Thursday, March 29, 2012

Ohhhhhhh Mickey.

Mickey.  He is my favorite rabbit out there, but, my goodness, does he keep me on my toes!  His latest thing has been jumping out of his cage while I'm getting his feed (he's on the bottom of the stand) and then running underneath the stand in everyone else's you-know-what, having a ball, while I try to get him out of there.  Eventually after he's played his game out he comes out looking terrible, but .... very happy.

Now this.
He's totally in love with next-door-neighbor, Regina, (she is also deeply infatuated with him, at 3 months old) and let her pull out a bunch of fur between his eyes. I've heard of them doing this, but it never actually happened to me before.  Not that big of a deal, I guess, it will grow back, but... he looks terrible.  At least he's ... happy.  =(

The picture doesn't even show how terrible he looks. : ( 

The two lovers.  <3

Anyhow, for other news...

Chocolate Chip is expecting, as of this morning, another litter.... this time out of Vinson! It will be my 1st litter out of him, I'm thrilled!

Buttercup & Baxter... SO CUTE.



And last but not least.... Halylie is almost ready to pop!  She's due on the 6th, I'm so excited!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Slide Show of CC's Babies

The weather has been absolutely gorgeous for March, in Minnesota!  I absolutely LOVE it.  We actually have green grass growing out... WOW.  I took advantage of the sunny, 70 degree weather today and took some photos of Buttercup and Baxter (Chocolate Chip's babies) in that green grass.  :)  I've never done a slide show like this before, so it's a little rough, but enjoy.....  :)

Saturday, March 24, 2012

No Video Today :-(

Well, I was trying to post a video here of my *adorable* babies, but am having problems.  :(  (What's new, right?)  So I will have to compromise with a few photos, and hope to have a video posted ... another time.  :)

I tipped over CC's nest box today and her babies are enjoying the run of the cage.  They are so cute!  And at my favorite age, too.  They are already becoming cuddlers... thanks to lots of handling.  :)  Mom is not a cuddler at all, so I'm giving these babies lots of attention, and they love it.  :)   I am making an early guess of a buck and a doe, the buck being the black banded one of the pair, the doe is the sport.  It's a little early to be telling gender for me, so I'm not sure, but we'll see....
Chocolate Chip's Sport.

One of the pet bunnies, such a sweetie.

The other pet baby, so cute.  :)

I'm attempting to breed my (stubborn) little Dolly right now, she's being anything but cooperative, bless her heart.  :(  I don't know what my does problem is... the weather is gorgeous, and I can't seem to figure out why none of them want hubbies!?!?!?!  =(  Do any of you more experienced breeders have any tips for me?  They'd be much appreciated.  :)  Thanks.

Hoping to get a video on here next week maybe.... :)

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Another Rabbit Myth... busted.

I get kind of frustrated when I find comments on the Internet that go like this: "Well, so-and-so told me that all dwarf rabbits are mean".... or, "Don't get dwarf hotots, they are really mean", etc. I'll see if I can collect all my scatter-brained thoughts on this and put them in a post, more for me, as I need to vent somewhere, this frustrates me!  :(   What people don't understand is that it's really not the breed, although I'm sure some breeds are more naturally affectionate than others (although I've only had one, so I'm just assuming), you can't just put a label on a breed and say they are positively "mean".... especially hotots.  :)


What it all really boils down to is the breeder.  If they are just raising rabbits to to make a buck and are pushing their does to get as many babies as possible... well, when you have zillions of babies, how are you going to make time for them all?  And if making money is your only goal, then temperament just isn't as important.  For me, I don't want to have so many babies that I can't "keep up", and end up with skittish, unfriendly bunnies.   But don't get me wrong... I'm not criticizing big breeders, I would like to expand my rabbitry as time and money permits :), but I think temperament should be one of our first priorities, not put on the "back burner", so to speak.  I've handled rabbits that weren't handled enough before, and it's not pretty.


When bunnies are handled from birth on a daily basis, they are just naturally friendly.  And when they aren't.... you got it.  They are scared!  Because duh, they haven't been handled before so obviously it's going to freak them out!  The more you handle your rabbit, the friendlier it becomes.  Period.  OK, well... maybe there is an exception for some mean rabbit that is just born mean and dies mean... I don't know, because I've never had one.  :) 


Take Mickey, for example.  Anyone from 1 to 100 can handle him.  He's a sweetheart!  He's constantly hanging his head out the cage begging me to scratch his head.  He was a single kit and was handled TONS from the very start.  I can let him run around the yard without worrying about him running off, because I can just walk up to him and pick him up and he is not one bit scared. 


So, know your breeder!  Ask them questions.  Handle their bunnies.  When you hold it, it should be calm and happy (if you're handling it correctly, that is).  This is what I aim for with my bunnies.  Handling them is important, especially because a lot of them go to homes with little kids.  I hand feed my bunnies, play with them, cuddle them, dish out lotsa head scratches, and..... guess what???  The love it.  They are cuddly, sweet, and affectionate.  And I get comments like the one I got today on the phone.  Someone was calling to be put on the waiting list.  A friend of theirs got a bun from me and they said they were so impressed by how it was so "calm" and "laid back".


