Sweetie Belle has Perked Up

I’ve been a little worried about Sweetie Belle this week, but she seems to be better. It has been four days since she has eaten fodder. I haven’t given her any for the last 2 days. The first 2 days she ignored it. I gave her kale yesterday and she tore it out of my hand! And her water bottle has been dropping a good inch every morning and again each night for the past 2 days. Today she let me take her out of her cage in the morning no problem and let me check her over. This evening she came right up to the door and stepped out into my arms. Her eyes were bright and she seemed much perkier. I had been upping her amount of fodder and I think it just might have been too rich for her to eat so much, even though the guidelines say she can have 1/2 a pound for her size.

So I think my dreams of switching to just feeding a fodder of barley/black oil sunflower seeds and hay and phasing out pellets is not to be. I will use fodder as a supplementary green, but I’m not going to try to have it be the biggest part. Some of the rabbits can handle that, but Sweetie Belle is not one of them. That’s okay. Without this trial and error I would not know.

I put a teaspoon of ionic colloidal silver in her water bottle today and hopefully that will help, too. She also got a 1/4 tsp by syringe 2 times a day. It’s good for immune function and all of my research says that is a safe amount. She wasn’t sure what to make of the syringe this morning so only half a dose got in her, but she sucked it right down this evening. I am also going to pick up some of those good bacteria drops from the pet store tomorrow.

The husband went down to Conway this morning with my mother and picked up a 2 month supply of rabbit and chicken feeds, small grit, and oyster shell. We need to pick up 3 bales of hay and 1 bale of straw tomorrow and we’ll be set for a while.

It snowed last night and this morning. I was annoyed to see the snow, but it had to warm up to do so, so there’s that. But we need to butcher again this weekend and now it is threatening to snow tomorrow and Sunday. Sunday was supposed to be 45 F. I wish they could be more accurate in their 10 day forecasts. We figure we may have to do one or two rabbits, go in and get warm, then come back out and tackle a couple more. There are a total of 10 out of a possible 12 that are 5 pounds or more, but I doubt we will be able to get them all done. Best case scenario is probably that we will get six to nine done and three to six will have to wait until the next time the husband comes back from Alaska.

Doing six should give us enough cage space to start to wean Andromeda and Phoebe’s ten kits. We’ll sex them and wean the boys first since the girls can stay in with their mothers longer. When the 3 rabbits I have held back for a customer go home to live with her, then I’ll have two more cages available. If we can do nine we will have an extra cage. Now I just have to tell myself that I don’t need to fill that extra cage with a pretty red New Zealand from a litter down south. Ever the temptation!

Andromeda seems like she is finally starting to settle down. There has been no biting this week and she is accepting pets on her back. She still doesn’t like them on her head, but she’s at least coming around. I am hopeful that this means she is starting to settle down. She is still a drama llama, but that’s okay if she isn’t biting the hand that feeds her.

I am trying to figure out who I am going to breed at the end of February or the beginning of March. Piper x Starbuck is a given. I had planned on Sweetie Belle x Leo as the second doe, but I’ll have to watch her a bit longer and make sure she bounces back. Serenity x Leo might be a better choice. Andromeda needs to get her weight down. She didn’t lose her pregnancy weight through nursing like all the other does have done. She still looks pregnant and the kits are almost 8 weeks old! She was a big rabbit to start with and grew so big so fast so her genetics may run to fat. Once they are weaned we will get her diet strictly controlled and get her down to a good breeding weight. I do think her size may be part of why her litter was so small. Overweight rabbits can have a harder time of it and with the mix up on her age there for a while, I was still feeding her like a growing kit and not as a rabbit who had already reached weight. We weren’t weighing her the last couple of months because of the biting, so it all kind of worked against us.

Oh, well, I will figure it out.

6 thoughts on “Sweetie Belle has Perked Up

  1. Maureen says:

    I love your blog! Thanks for taking the time to write!

  2. valbjerke says:

    Good to see an update – I’ve been waiting and hoping all was well with Sweetie Belle

    • LuckyRobin says:

      She’s doing much better but she has lost weight. I could feel her backbone this morning. She is eating hay, though, so I hope she has really turned the corner. She is still perkier today.

  3. It can be harder for adult rabbits to transition to fodder than young rabbits because their stomach has grown and been conditioned to dry food. It’s good that you caught that and can back off the fodder though. 🙂

    • LuckyRobin says:

      Yeah, I’ve noticed the younger ones (except the two I lost) have done well with it. Most of the adults do okay, but Leo will only eat two pieces of it that are about 2 inches square at the base or about 2 ounces. He won’t eat more than that so I have to wonder if he is self monitoring. He’ll eat any vegetables I put in and a lot of hay, but not much fodder. He also won’t overeat pellets. All the others will pig out if given the chance on fodder or pellets.

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