The rest of the requested credentials...

Discussion in 'Rabbits' started by SueD, Mar 12, 2004.

  1. SueD

    SueD Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    144
    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2002
    Thanks again Tracy, and sorry I make you cringe Denise… If you wade through to the end, you’ll understand me better than most of my family does. Ya’ll wanted my credentials and (assuming) the reasons I post what I do. Here’s the rest of it.

    Delivering on the wire - there are as many reasons as rabbits, but the most common for me have been my or DD being too nosy, they being too crowded/hot, or a non-viable kit. I never said they were the ONLY reasons, I said that it was more than likely. (Most probably??)

    I have had does both remove dead kits from a nest box and push live ones out. I have also had them put back in. Sorry if that’s never happened to anyone on this board.

    Good management we’ll get back to. I have very different, and strange opinions on that...

    Removing healthy kits - I owe everyone an apology here… I know better than to use the word never!! (doesn’t mean I’ll stop, just means I know better….)

    However, I would have to be very strongly compelled. I think even I would have to do this if the doe died during birthing… That’s never happened to me, though. Guess I’ll get caught off guard the first time, then. Also would consider if mama’s condition could not be maintained, but that would not be evident within just a couple days.

    I probably need more info on this than many of you - just for my own personal comfort. First, I’d need to know that the kit was healthy. Second, that the foster doe would be willing to do her job - and capable of such. Third that the ‘mother’ was NOT capable of doing it herself. Kindlings of 11+ have been incredibly rare for me (maybe two?? - I'd have to look...), mine have averaged 8 - 9. I’d be hard pressed to keep a doe that averaged much less than 6 - 8, and would have a hard time giving her another from a doe that had 12 if she'd had 8 of her own. So - that’s my reasoning. I certainly would not hand raise it unless there was absolutely no alternative. Also - when I’m running a business in rabbits, I have most of this information handy. I hope most of you do, and it seems most do, but I‘ve met very few people in person who do, and so, have risked ASSUMING again. I might also consider culling her if these over-sized litters were the standard for her - unless she could successfully do it herself.

    As to brothers and sisters housed together, I covered that - everyone I’ve ever worked directly with has done it that way. So - to me this IS the norm. After 20+ years, I just ASSUMED (I know!!!!). Like I said in my ’history’ - I learn a lot here, too. And yes, - I’ve done MORE than my fair share of butchering. Been eating rabbit as long as I’ve been eating meat and started butchering in grade school. I’ve also never had a customer complain of my selling them a pregnant doe for the pot. And yes, I do know that it is occasionally the practice to purposely breed siblings (and have done so myself). But, I have never had a successful (or even pleasant) attempt until they’ve been separated for more than three weeks from each other.

    I have had females hump each other, and hump kits, mostly older kits. I’ve always seen it as a dominance thing, mainly because its never broken into a fight. I’ve never seen an adult doe actually attack a kit - UNLESS - her nipples were injured/infected, or that kit was trying to nurse after she started to dry. I’ve never housed adult bucks with kits under 10 - 12 weeks of age, and never had a problem with fights… I’ve had two adult bucks together in a double cage and they never had a problem. I don’t do that as a rule, though. I often house them in cages next to each other. I HAVE had a problem between an adult buck and doe, but only once… My very first breeding experience was putting a buck into a doe’s cage. Never again…

    This, by the way, brings the question of warrens into a whole new light! I’d still like info on overcoming some of my personal concerns with those - HINT!!!!

    So far as lactation - every rabbit will be different every time she kindles. There are certain general guidelines, and the ones I am familiar with are not those for the tiniest breeds - I probably should have kept my mouth shut on that one, but I didn't. Dutch is considered a small breed, and minis are smaller still. However, it is still possible - especially if they (kits) are eating. Neither of us are in that cage, and general guidelines are just that.



    Some of you must believe that I think I’m some kind of God, but I offer suggestions and warnings based on my personal experience, just like you. I just don’t have the gift/virtue of tact. I say what I know to be true, and don’t generally bother to put in disclaimers - I figure the folks here will take what they wish to and leave the rest. I don’t post to some things because I simply don’t have any answers that I can stand by. Sometimes I make a mistake, like with the lops (I completely missed the breed - don't know why!) Sorry if I forget the words “sometimes” “maybe” and “possibly”.

    As to management, I think we have a very different idea as to what good management is… Both sides have their merits and demerits. Here is where I am coming from:

    Commercial producers want the same things, whether they raise rabbits for meat or pets: Get as many of the HIGHEST possible quality bodies to the buyers as fast, and for the least cost possible. No??? Granted - meat producers need pounds, and I need cute cuddly faces, but the basics are still the same. As a pet producer, I deal in single numbers. If I have 8 kits to sell, the difference is 7 kits or 8. To a meat producer, the difference is in pounds per animal - so averages are the numbers of the day.

    When you are in business, you have one major goal, to which all others are subsequent. You must have enough business income to provide for ALL of your costs, and produce enough profit to expand. In about 80 % of normal businesses, profit is calculated in single numbers.

    Not only does your profit not pay for your operating costs, but your wage or salary is a cost, and therefore does NOT come out of the profit.

