Not Black after All–Turning Brown

Not Black after All--Turning Brown

While all of Phoebe’s kits were born a nice, dark black, as their fur has come in, it has come in a nice dark brown, almost chocolate. So no black kits after all. But they sure are a lovely color anyway.

Andromeda’s kits are not as big as they should be considering that there are only four of them and they were born the day before Phoebe’s six.


They are doing okay, but the last litter she had was very fat and big, so I know she’s not feeding these ones as often as she did her first litter. Which was 4 times a day at least, so I guess that is okay, but I do wish they were at least as big as Phoebe’s kits.

So far we have lost 2 of Lola’s kits. One was dead yesterday morning, the other the previous morning. We started three kits that had shown signs of diarrhea on raw goat’s milk on Friday, but it was too late for the one. The other two drank it like crazy Friday and yesterday. The one wouldn’t take it this morning and looks weak. The other one has gained weight, but does not seem all that great either, and only drank 3 droppers after drinking 6 last night. So we may lose a total of 4 of the 7. The other three remain stubbornly healthy. Let’s hope it stays that way.

I’ve got rabbits sneezing, too. No signs of discharge and they are mostly active still. The hay we are using is really dusty, but I don’t know. Leo does not act himself and neither does Kalia. I have antibiotics coming in the mail. Hopefully they get here soon. With having lost Piper and Lola so recently, I figure antibiotics can’t hurt. It’ll be the first time I’ve tried them. It goes in the water. I am just worried I may end up losing the rabbitry, though the reds all seem sneeze free and healthy. The reds were all vaccinated, though.

I’m just not sure there is much else I can do at this point. I am getting different hay today. I don’t care for the texture of it at all and it is so dusty it makes me sneeze and my son sneeze, too. It was supposed to be high quality orchard grass second cutting hay from Eastern WA, but it is honestly the worst hay I have ever purchased. Plus I think it has to be from last year’s second cutting, not this year since I bought it in April.

We moved the turkeys into the turkey coop yesterday. I didn’t get photos, but they seem to like their new space. The brooder box got cleaned out, but we will not be separating the 30 Cornish cross meat chicks into two groups until they get bigger. The ducks are all doing great. I’ve heard six different quacks now, so I think we have 3 female Pekins and 3 female Welsh Harlequins. It is still a waiting game until I either see drake feathers or on the WH’s their heads turn color. The bigger Rainbow Ranger meat chickens are getting big. I think they will be ready to go in about 2 to 3 weeks.

We cleaned out the duck house yesterday. We do it once a week, just putting clean bedding on top of the dirty bedding daily to give them a nice area to sleep on. In the winter we will likely do a deep bedding set up, but at this time of year, this works better, since we don’t want to attract flies.

We’ve got a couple of bees trying to build a hive above the rabbit shed door so I will have to deal with that tonight at sundown when they are sleeping. I am not sure what sort of bees these are, but they build the hive that looks like spitwad material. We’ve dealt with them before. They always seem to want to build in awkward places like the side view mirrors on the van or above doors.

We had tent caterpillars again this year in both apple trees. The branches they were on have been cut down and burned as of yesterday. Nasty business those. We usually don’t get an infestation two years in a row. Usually we can go a decade between them. I have a feeling one of the neighbors has them and doesn’t deal with them properly so they keep coming back. Last year was a bad year for them around the city. They were in the flowering cherry trees. I haven’t seen them on the city trees this year, though.

I am trying to keep a positive attitude, but right now I am kind of just numb with all the deaths. It is hard to lose so many animals.

15 thoughts on “Not Black after All–Turning Brown

  1. valbjerke says:

    You will get through this – you will figure it out – and things will get back to normal.

    • LuckyRobin says:

      I hope so. The 3rd one died, but the 4th is playing leapfrog with its siblings. I don’t know what to think.

      • valbjerke says:

        It’s for sure a puzzle – it’s like they all have some kind of intestinal weakness that just keeps popping up batch after batch. Is there such a thing as ‘deworming’ rabbits?
        I have Ivermectin on hand though I very seldom use it – we prefer adding a bit of diatomaceous earth to the feed. We give it to everything about once a week – livestock, poultry, fowl, dogs, cats etc.
        Very worrying for you – I hope you figure it out.

        • LuckyRobin says:

          Yes, there is such a thing as deworming rabbits. They say cage rabbits generally don’t get them, though. There are natural ways to do it, like DE, but also pumpkin seeds. I would have to put the seeds through the grain grinder for the babies, though.

          • valbjerke says:

            Yeah good point about the rabbits being in cages …. It probably wouldn’t hurt to try it though…. Can’t do any harm. If the antibiotics help, then I’d probably lean towards bacterial infection. I do know, that once diarrhea sets in – with any animal, it’s really tough to save them. The problem is the severe dehydration from the runs. Their electrolytes get so low the mechanism that tells them to drink will ‘shut off’ – and they can die next to a full water bottle. This gold true for everything including horses, goats, etc. Just a thought.

            • LuckyRobin says:

              Fortunately this kit is drinking. Both water and milk. She never stopped. The ones who died, did. She has always had digestion sounds, too. Antibiotics won’t be here until Friday. I finally got my tracking number today. I was hoping they’d come faster, but I think the kit is good. I hope. But I am worried about the sneezy adults.

  2. Grace Alice says:

    Those brown kits are Chestnut Agoutis. They are going to be the wild rabbit color. The only way you can tell chestnut agoutis are not black when they are born is because they have pink bellies and the inside of their ears are also pink. 🙂 It’s the most common color in French Lops, so I’ve had to learn how to tell it apart!

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