24 Carrot Rabbitry

City-fied Self-Sufficiency

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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.


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2 Responses to “The New 24-Carrot Bunny!”

  1. ladysown says:

    if I lived closer i’d come on over and help you with your packing. :)