Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Rabbit Pen Prototype

Well it only took about six weeks, but we finally have a bunny pen sketch.  DH started construction on the base already.  Yippee!

I just need to decide on finish for the base. Although wood is not the best product to use in rabbit cage construction, we decided to make an exception as this is only the prototype and it is a more economical option.   Cage construction has been slowed down by the el-cheapo j-clip pliers we bought at Tractor Supply.  Nothing against TSC, the pliers are meant for small fix 'em ups, not huge cage construction.  We should have ordered heavy duty pliers online, but to be honest, DH moved much quicker than anticipated.  I was unprepared...
happy, but unprepared. BUNNYRABBIT.com is on vacation this week, so I'll have to figure something else out.

So construction will continue once I have some better pliers onhand.  For now, I just have to figure out how to protect the base.  Paint is the first step.  Just have to work out the details with the rest.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

A Rabbit is like a...

"What kind of pet is a rabbit?". That is a question that comes up a lot when dealing with rabbits. Because rabbits are not as popular as other pets, like dogs and cats, people are looking for some sort of reference point. The answer, "That depends."

I will try to answer that question about my English Angoras. Experience has taught me that rabbits are way more complex than the skiddish prey animals I originally thought they were.  There is no single answer. Here is the best way I can explain what kind of pets rabbits are:

Rabbits are like horses. Both are prey animals and they definitely have minds of their own. You have to earn their trust. They form a relationship with you on their own terms. Even with personalities as unique as the individual.  Rabbits can become pushy as well, like an surly horse, so you have to balance respect for them, with your own cool, calm and collectedness. I've heard it called the "Caesar the Dog Whisperer aura" of leadership.   Check out Black Beauty or, my favorite, The Black Stallion if you are unfamiliar with one-on-one relationships with horses.  A rabbit's digestive system is a lot like a horse, too.

Rabbits are like cats.  My cats (and rabbits) always are for looking attention, but again on their terms. When out  for exercise, my bunnies run round and round my feet, just like a cat. That's the bunny love dance. Rabbits have their own independent spirit about them as well.  Sometimes they want to lay by me, and sometimes they just want to bounce away from me. Once again, they know what they want. Rabbits are clean animals.  They groom often.  My bunnies like to play with toys like cats.  They will try to lay on my fabric when I am trying to sew, on my book when I am trying to read.  They toss toilet tissue rolls and bat wiffle balls around.  Rabbits can use the litter box as well.  

Rabbits are like dogs.  Morning bunny check brings everybody to the front of their cages.  They're all bouncing around like eager puppies looking for attention.  "Pick me! Pick me!," they seem to say. Most of my rabbits come when called.  They love to get a pet and then bound off through the play tunnel.  I have a couple that are the ultimate lap dogs.  We can watch TV together.  The others don't have time for such idle pleasures, exploring every crevice of the room before plopping down to relax, just out of arm reach. Rabbits are trainable.  Some people clicker train their rabbits, but don't expect bunny to sit, stay, or heel.  Although, some may have more luck/skill than I did.  My angoras need weekly grooming...like those fancy little dogs.

Rabbits are like chickens.  Multiple bunny households make pecking orders.  Everyone has their place.  Removing or adding rabbits upsets the balance, even when they are gone for just a bit.  Remembering that rabbits are territorial critters will go a long way to preventing mayhem.  On the flip side, nothing shows contentment better than two bonded bunnies laying side by side.  It's the cutest thing ever.  I do make habit of feeding my bonded bunnies in their individual cages just so I can make sure everyone's getting proper food because they can bully...then it is free feed hay for all. An observant eye is necessary for bunny ownership.  Since rabbits are prey animals, they are crafty about revealing illness or injury. A rabbit suddenly not eating may be the only sign you get.

In the end, I'd say that rabbits are a little bit of everything.  They are their own unique kind of pet.  I just love 'em!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

SARBA Show in Seguin TX

Judge Mike taking a look at the English Angoras.
Little Sun's big fluffy butt is on the far right.
This weekend we headed to Seguin for our first rabbit show of the fall. We had a great time and met some wonderful folks! And...we got to see Dana and her yummy red satin angoras again. She even showed me how to use that drop spindle I bought...she just couldn't watch me trying to spin. Yes, it was that painful. I am going to get better, though.
About the rabbits...the biggest news was that there were other English Angoras there! Some folks from Kyle came up with two bunnies. How great! We only stayed until 3:30 because the heat was making my poor bunnies miserable. But our two did very well for Show A. Little Sun was BOB and Cimmerian was BOS! Now to prep for the Killeen show!

Judge Mike about to examine Cimmerian.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

A Good Vet Is Hard To Find

Veterinarians who are familiar with rabbits are hard to find. Most of the rabbit friendly vets I've found do primarily pet rabbits...which is cool, but I want a vet that is flexible enough to see my rabbits as pets OR livestock and not get preachy with me about it. So off I go, in search of the perfect vet for me and my animals.

What was I looking for? I stayed away from the metropolitan areas (like Austin).  Those metropolitan clinics tend to be pricey and geared toward pet animals.  My rabbits are my pets, but they are also versatile enough to be like little sheep (a reference to their wooly bodies).  To be honest, if I had real sheep, I would probably call them my pets as well.  Anyhow, a small town would be where I would find the right vet for me... preferably a clinic with livestock panel gates on the premises. I would like to find a place that sees large animals and small animals. Rabbit experience is definitely a plus, but I am not opposed to someone willing to learn with me. I would really appreciate a vet who has the guts to say, "I don't know, but I'll find out."

Luckily, I struck gold on my first time out (lots of research involved to set up a "lucky" break). Dr. Wright and everyone at Belton Veterinary Clinic was wonderful! The lady at the desk put us in an exam room right away, so my bun wouldn't have to sit with a waiting room full of dogs.  The vet was helpful and knowledgeable.  Everyone took pictures of my fluffy bunny. Charlee was quite a hit. But what sealed the deal was what was on the wall of our exam room. Right next to the obligatory heartworm poster, hung a picture of a little girl beaming as she held her show bunny. Bingo!

Most pet bunny folks in Central Texas head towards the Austin or Dallas area for bunny med care.  If you live in Central Texas, save yourself the drive. Check these guys out.  http://www.beltonvetclinic.com/
Nice folks.  

Monday, October 3, 2011

Bo Jackson ...the Mini Rex

Bo and A
Well, time had come to say goodbye to Bo, A's mini rex.  I have grown to like that little bunny.  However, I am focusing on my EA's and, unfortunately, there is only so much room.
When I had been a pet foster mom (years ago), it was always hard to let them go.  But I am happy that he gets a chance to be someone's love bunny.

It had been four weeks since he had been neutered so the ad went out Friday.  He was immediately swiped up by one smart, young lady who drove all the way from Burnett.  He will make a wonderful pet.  I felt really good about sending him to his forever home.  Bo's new bunny mama asked alot of questions and that is usually a good sign. He will live in the lap of luxury as a bedroom bunny.  Good luck to ya, Bo! We'll miss ya :)
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...javascript:void(0)