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So many problems in less than a year

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So many problems in less than a year

Post Number:#1  Unread postby TeaTimeBunnies » Sun Sep 24, 2017 10:23 am


So this is more of I need to vent frustrations out rather than anger. I decided to actually start breeding rabbits in February. I got my first pedigreed doe pre-bred from the person who then because a good friend and stock supplier. I was supper excited, but she only had two kits. Not horribly upsetting because I knew she was a bit under conditions from her attempts at her very first litter, but I opted to get her bred anyway to try and get things going. Everything is going well, I buy another doeling, keep my doe's little buckling, have my doe scheduled to meet her buck again....her nose starts running after having a sneezing fit. Turned out to have just been something lodged in her nose, but it brought pretty much everything to a screeching halt (this was around May). After finding out it was nothing we continue on our plans, I find a nice mutt doeling to start my meat herd, I buy a pedigree buck, doe is bred, I find a wonderful mixbreed dwarf and get him as a pet, and I get a bonded pair of mix lops brought to me (about August 1st) their noses are wet, previous owners didn't know how well rabbits breed so the doe was pregnant (they were astonished when I said she was likely pregnant), and I have one small quarantine hutch that they'd have to share until I built their hutches. Not a huge problem, noses were caused by stress/heat/new allergens all bundled together. Pedigreed doeling has been of breeding age for about a month, and buckling I kept from the original doe has been of breeding age for two month, I decide to breed them. Breeding doesn't take. Original doe has another small litter of 3, the only marked kit died of chocking on something. I brush it off, because it was 3 days old and it just happens sometimes. Lop doe has a litter of 5 three weeks later Who were eagerly picked by people on the day they were born, and a good number of disappointed people when they found out all 5 were already promised. Mutt doe reaches breeding age and I decided to breed her and try the younger pedigreed doe again on the same day. Mutt doe takes well to the breeding, but turned into a monster. One of the lop kits die at 2 1/2 weeks old. No explanation. Another lop kit has a runny butt, and it the only one with this problem, but seems to be getting better as I cleaned. You pedigreed doe miscarries. Original doe' s litter turns 6 weeks and are moved out of her hutch, I give her a week and asses that she had pretty good conditioning and I'll breed her again. The pedigreed buck I bought died fo unknown reasons (now up to last night) I'm so frustrated with all these problems in my very first year of breeding. I'm not going to give up on my rabbits though because despite all Tha bad that has happened there has been more amounts of fun. I just hope that next year goes better
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Re: So many problems in less than a year

Post Number:#2  Unread postby shazza » Sun Sep 24, 2017 10:46 am


the first year i had rabbits i didn't get a single litter. my two foundation does died, one of mysterious conditions, the other stopped eating and went into stasis. went back to the breeder and got another adult doe and a kit that he really liked but had an incomplete butterfly so he gave her to me for brood. he bred the adult doe for me. she kindled, three kits dead on the wire. wouldn't take after that. the brood doe ended up having horrfying pinched hips and i ate her. my buck drowned in a flood and though he was revived and is fine now he suffers from neurological issues and is only able to produce one or two kits at a time. i bought two rex kits, the buck turned out to have horrible coat texture so i ate him too. i bought a harlequin buck with a pedigree and i ate him as well because i thought he was actually for real completely sterile because i tried for probably 5 months for kits with every doe i owned and he gave nothing. my does refused to lift half the time for no reason, and when they did lift, nothing took. for a year.

when people say 'breed like rabbits' now i roll my eyes. it's not always that easy, and they just die for no reason and ruin all your good plans. hopefully your year 2 will be better...fortunately mine was because i was really on the brink of selling my animals and giving up.
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Re: So many problems in less than a year

Post Number:#3  Unread postby Ozarkansas » Sun Sep 24, 2017 10:57 am


It's not just you! My first 2 years of purebred rabbits have been a roller coaster (I'm not going to go in to detail on the thread but if you want you can pm me).
Just hang in there! Rabbits are not easy, they are not for everyone. You are very unlikely to make any money raising rabbits. Non-rabbit people will never understand why we keep raising rabbits. You have to love them a lot to keep doing it!
BTW I LOVE your English Spots! :pancake:
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Re: So many problems in less than a year

Post Number:#4  Unread postby TeaTimeBunnies » Sun Sep 24, 2017 11:03 am


Thank you both. It's just SO frustrating.

Ozarkansas wrote:BTW I LOVE your English Spots!

Unfortunately it was my beautiful black buck that randomly died on me last night. I could get anything out of him either because it seemed he died just as we left for the store so he was stiff as a rock. No meat nor his beautiful pelt was retrievable from his stiff, angled body.
:wr_crying:
There is next year....I'll be starting my pretty Tri-colored mini rex next year....that should be good right?
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Re: So many problems in less than a year

Post Number:#5  Unread postby shazza » Sun Sep 24, 2017 11:29 am


for the future - and i don't mean to make you feel bad - but rigor mortis doesn't last forever. i find that if you start working the animal, it dissipates within about 10 minutes. so even if they're stiff, if you start skinning them, you moving the body around and stretching the legs out etc will loosen it up and you'll be able to get a pelt at least. worth a try anyway!
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Re: So many problems in less than a year

Post Number:#6  Unread postby Ozarkansas » Sun Sep 24, 2017 11:36 am


I'm so sorry to hear that, it can be really hard to lose them. I have made things a lot harder on myself by raising rare breeds. I got a white American buck from Illinois last month. And he quit eating and died with no explanation after acting very healthy for over a week. That is just one of many. And it always seems like the most valuable ones die, and never the culls :angry: :cry:
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Re: So many problems in less than a year

Post Number:#7  Unread postby TeaTimeBunnies » Sun Sep 24, 2017 11:43 am


Thanks shazza. I'd try it but my hubby already took care of the body last night while I was distraught. Maybe I can get him to tell me were he put him
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Re: So many problems in less than a year

Post Number:#8  Unread postby MaggieJ » Sun Sep 24, 2017 12:14 pm


If I could give one piece of advice to people contemplating buying their first rabbits, it would be this:

Buy all your starter stock from one rabbitry at one time and do not bring in new rabbits for at least a year--and then only if absolutely necessary. Work with what you have, and strictly quarantine new arrivals for at least a month. Every time you bring in a new rabbit or expose your buns to others in any way, you risk bringing in disease -- and also losing the new rabbit to something asymptomatic that your rabbits carry.

