Saturday, November 26, 2011

Fall/Winter Preparations

Everyone has their little list of rabbit winter prep chores.  Here are mine along with a couple long term plans.
  • Pressure wash the cages and cage accessories.  Hoping to enlist DH and his new pressure washer for this one.   
  • Finish construction on the BunnyShip Galactica (the new rabbit pen).  Here are a pic of the gutter assembly.  The final model will be sheet metal (galvanized)...I think.  A coroplast sheet substitutes just fine right now.  It did reveal the need for stabilizers underneath the sheet, though.  
The leaf guard is inverted to collect manure for easy disposal in the garden.
  • Prep the nursery for Little Sun's litter.  Hopefully the mating took.  I chose not to palpate.  She is running around with mouthfuls of hay, so the signs look good. 
  • Fight the fur mite monster. One of the bucks has fur mites, a common problem with wool breeds. Ivermectin given orally has had minimal effect on the little devils.  I took him to the vet (trying to score some Revolution), but nothing showed up on the scrapings.  Our vet is really wonderful.  He enjoys seeing the bunnies and tries to save us money, too. Since our boy is not in misery and is otherwise healthy, our plan was to give Ivermectin for a bit longer, then come back for Revolution if that doesn't work.  Dr. Wright feels like he is at the tail end of this anyhow. His skin is clear and he is not itchy...just a few pesky flakes and webby spots.   Since the Ivermectin has not worked as quickly as I'd like, I am trying the diatomaceous earth as well (food grade, of course), being careful to keep his cute little face dust free. 
  • Make new carriers for next year's shows.  This will probably be a winter project.  The carriers in the size I like are about $40 each, so we will try our hand making a few.  
  • Some type of cooling unit for the buns.  This is in preparation for next spring/summer. It is so ridiculously hot here.  At times, it is quite difficult to show my rabbits in heat like this.  All the shows I've been to in Texas have been outdoor shows. This is OK when the weather is cool, but show season shortens when it warms up. However, bunny health does come first and I am not above leaving a show if they do not look happy. I do hate leaving, though. Perhaps I should get other types of rabbits more suitable for the environment I live in?  Heavens, no.  Adapt and invent to accomodate my rabbits? Yes. Absolutely. I LIKE English Angoras and I am pretty sure my rabbits like me, too.  My rabbits enjoy climate controlled living anyhow so it makes sense to keep their climate controlled whenever possible.   

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