Now that vacation and fair season is over, we have alot of work to do to get this place back into shape. It is amazing how fast the porch gets messy, the garden is taken over by weeds, and the rabbits outgrow the pens.
We have had some troubles with the young rabbits bloating. I don’t know what is causing it yet, and it is frustrating to lose them when they are almost to the stage where we could have used them for food. Bloat is a horrible problem in rabbits and usually causes a quick death. It can happen for many reasons – stress, weather changes, feed changes, different bacteria and viruses in the soil, and we believe some got wood splinters from chewing up the cage that had a wood frame – it’s just hard to pinpoint without a science lab. I am working with my oils and other remedies to figure out how to save one that goes down with bloat, and also how to prevent it.
For one, we have figured out that all the offspring from Penny seems to be genetically prone to it. She will not be bred again. She is healthy and will remain here as a pet because we really like her. All the rabbits from the other mothers seem to be fine, except for the Satins which just came home from the fair.
Second, I started adding essential oils to the water dishes. I started with one drop of Thieves in a gallon container and alternated with DiGize. This will help kill bacteria in the water dishes, and will hopefully strengthen their immune systems. For one rabbit that was ill, I put DiGize right on it’s belly and ears, and then diffused Thieves near the cages. That rabbit started to recover within about 24 hours and was eating so I think there is hope. I want to stop it before it ever happens again.
So the big project this week is butchering all the young ones, as well as some of the older ones that have bad personalities. Our Satins did not make the cut between doing poorly at the fair and having very spazzy personalities/prone to biting.By the end of the week we will be back down to 4 does, 2 bucks. All New Zealand except for Miss Boo – she’s a Californai/NZ mix.
I am looking forward to having low numbers again. It has been difficult to keep up with the cage cleaning. We will disinfect everything first with bleach, then rinse well and spray with Thieves cleaner, which I don’t rinse off. Rabbit makes a very tasty meal, so it will be great to have a full freezer.
On a more pleasant note, the cicadas starting singing a few days ago, one of my favorite sounds ever. It reminds me that busyness and heat of summer will soon be slowing down. We haven’t even been in our pool yet because it has been so hectic! The garden is producing well, even if it is buried in bindweed and crabgrass. There will be salsa soon.