|blue buns rabbitry||
Binky free and high, my beautiful girl. I love you still, I WILL see you again.
I love all my bunnies, they all have different personalities, different habits, different likes and dislikes. But some bunnies steal into your heart and become such a part of your day, of your life, that when they leave, they leave a huge hole in the fabric of your world. Such was Jig. Imperious, aware he was the sire, grand-sire, great-grand-sire and on and on, of a lot of our rabbits, including all my blue winners, he was also silly, affectionate, cheerful and aware.
The first time I saw Jig, he was in a bad situation. His breeders had sold him to a youth breeder, kindly hoping to help her get started. When she contacted me about possibly purchasing him, she was in a bad spot in her life, and could not care for the rabbits properly. No food, empty water bottles, dirty cages and a smelly, damp location - just an all round bad deal. She took Jig out and let him run up and down the boards supporting her cages- here was this skinny, probably hungry bunny, gallumping happily up and down the boards, visiting every cage, flirting with the does, and popping over to where we were every once in a while to check us out. I had to take him home. And I never regretted it, not for one minute.
As a breeding buck, he was full of surprises in some of the colors that popped out when bred to other black otters. But he stayed fertile well into his 6th year, and would still practice on his soft ball- doing his thing, and then stopping and looking at me out of the corner of his eye as if to say "see Mom, I still have it! Bring on the does." He loved the exercise pen, and I always put him in the central one, so he could visit the buns in the other pens and discuss the issues of the day- like was the kale fresh that morning and would there be the possibility of banana some time soon?
He had to be the first bunny to be greeted in the morning, the first fed, the first loved on- and if he didn't get enough love or attention, he would thump loudly. LOUDLY. And give you the stink eye until you returned to his cage and rubbed his head a little more- always aware of where I was and what other bunny was getting attention.
He died in my arms. I know that sounds corny, but he did. He was a bit off his feed, and I had been having some bloat issues with other bunnies, so I gave him baby gas drops and put him in a small exercise pen. He ate greens, and didn't really hunch up- it was more like he kept looking off into space, listening. I picked him up to give him some gas drops later on, and he had a seizure and left me. I know he is not gone forever. Never gone from my heart. Only from my vision, for now. For I know, as God is good, I will see him again. Jesus said "Behold, I make ALL THINGS new". Wait for me at the Bridge, Jiggy, with the rest of the crew, when my time comes. And til then, binky free, binky high, and eat everything in sight. You are loved.
It wasn't a fast decision, and there are so many reasons, threads, elements, it is impossible to count or list them all. But the ultimate answer that all the reasons, threads and elements lead to is that I think God has patiently been telling me this is not where he wants me to focus. Can I have buns for pets? Sure. Can I still go to shows to visit friends and cheer them on? Sure!
But when you start in the beginning and list all the mistakes, wrong decisions and odd things that happened, the toll of money lost, time spent and labor invested into this rabbitry, well, I think others less stubborn than I would have quit long ago. You can be a reasonably intelligent, well educated, well read person and still trip down the fairy path of personal fable, lol! One of the biggest being that every sweet bunny that wasn't show or brood quality would sell as a pet. Bwa-ha-ha. That is why there are, as of today, still 39 bunnies here, with only a small handful being worth breeding on. I have had successes- the blues took to the tables and did well, and so did a few others, but the time involved in selling pets, getting pets back because people lost interest, won't neuter, won't learn, etc., etc., watching politics at shows, buying stock that doesn't match up to the clever pictures taken, or just plain normal luck of importing animals that don't cross well, dead litters, peanuts, and not being able to get up off the floor of the Ark because my arthritis is getting.....well...let us just say I am moving like a 90 year old woman.... and the fact that I just don't think I am good at this- well it adds up.
I love the bunnies for themselves- most will stay here and hopefully be happy with the exercise areas that we will enlarge, the good food and treats and my company. Most have brought me great joy with their funny, endearing personalities. Some, like BlueBelle stay because in the end, the thing that makes me quit breeding is that I CANNOT TERMINALLY CULL just because a bunny is not worthy of the show table or breeding barn. And although I have shown horses and chickens, my self worth is not tied up in winning or even being successful at breeding good horses, chickens or rabbits - the most important thing in my life is to become who and what the Savior and Creator my my soul and very breath of my existence wants.
