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little cow

Rabbits?

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Does anyone have rabbits?

Please share rabbit stories.  :smile:

We had one male rabbit that we tried in the house, but that didn't work out.  Too much of a distraction for our dogs and not enough room for a proper bunny hutch inside.  So, we moved him to a hutch in the horse barn.   He was our son's First Communion gift, so he named him Francis (after the saint).  Francis was a handful at first, so my husband and I privately called him Psycho (name that movie!).  Well, Francis settled in and became family after his brain surgery.  He enjoys a fairly large living space, turnout in an exercise pen, regular petting, and bunny walks on a harness.  

But, alas, the bunny saga is not over. 

You know how you have different feed stores?  There's the one that is more expensive, but the hay is always decent and the feed never moldy?  Then, there's the other feed store, with better hours for feed or hay in a pinch, but inspect it carefully.  Well, that other feed store also has occasional bunnies for sale.  Usually very stinky and in a small cage.  There was one left that was a cute Dutch type.  Our son was playing with him while I bought some emergency hay.  Of course, someone wanted to buy the bunny for meat, because that is what happens at the 'other' feed stores.  The same cute bunny our son was playing with.  So, we took him home instead.  I suppose you call that "Plate to Farm", rather than "Farm to Plate"?  :P

So, great, now we had another male bunny to get neutered.  Thankfully, there is a rabbit rescue in our area that offers vouchers to spay/neuter bunnies.  It costs us $60.  Much better than $200 for a typical bunny de-multiplication problem.  Our newest rabbit, again, following the saint theme, is Vincent.  St. Francis and St. Vincent.  But, when the bunnies are not so saintly, they sound like mafia types:  Psycho and Vinny, lol!  :crazy:

Once Vincent is about 30 days past his surgery, we will try to introduce the two neutered male rabbits to each other.  We are planning on a an awesome walk in rabbit shed at the new farm.  It would be easier if the boys get along.  I had no idea people did rabbit sheds.  They are popular in the UK.  Apparently, rabbits with enough room are much more fun.  We can attest to that as we have fun in the exercise pen with our bunnies.  Of course, for now, they have to take turns in there.  Google 'rabbit sheds' for images.  Some are awesome.  We figure we'll build it similar to a chicken coop with a floor.  

I'll get pictures of the boys soon.  Vincent has pain meds for the next two days, so no handling him.    

 

Edited by little cow

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I think on HGTV, they call that a tiny house! I enjoyed your Psycho and Vinny tale!

Edited by jubal

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Rabbits are fantastic pets, I had a French Lop named Annabel when I was a kid. My mother had two angora rabbits, Buns and Jennifur that were house rabbits. They were paper trained and much to large and confident for the dogs to mess with! The hair on those two was spectacular and very hard to keep mat free but they were a pretty cool pair of pets anyway.

If you let them interact with wire between, they should get along famously. Even entire males can share space if they have enough room. 

Psyco and Vinny have won the rabbit lottery by landing at your place for sure!

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 My dad had a hutch out back, with plans on raising rabbits for meat.

 He must have been a bigger softie than I thought, because, he couldn't kill them, he ended up selling the whole lot to our across the street neighbors.

 Could have had something to do with me and my sister bringing the babies into the house and playing with them.

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   Years ago we had rabbits that our daughters used in 4H projects, & they were a inexpensive project to show, plus the knowledge they gained was priceless.  PD

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How do you guys feel about spaying females?  Do you think it makes a difference in attitude?  We neutered our two bucks so they will be better pets and won't fight, but I have heard the does are nicer when spayed, too.  i wish rabbits weren't so expensive for vet calls, though.   

Equicrazy, , that's funny.  Yeah, you guys probably named them, too, lol!  

PD, that's what we are doing with the registered sheep our son is raising.  He keeps a journal about his two ewes as he starts his flock.  He has to do the lambing checks as well.  He has been telling us since he was five years old that he wants to be a priest, so I suppose he has his first "flock".  

Edited by little cow

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1 hour ago, little cow said:

 

PD, that's what we are doing with the registered sheep our son is raising.  He keeps a journal about his two ewes as he starts his flock.  He has to do the lambing checks as well.  He has been telling us since he was five years old that he wants to be a priest, so I suppose he has his first "flock".  

     The skills that young people can learn from raising animals, can help them through out life,  My oldest daughter showed dairy heifers in 4H,  she showed both a mother & daughter & owned  grandaughter, by the time she got out of highschool, then she married a dairy farmer.

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I've never had a rabbit spayed but I don't know why it would not work the same as with other species if it is a total spay. 

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Wait. Rabbits spray? Like cats? Did not know that. (Although, rabbits were not discussed much in vet tech school,  maybe one day of "Not rodents, terminology... buck, doe, kit, pinnae, lagamorph,  can't live on carrots in spite of what we learned from WB cartoons...") :crazy:

Ended up with one from a pet store I worked at once.. for about a week. he was an a**hole and I did learn they growl. Called my vet about neutering, he said "Rabbits are like chickens. They don't belong in my clinic, unless they're in a pot of water, surrounded by carrot slices and potatoes." 

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I ate rabbit once in Malta (USN port visit).  It was good, but too many bones.  Vinny doesn't appreciate this conversation as he narrowly avoided the pot himself.  

Vinny is back to himself now after the neuter.  We'll get him in the exercise pen today.  

Most vets don't treat rabbits because they're considered a specialty animal.  They stress easily and can actually die of heart failure.  Not something vets want to mess with.  They are also very sensitive to anesthesia.  They typically use injectable anesthesia or a bunny box (looks like a tupperware container) with a hose to give them gas anesthesia.  It's not easy to treat them.  We had to drive over an hour to get our bunny neutered.  They are not cheap to get treated by a vet.  That's why so many meet sad ends.  People have no idea they are that expensive.  The local rabbit rescue is brilliant for offering a voucher program.  

