Kaiusagi Rabbitry

Mini rex and argente rabbits

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Archive for September, 2010

demon rabbit escapes

Yukiko has been renamed Demon rabbit.  Doesn’t it look so sweet…

So I thought when I got her at 6 weeks old.  Then she hit puberty and turned in to demon rabbit.  It started with pawing and grunting when you tried to fill her feeder and despite attempts at both positive and aversive training rapidly progressed to drawing blood.

Today as I was getting ready for class I looked out the window to the porch to check the rabbits real quick like usual.  The cage sitting apart from the others (for good reason) was empty.  Now you’d think the biggest issue with the escape of an insane rabbit is the potential to never get near it again as it makes it’s way off to the nearby wildlife preserve.  If you do think that then you don’t know demon rabbit….

I rushed out the door, barefoot and wearing shorts since it decided to get warm again probably for the last time before winter, hoping that she had just gotten loose and could still be spotted.  I was immediately attacked from the side.  This is where the comment about barefoot and in shorts comes in.  I grabbed the nearby broom and whacked the squealing ball of fur with as much self control as possible in such a situation.  As she gathered to lunge again I shove the broom down between us and she proceeded to “kill” the broom while I carefully circled around toward an old towel I’d left out there.  I waited for a pause in the attack (it was a long wait) and quickly replaced the broom with the towel.  I shook it to get her to attack the end and when she gave a good lunge dropped it over her.  With some concern for personal safety I scooped up the screeching towel, dumped it in the cage, and grabbed a clip off the closest homemade cage to secure the door better before demon rabbit could recover her bearings and get out from under the towel.

Now I have to go put on heavy gloves (she manages to cause injuries through the thinner leather gloves) and recover the towel I let her keep today.  I’m sure glad she’s only a mini rex or I’d probably have more than just a few light scratches.  There’s one plan left to attempt to get through to Demon rabbit and if that doesn’t work her potential lifespan is going to get much shorter.

Finally

We have our first kits.  Amako gave us 2 little ones today.  1 agouti, probably castor, and 1 broken, probably also castor but it has too much white to tell.

Holding my breath

I just added Amako’s nestbox.  She’s due Tuesday but I don’t feel any kits.  Cross my fingers and hope, otherwise I’m going to start questioning my buck.

Some major cage rebuilding has also been going on.  We set up a 3×6′x5′h indoor cage to keep does in over the winter so we don’t have to deal with kits being born in our wonderful subzero temps and I’ll probably stick the bucks in there over the summer to avoid sterility issues.  The 8×8′ former bantam coop has been stripped down, painted, and is in process of being modified for a mini rex colony.  Having 2 doors in to the building took up way too much space so we flipped one door so it swings out and fastened a semi permanent screen over the inside.  Now we can still open it for air flow but also put cages or supplies in front of it.  To protect the support beams we decided to just cover the inside up to 2′ high in cheap plywood and put some all natural cellulose insulation in between.  It will be harder for rabbits to get their teeth in to any edges and if the rabbits do chew it will not be harmful to them or the building.  We just have to replace that panel of plywood.

The large 170sq ft oatbin that I used as a standard chicken coop is also being modified for a colony of meat rabbits.  However we have to finish waging war on the rats first.  I also need to get my hands on some meat rabbits.  I want something more interesting than the standard californias and new zealands but I don’t have the time or money to travel across the country getting a breeding group of chinchilla rabbits together.  I emailed several people listing argentes for sale but no one has responded.

I didn’t know it was so hard to start raising rabbits.