Tattooing rabbits with pen

Tattooing rabbits is a must for those showing or keeping records on their rabbits. Some use a clamp, but we personally prefer to use a tattoo pen. There is a learning curve on the pen but as I suggest to all those getting started is to practice on your culls. It also takes patience and a steady hand.

The first step is to know what tattoo you want to use on particular rabbit, everyone has their own methods. It may be a date, rabbit name, or a tracking method that you use.

This is what we use for tattooing – It is designed by KBTatts. There are several different types on the market – just find what works best for you.
If you are planning to show rabbit then tattoo will need to be in their left ear. The right ear is reserved for registration tattoo which a registrar would have to do on a qualifying rabbit.

We have discovered that if you use this spray and let it sit for about 3 minutes before tattooing then it makes everything so much easier.

Once the ear has been sprayed with numbing spray and has had time to sit then wipe it gently with a paper towel. Then we wrap bunny up in a tattoo sleeve like the one below.

Tattoo allows bunny to stay still so that you can place tattoo in ear.

Once you have your bunny’s ear numb and he is wrapped up tight like a burrito then you dip the tip of your needle into ink well and start writing tattoo. Some will use a marker or pen of some sorts to write tattoo in ear first then trace with a pen. I prefer to freehand it. I also like to sit at a table with bunny on table so I have more control. It helps to place a finger behind the ear while you are tattooing to help with pressure. Once tattoo is done then I wipe it out with paper towel. Now you have a permanent tattoo in your rabbits ear.

Remember to practice! Good luck!

Getting ready for a show

Getting ready for a show It seems like it is always a huge undertaking getting ready for a show. You are always worrying that you will forget something and you probably will but you will learn what works best for you. I highly suggest making a list and keeping it close so you can add to it.

First off, you want to make sure that your rabbit is free of DQs. *Check teeth and make sure they are not messed up. *Nails need clipped, double check the nail color and make sure they have all nails. *Check coat for molting and discoloration or spots. *Double check and make sure the sex fairy didn’t visit and change them on you – Trust me it happens more times then I care for it. You also want to make sure that the bucks don’t have pimples or split penis. *Check ears and make sure that the tattoo can be seen clearly and rabbit is free of mites. *Make sure to weigh them and that they make the correct weight for their class.

Once you have the list of rabbits then you need to send in your entries for show. Double check everything when it goes in, again when they send confirmation and again at the show. One mistake will cost you an entry fee. It is your responsibility to make sure that EVERYTHING is correct. Ok – now on to the list of what to take. *You will want to take a chair. We usually take a barstool too since some of the classes are so long, the barstool allows us to sit near judging table without taking up any more space then we would standing there. My daughter also takes a pillow and blanket with her. I make sure I take tennis shoes and not my boots – a lot of standing * A grooming table/stand, if you don’t have one then you can lay a piece of carpet over the cages and use it as one. *We also always take nail clippers and tattoo pen because you just never know. *You will also want pen and paper so you can keep up with rabbit placement, judge comments, etc. *Labeling pens whether they are nice cage tags like in our store or just a piece of duct tape with black marker on it: it will make it so much easier at show time instead of digging through and checking ear numbers. *Since we take kids to the show with us we always have simple snacks and an ice chest of drinks. Most shows will have a concession stand. *Water and feed bowls for the rabbits and we also bring our own water because it is what they are used too. *Carriers must have a leak proof tray in order to be allowed into showroom. You can put puppy pads, shavings, etc in the bottom to help hold down the smell.

NOTE**** PLEASE CLEANUP AFTER YOURSELF AT THE SHOWS – THEY ARE RUN BY VOLUNTEERS AND VENUES ARE ALSO HARD TO COME BY AND WE NEVER WANT TO LEAVE A MESS. Thanks!

A few other things that we take are sale rabbits, our sign, our pedigree book, and something for the donation table that they have set up at the shows. We also make sure that we purchase tickets for raffles. This is what helps the shows continue to thrive. I would rather help a local show then only be able to drive to a couple a year because they are hours away.

If it is your first show then don’t stress, there are ALWAYS some very helpful people that will be more than happy to guide you around and help you out.

Once at show, you will need to check rabbits in. This is where you DOUBLE check your entries and make sure that everything is correct. Once you have taken care of that then you find a place to set up and then you wait for the FUN to begin!

I imagine that I left a few things and it seems like every time we go we think of something else or we see an awesome idea at the show that will work for us. Most shows also have vendor there so you can pick up items you need for home and show while there. If you have any tips please feel free to leave in the comment section.

No Easter Bunnies here!