Edited by little cow

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How long do domestic bunnies live? This is a non-sequitur, but I went along with fourth graders on a three day camping trip to a county park. We were out hiking on trails in the woods and we started seeing spotted bunnies. There was a whole population from, I guess, people who had tired of their pets and released them.

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I've known them to live 10 years and I had Annabel for 8 years. I do not know how old she was when I got her, she was full grown though. 

My vet treats rabbits! My daughter had one that got his toe injured somehow and the vet had to amputate it. He warned they were super sensitive to anesthesia and he was going to have to do some research to refresh him memory before the surgery. It was successful and the rabbit, I cannot remember his name to save me, lived for several more years. 

He was housed outside, she already had two dogs, a cat, three red eared sliders and 2 box turtles in the house. My husband made her rabbit cages, she had two left over from FFA, and they were grizzly proof! She did take the rabbits to the yard regularly and they came in the house every once in a while. My house is not really a place for animals that are easily startled though, lots of activity all of the time.

 

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There was a regular customer who frequented the neighborhood bar where I worked, who had a pet rabbit. Somebody told him rabbits only live two years and I thought he would have a mental breakdown. He gave us daily updates on the rabbit antics.

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I don't know what their actual life span is. I only know the two instances I know about.

I really like fried rabbit, treated just like fried chicken. It is available in a lot of stores now but very expensive. Maybe I'll have some meat rabbits again some day. 

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8-12 years is the average lifespan.  

I have a very funny story about feral bunnies and bunny hating horse.  I'll have to share it when I have time later.

 

 

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Ol' Red (The Wabbit Hating Horse)

Back in college, I was a wrangler on a ranch in Wyoming one summer. We had a string of about 100 horses that we used to take people out to see our bison herd. One horse was Ol' Red. He was a big lanky TB cross with a crooked blaze and couple of white fetlocks. He was also old enough to have earned some gray on his face. As an old ranch horse, he didn't seek out humans. In fact, he preferred to do his job and then have time to himself. But he was as steady as they come. He'd stand there in the morning waiting for the timid children and adults. Then, he'd pack them out with their white knuckles clutching his saddle horn. They'd come back changed under his gentle care.  They were always laughing, relaxed, and happy under his quiet ministrations. That old horse was worth his weight in gold. We only had him on half days at most because of his age and arthritis creeping up on him. He would carry his morning riders and then be turned out in a nine acre picnic area next to the barn. When it was time to go back to the big pasture, he'd tag along behind the other horses. We never worried about him being in the picnic area because he liked to be away from people. No problems with begging from good Ol' Red.

One day, after carrying a timid pre-teen on a ride with her family, Ol' Red earned his grazing time and the family set up their picnic at one of the tables in the cool shade of the cottonwood trees.

A little background is needed here. One of the ranch manager's daughters raised rabbits for 4-H. Then, she grew bored with them, so she turned them loose. It was amusing to see an occasion black and white spotted or lop-eared fancy bunny peeking at you from the tall grass by the creek. Those rabbits really loved the cottonwood trees. They'd stretch out next to the creek and doze. They were almost always on the opposite side of the pasture fence from both picnickers and Ol' Red, except for the day in question.  Perhaps they smelled the abundance of carrots the family had. 

Ol' Red was the kind of gelding that stood with his head down, lower lip drooping, and eyes half closed. He very rarely showed any enthusiasm, even when grazing. No greedy, quick, ripping motions, but careful measured bites and an ambling pace through his pasture. In fact, I don't ever remember seeing his head above his withers until that day...

A small, brown, lop-eared bunny bravely hopped near the family's picnic table. They spotted him coming under the fence and immediately held still and quieted down. Someone dropped a few carrots under the table and they waited. Behind them, Ol' Red brought his old head up. He began to amble towards the picnic table with a curious look on his face. He was more animated, but still lazy looking. The family, completely oblivious to the horse coming up from the other side, intently watched the little rabbit. We were waiting on a big group, so I amused myself watching Ol' Red from the barn. I thought perhaps he had seen the carrots drop and would actually come make friends with people for once. Ol' Red stopped abruptly about 50 feet from the table. His head was very high now and his animated face was studying the scene carefully. The little rabbit had been coaxed all the way under the table and was now happily nibbling a carrot just under the table on Ol' Red's side giving him a clear view of the little invader. His expression changed instantaneously into pinned ears, bared teeth, and galloping hooves (Ol' Red can GALLOP?!). The family scattered. The rabbit did what rabbits do: froze, until the last possible minute, and then darted back where he came from. Ol' Red slid to a stop just before the picnic table snapping his jaws at where the rabbit had been. Then he clunked his silly head on the underside of the table. He backed up, looked around briefly, and then resumed his sedate posture while ambling back across the pasture. There were still carrot pieces under the table, but Ol' Red wanted rabbit steaks, apparently, so they were left untouched. I checked him over and his head seemed fine. His quiet, peaceful eyes showed absolutely no malice. But, then again, I wasn't a rabbit.

After profuse apologies to the family, they calmed down a little. I told them that I really had no idea we had a rabbit eating horse. At that, they began to giggle and laugh about their reactions and the transformation that overcame the trusty steed they thought they knew. They were a nice family and uninjured, so all turned out well. Except for Ol' Red. He had to go in the pen once he finished his morning work instead out with picnickers. Couldn't have him out there huntin' wabbits!!

 

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LC,   Great story, Old Red,  showed a side of himself, that  he had not shown before.  Real life stories are always the best.  PD

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LOL! That was a great story LC!

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