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Re: So many problems in less than a year

Post Number:#9  Unread postby KimitsuKouseki » Sun Sep 24, 2017 12:26 pm


What Shazza says is right about the pelt. My friend often brings me frozen dead rabbits to skin and I skin em even when they are still frozen (starts to smell otherwise sigh). Rigor mortis is easier to deal with then a frozen corpse, at least your hands arent freezing. They are rabbits that died randomly she wants to keep the pelt of but cant eat due to unknown time of death. Just don't be afraid to bend a leg weird, even if it breaks what matters is access to the skin.

As for first year troubles I've had my share too along with participating in my friend's struggles, though I've also been rly lucky in my own way.
I started exacly a year ago now, the plan was to do meat rabbits, maybe one or 2 does and a buck. I contact a nearby flemish giant breeder, she'd recently been sold a doe and her kits who all had snuffles. I bought those from her, aware of the situation, I though if they live it through I can keep those and buy a mate later and if not it's 4 giant dinners for 40$ was worth trying and this gives her a chance to rid herself of the issue. Only it didn't, the snuffles turned into an epidemia, she had to cull some of her best breeders and several very young kits were affected. I took those kits in, the goal at that point was to bring them to big enough size to eat if they made it there. That way they wouldnt go completly to waste. Not all of em made it, I had deaths pretty often. Also some were just too sick and pitiful so I had to euthanise em to save them the useless suffering. Because of the snuffles they also had a lot of absess and every other day I'd drain those to make sure it didnt get out of hand. In the end I got a lot of meat and learned a great deal. My favorite kit from the original 4 I payed for was the only one who made it to good health, she was a steel, she was gorgeous and she loved to lay down next to me when I took her inside, but by then I'd realised there was too much risk for the future and so I had to cull her too. Finally the snuffles issue was done for both my friend and I. I cleaned and desinfected the cages and my room, left them like that for 3 weeks just to be safe before getting anything new.
Once I can finally get new buns I decide to start lionheads, I find a doe I rly like in montreal, go to the breeder end up coming back with her (Eva) and another (Onyx). Once home, I start grooming Onyx, I realise she's covered in crusts around her genitals ears and eyes, I hadn't checked em before buying. I spent some time treating with oil since I though it was just mites at first. I buy a pedigree buck for 75$ being still too inexperienced I gave him too much hay he wasnt used too and he balooned and died. I prayed that Onyx got pregnant from him. After this I realise that both Eva and Onyx carry rabbit syphilis, Onyx's being active causing crusts.I went to a vet to try and get some pennicilin since over here its the only way to get some. Spend 75$ to be told, that yes it was syphilis and no she wasn't pregnant and if I wanted to treat her I'd have to go every time and pay every time for each shot for each rabbit. She refused to sell me any peniciline so I could do it myself. And so I left, with only bad news, 75$ out the window and nothing to treat my rabbits. I eventually got some pennicilin through some contacts from other breeders, but it was a very traumatising vet experience.
During this time I bought another doe for 20$, I didnt rly want her but she came with a huge cage and she had a rly long mane that made her look like she had hair (Nomi). I decided to breed her with my friend's best lop buck who has a history of a ton of tricolor kits and I wanted that color. Went well, kits were born, 5 of em. Once they reached 2 weeks, Nomi decided to destroy her hay feeder, swallowed some metal wire and ended up with a perforated stomach and died. I also had another doe with kits outside and she had rabbit syphilis causing one of her kits to have horrible eye infections, so I start her treatment, she dies one day later even with proper dosage. 2 more orphaned kits. I start weaning the kits with apples managed to save 3 from Nomi and 1 from the other doe (ETbunny). ETbunny, is the kit with eye infections, they are so bad his eyes end up glued after only a few hours, so several times a day I open his eyes, drain the gunk, give him eye drops, clean his messy gunky face. His eyes are so bad it's just white and red, you cant see any iris. Took his a couple months before his eyes healed properly. He was my indoor pet bunny and gave me kisses on the nose and was loose in my room even when I wasnt home because he was so clean with his litter and he'd come on my bed to sleep next to me when I slept. One night, I had a horrible migraine and he kept digging in his cage wich was very painful for me. So I decided to put him outside for that one night, but I forgot the hay outside wasnt the same he had, I had new hay and he hadnt been introduced to it yet. He ate so much of the new hay he went into diahrea, I got some medication from my friend, did all I could to save him, a few days later he was dead. All my fault and I havent found a bunny I love as much as him since T.T
Other then that a few times I was given some free rabbits, got 4 from a retiring breeder, 3 from a changing focus one. Both times, I lost the best doe out of those given to me.
Things are starting to get better now, I've learned so much and expended so much. I've clarified what I want to do with my herd and and several short term goals.
My most recent freak death was Zircon, he was "too happy" after breeding with a doe that I found him dead a couple hours after I put him back in his solo cage. What can I say to this kind of death, he was just too happy lol

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