|Posted on November 4, 2013 at 7:05 AM||comments (0)|
I've had fly strips up in the shed all summer, and they caught lots of flies. Now with cooler weather flies aren't a problem. Flies may no longer be invading, but cold drafts of air are. So I took down the fly strips and found my rabbit boxes in the garage.
Each rabbit gets its own box for winter. That way I can keep the shed doors or at least the window open most of the time. Most of the boxes are made of plywood. These are my favorite, but I also have a cou...Read Full Post »
|Posted on September 28, 2013 at 4:15 PM||comments (1)|
I have now worked with three ARBA judges as required for my registrar's license! It was a blast, I learned a lot from each judge and enjoyed handling so many breeds of rabbits.
I was able to assist Steve Zaruba for my first show, Troy Ihrke for my second show, and Vic Vogts for my third show. I appreciate the time each of them took, giving me pointers throughout the day. I learned how to handle the lar...Read Full Post »
|Posted on July 1, 2013 at 8:00 AM||comments (0)|
I have been using Purina's Fiber3 Rabbit Chow for almost a year now. It has no corn, lower protein, and higher fiber than Purina's basic Rabbit Chow. I've seen how the rabbits react to it in cold weather and warm, and in all life stages, I'm quite pleased with the results.
I switched during our very dry summer last year when I could no longer buy grass hay. I had started feeding alfalfa, but this caused some of our older rabbits to have problems with colic (gas b...Read Full Post »
|Posted on June 14, 2013 at 11:45 AM||comments (1)|
I have been going through the process of obtaining an ARBA rabbit registrar license! If all goes well I hope to have my license early next year. This may seem like a long time, but there are many steps involved and it may actually take longer.
This is something I've wanted to accomplish for a while; I'm looking forward to it. It will give me something to do at the shows and I think it will be fun. I will also be able to register rabbits for breeders in ...Read Full Post »
|Posted on April 9, 2013 at 3:05 PM||comments (1)|
We are finally having some warm weather after all the setbacks in March. That means I can do spring cleaning! The rabbit shed has been in desperate need of a thorough hosing.
Mom helped me carry the cages into the yard; I also took out everything else that wasn't on a high shelf. I swept out all the hay and straw that had accumulated behind the cages and then washed the floor and walls down with the hose.
I love having a plastic shed, cleaning is so easy and ...Read Full Post »
|Posted on February 25, 2013 at 7:30 AM||comments (0)|
In Part 2 of Decoding Your Rabbit's Pedigree I will explain how to use a pedigree in your breeding program.
In the sample pedigree I have marked the rabbit's sire (father) with a blue oval and the rabbit's dam (mother) with red oval. As you can see, the sires' info is always above the dams' info. This is true for both vertical pedigrees like this one and horizontal pedigrees as well. You can see that the s...Read Full Post »
|Posted on January 16, 2013 at 7:45 AM||comments (0)|
When I bought my first pair of mini rex they came with pedigrees like this. Most of it was Greek to me, and it wasn't until later that I learned what it all meant.
Here is a 2-part article on decoding your rabbit's pedigree. For Part 1 I will focus on the information about your rabbit, the part I have circled in red in the sample pedigree. Some pedigrees are vertical like this one, others are hori...Read Full Post »
|Posted on October 19, 2012 at 7:35 AM|
Grooming mini rex can be different from grooming rabbits with normal coats. Here's how I groom my mini rex.
All rabbits get groomed at least twice a week, but I like to do it every day.
The brood does and bucks get groomed with a wide-toothed rubber brush. I go from head to tail, tail to head, and back. Then I follow up with a soft-bristle brush to remove any loose hairs.
Any rabbit that is molting gets brushed with a slicker. I am careful to o...Read Full Post »
|Posted on October 8, 2012 at 9:40 AM||comments (0)|
This year I am winterizing my rabbitry before cold weather hits. Mom and I took the cages out of the shed, and we hosed down the shed walls and floor, the cages, and the trays. I give each of my rabbits a snug box for the winter, and put away the hay racks. All the rabbits get a box because I like to leave the shed doors and window open as much as possible during the day. Fresh air and sunshine are the best preventative medicine. The rabbits can go into their boxes if they want to be w...Read Full Post »
|Posted on September 9, 2012 at 3:55 PM||comments (0)|
Mini Rex are the most popular breed of rabbit in the United States. Besides their incredible fur, why are mini rex such a good choice? Here are some reasons I love them as show rabbits and pets:
Show Rabbits -
Mini rex are very competitive. They are usually the most numerous breed at shows, in both open and youth. The quality of the rabbits is high, with close competition. Sometimes one breeder wins Best of Breed, next time it's someone else.
