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Wednesday, July 28, 2010

One Week

It's been one week since Bandit made a mess of things.

Today I'll be following the advice of a friend and withholding food from Lark for the day, which is supposed to cause her to miss. We're coming up on a time where I can palpate her with some degree of accuracy.

If I find out that she is indeed pregnant and the lavender (I gave about a 1 1/2" piece to her last night again) and the short feed rations haven't worked, I'll have to stop the attempts and just concentrate on making her as strong as I can for the delivery.

Fingers crossed for me everyone!

Keep's Rabbitry

Monday, July 26, 2010

The Lavender arrived!

The Lavender has arrived!

It's a very fragrant plant. I pinched off about an inch of it (the leaves) and placed it on top of Lark's feed. I also gave her a little bit of hay, to help with any upset stomach she might get from the unaccustomed food. I'm hoping that this small amount will help get things going.

Unfortunately, she's naturally suspicious of anything new, so she didn't immediately dive it to eat it. I'll be monitoring her and the tray of her cage to make sure she eats it.

If she doesn't, I think I may mix a pinch of lavender with a little water and make a lavender mash that I can squirt directly in to her mouth.

Keep's Rabbitry

Saturday, July 24, 2010


I'm not just saying that either- it's obscenely hot.

At 11am this morning, it was 89 with a heat index of 99. It's set to reach 97 degrees at the hottest part of the day. Do the math on that one! ICK.

The rabbits have been getting frozen tiles and we installed the AC for their new barn in to the garage to help move the air around. It's much too small to actually cool the building, unfortunately.

The last of the adult hollands left today. Tomorrow the last two broken babies will leave to go to their new home, and I'll have only a solid baby buck left. It's nice to have a few extra cages that I can use to spread out the babies and wean litters.

We're expecting to have electricity to the barn on MONDAY! YAY!

I'm hoping a good thing to come out of the heat is perhaps it will help Lark to miss. My wonderful friend Jodi at Sugar and Spice Rabbitry is rushing some Lavender leaves out to me to help with Miss Lark. I may bring her inside when they get here and give her a day to settle in before I give them to her- that way I can more easily monitor her.

She's angry at me for being on her 1/4 cup diet of pellets. Little does she realize it's for the best!

Keep's Rabbitry

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Day 2: Indecision

I'm so torn-

I've had a LOT of folks offer a lot of very good advice, whether by posting it on facebook, emailing me, pming me, what have you.

In the course of the help, there has been a good amount of advice on which herbs to use and several other plans of "attack".

Several folks have also talked to their various vets, or vets they know of. We've received several opinions, varying from "leave her alone and let her have them" to "try to get her to miss".

So I'm not sure what to do- I think I am going to continue on my course to get her to miss. If I palpate her positive, then I may have to just hope for the best and let her have them, but until I can palpate them, I think I'm going to continue to do everything in my power to have her miss.

We're in the midst of a search for Lavender. I thought I had found some at Lowes the other day, but of course they were sold out! I'm planning on trying another one today.

Thank you so much to everyone for the support.

Keep's Rabbitry

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Chronicling a Disaster

The Disaster: I discovered my Belgian Hare buck, Bandit, in the cage of one of my wooly does, On a Lark. Lark has had 2 unsuccessful litters so far with bucks smaller than she is, all resulted in DOA litters that she struggled to deliver. Bandit is every bit of 4 times larger than she is. Perfect.

As best I can reconstruct the evening, after I put him back in his cage from an hour of playing on the grass, I didn't get his door locked securely behind me. It's one of those plastic solid bottom cages, with plastic latches that slide into the metal. Sometimes they appear to be latched when they aren't.

At some point, Bandit discovered the door situation and pushed it open. The door to the garage was left cracked to help with extra ventilation, so he had to have left the building completely to get out of his cage, due to where he's set up. So, he spent an undetermined amount of time outside the safety of the building. He scooted under the garage and gained access to the rest of the rabbitry.

When he reached the end of the aisle, he discovered Lark's cage. It's the bottom hole in a stacker and on legs, so she should have been around his eye level. There was a small, small hole where a J feeder should have been- but it was broken and so wasn't on the cage. The hole is not the size of 2 small cage cups side by side, but he managed to cram his large body into the cage.

When I discovered him, the floor of the rabbit cage was covered in Lark's wool and he was looking very self satisfied. He'd spent an unknown amount of time with her, and it could have been up to 23 hours.

I flipped out. Shaking, bawling- my first thought was "Who put this rabbit here?!" I carried him to his cage convinced that Bandit would have been safely in his own cage and this was some interloping hare (yeah..the odds of a random belgian in the rabbitry? I know, I know).

