Insufficient Care Question (Buck)

Discussion in 'Rabbits' started by WindowOrMirror, Aug 14, 2006.

  1. WindowOrMirror

    WindowOrMirror ..where do YOU look? Supporter

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    I went to see a buck last night that someone local was selling. The conditions he was in when I looked at him were "marginally acceptable" but they said they had just moved him from another set of cages "behind the barn". (The buck I looked at is a self black Rex, around 3 years old).

    When I checked him it was immediately apparent that he hadn't been cared for; nothing beyond food and water. His hind end was fully involved with matted fur and it was clear that he had been sitting in feces and urine (bleached fur). His hocks were incredibly sore, but he could still hop and it seemed that - though raw - his legs did not have wounds or sores that broke the skin (lucky).

    However... when I turned him over for a belly and "naughty bits" survey, I checked his belly... fair, but for the fur...now, I got to his nether regions and noticed that on either side of his "bits" that there was an area bleached white with what looked like little black "growths" in them... hardened black "somethings" up in the crease of the legs. His "wedding tackle" seemed intact, but he certainly didn't like being touched anywhere near there.

    So... thoughts on what's going on here?

    - - - - -

    I am not prone to "rescuing" animals, so let me tell you why I would have spent more than 30 seconds looking at this animal.

    1. Head. His head is thick (wide) and tall (jowl to forehead). These are both traits that my Blacks need (they tend toward narrow heads).

    2. Neck. His neck is short (as a Rex's should be) and my Blacks are prone to longer thin necks.

    3. Loin. He has thick loins and my Blacks are a bit thin.

    4. Structure. Overall this fella has a thick bone structure and would improve my Blacks.

    - - - -

    Now, why wouldn't I take him?

    A. His health is questionable
    B. His fur and color are a crapshoot after he's been cared for like this
    C. He's little flat in the loin along the topline

    What I'd really like to know is, After the way he's been kept, what are the chances that he'll be able to breed by next Jan / Feb?

    Thanks for the read and opinions!

    R
     
  2. MaggieJ

    MaggieJ Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I'm no expert, but I do have a little experience with this sort of problem. Last year, at the beginning of July, Brian surprised me with some yard sale bunnies. We had been intending to get meat rabbits and I thought perhaps Californians.... but here were the two year-old does, the young buck and three weaned young rabbits from the larger doe's litter. These young rabbits were said to have some dwarf blood (different sire) and did not shape up well as meat rabbits, so we culled them after a couple of months.

    When they arrived at our place, those rabbits were a mess. Dirty, fur damaged here and there by biting. They had all (except the buck) been housed together in an overcrowded backyard pen on the ground.

    I would never have bought these particular rabbits. However, since they were here, I figured we'd try to rehabilitate them. If it didn't go well I was prepared to cull them all.

    Housed in separate clean cages they soon cleaned themselves up. One that I thought very ugly turned out to be quite beautiful. The fur grew back. We fed them up, added organic apple cider vinegar to their water and gradually introducing them to dandelion greens, plantain and clover, twigs of apple and willow, as well as their pellets. And they blossomed. In the fall, I decided they were healthy enough to breed and the two does produced litters of seven and thirteen. We lost one kit on the wire that was pulled out when nursing, but the others did just fine.

    These does have been good producers for us. The smaller one consistantly gives us 6 - 8 big chunky kits and the larger always has larger litters - at least ten. Most are a good size but there are usually one or two runts.

    I do realize that your goals raising rabbits are different from mine... I just want to put some good meat on the table. I am fond of the adult rabbits, but they are working animals. I do my best for them and they do their best for me.

    So, I guess what I am saying is why not give this rabbit a chance? A bath, a decent environment, proper nutrition and a little TLC would likely go a long way to getting him ready to do his duty. I can't imagine that he is terribly expensive and there is a satisfaction in bringing an animal back to prime condition. If it doesn't work out, you can always eat him.
     

  3. WindowOrMirror

    WindowOrMirror ..where do YOU look? Supporter

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    LOL! Those are my thoughts too Maggie. If able to breed, he'll put a couple of characteristics into my rabbits that I need, and if not... I'm getting six free cages with him!

