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‘Tis a New Year

Well here we are, another new year. I think I am not alone when I say thank goodness! 2020 was stressful on everyone, even my buns for some odd reason. Breeding was more or less not successful last year. I had some good litters, but not how I planned. It was hot, and I lost two girls last year. Hard year.

Enough of reflecting on the past, now to the future. This year I am focusing on product. I will be spinning up a storm and I have a ton of plans for product. I’ll still be selling fiber and yarn for you guys who love to spin and knit/crochet. This year I will also have some woven product as well. I’ve spent last year figuring out weaving and I have to tell you I love it. I also hope to be on here more often, at least weekly. I didn’t do much last year because honestly I didn’t want to. I have been super stressed and my anxiety has been very high, so I focused more on God, spinning, crochet, knitting, and weaving. This year so far, even though I know the future is unknown, 2020 taught us that lesson, but I can control what I do.

So here is to 2021, a positive outlook, a prayer on our heart, and cute bunnies to cuddle, and soft warm fiber to spin into amazing luxurious yarn.

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Cool Your Buns!

It is that time of year again, the time of year that is most dangerous to rabbits, summer. For anyone who has been following me long enough knows that I am big on keeping rabbits cool. Now do I expect air conditioning for your buns, no (even though if you live in the south I would highly recommend it). I am going to share some ways that you can keep your buns cool in the summer.

  1. The simplest way to keep them cool is make sure there is moving air where they are. Fans are the simplest way to keep your buns cool. This is the method I use for my guys most often. I have one big industrial fan and some box fans that help blow the air around to help everyone stay cool.
  2. WATER, WATER, WATER, did I mention water? Water is key to keeping your rabbits alive in the heat. Without water they will die. I check my rabbits water at least three times a day when it’s hot out. I understand that many people work and can’t do it three, so make sure you check at least twice a day, once before you go to work, and again when you get home.
  3. Make sure your rabbits are out of the sun. The direct sunlight will heat them up more and they will die of heat stroke. Make sure they have shade or are out of the sun all together. If their cages are outside and the sun is directly on them put a tarp over the cage, LEAVE AT LEAST TWO SIDES OF THE TARP UP SO AIR CAN CIRCULATE, do not cover the whole cage or the cage will heat up more causing the rabbit to get too hot and die.
  4. Frozen water bottles, or frozen balloons. These are great ways to keep your buns cool. I prefer frozen balloons because the rabbits can eat the ice and cool off that way as well. Frozen water bottles are good, just beware that they may eat the water bottles.
  5. Cold tiles. Another way to keep them cool is to stick some tiles in the freezer and place them in the cages. This is a great alternative to water bottles and balloons which will will keep their coats dry and neat. The rabbits can lay on them and stay nice and cool.
  6. Cut their coats to help them keep cool. This for us who raise them for wool is something we don’t necessarily want to do, but if you have an older rabbit, or one who just isn’t handling the heat very well, shear their coat. Or if you are in for a string of really hot days. Their wool will grow back, your rabbit will not raise from the dead.

Here are some signs that your rabbit may be in trouble of overheating:

  1. The rabbit is panting or breathing really hard
  2. The rabbit’s nose and face is wet
  3. The rabbit feels hot to the touch
  4. The rabbit has all the above symptoms and looks lethargic

If you see your rabbit showing any of these symptoms bring it into the house where it’s nice and cool, even if your not sure bring it in where there is air conditioning and make sure they have water. If you don’t have air conditioning bring the rabbit where there is good air flow and a fan going. Leave them in the cool area until they look comfortable and it has cooled off outside, This could be the difference between life and death for that animal.

These animals rely on us to care for their needs and we should know them well enough to know when something doesn’t seem right, we need to make sure we are paying attention to what they are trying to tell us by how they act. So please, it’s so easy to think they are fine and no harm can come to them, but rabbits are fragile in the summer months and need our constant care and knowledge of what they need.

So You’re Getting a New Bunny Part 2

We went over in the last post on what to expect when you inquire about a bunny (at least from me). Here is the part one of this series, So You’re Getting a New Bunny Part 1.

Now you have your bunny, now what? Well first thing’s first. Introduce it to it’s new cage. That may sound cruel but remember that is where this animal will spend a good chunk of their time. They need to understand that this is home and this is their safe space. Make this space a happy place. Don’t always be grabbing them to take them out just to groom them or harvest their wool, pat their head, give them a snack like a SMALL piece of carrot or some hay or a maple leaf. They will learn that you aren’t just out to work with them, but that you are the one who feeds them and will care for them.

The angoras that come from here come freshly groomed, I groom right before I meet people with their new bunny, and their nails are done. Nails should be done about once a month. Nails can get caught and rip off very easily. I do this for a couple of reasons. 1. I want people to focus on bonding with their bunny with love and affection and not associate with being worked on. So unless you receive a bunny that is molting you shouldn’t have to groom for about a week. If your bunny is molting then you can go a few days before having to groom. Remember kit coats do tend to mat easier than adult coats.

