Rabbit Update; Curveballs

(And a Dinner flock update as well.)

Why oh why can’t rabbit keeping be simple? Sometimes everything seems to be going smoothly and then BAM. Four or five things seem to hit all at once like. This time it’s Kibbles.

Kibbles and her litter of ten have been doing great. The kits are starting to leave the nest and they’re all healthy. They have made a tunnel system under the hay and nest box, and can hardly be seen most of the day but I check on them every day. I have been working with Kibbles to help her chill the flip out because she’s crazy. I give her food before I go in to check on the kits, and I give her a little rub on my way out, so she always associates me with things she wants; me coming in means food, me rubbing her means I leave her cage. Recently I began hand feeding her a little, and I felt something very un-chin-like on her chin.

She’s really good about my hand feeding her, so I got a good feel of it. It feels like an abscess. It’s firm (not hard or squishy) and loose both from her skin and her jaw. I took her out and turned her over a couple nights ago to get a good look at it. It’s bare of fur but it otherwise normal skin.

The only shot I could get of the lump, Kibbles is reaching for some dandelions and the white marks are around her lower jaw bones. You can see the bare, pink, lump in the middle.

It looks like I’m going to have to wean her kits ASAP and clean this out myself. It’s not a difficult procedure and can be done on an awake rabbit, but I have never cut into a live animal before. The closest I have done is remove a deep splinter from a person. She will need a local if possible, as well as possibly antibotics. I have the antibotics if I need them, and they will be well out of her system before her next kits, and I can order a bottle of a local online for $10 that will last me forever. But it’s extremely stressful to think of cutting into the neck (well, chin) of my pretty bunny and sticking her with needles. Besides which she’s the crazy one. But $100+ on a vet visit for a $30 breeding meat rabbit is nonsense. So it’s just going to have to happen here at home.

For those with a strong stomach, here’s a video of the procedure. Good luck eatin lunch afterwards.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LwFKf_LRk6M

Iams still hasn’t given birth if she’s going to yet. She’s back to acting pretty normal so I wonder. We weren’t planning on breeding her for weeks yet anyhow, so she has time. Her dewlap is just starting to come in, and I took a show-type photo of her today.

Look at that form! If she keeps this shape when she’s fully grown she’ll probably be the best rabbit on site yet! She has a great meat-type body from her dad, but a more graceful head from her mom. I’m so pleased with how these rabbits have turned out offspring wise. Iams is a very good looking meat-type rabbit! I can’t wait to see her kits!

And, lastly of course, the Dinner flock. All 14 chicks are doing great. They’re learning to love their red wiggler worms and they now have some gritty/sandy root bed garden soil in their pen as grit.

They’ve already visibly grown in size, and they are hanging out right under the heat lamp less and less. Last night, night three, they ate half the total food as they did during days 1, 2 and 3, and during nights 1 and 2. They are eating a LOT of feed and their poops are slowly starting to get a little less runny. I am looking into fermented feeds to see if I can get a little more growth bang for my buck, and give them a healthier gut. We’ll see.

Hopefully we’ll have less trouble with the rabbits in the future… But one thing’s for certain; life around here is never dull!

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4 thoughts on “Rabbit Update; Curveballs

  1. Good luck with Kibbles. I’ve been working with Sweetie Belle, following your advice. She has calmed down an awful lot and only nipped me once. I think we are developing an understanding, although I still think she is crazy.

    The meat chickens look pretty good. I hope they stay good.

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