I have never had an accidental breeding. Ever. I make sure bucks and does aren't out together unless I intend to breed them, I make sure carriers are closed if they contain mixed groups- this incident upsets me beyond my ability to express myself.

The Concern: Because Lark has had two litters with rough results when bred to a smaller buck of her own breed, I am concerned that she will not be able to pass any babies and will die as a result.

The Game Plan: Right now, my best plan is to try to cause her to miscarry or reabsorb babies. There is the chance that she didn't take, but I can't wait until I know for sure to begin to remedy the problem, so I'm proceeding on the assumption that Bandit bred her for almost a whole day whenever the mood struck him. As he is NOT a lazy breeder- this could be many, many times.

I am going to chronicle my attempts and methods, in the hopes that these will work and help someone that may find themselves in the same situation in the future, though I wouldn't wish this on anyone. I had nightmares last night that all the rabbits had managed to get out of their cages and were running free. I would catch a few and put them up and then they'd get right back out. My nerves are fried.

Day 1:

Today, Lark went on a car ride. I'm hoping that it will stress her out and make her body less receptive to having babies. I am giving her Parsley, which a friend has heard could cause miscarriage.

I'll be cutting her pellets down to 1/2 and supplementing her with hay. It's my hope that a lesser amount of food will trigger her body to worry about starvation and will cause her to reabsorb any babies. She will NOT be in danger of starving, no worries. She's a young, healthy doe, so a reduction in her food until I can palpate positively or negatively.

It seems that Lavender is a good uterine stimulant, I'll be searching the nurseries for a plant.

Please keep your fingers crossed for her. I don't think I'll sleep for weeks.

Keep's Rabbitry

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Farewell Hollands

I'm so bummed out. It's easy to say you're selling out, but it is so depressing when it really happens. Five holland babies went to their new homes today and the last two are going tomorrow. After that, ALL the hollands will have been sold, with the last four being picked up this Saturday.

It's HARD. I have to remind myself WHY I chose to sell out the hollands. I can always get a pet holland in the future, or even get back in to them if I want to.

So Farewell to the Hollands. You guys were my first breed. If not for a poor example of the breed, a blue tort otter holland doe, I'd have never found out about rabbit shows. There were the ups and the downs, but you guys will all be a special part of my rabbit memories.

Keep's Rabbitry

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Taylorsville Night Show

The Taylorsville Nite Show was a fun one, despite the disgusting humidity, the heat and the awful storms we got stuck in driving up that way.

Joni and I got to the show room early and took care of grooming, tattooing and just general set up. It was so nice to be able to sit and relax for a while.

The highlight of my night came in the first show, when my little shaded junior buck Keep's Little Comment took BOB! I had been shocked when he beat out Tryon for group, but to have him go "all the way" was incredible.

It was one of those fun shows where we had four different winners- the same person didn't take BOB or BOSB twice, which meant a lot of folks went home happy! We also had some folks from outside our usual showing range.

Thankfully there are no more shows for a while. My self senior buck Poplar did well, taking 2nd in both shows, but he's definitely sporting a mohawk as a wool cap, a process he had started before we got to the show and something he worked on the whole time we were there. Most of the others are looking a little rough themselves. I've got a ton of juniors here who will have to get to work on maturing so they'll be ready to debut at the fall shows.

Keep's Rabbitry

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

NJWRC Points


The points were updated recently (July 13th) for the National Jersey Wooly Rabbit Club. *This is not the final list*

I am VERY pleased to announce that Keep's Rabbitry is #10 Overall in Open points and #2 in District 9!

I'm absolutely thrilled. I've worked really hard on my herd and I'm pleased to see how we compared to others over this showing year! I can only imagine where I'd have placed had several shows I attended actually sent in their point reports! O.O

I just had to share my joy with you guys :).

Keep's Rabbitry

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Picking Entries

It's time to pick entries for the next show. I complain every time that it's so hard to know who to choose! Especially with this head right now, you never know who is going to end up without a wool cap or blowing their coat completely in the next five minutes.

Since it's been so long since a show, I know I have a lot of bunnies I WANT to show- juniors out for the first time, newly turned seniors, a few that just need that last leg...

However, I doubt everyone is in condition to show.

It's ridiculously humid outside, it looks like I'm going to have to wait until tonight to go through everyone and decide who gets to come with me.

Keep's Rabbitry

Monday, July 12, 2010

Calling all Writers-

A new Bunny only magazine is kicking off and it's looking for volunteer writers. Articles can be about anything rabbit related or breed specific!