If you have an indoor bunny please give them time to adjust to being indoors. My rabbits are outdoor rabbits. They live in our garage that we converted into a bunny barn, so they are not used to the smells and recycled air that comes with being inside. Some bunnies handle being inside better than others. If your bun starts sneezing, please don’t be alarmed. I recommend putting a fan on where they are and if you can open a window and blow fresh air in with a fan. Beware of what chemicals (or natural cleaners) you use to clean in their area. Rabbits are very sensitive to smells especially strong smells. If you are using natural cleaners with essential oils beware of anything with menthol! Peppermint, eucalyptus, wintergreen, spearmint, etc. rabbits don’t like the smell of menthol at all. Make sure that the area that they will be in is bunny proof. This means make sure all cords are off the floor, I don’t know what it is about cords but rabbits love to chew on cords. Please pick them up for your buns safety and your cords safety.

Buns can make great indoor pets, but many people worry about the poop and pee that naturally happen with having an indoor bun. You can litter box train your rabbit. The easiest way I have found to do this is to get a litter box with a wire top to it and take some of the bedding that has some urine and fecal matter mixed in with it and put it in the litter box, then put the litter box by where they eat and drink. You can also get a regular litter box and put hay in it for litter. It is important to make sure that you have the urine and feces in the litter box, this will tell the rabbit where to go to the bathroom. **Please Note: From my personal experience rabbits do pretty good with going pee in the litter box, but still poo little coco puffs everywhere, please keep this in mind.** Rabbits also aren’t perfect with their pee either, especially if they peed in a spot that you didn’t get or clean up well. Rabbits will go to the bathroom where they have gone before, so make sure that if they do pee outside the litter box that you clean it up good or they will return to that spot and continue peeing there.

Rabbits make a great addition to any family. Knowing how to care for these animals is key and giving them the attention that they desire and need is super important to the bonding process. If you care for them and show them love they will love be your buddy for life.

So You’re Getting a New Bunny Part 1

Hey guys, it is days before these babies are ready for their new homes. And let me tell you, these guys have some great homes to go to.

So you are getting ready for your new bunny, or you’re thinking of getting a new bunny. What does that mean? What does that look like? Well I’m here to explain what you need to do and what owning a new bunny will be like.

What do you need for your new bunny? Well a cage to begin with (even if it’s an indoor bunny). You want to keep your bunny in a cage when not supervised not only for your bunny’s safety, but also to keep your stuff safe. Rabbits are natural chewers and love to chew wires, furniture, books, pretty much anything it can get a hold of. A cage (or hutch) is your rabbit’s own place. Rabbits naturally live in holes, and they naturally like their own space. I would even add an argument (many would disagree) that rabbits do prefer to be alone. That’s not to say they don’t enjoy their human companionship. A wire bottom cage is best for angoras. 1″x1/2″ 14 gauge galvanized wire is ideal for rabbit feet. The reason for wire bottom cages is to keep bedding out of the angora’s fiber and to keep them out of their waste. Please, if you do use a solid bottom don’t put bedding in it. It will get entangled in their wool and be a nightmare to get out. But wire bottom is best.

You will also need a food dish. I love dog crate food dishes where the bowl screws into the base that attaches to the cage. They are great because your rabbit can’t flip it over and dump their food, which rabbits are notorious for. Also when you put it in there and you notice your rabbit scratching the feed out, raise it to about head height. This tends to discourage digging the food out of the dish.

Water bottle or water dish. I personally like water bottles. They stay cleaner and your rabbit can’t play in them. Bowls do have their purpose. In the winter is where I like using bowls. When the water freezes in the bowl the rabbits can eat the ice for water if I’m not home to change frozen water bottles when needed.

Food. This is a biggie for me. Please, please, please don’t buy rabbit food from Walmart, Petco, Petsmart, or other commercial pet food stores. The food at these stores are full of fillers and doesn’t have the protein your angora is going to need to grow that lovely wool that you are waiting ever so patiently for. Feeding your rabbit food from these places is like giving your kids nothing but Lucky Charms all the time. It tastes great to them, but doesn’t have the nutrition they need. Plus, you end up paying the same amount for a 5 lb bag of food from Petco that you do for a 50 lb bag at a feed store. Go to your local feed store, Agway, or Tractor Supply. The feed I give my guys is called Show Hutch Deluxe from Blue Seal/Kent Store. It’s a 17% protein feed, so it meets the minimum protein requirement that angoras require. Ideally they should have 18% protein but I make up for that with crimped oats, and black oil sunflower seeds mixed in. Tractor Supply also carries many name brand high protein feeds as well, the same with Agway. If you aren’t sure where to get feed locally, ask your breeder or your local feed store and they will direct you on what feed you should use (make sure you mention 17-18% protein is a must).