So in conclusion, don't just put a label on a breed.  Every bun is different, every breeder is different, and when they are being handled daily, it makes a difference! 


Just my humble opinion, thanks for reading.  ;-)


Here's Mickey... "please, just one more head scratch".

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Busy, Busy, Busy!

Gee, sorry for not posting in so long!  We've been so crazy busy, I've been staying especially busy being it's lambing season.  One of the momma sheep came down with mastitis :( , so I'm bottling her lambs... which isn't so bad.  :)  And we had another set of twins this morning, yay!

The bottle lambs:

As for rabbit news... I took a video this morning, and I will try to get that posted in a few days... that is, if  blogger will let me. Our "high speed" internet is not so high-speed sometimes, and I have trouble uploading videos.  But I'll try to get that one on here.  :)

I palpated Haylie and am pretty sure she's bred.  Can't wait for babies next month!!!

CC's babies are getting to that super cute stage.... they are SO adorable!  I'm in love with the sport... uh oh, like I need another sport.  :(

CC nursing:

The babies:

Some of the babies getting cuddled:

Sorry for the boring post.  :)  Hopefully I'll have time to post something a little more interesting soon.  :)  Thanks for reading!  (Hope you didn't fall asleep)

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Just some pics of Regina and the babies

I have such a blast taking pictures of Regina!  She is the most stubborn little bun EVER, and won't pose right for me, but "her" pose is really cute anyhow.  :) LOL  Although I'm still trying to train her to pose right.  :)  This little girl has got a HEAD.  By far the best of any of my does, and up there with the bucks.  Wowzers!  :)

And just some other random photos from around the rabbitry....  :)

We've had two sets of twin lambs lately, and another ewe seems to be in labor right now.... yay! Can't wait for more babies.  I also need to work on my next part of the bunny care post!  Will try and get that finished.  :) 
Thanks for reading!  :)

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Keeping Busy

Not that this has much to do with rabbits, but there is never a dull moment on the farm!  Right now we are just getting into lambing season.... yaay!  Baby seasons are my favorite of the whole year, delivering lambs and kids is my specialty... LOL!  We had twins last night, but unfortunately something went wrong and they were stillborn.  :(  So the poor momma had a really tough time... the baby wasn't positioned right, and Dad ended up having to  go and "straighten things out", literally.  :(   I hate when that happens, talk about intense!  :(  Poor girl, but she's doing much better now.  This morning we had another set of healthy, happy, live twins, a boy and a girl!  They are doing really good and I can't wait for more!  I was so mad cuz I got there right after she had them... missed it!  Oh well, next time.  :)  We'll probably be posting pictures on our farm blog, that is   :)  We are also tapping trees right now, so we're adding that to the list of fun spring projects!  Ahhh, love this time of year.  :)

Anyhow, here are some pictures from this morning.

CC's Babies... fat and happy!  They are doing really well.

One of the pet Easter bunnies.  Such a sweetie!

CC nursing babies

Dolly and babies enjoying breakfast.

Cutie pie! 

We'll see how much posting I get done the next few days and weeks.... I'll probably be in the barn delivering lambs.  :)

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Basic Bunny Care 101 Part A

For those of you who are new to the rabbit world, this post is for you.  And all you older, experienced rabbit breeders.... well, you can skip this post.  I'm sure you'll see lots of stuff I'm missing! 

I'm just going to share some ideas and tips for taking care of your new bunny, nothing amazing, just the *basics* and things *I do* and *work for me*.  But I am not a professional at this stuff, and only have one year of raising rabbits under my belt, so take this all with a grain of salt!  LOL

I'm going to start with feeding for Part A.

Hotots only need 1/3 a cup of feed a day.  The exception, of course, would be nursing does, growing babies, etc., but this is more for those of you who are just getting started or have a pet.  You don't want to over feed them... a lot of people doe and obviously having a fat bunny is going to lead to..... problems!  They have a big appetite, but don't be fooled... 1/3 a cup of pellets a day is all they need.  Feed 18% (protein).  From what I have been told by more experienced breeders, 20% is too rich, and 16% is junk, so.... stick with the 18%. :)  I feed Heims rabbit feed, I get it in St. Cloud.  The only other good feed I have heard of is PenPals.  You can go to THIS link, type in your zip code, and find a dealer near you that sells this feed. 

If you only have one or two bunnies, buy small amounts and ask for the freshest stuff available when you pick it up.  Don't keep old feed for more than 6 months.  It will go "stale", so to speak.

The other main part of your bunny's diet should be hay, grass hay.  Don't feed alfalfa, it is too rich, feed grass hay.  It shouldn't smell moldy or musty and you can give your rabbit a handful every day.... pretty much as much as the rabbit wants of this. This is important, make sure they are getting hay daily! 

