The big rain storm today coupled with the wind ended up sending rain sideways into the enclosed nesting box, effectively soaking the baby bunnies and matting all of the soft nest fur to the bottom of the box. Thankfully I check on them every day before I go to bed, and I was able to bring them in the house and get them dry. I added pine bedding to the box to give them something to nest in, and I put a tarp over the entire cage for the night. Hopefully the rain will let up tomorrow so I can modify the cage to prevent this from happening again in the future. Crossing my fingers that the baby bunnies will be alright. One was cold when I found them, but all were warm and dry when they were returned to the box, and since it's now covered, even if they wander out of the box, or the rain picks up again, they should be alright for the night.
Baby bunnies are officially one week old today! Some of their ears are starting to open up so they're not all pushed back (see the blue baby in the photo below).
In other exciting bunny news, father of this litter, Dark Chocolate Thunder (half lionhead, half mini lop) went to his new home today. No babies and no nesting going on with Stew, so I'm assuming there will be no babies from her. That's alright though, we'll just put her in the fair and breed her again afterwards. I think eight baby bunnies is enough to keep us busy for the next 5 weeks.
My apologies for not updating the blog section lately. Life has been increasingly hectic with the last weeks of school and now summer vacation. I've been busily making decisions about which animals to breed and which to retire. All of our younger female guinea pigs are now of age to start breeding, so two of the three have been put in with the males. Two more may or may not be pregnant. They were with a young male, and if no babies by Friday, then we'll have to decide if they'll be kept in the female only cage to wait, or in with the males to breed.
Chinchillas are about to be switched out as babies are due soon (earliest possible dates). I'm excited to see what my ebony/blue-eyed white pairing will produce. The other pair (mosaic/beige) is a repeat breeding, so I expect similar results from last time.
My son has suddenly decided to pick up with breeding the Syrian hamsters again. I was ready to retire them all and stop working with them. He's put both females with the male, so we'll see if either one ends up having babies (male is proven, one female has had small litters before and the other female has bred multiple times without success to another male).
The gerbils are breeding like crazy! I currently have three litters ready to go and two more litters nursing. I can't seem to move them fast enough, so I may have to sell off one pair.
I've completely switched out my rabbits and have the does from the 1/9/13 litter ready to be bred to a new NZ Red buck (he's handsome), and we may be trying out breeding one of the NZ does to the lionhead/lop buck just to see what we get from it. The kids have decided they want to try their hand at showing rabbits, so we'll see what we have by fall.
With a sudden explosion of babies, and a warm up in the weather forecast, I believe it may actually be spring!
On 4/20 a new litter of gerbils arrived. I believe there are six, and so far it looks like three are dark (agouti) and three are light (argente). Then 4/22 brought the arrival of another litter of gerbils. I believe there are seven and all should be colorpoint.
Today (4/24) the brown velvet chinchilla I worried hadn't been pregnant surprised us with tiny twins. She's not the greatest mom, so I am housing her with the homo beige female who just weaned the tan male baby. The twins appear to be one male tan, and one female of undetermined color (beige? tan velvet?). It'll be interesting to see her grow up a bit.
New litters are expected soon from the Dalmatian dwarf hamster, and possibly two of the guinea pig ladies who are pleasantly plump.
In other news, the tan male chinchilla kit and the argente dwarf hamster are now old enough to find forever homes. I've also decided to start retiring my Syrian (teddy bear) hamsters, as I'm not breeding them as much as I used to. I've got three of them listed on the Hamster page.
Yesterday Papa and Chiko the rescue chinchillas finally found a forever home. It sounds like they'll be very well cared for, and definitely well loved.
Harry's fairytale happy ending was short lived. It seems his short times outdoors (from home to car, car to meeting place, meeting place to car, and car to new home), even wrapped in a blanket and nestled inside my daughter's coat resulted in a full blown upper respiratory issue. He was happy and healthy when he left home, but this morning he's become quite ill. His rattle that he had when he first arrived last year is back, but now he has goopy nose and runny eyes, which he never had before. I'm in panic mode stocking up on Vitamin C for the little guy. The vet is on speed dial in case he's not showing improvement by Monday. That said, the fairytale dream home isn't going to waste. They'll be adopting a different, younger guinea pig (the crested that we picked up last month when we went on our big pig run).
Here's to Harry - and I hope he has a speedy recovery. That little cavy stole my heart and I'm crushed to hear that he's sick again. I'll do everything within my power to make sure he gets whatever care he needs to make a full recovery.