    You must produce the best possible product for the lowest possible cost.

    In order to increase your business you must seek to produce a continually better product at a continually lower price. There is a point from which you can go no farther, and then you increase your scope - either by adding products or by selling more of what you are already producing. (Ideally both are happening at the same time throughout!!) Expansion is where the profit comes in…

    That said - if you would not be willing to pay someone the going wage to go out to that hutch to do something, I would question doing it yourself. Now consider that wage at overtime or a night differential and you get my thinking here. (Though I have to admit there’s probably a ready market for jobs on the graveyard shift that only pay minimum wage.)Your time is money, whether that’s comforting or not. (Every emplyee's time is your money, too!!) Your time is also your life. Choose how you are going to use it!! Don’t waste it.

    I understand I could be talking about someone with thousands of rabbits, who already has hired help. But then it would be a moot point because a single kit (even if rabbit went for $10 a pound) wouldn’t be worth taking that employee away from… say… feeding, cleaning, disinfecting, records, or myriad other things which would be more beneficial to the bottom line. If we’re talking about the feed-lot concept, I have nothing at all favorable to say.

    I am nothing if not a hedonist… I am selfish, I am greedy, I am lazy. My family, my personal comfort, my health, my sanity, my time and my money are all very precious to me. So is each and every single animal I have care of. The resources I have I have worked blessed hard to get, and respect them as tools, not ‘gimmes‘. I choose to TRY not to waste ANY of them. As a matter of fact, I’m rather anal about ALWAYS looking to conserve just about everything…. Another vice, I’m sure.

    You’ll probably be hard pressed to ever catch me out there in the middle of the night to check if a doe is nursing - I’ll know in the morning, or at least in a day or so when the kits are weighed. If I am less productive tomorrow because I chose to be working through the night, that is a COST (not to mention the added electric, the bother to family, and a dozen other “possible“ negatives). If I get sick because I do that too often, that, too, is a COST - and a HUGE one...

    Rabbits have been doing this as long if not longer than we’ve even been around.

    My policy is hands off unless there‘s a REALLY great reason. Works for me, and works pretty well. Perhaps not so for someone else. Rabbits will never make me rich, but they bought my last car and paid for a 2000 mile move from Idaho City, ID to Wonder Lake, IL - and that was in less than 10 months.

    NO ONE ever said that mine was the only way, that I am always right or that I have God’s voice in my ear. I’ve not been subject to any Divine Revelations on the art of raising rabbits. I have strong opinions, they are based on a lot of years of experience, and three separate profitable businesses with rabbits.

    I am about the least tactful person you’ll ever probably run across (if you are lucky!!) I have a sharp edge, a big mouth, and a lack of command of the finer points of communication. For these things I will gladly and humbly apologize - but NOT for what I post.

    If this makes me “just plain wrong” - that’s ok too.
     
  2. Tracy

    Tracy Well-Known Member

    Messages:
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    Location:
    PA
    Sue, I believe that rabbits can and do become accustomed to noise. I make it a point to get the rabbits used to many differnt noises so they dont go balistic when a stange noise does occur. I believe this comes to good management practices also. A radio playing in the barn is also good. Shoot, my DH has done work in the barn many times with a chain saw and I use a shop vac for hair quite often. If rabbits are accustom to many different noises this should not affect kindling. I do agree with to hot or crowded conditions.

    [/QUOTE]I have had does both remove dead kits from a nest box and push live ones out. I have also had them put back in. Sorry if that’s never happened to anyone on this board.
    And yes, I do know that it is occasionally the practice to purposely breed siblings (and have done so myself). But, I have never had a successful (or even pleasant) attempt until they’ve been separated for more than three weeks from each other.
    Some of you must believe that I think I’m some kind of God, but I offer suggestions and warnings based on my personal experience, just like you. I just don’t have the gift/virtue of tact. I say what I know to be true, and don’t generally bother to put in disclaimers - I figure the folks here will take what they wish to and leave the rest. I don’t post to some things because I simply don’t have any answers that I can stand by. Sometimes I make a mistake, like with the lops (I completely missed the breed - don't know why!) Sorry if I forget the words “sometimes” “maybe” and “possibly”.
     

  3. SueD

    SueD Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    144
    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2002
    Thank you - honest!!

    I think my main problem is that I don't THINK as fast as I type, and am not clear about what I mean... Its a personal problem with me - I assume people know what is in reality only in my own head, and leave out important details - making myself generally look like the *** I am...

    I'm pretty good in 'real life' at getting people mad at me for the same reasons. I am TRYING really hard to work on that!

    And I miss sometimes, too... (Been lurking) I missed the pin worms bit entirely... The book I looked things up in first said they would be seen. Dumb me - didn't look any farther, until reading some answers to the post. Found out in reading some posts to the question - and some other books - that this is NOT necessarily the case, and I would have given very BAD advice had I posted....

    I really don't mean to sound like a know it all - its just a REALLY BAD habit, and I'm really glad that there are folks that will remind my how far I am from the goal, so to speak! Like I said - I learn as much here as anybody -

    Sue