End of story.
If you are the praying type, pray that I can place about 10 more bunnies into wonderful, forever homes, so that I can avoid being on my knees except in prayer, lol! Or wish me luck. And thanks to everyone who honestly encouraged and supported me- it is appreciated. You have been the best part of it, next to the bunnies themselves!
BB Colleen and her littermate BB Chance, also a blue, made it to the show tables this summer, and the kids did us proud. We only stayed, due to circumstances, for the first show in Knoxville, but Chance got BOSV and BOSB and Colleen got BOV and BOB- not bad for their first time on the tables. It was a small show, but we were up against very nice buns who have won elsewhere. Next stop was Taylorsville, where Chance placed first in his class and Colleen went BOSV and BOSB against some pretty big guns. It is a good feeling to know that we are starting to get somewhere with this blue project- now Chance gets to sit around and grow up, fill out and see if he can produce some more good blues. Colleen will be bred and if she holds her girlish figure, might hit the show tables again for a bit this fall.......Colleen thanks everyone who believed in her and Chance says "wait till you see my little sister......"
So what's with all this talk about a bunny's delicate digestive system? BlueBelle ate 4 good sized holes in the roof of her hutch and it slowed her down for about 1/2 hour after pooping out a tarry string of whatever was left after she digested the roof.
She had to work at it, too, by standing on her hind legs on the ledge in her hutch-
And why would she want to eat that stuff? It's that rubbery looking ribbed stuff they sell at Lowe's- some sort of polypropylene or something- looks and smells sort of rubbery, is water proof, comes in four colors, etc.
We replaced the roof, but put hardware cloth under it, and she can't nibble through that, or at least I hope she can't. With BlueBelle, who knows?
Miss Mary's Maybe is due Saturday. Two nights ago she started gathering hay - how I love that silly, hopeful, happy look they get! I gave her a nest box and plenty of straw. She looked at me like I was crazy - what was this big silver thing doing in her cage and what did I expect her to do with it? She took one little peek into it, and backed off. I watched her sit in the corner and pout about the whole thing. OK, I thought, I will give you a smaller size box, maybe this one is just too big and intimidating for a maiden doe.....she started gathering straw and hay again, and I thought I was on the right track. I came back later to take a look.
She had carefully stashed it all in the corner in front of the nest box.........
Oh BlueBelle, what HAVE you started?????
When I gave BlueBerry her nest box full of straw, she proceeded to yank out every bit of it from the nest box and started lining the opposite corner of her cage. She joyously galloped around and around with straw and hay in her mouth, lining the corner of the cage quite neatly......hmmmm.....wait a minute....who else did this? BLUEBELLE!!!! But wait, BlueBelle is not BlueBerry's mother.....hmmmm....... ???? I put more straw in the nest box. She left it there, so I thought perhaps it was just pregnant fantasies. But when she pulled fur, she pulled enough for a regiment and neatly inner lined the corner of the cage! Hmmmm....who else did this? BLUEBELLE!!!!! ????
What to do? There she was, with a beautiful little lined corner, sitting up happily in her best show pose, and proudly pleased with her nest.
I put a heat lamp up above the cage and moved the nest box to her chosen corner and gently placed her nest inside, praising and petting her. She looked a bit confused, but left it there, and I gave her an oatmeal treat and went off to bed. I got up every hour to check, as she is my sweetheart BlueBerry, and I could not sleep for worrying. Somewhere between the midnight and 1:00 am check, she kindled, using the box, thank heaven!
As I went back to the house, I had a picture suddenly flash through my mind- a memory of the 8 week old BlueBerry in her cage in the barn, sitting at attention and very carefully watching BlueBelle line the corner of her cage in anticipation of her April 7 litter. I literally stopped dead in my tracks. I know it could be coincidental, I suppose I am inexperienced enough to think this is unusual behavior when perhaps it is not......BUT.....I can't help thinking......... do you suppose...????
