24 Carrot Rabbitry

City-fied Self-Sufficiency

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Archive for April, 2012

Just Amazing!

In February of last year, I watched in amazement as my Clustrmap logged the 1,000th visitor to my little blog, about 8 months after I started it.  I could not imagine that anybody was actually interested in the things I wrote.  As I wrote in a post then, I almost didn’t get a counter at all, because I thought it would only serve to prove that I was talking to myself.

Just over a year after that post, I watched today as it hit 10,000. Well, I wasn't actually sitting here watching it. . . I happened to luck out.

I counted up the countries, and I have had visits from 120 of them.

I really don’t know what it is that brings you all here.  Whatever it is, I thank you for visiting and reading, and leaving your comments.  It really is encouraging to me.

I did have to change my comment policy once I started getting “smarter” spam.  You still don’t need to log in, but your first comment here must be moderated by me.  After that, your comments will be automatically published.  Comments with links must be moderated as well.  I read everything.  As long as I can manage the spam without tightening my policy, I’ll keep it that way.

Thank you again.  I feel so blessed!  :D

You don’t say it enough.

Until we went to our first rabbit show on the 14th, I thought I had said it enough. Gone over it with them enough. I thought they both understood clearly.

It was a small show. We allowed ILoveBunnies to wander about, looking at all the rabbits, and we let Bunny-Wan Kenobi help a little boy with his show rabbits. My mom and I told Bunny-Wan Kenobi we were going to go look at the Californians again (15 steps away, maybe?). Less than five minutes later, ILoveBunnies came up to me and asked me if we’d seen him.

What? He’s helping the kid with the mini-rexes, right over there. Except… he’s not.

Where is he?

Okay… don’t panic. He’s probably at the show table with that kid. No, he’s not there. Looking at rabbits somewhere? I made several passes around and through the show. No.

At this point, I’m starting to really get scared. Because if he’s not in this room, he’s not with me anymore. Where is he? He could be anywhere. He doesn’t leave me like this. He always asks. Needs to go to the bathroom (when not at home)? He asks. Wants to go somewhere with another member of the family, or a friend? He asks. I’ve said it enough. He understands. He knows. He doesn’t leave. Where is he?

I go outside the big arena doors, which have been left open. There are a couple of kids out there, and an adult. That’s it. Bunny-Wan Kenobi is not out there, and neither is that other kid.

I’m so small, and the world is so big. He could be on the interstate by now, with some creep he’s never seen before. Some creep that’s going to… no, I can’t think about that.  What direction? What’s going to happen to him? Am I sure I’ve looked all over this show? He has to be here. He knows not to leave. Let me look again. I know he’s not here, but he has to be here.

Shay’s gone to look in the bathrooms. Mom’s at the arena door. Not knowing that I’ve already looked outside, she tells ILoveBunnies to look around out there.

I hear a voice.

“She found him!” I don’t know that voice. Could it be talking about my son? No, because I’m already way too far down the scared road. I can’t hope, I don’t dare hope, that she’s talking about my son. I’m too scared and small to hope. And I’m numb.

“She found him!”

And then I see him. I see Bunny-Wan Kenobi, and I almost can’t move. It’s like seeing an apparition, like seeing one back from the dead. I can’t breathe. He was gone. But there he is, with ILoveBunnies. Now I’m holding him, and I still can’t believe he’s real.

What happened? How did this happen? I had said it enough. I knew he understood. I had made sure he understood.

He had been helping the little boy groom his little bunnies, when the boy told Bunny-Wan Kenobi he wanted to show him the stables. Bunny-Wan Kenobi said, “Okay, let me go ask my parents.” The little boy got mad. Bunny-Wan Kenobi tried to tell him several times that he needed to ask his parents, but the boy kept getting mad. He didn’t want the little boy to be mad, so he just went with him and didn’t ask first.

He was very apologetic. I told him I didn’t care what the little boy or anybody else thought. I didn’t care if they got mad or not. He knew he was supposed to ask first, and if somebody didn’t like him asking his parents, then that person is NOT his friend and NOT to be trusted. And I told him I was just so scared, and so thankful to have him back, and that I love him so very much. I thought I’d never be able to tell him that again.