Please do your best to send in fully edited article- punctuation, capitalization, complete sentences- that kind of thing.

Please send your articles to Brittany at victorylanerbbts@yahoo.com as soon as you are able.

Keep's Rabbitry

Saturday, July 10, 2010

More barn news and updates

Ugh, we've hit a bit of a snag with the barn- for a lot of frustrating reasons, the electricity won't be hooked up to the barn until next Saturday.

ERUGH! I'm in a mood about it, I can tell ya.

We got some Thompson's Water Seal today and I'm hoping to get it on the floor of the barn tomorrow. That way, it has time to dry completely and of course, the barn will have plenty of time to air out before the electricity is hooked up.

It's so hot, it seems like all the rabbits are molting right now- maybe I can talk Tim in to spending Friday helping me scrub down cages so they'll be squeaky clean when they go in to the new area.

Saturday is the Taylorsville Night Show- it'll be so great to get back to showing!

The little peanut finally died. It's kind of a relief, to be honest. It's been rough going out there day after day, wondering if today will be the day.

I don't have any more does due until the first part of August. I guess I need to get out there and breed a few more.

Keep's Rabbitry

Friday, July 9, 2010

The New Barn!

The new barn is here! We purchased the AC right after it arrived yesterday- I've got my fingers crossed that it fits in the window, it's going to be tight.

I can't wait to get the bunnies moved in! We've got a few other things to do before they make the short trip over.

I've made a few more decisions in which bunnies will be leaving here- which is actually exciting for me. I know they'll turn out beautifully, but you know how it is, I've got to make some cuts!

I'm pleased to say that I think I'll be able to keep more cages than I originally thought. I will still probably be letting a few go. I wish I could outfit the new barn with new cages as well, but that is definitely going to have to wait!

Pictures coming when everyone is set up :D.

Keep's Rabbitry

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Peanut Update

My peanut is still alive. It doesn't look like it's growing at all, but it's still alive and kicking.

I have no, literally, NO idea what I am going to do with thing if it survives to weaning.

Scratch that, I actually might. I just met someone recently who loves to take hard luck cases. She currently has a pet bunny with a broken back that she loves to distraction, that gets bathed daily and wears a diaper.

I wonder if she'd be willing to take on a little, odd peanut. After all, if it survives, it's surely going to be adorable and tiny.

I'm getting ahead of myself of course- it's only a week old.

I'll have to get pictures of it and it's humongoid fatty fatty siblings. I keep expecting to go in there and find that it's passed away. I have two does due soon- if they take, I may foster the peanut over to one of them, to give it a better chance for milk with the smaller babies.

Keep's Rabbitry

Tuesday, July 6, 2010


We just got a call- the new barn will be here bright and early Thursday morning! I'm so excited- though of course, that is supposed to be the hottest part of the week, with temperatures soaring to a crisp (and I mean burnt) 98 degrees.

We'll be getting a small AC window unit for the rabbitry tomorrow.

I can't wait! It will be so nice to have everyone out of the garage and in to their own place.

I would so love to have a barn opening party- surely I can talk friends across the country in to dropping their plans and racing out here on Thursday for the ribbon cutting ceremony and a grand walk through- right?


Guess that may be a little far to travel. Hm.

Pictures will be coming as soon as it's set up! :D.

Keep's Rabbitry

Monday, July 5, 2010

YAY for breedings

I'm tickled for multiple reasons.

I got my first Keep's Poplar babies. A TORT and a Chestnut! O.O That means I could breed Poplar to a tort or sable point and get ORANGES! I'm thinking hard of pulling his mom off the sales list and giving that breeding a try, just to see.

My live peanut is still alive. I think it's starting to fade a bit though, I don't think it will last much longer.

I got 4 breedings done yesterday- I think they'll be spectacular! Poor Tryon gives me the most pitiful look when the other bucks get ladies and he doesn't- but that's a whole 'nother blog!

I'm waiting on WWR Rice Ball to kindle- she's 3 days overdue, but when I palpated her last night, I definitely felt a baby in there. I stopped as soon as I felt that first one. Hopefully she'll go soon.

Keep's Rabbitry

Sunday, July 4, 2010

4th of July Oddity

Happy 4th of July!

I've got an oddity in the rabbitry- one of my does kindled on July 1st. She had 2 normals and 2 peanuts, one peanut being a DOA. I didn't remove the other one immediately like I usually did, because when I found them they were all freshly born and I usually like to give them a day of nursing and life to be sure they are peanuts.

It's now July 4th. I have a 3 day old peanut that is still alive. Not only still alive, it's eating. Not thriving, but it's being fed and taken care of.