“Every year, rabbits are purchased for Easter and then dumped as soon as the ‘cute factor’ takes a backseat to the reality of all that’s required to care for them properly,” “Some are just dumped outside, where they can’t survive and will die from stress, starvation, dehydration, or attacks by predators. Just because rabbits “live” in the wild does NOT mean that domestic rabbits can. They will die a miserable death. PLEASE DON’T DUMP THEM. Others are abandoned at overburdened animal shelters or bounced around from one home to another, where their needs are often misunderstood — so they often end up being sentenced to solitary confinement in a cage and virtually forgotten.

Unfortunately, every year not long after the Easter holiday, shelters are faced with families who adopt a bunny for some springtime fun, only to return the animal later after the season is over. Rabbits can make great pets, but they are not temporary gifts.

Rabbits are social and smart, they crave affection and activity. Most breeds live to be 8 to 12 years old, some even longer. If you are thinking of welcoming a rabbit into your home this Easter, make sure you and your family are ready for this commitment. I get a lot of calls every year with people in a panic because they don’t know what to do. Please make sure that you have proper cage, feed, toys, etc BEFORE you bring an innocent rabbit home.

If your child is begging for an Easter bunny then please buy them a cute stuffed one that doesn’t need fed, water, or groomed and won’t care if it’s tossed in the corner in a few weeks when the new wears off.

With all that being said — If you do want to get a pet bunny then I will be more than to discuss it and help guide you in the right direction AFTER the Easter holiday.

Best Bunny for Me!

So you want a bunny? That is the first step! Next do your research on breeds, there are 49 breeds that are recognized by ARBA. You can find them here.

You need to decide what you are interested in – they come in all different sizes and several of the breeds require special cages and care.

Maybe you want a small bunny. Examples are Dwarf Hotots, Polish, Netherland Dwarfs or even a Britannia Petite. I wouldn’t recommend Britannia Petite for a beginner or someone wanting a laid back bunny. They are like little rockets ready to go!

Maybe you want a medium size bunny like a sweet laid back Dutch or Himalayan? You have meat breeds and fancy to choose from.

Maybe you want a lop eared bunny? Did you know they come in small and large sizes? The large ones have to have very sturdy bottoms on their cages in order to hold their weights.

Maybe you want a fast moving bunny like a Tan, English spot or even a Belgium Hare – Hares have to have solid bottoms on their cages. Running breeds are also not considered cuddle bunnies and are always on the go.

Maybe you want a large bunny? Great examples of them are Giant Chinchillas, English Lops and Flemish. These are usually very gentle giants but they are too big for young children to place on the tables.

Maybe you want something you can groom daily and even use hair to make things. They also come in small to large – Breed examples are Jersey Woolies and Giant Angoras.

Maybe you want to focus and help preserve a rare breed – the list can be found at https://livestockconservancy.org/index.php/heritage/internal/conservation-priority-list#Rabbits

If you still don’t have a clue then I suggest visiting a show (shows can be found on arba.net) . Shows will give you a variety of bunnies to look over and most breeders will be more than happy to give you guidance and explain the ins and outs of their breeds. It also gives you an idea how shows are ran.

Once you get an idea on the breed you want then you need to research it! Don’t just look for all the positive things but also the negative side of that breed. That way you know what you are getting yourself into. Example – Dutch very friendly and easy breeders, Downfall is that they have to have correct markings in order to show so you have to have a place for your culls.

Rabbits are not always easy and don’t always breed like they say. Once you figure out your breed then find a breeder and talk to that breeder – ask them questions and get to really understand that breed. You also want to purchase your starter stock from a reputable breeder. If you start out with crap then you are still feeding crap and you will produce crap. Make sure you start out with Quality animals it will save you a lot of heartache in the end.

Good Luck on your rabbit adventures!

I will be happy to help in anyway that I can and help you find some amazing breeders.

Hope to see you at the show!

 

 

Guinness World Record Holders

Some interesting tidbits..

