Friday, July 22, 2011

Heat and bunnies

My outdoor cages are under deep shade, but even so I have hiding boxes in them so the bunnies can go still darker. Out of all the babies born this Spring I kept just two, one of them does have a dropped ear, but I'm not going to hold that against her, she's just that good, and the Spring and Summer here have been that hot. The other has a killer body, and very nice wool, but has some 'normal' fur on her front paws. It's still long, but not wooly. Fortunately I have the perfect buck to breed her to when she comes of age.

The indoor bunnies (I might add that even the outdoor bunnies were indoors today) are mostly older bucks and show prospects. Yes, I do have a few REWs, but their numbers are dwindling. Black has taken over the rabbitry.

Some of my bunnies refuse to go near the frozen 2-liter bottles of water I provide for them. I can usually train them by allowing them to suffer the consequences of their bias, then putting them in a small transport cage where they can't get away from the bottle, and by this time they're too hot to care. They learn to appreciate the bottle. From that point forward, they plop down next to it as soon as I put it in their cages. However, this is only effective if you're around to monitor them while they are 'in training'.

Some never do learn to go to the bottle, and those either die or get eaten. I know that sounds cruel, but let's face it, when you're trying to breed a better rabbit, you have to take more into consideration than just conformation, wool production, and color. These same rabbits, if in the wild, would get eaten by other creatures because they're just too stupid to live.

Ultimately, I want angoras that produce a reasonable amount of wool, with good color and conformation, that reproduce well and have the sense God gave - well, a rabbit.


Lilac Haven said...

All of mine except for one hate the bottles but they will accept a bowl of ice, ice cubes to eat and ice surrounding their bodies. Go figure.

beachbirdie said...

I don't mean to be a blog troll, stopping at your various blog-posts and dropping comments, but I've enjoyed reading your blog and have been reading past posts.

This one was just too cute! I think of bunnies like I think about sheep...just an animal looking for a place to die. Doesn't make me love them any less though! Rather makes them quite endearing.