle (she had a ball bearing one before, and has a "needle" type now) so I gave her a bowl with water. Oh, she charged. I was wearing leather gloves, so stood my ground and braced myself (for the bite I knew was coming) She got to my hand and turned away.
Next day, of course she was out of water. I had a gallon milk jug with water (apple cider vinegar added, of course). And I was still wearing leather gloves of course. Her bowl was about half way across her cage. To minimize my hand exposure by grabbing her bowl, I slowly reached the milk jug into her cage to pour. She jumped from the back corner, in the air, hitting the jug with front feet, then kicking it with rear feet....nearly knocked the jug from my hand. Luckily, she also knocked her bowl closer to the door. Now I started slowly pouring the water before it even entered her cage, until I reached her bowl. Closed the door, she charged again, and then turned to drink. I continue giving her "love offerings"...a couple carrot sticks, a bud branch from the pear tree, more violets. Open the door, place them gingerly just inside, close the door. She doesn't charge the open door anymore, but usually as soon as I turn to walk away, she charges.
Now, if this were a rabbit I had owned for some time, she would have been dinner the day after the first charge. I don't want aggressive rabbits, or aggressive genetics passed on. But I don't know what has happened with this rabbit and if the aggression is heredity or learned. She is a registered Californian, and I would like to get at least one litter out of her, just to see if the aggression shows up in her kits, and to potentially get future breeding stock.
Of course, I am beginning to rethink this also, because even if I bag her to take her to the buck....I have no idea what I would do if she attacked him.
So...one rabbit doesn't eat THAT much. I'll give her a few more weeks to see what happens. But I seriously think I will eventually be changing her name to hassenpfeffer.
And that's how Cruella named herself Cruella.
Tomorrow, why xerocles thinks he will never have rabbit poop for his garden.
 

Baymule

Herd Master
Joined
Aug 22, 2010
Messages
19,795
Reaction score
49,178
Points
803
Location
Northeast Texas
My nest boxes had wire bottoms, plywood sides, open top and were packed with hay. No solid bottoms. Does sometimes pee on their kits. The kits get ammonia pneumonia and die. Wire bottoms, the pee doesn't puddle up on the solid wood/cardboard bottom. Never used cardboard. When done, toss on compost heap. If it works, go for it.

Ya know, in spite of my being a misogynist, I gotta say, you're a great lady.

what good does one do, if they know something useful and don't share it
 

Xerocles

Loving the herd life
Joined
Nov 11, 2019
Messages
540
Reaction score
1,538
Points
173
Location
Clinton (piedmont) SC
My nest boxes had wire bottoms, plywood sides, open top and were packed with hay. No solid bottoms. Does sometimes pee on their kits. The kits get ammonia pneumonia and die. Wire bottoms, the pee doesn't puddle up on the solid wood/cardboard bottom. Never used cardboard. When done, toss on compost heap. If it works, go for it.
Hmmmm. Food for thought. Cardboard will absorb the moisture pretty fast, and also dry pretty fast. But amonia fumes are still amonia fumes. But the same could be said of the hay. Did you change hay much when they were tiny?
The cardboard is only for winter. Remember I have an open shed. (BTW. will have the tarps installed by mid-week. Just had to wait for justification for a trip to Harbor Freight. Going Monday.) Help to protect from chilling wind. Summertime, no cardboard. Maximum air circulation.
You've given me something to ponder. Easy enough to omit the floor cardboard.
 

Baymule

Herd Master
Joined
Aug 22, 2010
Messages
19,795
Reaction score
49,178
Points
803
Location
Northeast Texas
I seldom had to change the hay, but I did change some out. I started out with a wood box with a top and that was a disaster. Finally got to the wire bottom box with no top and that one was the winner. If you find a cold kit out on the wire, tuck in your shirt, put the kit inside next to your belly and warm it up, turn it over to warm the other side, you can save them and put them back in the nest.
 

Xerocles

Loving the herd life
Joined
Nov 11, 2019
Messages
540
Reaction score
1,538
Points
173
Location
Clinton (piedmont) SC
. If you find a cold kit out on the wire, tuck in your shirt, put the kit inside next to your belly and warm it up, turn it over to warm the other side, you can save them and put them back in the nest.
:lol: :lol::lol::lol::lol:
The only advice I had read before was to tuck it in your bra. Wondered what someone would tell me, especially since I don't wear whitety tities.:lol::lol::lol::lol::lol:
Yeah, heard before, they're not dead til they're warm and dead.
 
Top