I've heard of folks who have "peanuts" that live past 3 days, and I always sort of thought those people were crazy. You know- it surely wasn't really a peanut, it was just a runt, that kind of thing.

Nope- it's an actual peanut- down to the ear size being off, it's still the size it was when it was born, etc. It's very strange.

It's the only solid kit in the litter, the other two babies are brokens. I'm going to keep an eye on it. I worry that sooner, rather than later, the other two siblings are going to prevent it from nursing and the little peanut will pass. It's just so strange to go out and see it! I'll have to get some pictures.

Keep's Rabbitry

Saturday, July 3, 2010

How the Bunnies Ruined the 4th of July.

I know it's the 3rd of July. And I know it's only noon, so we still have a lot of day to go through, but I had to share this.

My brother and my dad are coming over later today. My brother Josh is off at NADC in Nashville, so it's rare he gets back. We're grilling out a little early for the 4th and plan to go see the fireworks later tonight.

I decided to go all out and make some homemade ice cream. The last time I used my Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker it was an unmitigated disaster- it was it's first time out of the box and my usual recipe just did NOT turn out correctly.

So, I researched new recipes and found one. After 20 minutes of painstaking preparation, I turn the machine on and get to cleaning up the kitchen. 15 minutes in, I check on it- the ice cream is looking fantastic. 20 minutes in, it's looking even better. We're coming up on the 25 minute switch off period when Tim comes running in the house, baby holland in his hands. I run out to put the little guy back, wondering how he got out of his cage when I notice that the litter has knocked their J feeder off, and two more are missing.

Thus ensues a baby-hunt of epic proportions, through the crowded garage. We finally wrangle the missing two and I put them in their cage and rehang the J feeder.

I come back in the house and realize that the ice cream machine is still on. No big deal, I thought.

Apparently, I have now succeeded in making vanilla-flavored whipped cream. I'm so not kidding. I wish I was. Who knew 10 extra minutes made such a big deal in this ice cream maker?

There is no time to make more, I can't eat more than a spoon full because it literally tastes like Whipped Cream and my Pièce de résistance of the meal is ruined.

*sigh* OH bunnies.

Keep's Rabbitry

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Kinda Bummed

I'm kind of bummed out.

I recently got an incorrect show report, and when I contacted the show secretary, found out it was a misreporting on the paperwork she got. It basically gave my buck's BOSB win to a different animal. The buck in question actually has passed away, but it does cost me both sweepstakes points and herdsman points.

It's not a big deal in the long run, points aren't the end of the world, it just kind of bums me out a little bit.

I guess I'm mostly sad because I lost the buck and it was his last show ever- and then his paperwork came back wrong. :(. It's SO easy to see how it could have happened though, especially when you're trying to shuffle through the paperwork, while people around you are talking. Some judges mumble, or get confused in placements at first, which throw the writers off- I've been there before, where I very nearly made the same mistake in hollands for BOB and BOSB.

It's too bad there isn't a way to get the writer and maybe 2 witnesses to contact the show secretary to validate the claim and get it changed- of course then I'd have to find out who was writing (I didn't attend this show, Joni took a pair of bucks and showed them for me) and see if anyone could remember who won- but what's done is done, the sec. said nothing can be changed now. :(

Ahh well, like I said, it doesn't matter for the actual working herd. I can think of worse scenarios that could have happened.

Keep's Rabbitry

Litter Consistency

I've been trying to evaluate some of the wooly babies over the last few days- at least enough to say "Ok, you're 3/3 in the litter, you have to move out."

I can't even do that right now. It's ridiculous.

I am amazed and thrilled at the consistency I'm getting in my litters right now. Body type is very similar, heads and ears are very similar- it makes it miserable for me to decide who to move out, I can tell you that.

It sure doesn't make it any easier that most of these beautiful babies are bucks. Eurgh, I have such a weakness for bucks!

I know I should begin looking at color- for example, I have a litter of four bucks- 2 REWs, a chestnut and an otter. I KNOW what the otter is, I KNOW what the chestnut is- the REWs could be either one. So it really makes more sense for me to keep either the agouti or the tan pattern. Of course, I don't really need bucks in either variety. Thus part of my quandary. Why did I do the breeding you ask? I was hoping for does lol.

UGH! What to do, what to do- I can NOT grow out all 13 of these bucks. Especially since I've got approximately 5 bucks out of a new buck with another litter of 3 not to weaning age. These babies I'll need to keep longer because I'm not sure how the dad's line develops, which means some of these others have GOT to go!

Wish me luck on making a decision :(.

Keep's Rabbitry