Roommate has named our herd of rabbits. The buck is Lucky, the doe with the white spot on her nose is Miss Piggy, and the other doe with the white stripe going all the way up the center of her face is Bonnie.
We brought Lucky into the kitchen to groom him and get him more used to being handled last night. He did not like this at all. He scratched my arms pretty good since I haven’t mastered locating the “paralyze” spot. For those who do not know, there is a spot near the neck that when you put a bit of pressure there, they become unable to move. It does not cause them any pain, they just become immobile until you let go.
Anyway, back to Lucky. His fur was badly matted, and he has developed a bald spot on his back, near his neck. I don’t know if it is mites, or just the normal shedding process. The skin underneath does not appear to be irritated, and I haven’t noticed him scratching at it. Even so, I plan to pick up some selamectin from the local vet tomorrow, just in case. During the thirty minute session, we also noticed that he is quite a bit on the thin side. He was recently given to the breeder, so I don’t know his history before about two weeks ago. When we finished with him, I got scratched a few more times getting him back into his cage. Hopefully he will get used to the procedure and cause fewer injuries as time goes by.
Tonight we repeated the procedure on the two does. Both were better groomed and closer to normal weight. Neither liked the procedure initially, but both calmed down more quickly than Lucky, and they both allowed me to gently lower them back into their cages when we were done.
Miss Piggy’s weight is near the top of the normal spectrum according to my estimation. After a couple more days of unlimited food to help her during the adjustment period, I’ll start monitoring how much she gets. Bonnie is a little on the thin side of normal, so I’ll continue to keep her feeder full and monitor her until she gets to where I want her. Lucky will get everything he wants, and hopefully will get to a normal weight pretty quickly. If I can think of some treat items that won’t upset his digestive system, I’ll add those to his diet also.
Today, I relocated the wheels lower, and now they actually perform as intended. I’ve been moving them one cage length every morning since I got them. This should keep them in fresh grass once it comes out of dormancy, and should distribute the fertilizer pretty well. Rabbits poop a LOT. When the breeder told me that the 2″ layer under the cages had accumulated in less than a week, I just knew she was lying. Now, I’m not so sure.
Bottom line: Although I am disappointed that I did not get Californians, despite what was advertised, I think I’ll be OK with my trio – assuming that the buck recovers from whatever has caused the fur loss and his weight comes back up to normal. It will be another month before the does are old enough to breed, so that will buy me some time.