    Actually, I put meat on the table too... cull doesn't always mean "kill immediately".. sometimes it means "wait until senior prime, get pelt and meat".

    R
     
  4. Xandras_Zoo

    Xandras_Zoo Well-Known Member

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    I agree. Just because he's been sitting in waste doesn't mean he's infertile. There are lots of rescue cases in which rabbits are sitting in their own filth and still manage to breed like, uh, rabbits. :)
     
  5. Pat Lamar

    Pat Lamar Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Are you aware of the "scent glands" located on each side of the genital casing? Little "pockets" with a small gland in them. These can often become clogged and the residue turns hard and black. They can be cleaned out with water... do not use oil or soap.


    Once you are satisfied with his physical condition, he should be ready to breed. The fur probably won't grow back on his hocks, but once it's calloused, he should be fine. This is common for Rex, since they have thin foot pads. Just so they're not open and bleeding. And... the fur has little to do with his physical condition and/or health.

    Pat Lamar
    President
    Professional Rabbit Meat Association
    http://www.prma.org/
    Chairperson, ARBA Commercial Department Committee
     
  6. WindowOrMirror

    WindowOrMirror ..where do YOU look? Supporter

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    I was aware of the glands - I guess - but hadn't seen them in that condition... BUT, now that you say that, it was the exact location (feeling pretty dumb now).

    Warm water you say? That'll be an interesting exercise... long sleeves it is!

    R
     
  7. MaggieJ

    MaggieJ Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Red Devil, if you are going to give him a bath, start with water at body temperature... so he barely knows he's in water. I use a plastic bucket about half full and gently ease the bunny's rear end into the water. He will squirm a bit until his feet touch bottom, but should soon relax. Once he is calm you can add a bit of warmer water. I've only had to bathe two rabbits but neither minded much once the first ten seconds had gone by. Maybe keep a handful of dandelion greens handy in case you need a bribe.

    If you have a suitable harness handy, you could try putting it on him first.... that much easier to control him if he gets spooked. Don't forget to sweet-talk him... it does help.
     
  8. WindowOrMirror

    WindowOrMirror ..where do YOU look? Supporter

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  9. MaggieJ

    MaggieJ Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Good luck, Red Devil! Be sure to let us know how it goes!
     
  10. Honorine

    Honorine Carpe Vinum Supporter

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    Hmm, six free cages? Thats worth it right there. I've seen rabbits with those dirty bits around their 'bits' , sometimes happens even with clean rabbits, Flemish have problems reaching their bits to clean them well. I too think he's fixable, and then of course theres the cages! I give my buns that I'm trying to beef up or get into condition Animax, which is Purinas answer to Calf Manna. I give a very small amount, just a few pellets on top of the food. Good Luck!!
     
  11. MaggieJ

    MaggieJ Well-Known Member Supporter

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    ... as soon as you give someone advice about how to go about something a little tricky (like giving a buck bunny a bath) fate twists things around so you get stuck with the job? :shrug:

    My senior buck was uncharacteristically docile this morning and upon taking a closer look I saw that his "naughty bits" were smeared with sticky poop. A little too much clover yesterday, I suspect, although it is the first time this has happened. :nono:

    So down I go to the rabbitry with a bucket half full of lukewarm water.... Bucky was pretty good natured about being dunked up to his hips... but since he didn't take kindly to my efforts to wash his family jewels, :eek: I ended up almost as wet as he did. LOL. The things we do for our critters! :rolleyes:

    Bathed your bunny yet?
     
  12. WindowOrMirror

    WindowOrMirror ..where do YOU look? Supporter

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    ROFL! I haven't gotten himn yet. Perhaps this weekend!

    R
     
  13. MaggieJ

    MaggieJ Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Thought that little incident might give you a smile!

    I hope you will post updates about the buck's progress, once you get him in your care. It would be interesting to a lot of people, I should think.
     
  14. Dee

    Dee Well-Known Member

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    I'm too late to add since anything I would have said was already said. But I just had to chuckle.... "wedding tackle?".. snicker, never heard that one before. well, it works. We all knew what you meant.

    I hope you got him. Sounds like it will be good for both of you.