We lost little Bumpy, the broken tort. He/She never grew an ounce after getting the bumps, so there may have been something else wrong with the little cutie. Or the whole thing was just too much. He/She ate Critical Care out of a spoon, but I never saw him/her nursing again, so the bumps may have been too painful to nurse. I can only guess. Lumpy, the remaining sibling, is growing like a weed and looking and acting so much like Benjamin at that age- I am crossing my fingers for a little doe, but as long as Lumpy stays healthy I will be content.
Paris knew- she was very quiet and wary after the vet visit but is back to herself now.
I have such a strong belief that our animals will be in heaven- Jesus said He came to "make ALL things new" and to redeem the world. He didn't just say redeem people, or mankind, but the WORLD. And the world includes animals. The Bible is full of references about animals in heaven, and the predictions of how they will all get along on the New Earth. It's a belief I hold on to with all my heart when things happen.
Blessings on anyone who bothers to read these.......I hope you day is bright and your animals, especially your buns, bring you much joy.
The weather has certainly caused problems this year- this damp has, IMO, been responsible for an increase in fur mites in the buns, worms and mites in the chickens, fleas on the dogs and cats and great grumbling and pouting on my part. We switched to Revolution for the buns and cats and Trifex for the dogs, and this has been a great help. A little time with the Lord has improved my mood!
Paris and her two week old kits have already had an adventure- last Thursday, I noticed the nest box felt weirdly damp, so I changed out the straw and tipped the box on its side, as the kits eyes were starting to open. Saturday the kits were covered in bumps!! After googling everything I could think of, we raced off to visit Dr. Heather at Haw Creek Vet, and found the kits had some kind of contact allergy, most likely to something in the straw- Dr. Heather popped the worst of the "zits", as we called them, disinfected them and gave the kits the teeninsiest (that is a word here in the South, unfortunately no one can spell it for me) bit of something else I can't spell and now we are home recovering. The broken tort kit had it worse than the blue tort, and is slower to perk up, but I think they will both make it. They are sticking close to mama Paris for now, and she seems to enjoy it. The evil straw is now tossed down the hillside behind the compost pile, and I am looking for a new supplier for straw. The kits are snuggling on towels that I change out twice a day, and Paris is demanding extra banana to soothe her nerves while giving me the Hairy Eyeball in case I try to load them all up again.
I gave the buns hay last night, with a little hope in my heart....Paris is due next Sunday, and last time she was due, she gathered hay a week early. Sure enough, the minute I let go of that handful of hay, she started bundling it up....she now has a lovely nest, and already has a bit of fur in it. Now we will see if she rearranges the nursery every day, like last time. If anyone actually reads this, do please send up a little prayer that we get live kits this time - it will be Benjamin's first litter. I am anxious to see what he can produce, and of course anxious to have a litter from Paris, who has produced so well for MyBunniesGalore.
Alice's first show, in Taylorsville on the 13th, went extremely well- she placed first in a good size class. She was not too happy about showing, though. We will bring her to the Fair if she isn't molting and see if she relaxes more the second time. Sola placed fourth in an even larger class- that bit of ear control is keeping her from placing higher, so I may just breed her to JIG in a week or so instead of waiting till after the Fair- I am proud of her for placing so highly. It's hard to beat all those torts!
We also welcome two beautiful, beautiful new does in DRU Mary's Maybe (thank you, Mary Justice of DwarfsRUs, for the opportunity to purchase her!) and DRU Mary's Sapphire (Thank you, Christopher of Lileslops!). I have long wanted a few good DRU does to cross with Bayou and Benjamin - Bayou did so well with MBG Berry, who's sire was DRU, so I want to use DRU buns for my main outcross when I can.
BB Luna grew a nice little pair of t--------...I HATE this split p---- thing! So another little buck will be up for sale- too bad, the crown and ears were SO nice on this kit. And he is a blue tort- my second favorite color! "She" is now BB Jackson. He and Ellett, Napoli and Leonardo are all in the uglies- I hope they snap out of it soon!
Now if we could just get a few rain free afternoons so I can update pictures.........