Shay went with him and the little boy to see what he had wanted to show Bunny-Wan Kenobi. The stables were empty, and had high walls. No one could have seen into them. The boy also wanted to take Bunny-Wan Kenobi to his dad’s truck. But when Shay questions the boy as to why, he can’t get a straight answer.

What?

Now the boy looks like bait.

Why does this boy ask for my son’s help with his rabbits, then con him into leaving the arena without his parents’ permission, so he can show him some hidden stalls on the back of the building where no one is, and take him to his dad’s truck?

Maybe it was all innocent. Maybe the boy is just flighty and irresponsible and thoughtless of others. Maybe he was just tired of being in the arena.

Or maybe it was almost the last time I ever saw my son.

The New 24-Carrot Bunny!

Last weekend, we went to a rabbit show, with the purpose of buying a doe to replace Pearl.  I know, I know… why would I be buying a rabbit when I’m getting ready to move?  Well, there are several reasons.

One, I will have enough time from bringing her home to moving her to a new location so that she should not be doubly stressed out.  Two, I wanted to have a bunny in hand before trying to learn a new area and who I could get rabbits from.  Three, it helps bring some excitement to two kids who can use it, considering all the packing we’re doing.

So, without further ado, here’s our new 24-Carrot bunny rabbit:

Looking around from the safety of her carrier.

She's a Chocolate Californian. I love chocolate. <3

From above. She's not a "perfect" bun, but she's plenty perfect enough for me. You can see how her shoulders are nearly as wide as her hindquarters. I actually did not want a "perfect" doe, because I have a mutt rabbitry. I would feel like I was stifling the potential of a really superb rabbit. For me, good is good enough (and actually preferable), and this is a good doe.

Her name is “Yuki”, pronounced /YOO-kee/.  It’s Japanese for “snow”.  ILoveBunnies and Bunny-Wan Kenobi brainstormed for her name, and came up with that one, since they both are working on learning Japanese.  We think it sounds cute and fits her.

She’s 15 weeks old now, but she was 14 weeks when we bought her.  When we got her home and weighed her, she was 4 lbs, 15 oz — a little lighter than I had hoped she was, but we’ll see how she does.  Californians are bred for meat because of their high meat:bone ratio, and for their fast growout time — they tend to reach around 5 pounds in 10 weeks.  Yuki apparently took 14 weeks to get there.

Still, we don’t know if she was on measured feed or not.  Many meat rabbit raisers don’t put their growout rabbits on measured feed, because they want them to grow as quickly as possible.  We’ll see how her kits do, though we’ll never know her full potential until Pinto one day kicks the bucket, and we have to get a “real” meat buck.  Since we are producing only for ourselves, she should work out perfectly.

None of us had ever been to a rabbit show.  We expected the rabbits for sale to have their own area, but they were all around the rabbits being shown; it was nuts! The show was not nearly the size I expected. There was one guy there with champagne d’argents that were just amazing. He knew it, too, and was all too eager to go on and on about them. Once I learned they were grand champions, from lines of grand champions, I really wasn’t interested (think $$$$$). Then he said he didn’t sell rabbits, so I was even less interested. Then… I learned that he bred his champagnes to have litter sizes of only 2 – 4, so the rabbits would be larger! I’m like DUDE… weren’t they supposed to be a meat breed? Breeding for a small litter size kinda defeats that purpose! :roll: But he’s concerned only about size, because he breeds strictly for show.

I wasn’t really impressed by this litter of Cals at first, but came back to them later. I thought it may have just been the way they were lying at the time.  They can fool you a bit once they get past 12 weeks or so, until they get a few more months on them.  So I started looking at the single doe in the lot of them, with another guy watching over my shoulder in case I decided not to buy.

With the owner’s permission, I pulled her out and put her in the classic “meatloaf” position, and, that way, she did look pretty well filled out to me. I looked at teeth, fur, eyes, ears, sexed her, and all that. She wasn’t as wide as I might have hoped, but she is also between the baby and adult stages, which means she should be better once she gets past that gangly, awkward teenager phase — yes, even rabbits go through that!  She came with a pedigree, which I really didn’t need, but it was really nice to be able to see some of the attributes of the line she came from.  I also got to see some of the senior does she’s related to. They were very, very nice! :P   She does come from a line that averages ~9.75 – 10 lbs.  If she ends up with the physique of those senior does I saw, I will be very happy!