They come in a mul...Read Full Post »
|Posted on September 6, 2012 at 5:15 AM|
Good cage dividers make good neighbors.
If you are planning to have rabbits next to each other, you will need dividers. The best dividers let air and light through, while preventing the rabbits from harming each other. For the most part, rabbits like to see other rabbits. They enjoy the company and feel safer.
Wire is a good choice in most cases. That way they can see the other rabbits. The holes must be small, 1/2" by 1/2" at the largest. If the holes ...Read Full Post »
|Posted on September 5, 2012 at 1:50 PM|
Heat is the hardest thing to deal with when raising rabbits in Iowa. We try all the usual tricks, such as ice bottles and fans. This summer we tried something new. We cliped up old sheets over the outside walls that had sun beating on them all day. We used white flannel sheets, and attached them to the eaves of the shed with giant binder clips. We secured the sheets at the bottom by setting bricks on the extra cloth on the ground. We also put of sheets of foam insulation under the roof and on...Read Full Post »
|Posted on September 4, 2012 at 1:45 PM|
This year our rabbits have air conditioning. It is great to know the rabbits are cool and comfy. The main problem with air conditioning is that when you seal up your shed, the ammonia smell quickly becomes overwhelming! In our small shed, we found a simple solution. We use pine shavings in our trays, and remove the wet areas daily. After cleaning the trays, we spray distilled white vinegar into the trays. This keeps the shed almost odorless all day.
|Posted on September 3, 2012 at 1:45 PM|
Molting mini rex and kindling does seem prone to getting fur in their eyes. They then get a layer of whitish stuff around the fur, making an unsightly glob on their eyeball. This must be annoying to the rabbit, and it looks bad. It is pretty easy to remove with a tissue or paper towel. Hold the rabbit or set it on a non-slip surface. Being careful not to touch the rabbit's eyeball, touch the tissue to the mass. It will stick to the tissue, and come right out. If the rabbit is squinting, you c...Read Full Post »
|Posted on September 2, 2012 at 1:45 PM|
I like to give my stacking cages an intense cleaning every few months. I remove everything from the cage, including all the bits of stray hay. Picking out all those strands of hay by hand takes a long time, so I use a shopvac. First, I gather up any large concentrations of hay so I don't clog up the vacuum hose. Then I suck up the little bits. If hay does get stuck in the hose, hold your hand over the opening for a few seconds, that should unplug it.
|Posted on September 1, 2012 at 1:45 PM|
I use resting mats for all my adult mini rex. I don't want any of them getting sore hocks. I used to give them to juniors as well, but I learned they are more of a danger than a help. Young rabbits' feet are too small, and slide down between the slots. I've had more than one junior get its toe caught between the cage floor and the resting mat. Last fall Gordisima's front paw got stuck and she jerked off a claw before I could help her. It took a long time to stop the bleeding, and weeks before...Read Full Post »
|Posted on September 1, 2012 at 12:20 AM|
Water bottles drip for many reasons. They drip if they are less than half full, or if the cap isn't snug. Another thing that will cause drips is changing temperature. When I first started raising rabbits, I only had three. I would bring their bottles to the house to refill them. I noticed that after hanging them back up, the bottles would drip for quite a while. Now I keep a couple gallon jugs out in the shed with the rabbits. I fill them up after feeding time, and by the next day when bottle...Read Full Post »
|Posted on August 31, 2012 at 1:40 PM|
During hot weather, young kits in the nest will often crawl out of the box to keep cool. When night comes, they are too small to get back in. I put two wood blocks against the front of the nest box to make stairs for them. They usually figure out how to climb back in. Sometimes I have to help them up the first time. It's pretty cute seeing them bounce back into the box one by one.
|Posted on August 30, 2012 at 1:40 PM|
Clipping claws can be hard if your rabbit struggles or has dark nails. A few years ago, Mom took her rabbit out to the sunny, warm deck so she could see the quick better. We found that this not only helps with seeing the claws better, but the warm sun puts them in a lazy mood. Now we always clip claws out in the sun.