Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Hot, Hot, Hot!

Black rabbits seem to just radiate heat.

They attract the heat right into their coats.

Keep them cool at all times.
Weather has been a big topic in New Jersey and across the country this year. June and July were very wet and cool around here while Seattle has hot and dry. Now all of the sudden it is blistering hot and being near the ocean, really humid.
Black rabbits really feel the heat. It seems to absorb into their coats and cause life threatening conditions for them. They will pant with ears shaking and mouths open. Sometimes they lay stretched out on their sides, flat out. Their ears will feel hot and they will be breathing fast to try and cool themselves. Mist them with cool water, put ice on their ears, give them a frozen water bottle or ceramic tile to lay next to. Clipping the bunnies down helps to make them more comfortable for the summer. When they are really in distress, I have seen people put them in a cool bucket of water. There goes a show coat but the bunny's life is saved.
When you are at a show, you can hold an ice gel pack under their chest or against their ears to cool them. I have even used a cool can of soda if I didn't have anything else. You can also put those gel packs under each wire floor of the travel carrier to cool the cage wire without getting the bunny wet.
I feed and water in the morning or evening, leaving them to chill out for the rest of the day. I added a mister hose last year and it really makes a difference to the air temperature. If you can, but them in air conditioning or in a cool basement. Stay cool everybunny.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Bunnies Sitting Still

Blue woolie with step sister.
Trying to keep her in line.

Another non-related nestmate.

A nap after breakfast with Mom as a blanket.
It is very hard to take photos of bunnies as most of them are in constant motion especially the babies. Sometimes I will put them in a show carrier to keep a litter together and I am able to get some close ups with both hand free for the camera. A small basket works well to keep them in one spot. Placing them on a small grooming table or pedestal keeps them stationary. Usually, I just end up with a bunch of tails, ears or blurrs. But sometimes the unexpected happens and you catch a tiny Jersey Woolie asleep under the back of English Angora Mom, Sensation, after a nice meal. Or one tiny Woolie step sister wrestling with her bigger English Angora step sister and holding her own very nicely. It amazes me that this whole group from 3 different litters are just one happy family. They even gave each other a nice bath after all of the fun was over. I really need to get a faster camera so I don't miss so much of the fun.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Keeping Up With Grooming

Sweetpea with her topknot.
Cute green scrunchie.

Lydia in the breeze.

Sassafras sitting nice and still.
Even though there are no shows for awhile, there is always grooming to keep up with. It was cool the other day so I took advantage of the low humidity and groomed 12 English Angoras. They all seemed to like the attention and I was able to get a few photos of them sitting still for a change. Some of the big girls are more comfortable with their bangs up in a scrunchie. It keeps them cooler and they don't miss any treats that might be passed around. Angoras seem to get alot of wool stuck around their eyes and the scrunchie keep the extra long furnishings out of the way. They don't seem to mind it and I have never had a bunny eat one. Although I did think that a junior doe had polished one off but found it in the bottom of the cage pan.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Jersey Blueberries

New blue Woolie doe.
Real Jersey Blueberries.

English Angora Litter with 2 Woolie babies.

New white Woolie junior doe looking like a cupcake.

Another cute blue Woolie doe looking like a blueberry muffin.
Since it is July and high blueberry season in New Jersey, it was only natural that I add some new blue and white Jersey Woolies to my herd. In the back of my mind, I am always working to improve my herd. Loving blue and knowing the challenges of raising them (poor nail color, white nails, stray white hairs), there is always room for improvement.
This is on top of the blue and broken blue Woolies that I am already raising. Or I should say that my English Angora doe GC Sensation is raising for me. She only had 2 REW babies so I fostered a blue baby from GC Pearly Mae's litter (easy to tell who is who). Then I added 2 Jersey Woolies from Miss Pickler's litter as she didn't seem to feel very good after giving birth. Originally I kept them separate but they were so fiesty that I included them with the 3 English babies. Although they are half the size, they sure do hold their own as far as getting their share. They are such little comics. As soon as I put mom in the cage, they dive right under knocking the bigger bunnies out of the way. It just goes to show you that being blue and little doesn't always mean you are the weak one.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Alice in Wonderland

8 white rabbits, 4 Weeks old.
8 white rabbits, 3 Weeks old.

8 white rabbits, 10 days old.

8 white rabbits, 2 days old.
I am starting to feel a little bit like Alice in Wonderland as wherever I look there is a white rabbit. They sure have grown fast and are so cute. Trying to take more photos as they grow, really puts into perspective how fast they go from little pinkies to fluffy bunnies. I have had to number them with a sharpy marker in their ear to be able to tell them apart. They are very evenly matched which is surprising considering what a large litter they are. No runts and no big ones. It looks GC Aphroditi and GC Ashley have 5 bucks and 3 does so far but sometimes this can change.
GC Pandemonium and GC Miro's litter looked to be 5 boys but now seems to have 2 girls in the litter. GC Andi and GC Adonis has 2 bucks and 2 does so far but the black one keeps changing. Of course, that is the one I had hoped to be a doe. I haven't checked the other litters yet as they are too little.
GC Sensation only had 2 babies so she is fostering a blue angora from GC Pearly Mae and 2 Jersey Woolies from Miss Pickler. The little woolies have no problem getting their share of the milk. They look very funny with a litter of angoras twice their size but the hold their own and will be really fiesty when they grow up. I will have to think of some tough musical names for them. Any suggestions?

Friday, July 3, 2009

Must Be Summer

Rosie enjoying the sun.
She thinks she's human.

Sorry, I was disturbing her down time.
We finally got some sun this week. Rosie sure was enjoying it. She really likes the sun and I have to be careful she doesn't get a bright pink belly. Do they make sunscreen for dogs? I bet they do.
For awhile I thought that we had moved to Seattle and no one told us. It still is going to rain today but the weekend is looking clear although buggy. We all have to wear bug spray to even step out back this year. I wish we had all of the little bats back. They used to live in the old barn next door before they pulled it down. I wonder where they went. Will have to build some bat houses.
Hope everyone has a safe and wonderful 4Th of July weekend. Many people have a 4 day weekend and get a nice break. My son is working for a beer distributor this summer and judging by the hours he is working this week, everyone is looking to really celebrate (or drown their sorrows?). Just be safe and think about the other people on the road before you drink and drive. Have fun.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Election Results

Rhinebeck Rabbit Show.
Berks County Show.

Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival.
I wanted to thank everyone that voted for me for Vice President of The National Angora Rabbit Breeders Club. Anything that I can do to help the club or any of the membership, just let me know. We have some wonderful officers, directors and members of NARBC. I am always glad for new ideas and suggestions. As you can see by the photos above, I do get around to rabbit show and fiber festivals. I try to get to all the National shows and to most Conventions. Let me know if there is anything that I can help with and I appreciate being elected. Always glad to promote the angora rabbit, the wool and the products made from them.