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Monday, June 17, 2013

Show Weekend

Show Season is winding down! I had my last show of the "Sweeps Year" on Saturday.  There were some familiar faces missing, but we still managed to have a very good time.

In Show A, under Judge Jay Hreiz, Keep's Panda took BOB!  Joni won BOSB with one of her lovely blue does, I think it was Vala, but I could be wrong.  The consistency of her self does is so crazy it is hard to tell them apart!

Judge Don Sheets chose for Best In Show and told me that Panda was his 3rd choice- he lost out on RIS because of a little finish.  Dang it!

In Show B, Keep's Orion, a Panda son, took BOB and Keep's Catching Fire took BOSB!

I managed to sell all the rabbits I brought with me- three does, and find a pet home for a retired show buck of mine.   Of course- I brought home a buck and a doe, both Keep's rabbits that are returning home, as well as borrowed a doe from a friend.  This poor little lady keeps having dead litters, so we are hoping that a change to her environment will help her conceive a live litter.

I spent a good chunk of show B writing for Don Sheets.  He was great, explaining to me what he looks for in various breeds and even letting me put my hands on several of the rabbits.  He also went over one of the Florida White does with me and showed me a few "posing tricks". 

Overall, it was a wonderful show.  The NCRBA Youth put it on and they did such an amazing job!


Friday, June 14, 2013

My worst nightmare

Yesterday, a terrible fear of mine came to pass.

I walked outside with the dogs, in to the balmy, still air and thought "uh oh- this looks like tornado weather."  As the thought crossed my mind in the eerie yellow light, a blast of wind came out of nowhere and slammed me. Trees bent at unnatural angles, leaves went flying and I started to panic a bit.

As I was calling in the dogs, who naturally didn't want to come in like they are trained to because they just got outside, whine whine, the rain started.  It went from zero to violent downpour instantly and the drops were literally painful as they hit me.

Then it started.  Flicker, flicker.  Off.  On.  Flicker, flicker- off.  On.  We lost and regained power three times in five minutes, before finally it turned off.

No power? In summer? On a 90+ degree day? 

Oh no...what about the rabbits.

The storm lasted minutes. Literally perhaps ten minutes of violent downpour, then another ten of light rain and it was over.  The power outage lasted well in to the early morning, however.

Tim and I had to feed via flashlight.  The rabbits were on edge because their beloved radio wasn't working and the thunder and heavy rains from earlier had really shaken them up.  The air in the barn was warmer than I like to keep it, though thankfully the storm had cooled the outside temperatures down somewhat.  I say somewhat, because it was hardly a comfortable temperature, but at least it was no 90 degrees!

Thankfully, we were here when the power went out, but it has always been a fear of mine that the bunnies would lose AC in the midst of the summer heat and we would be out of town for the week or weekend.

Also thankfully, as you may have gathered from this blog post, we have our power back on.  The bunnies are all fine, we did checks on them every little bit until the sun went down and temperatures dropped further.

I am just thankful this all happened while we were at home and happened later in the day.  It could have been deadly had it been in the dog days of August or if we had been out of town.


Monday, June 10, 2013

Silver Linings

Sometimes, raising rabbits is all about the silver linings.

Keep's Tequila Mockingbird aborted her litter of three today- they were due on the 16th.  She tried to starve herself to death for the first two weeks of her pregnancy, so I'm happy that she is even alive.  That's not the only silver lining in the sad discovery I made today.

Tequila has had a very hard time conceiving- by hard time, I mean she has never before become pregnant and she is nearing a year old.  Even though this litter didn't survive, it proved that she can get pregnant- and gives me hope that her next attempt will end in a wiggling litter.

Sometimes that is how you have to look at it.  Every dead, stretched litter, like Keep's Lovesong's, means that she was able to pass the kits successfully- no stuck kits, no toxic babies that will take her life.

Raising rabbits, or any animal, isn't always about the successes.  Sometimes, it's about the failures that weren't as bad as they could have been.


Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Natural Treats for Rabbits

Rabbits love treats- especially the sugary, expensive kind you can buy in pet stores.  Yogurt treats, seed treats, flavored wood treats- well maybe not the flavored wood treats so much, but they are like people- the worst the treat is for them, the more they want it.

Rabbits also enjoy a wide variety of healthier options as well though.  To treat your pets or your herd, you can cut up small slices of apple and share it around!  Bananas are well received in my barn, peel and all.  Clover and fresh grass is always a good option.

Did you know that rabbits love tomatoes?  It never occurred to me, though I know wild bunnies sometimes get in to our summer gardens and have a field day.  You have to watch feeding the tomatoes though, they can definitely stain coats and faces!  One of my pet woolies actually went off feed for a day or two because she was waiting to get more tomatoes and turned her nose up at pellets.

Sunflower seeds are a good treat and actually are an ingredient in several homemade conditioning mixes. 

My rabbits enjoy yogurt.  You have to make sure not to get any "lite" yogurts- nothing with aspartame or any kind of fake sugar, because that is toxic to rabbits.  They don't get this nearly as often as they would like because it is messy and time consuming to share it around.

They also love strawberries.  Unfortunately for them, I also love strawberries, so they have to make due with a strawberry top or two every once in a while.  These also can stain faces and fur!

It's amazing how many treats rabbits will eat that are outside the "norm" of carrots.  However, you have to make sure to feed in moderation and monitor how they eat their regular feed.  Several of my show team can't be given treats because they go off feed and it's not worth it to have them lose the condition.