Timothy hay is important to angoras. Angoras have that beautiful long wool that they clean regularly. While they clean they do ingest some of the wool. But unlike cats, rabbits cannot cough up hair balls and all that wool sits in their digestive tract and blocks the way. This blockage if it can’t pass can lead to death. So hay is very important for angoras to have so that it helps clean out their tract. This is also why I put crimped oats into their daily feed as well. Timothy (or really any grass hay) is best. Alfalfa is a no go due to being high in calcium which angoras don’t need. I give my guys a Roughage Day every week. Every Sunday I will feed my rabbits who are 6 months and older only hay that day. This way they get a good cleansing of their digestive tract.

Grooming supplies are very important to have when you get your bunny. I know that I will run a comb through a baby that I am selling right before it goes to it’s new owner. But I have gotten some babies from others that needed a brushing bad, so having your grooming supplies ready to go is important. First thing you need is a slicker brush. When looking for a slicker brush get one with the rubber ends on the bristles. Rabbits have thin skin and the bristles can cut into the rabbit easily. So please find one with rubber ends. A metal double sided comb is another key tool to your grooming box. This will get out the small mats that develop naturally. This will also help keep your coat in good shape as well. Scissors. These are another essential so that you can cut out any mats that may have developed (honestly mats under the arms and between the legs happen). Plus if you chose to shear your rabbit instead of pluck or you have a rabbit who can only be shorn, then scissors will be extremely important. Finally nail clippers. Nail clippers keep your rabbit’s nails short. If you let your rabbit’s nails get long there will be a good chance that their nails will be ripped off or over grow. Regular cat nail clippers are perfect. Grooming blowers are nice to have but not necessary. If you are raising angoras for wool or have more than two then I would highly recommend a blower. It cuts your grooming time in half and is better for the wool, as combing and brushing is rumored to make the wool less dense. You don’t need an expensive blower to start off with, a small 2.5 gallon NEW wet vac will be just fine. Please make sure it’s new so that you’re not blowing anything onto your bunny. If your bunny is just a pet and you only have one or two a blower isn’t necessary.

This is where I am going to end for now. I will continue this through blog series through the week and make sure everyone is ready for their new bunny whether from me, or other breeders.

Happenings This Week

Chestnut Angora

This week the babies grew overnight. They are huge and their personalities are truly coming out. They love to snuggle, and just hang out. But give them the chance they are into mischief. The weather has been windy but pretty nice, so they have had a few chances to get outside to enjoy the outdoors. They are getting to a point where mamas are done. In two more weeks, when they are 8 weeks they will move out so moms can have freedom.

Opal Angora

This past week I also worked on some red kit fiber from this past winter’s kits. It came out stunning. The litter was made of red, fawn, blue tort, and a high rufus satin chocolate tort. The yarn is beautiful, I love a good natural red yarn.

Red Kit Yarn

I also spun up a barn mix. I don’t do much barn mix, because I really don’t keep grooming wool. I did keep one bag from a grooming and I may keep more barn mix for the future.

Barn Mix

I have also been working on my knit angora triangle shawl. It is coming out so nice. I can’t wait to finish it, which will take me awhile, but I’m in no rush.

Angora Knit Triangle Shawl

So that’s about it. Now that life seems to be getting kinda back on track I will be back with more baby updates and happenings around here. I am also currently working on the photos and pages for babies available that should be done by Sunday. So I’ll keep you up to date on that as well.

Babies Are Here!!!

Opal Angora

‘Tis the season for baby bunnies! I am so excited about these litters. I ended up having 3 litters, as one is a brand new mom and I wasn’t sure how she would be with her babies. These litters are probably my most colorful yet. I have so many colors, blue, black, opals, chestnuts, whites, chocolate agouti, and a fawn. They are super curious and super cute. They are now about 5 weeks old and will be ready for new homes around May 26. I will be getting more up to date photos up this week as well once the rain decides to subside for a day.

Chocolate Agouti Angora

I am also coming into harvesting season. With this lot I am selling almost all of it. I have so much angora backed up that I will probably be selling the rest of the years angora (but of course I have my coveted favorites that I hoard for myself). If there is a specific color that you love or would like let me know and I will hold it for you and make arrangements with you.

Blue Angora

That’s really all that is going on here. Stay safe and well everyone.

Welcome!

Hey guys. I know that it isn’t the first of January and we are well on our way into the new year, but I wanted to share what I would like 2020 to be.

Last year felt so crazy for me. With 5 girls, one being a fairly new baby, I may as well been in a whirl wind. I also focused a lot on really building my studio, which is well underway. So now I am able to focus more energy to this new site, my rabbits, and sharing the ins and outs of angoras, their care, and any other little tidbits I have about them.

I will be doing my first breeding in February, so they will be born in March and ready to go to homes around May/June. If you are interested in being put on a waitlist for one head over to the Contact Me page and send me an inquiry.

I am so excited about the breeding line ups I have for this year. This year I will be focusing on coat, of course, and body. I didn’t realize how important body was until last year. And also temperament, as always. So expect some beautiful bunnies this year.

So come along with me for this ride down the rabbit hole, and lets see where it will lead.