Obviously your rabbit needs fresh water daily, too!  My rabbits all get fresh water one to two times daily.  Especially when it gets really cold in the winter, make sure your rabbit is getting fresh, unfrozen water 2-3 times daily.  This can get challenging when the weather is below zero, trust me!  I've had time when the fresh water I just gave is already freezing over before I can finish chores.  :(  Not fun, but it's part of the deal!

And now for some variety in your poor pellets-hay-and-water-rabbit's-diet!  =)  I like to be feeding my rabbits one to two other treats every day.  Greens, veggies, grains, fruits, branches....the buns LOVE these things and they are SO good for them, or most of them are.... I'll talk about that in a minute.  But first, I just want to mention... whenever you are going to give your bun a new food, introduce it SLOWLY.  If they get a bunch of a new kind of food all at once, you guessed it, they will get diarrhea.  So start with tiny amounts, see how they do with them, and work up from there if everything is fine.
  Be careful when it comes to feeding greens (and other fruits/veggies, for that matter).  Do NOT feed greens that are high in water content.  They will cause diarrhea... not good, not fun!  But greens that don't have a lot of water in them are super good for your buns and they will devour them.  In the summer my rabbits get lots of dandelion leaves, plantain leaves, kale, parsley, and just regular ol' grass!  But a caution: DON'T COLLECT GREENS IN AN AREA THAT IS SPRAYED.  The sprays aren't meant for your rabbits to eat, so don't feed them to them. 

My buns also love oats... they gobble them up!  And they are super good for them.

You can also feed the buns some veggies, but avoid light green veggies that are, again, high in water content.  My rabbits favorite veggies would be carrots and sweet potatoes... SO good for them, and, for the 5th time, they LOVE it!  :)  Once introduced, I feed these pretty generously... a handful of chopped up carrots or sweet potatoes is a nice addition to boring pellets!

Fruit can also be given occasionally, although... I will say, I don't give it that often.  Just because I have other things on hand. But a slice of apple or banana is a nice treat.  And banana also works charms on getting a stubborn bunny back on feed!  It has worked numerous times for me.

Another thing the bunnies enjoy is branches.  They are good for their teeth to chew on and they strip the bark off them quicker than quick, it's pretty funny.  But do be careful, not just any branch.... obviously something poisonous won't be the best for them =(, so make sure you know what that stick is.  Fruit branches, such as apple or pear, are great.

So, that concludes Part A of taking care of your bunny.... hopefully I got everything, I may have to add things as they come to me later!  And now so I have at least ONE cute picture in this post, here is the latest.... one of Dolly's adorable little babies.  :)

Thanks for reading!  :)

Monday, March 12, 2012

CC's Babies

The babies are doing great!  That little sport is catching up to it's sibling as far as size goes, so I'm feeling more hopeful!  Here's some photos of the cuties.

I'm really enjoying watching my *first* sport develop!  He or she is such a cutie.  :)

Upcoming Post: Basic Bunny Care 101!  :)

Saturday, March 10, 2012

ONE left!

I only have one Easter bunny left now!  He's a sweetie.  :)

Babies are doing good

Chocolate Chip's babies are doing pretty well.  Finally for the first time the little sport had a nice full belly after todays feeding.  That was really encouraging!  I'm feeling a little more hopeful that he will pull through now.  But still, you never can tell, so I'm still keeping a close eye on him.  I will try to get some pictures of them posted on here, they are growing fast!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Going Faaaast!

The Easter bunnies are being reserved quickly.  I only have two bucks left at this point, so hurry if you want one!  :) 

Chocolate Chip's babies are doing OK.  I'm still a little worried about the sport... he doesn't seem to be getting much at feedings, and I think maybe Chip isn't giving a lot of milk.  I'm trying a few things to get more into him, hopefully he will pull through.  The black banded kit seems to be doing pretty well, though.  He's fat and growing fast.... he's bigger than the sport, too, which could be part of the problem why he's (meaning the sport) is not getting enough.  We'll see... fingers crossed.

Here are the latest photos of the day.  These are Dolly's babies.  Such cuties!

(They love crawling on their patient mother:) 

Also, I just wanted to mention.... right now I'm working on getting on a once-a-month "schedule", for lack of a better word, with the buns.  I'm hoping to be having a litter every month, so eventually, when I get "caught up", I will also have a litter (hopefully) for sale every month.  This should (hopefully!) eliminate the stress of those long waiting lists!  :)  Don't get me wrong, I'm SO very grateful for all of you faithful customers on my waiting lists (!), I just hope to provide you with bunnies sooner, preventing months and months of waiting!  :) 

Also (again), to any of you readers, is there a topic, or topicS that you would like to hear about on my blog?  Anything you want me to post about or want to know about hotots?  Let me know, I want people to be able to learn about things on my blog, not just read about cute rabbits.... although I'm sure that's fun too.  So please leave a comment or send an email to me, I'd love to hear your thoughts!  :)