So I decided to buy her, and the man who was also interested asked if he could take a look at her. I let him, and he started doing this gentle pinchy-pinchy-pinchy thing all up and down her back. I asked what he was doing, and he explained that he could basically tell what she would look like skinned that way, and he used one of the little bucks to contrast (the buck was better, even I could tell). He may or may not have bought the doe if I had not, but the doe was good enough, as was her brother (which he may have bought, I don’t know), that he was interested in future does from this seller.  This made me feel good about my appraisal of Yuki — it’s been three years since I needed to buy a rabbit, and that was my first purchase!

I got her for $15, which I thought was a very fair price for a non-showable (chocolate Cals aren’t recognized yet), young meat doe.

Now Yuki's in quarantine. This protects both her and our other rabbits from each other, while she settles in and recovers from the stress of transport, strange surroundings at a show, being handled by strangers, more transport, a new cage, and being cared for by strangers in a strange place.

Sometimes, stress will bring out illness in a rabbit.  Thus, it is very important to keep new rabbits in quarantine for 30 days before bringing them into your rabbitry.  If the rabbit becomes sick, you don’t risk making your entire herd sick.  Usually, a rabbit will transition just fine, though, and can join your bunny family after the 30 days are up.

For the first week, we tended to the rabbitry first, then washed up and tended to Yuki.  Now, we still tend to Yuki after the others, but we do not wash up first.  So she is slowly being exposed to the germs that are unique to our rabbitry.  Every rabbitry will have its own set of germs in it, and rabbits will do well if their immune systems can handle what’s there.

Eventually, we’ll start tending to Yuki first, then the rabbitry, so they can be exposed to her.  We’ll do this shortly before we put her into the rabbitry.

It was one of the ladies on RabbitTalk who told me that she’s a chocolate Californian, because she’s got brown points, rather than black.  I have a chocolate bunny!!!  I love chocolate.  Especially dark chocolate.  But I already said that.

*sigh* Well, back to packing.

He Is Risen!

He has risen, indeed!

While we do not participate in the usual Easter activities, I do confess to having a weakness for rabbit-shaped chocolate.

Oh, well.  :D

May the Lord bless you and your loved ones on this glorious Resurrection Sunday, as we celebrate the love that our heavenly Father had for us, that He made a way for the penalty for our sin to be paid so that we could be restored to a relationship with Him and look forward to spending eternity with Him in Heaven.

I may need a new tagline…

We moved in here with my uncle right about two years ago, soon after my grandmother passed away. He had extended the invitation several times, and we finally took him up on it. He said we could stay indefinitely.

I have always loved this house; it’s the house my grandparents bought 42 years ago when this was a very nice neighborhood, but not the super-expensive neighborhood it is now. I spent my summers here growing up. Living in this house was always a dream of mine, and I got to do it for the last two years.

My uncle started looking for a wife several months ago, and it looks like he’s probably found the one. Honestly, I’ve expected them to get married ever since their first date.  From the time he started looking, we’ve figured we’d probably be moving if he found someone, since there probably aren’t too many women out there these days who are interested in living in a situation like this.  We were right; she’s not, and that’s okay with us.  There’s no bitterness or resentment on our part.  He was married once long ago, and we’ve hoped for years he would find a lady to love and spend the rest of his life with again.

Rather than give my uncle the awkward task of approaching us after saying we could stay indefinitely, we made the decision to move on our own.  My uncle just had knee surgery two weeks ago, and then had complications, so we waited for him to get a bit better before telling him.

So we’re moving. When and where depends largely on Shay’s job, because there’s a merger afoot in his company. We used to be peons, and peons rarely lost their jobs, because they were always needed. It was management that got ditched, as the two companies consolidated. This time, Shay’s management. We should know sometime over the next few weeks.

If he keeps his job, we’ll move somewhat close by, but we’ll make every effort to move to a rural area, where we can stretch our wings and keep livestock without worrying about the neighbors.

If he loses his job, all bets are off, but we do thankfully still have options. :)

Right now, all we can do is go through our stuff, pack, and wait.

But if we go rural, then we’ll no longer be “City-fied Self-Sufficiency”, will we?