LONGEST RABBIT — The longest rabbit is Darius, a Flemish giant rabbit owned by Annette Edwards (UK), who was found to be 4 ft 3 in (129 cm) long when measured for an article in the UK’s Daily Mail newspaper on 6 April 2010.  http://www.guinnessworldrecords.com/world-records/210091-longest-rabbit

OLDEST RABBIT — The oldest rabbit ever was a wild rabbit named Flopsy, who was caught on the 6 August 1964, and died 18 years and 10.75 months later at the home of L.B. Walker of Longford, Tasmania, Australia http://www.guinnessworldrecords.com/world-records/70887-oldest-rabbit-ever

HIGHEST JUMPING RABBIT — The world record for the highest rabbit jump is 99.5 cm (39.2 in) and was achieved by Mimrelunds Tösen (The Lassie of Quivering Grove) who was owned by Tine Hygom (Denmark) in Herning, Denmark on 28 June 1997. The rabbit was black and white and was a member of Aase Bjerner’s rabbit club in Horsens, Denmark. No photos of the record event exist, but, other photos of them are on Aase’s web page (http://www.kaninhop.dk/uk/). Aase is a rabbit high jump judge and has confirmed all details. Both rabbit and owner were members of the club Kaninhop, which was under the Danmarks Kaninavlerforening (DK) (The rabbit Breeding Organinzation of Denmark) www.kaniner.dk . Some photos on Aase Bjerner’s website http://www.kaninhop.dk/uk/ . http://www.guinnessworldrecords.com/world-records/highest-jump-by-a-rabbit

LONGEST FUR — The longest fur on a rabbit is 36.5 cm (14.37 in) and belongs to Franchesca, owned by Betty Chu (USA), as measured in Morgan Hill, California, USA, on 17 August 2014. Franchesca’s proud owner is Dr Betty Chu (USA); she’s an expert on the English Angora rabbit, which is often mistaken for a Pekingese dog and needs a great deal of care… and a lot of grooming of that dense, silky fur. http://www.guinnessworldrecords.com/world-records/117939-longest-fur-on-a-rabbit

No, you can’t visit my barn

We locked our barn down several years ago. This was done for our animals and our protection. This explains it.

I have asked if I could repost the following and was granted permission. She says it best! The following was borrowed from https://www.facebook.com/meadowmunchers/

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Why animal breeders may not invite you in anymore

You’ve probably read somewhere, maybe even from me, that a breeder that won’t let you see where animals are kept or meet your animals is a big red flag.

That breeders who won’t let you meet the animals or see where they are kept must be hiding something.

Well that’s no longer true

Why you ask?

Because there is a vendetta in the USA right now against breeders, even the really good breeders.

Anti breeder types, be they from HSUS or PETA or other animal rights groups or overzealous animal shelter workers or other similar people are making it their life’s work to get breeders animal seized and stop all breeding.

Many times this involves lying, filing false complaints or worse- setting the breeder up.
Sometimes these people even gain the breeder’s trust or work for them.

No matter how clean your animals are.
No matter how well fed and clean your animals are.
No matter how careful you are to only breed the best and most fully health tested animals
No matter how much time and money you put into them and how much money you lose.

These people are looking to get your dogs seized, to get another “horrible breeder” story in the news, to use you and your animals to get restrictive laws passed.

Breeders now must not only do their absolute best , they now must guard against those that would destroy their life’s work and the animals they love for no reason other than hate.

So the next time an animal breeder grills you with questions, or meets you in their driveway or even at the shopping center in their town, don’t hold it against them – they may just be doing all they can to keep hateful people from destroying all they love.

**Side note — ALWAYS MEET IN PUBLIC PLACE and let someone know who you are meeting. If possible take someone with you.

 

Bunnies won’t breed like Bunnies

Contrary to popular belief – Bunnies don’t always breed like we would like them too. Especially if you are anxiously awaiting a litter. It can become very stressful and dishearten when you can’t get rabbits to breed and have babies.

I have learned a few tricks over the years that have helped me.

  • Add “mother” Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) – 1 Tablespoon per gallon of water. This will help does come on into cycle. We do this with all our bunnies.
  • Put buck into doe cage.
  • If doe isn’t mean then you can leave buck with her for a few days – I don’t care to do this because it can cause injury and you don’t know 100% if they mated or not.
  • Breed on table – position doe and hold while buck mounts.
  • Another trick is to swap cage with buck and doe – leave them in each other’s cages for a few days then place doe with buck.
  • They say Parsley will help fertility but I have not tested that theory.
  • You can also put them in a carrier and drive around town. There is something about traveling that seems to bring them in.
  • Add light so that they have longer “daylight” time during those shorter days.
  • Feed can also play a major role in breeding and fertility.
  • Doe is considered “in” when her vulva is swollen and red. She will normally raise up on back end if you put your hands on her back.
  • Does will also get very testy and grumpy when cycling.
  • Don’t let virgin bucks get tore up by grumpy doe – it will make him shy and leery of breeding.
  • Also make sure that buck has both set of testicles and doesn’t have spit penis.
  • Another thing is to make sure that the rabbits are of appropriate age to breed depending on breed they are.

If you have any tips or questions- Please feel free to comment here. Don’t give up!