Harry Potter Toupee, our Peruvian cross guinea pig, and the original pig that started our cavy journey a year ago, has found a new home. He will be joining five children, three other guinea pigs, and will be granted a home with blankets instead of shavings, so he can grow his fur out again. I'm very pleased with the home, and I hope he does well there. I miss him already, but I know he's going to be very happy there.
I recently got notice that the fundraising site I'd been using (ChipIn) will be discontinuing services as of next month. That's when I stumbled upon GoFundMe, and decided to attempt to "go big" with fundraising. In the past I have successfully raised funds for all kinds of vet care from heartworm treatment to Onion's corneal ulcer just two months ago.
Reach for the stars and dream big - that's what I believe in. So here goes. I'm attempting to get enough funds to buy a hobby farm and start doing rescue work on a constant basis.
I understand that this is a very lofty goal, and that chances are I won't come anywhere near reaching it. But I have faith that someday, when the time is right, the means will come, and the right property will be available. Maybe it's now, maybe it's next month, maybe next year, or perhaps not for another decade. The very least I can do is try, and the worst that can happen is that I won't get the donations I need for the upgrade I have planned. But even then, the journey will have been traveled, and the dreams in my head will still be there, ready for when they can be put into action and turned into reality.
Let me quickly sum up Rumple's history. Rumple came to me with four siblings that were just coming off of bottle feeding and starting on soft food. While all four litter mates adjusted well, Rumple's back end started to swell. It swelled so badly that there was no genetalia visible - only a swollen butt hole. He went to visit three different vets and switched a number of foods before I realized that Rumple was allergic to grains. After weeks on a grain-free diet and some antibiotics, the swelling went down, but the genetals were still not quite right. One vet was sure Rumple was a girl, another insisted Rumple was a male. So I brought him (we have always referred to Rumple as a male) to my regular vet who gave me a cream to put on the poor kitty's bottom to reduce the last of the swelling. Once everything was close to normal "back there" I brought Rumple back in for a very thorough exam. The results? Rumple does not have a penis, no testicles could be found, but the external genetalia is not right for a female either. Without a penis, he must be a she then, right? So for a month and a half we tried to adjust to calling Rumple she and her and even bought the ID tag in purple (not quite pink, but not blue either). I scheduled a spay surgery for 2/6/13. When I dropped Rumple off we discussed how we still weren't 100% on gender, and that this could be an interesting procedure.
Snap back to today, when Rumple came home from "spay" surgery... and the file listed MALE on the gender! When they opened "her" up, there was no uterus, so they started looking for testicles. They only found one. So Rumple is officially listed as male, having been a cryptorchid (undecended testicle). That said, without a penis, and having been born with just one teste, I firmy believe that despite the joking comments made earlier in the cat's troubled history... Rumplestiltskin is most certainly what I would consider to be a genuine case of hermaphrodism. Leave it to me to bring home a hermaphrodite cat. I do love oddballs, but in all my years, I think this case trumps them all.
Welcome home Rumplestiltskin. I love you no matter what genetalia (or lack there-of) you were born with. And for the record, Rumple will continue to be referred to in the male persona. I am currently hoping to keep Rumple permanently, as we've had a long journey together, and quite honestly, my kids absolutely love him and would be crushed to see him go.
All kinds of updates! All of the 12/15/12 guinea pig babies have found homes. I have two more girls who could have babies within the next week or two (though I expect it to be a longer wait than that).
Four adorable Syrian (teddy bear) hamsters will be ready to go this coming Saturday. Two are black and white and two are brown and white. Another litter of Syrian hamsters is due 1/23 with a new male (we'll see if he's a better performer than the previous male).
Gerbil babies are doing well. The litter of four from Ruby and Dean were born 1/4/13 and should be ready for new homes around six weeks old (2-15).
I now have three female chinchillas in nursery cages awaiting babies (likely not until February). One is a beige/mosaic pairing, one is a homo-beige/ebony pairing, and the other is a brown velvet/ebony pairing. It'll be interesting to see what colors the new ebony male throws.
After months of trying, Mama Bun kindled a litter of four baby bunnies on 1/9/13. There are three reds and one white. The dad is a purebred New Zealand Red, mom is a mixed breed (possibly New Zealand/Himilayan?). Babies will be weaned at six weeks old (2/20).
Still no babies in the dwarf hamster cage, but she's getting big, so soon I would think!
Happy New Year everyone! Welcome to 2013. Onion went to the vet on 12/26 and after an exam and a flourecin stain, he was deemed healthy, healed, and ready to find a new home! Yay! He and brother Parsnip await their forever home(s) now.
The guinea pig babies are getting big. They're eating well and using a water bottle now too. They'll be ready to go to new homes January 5th (in four days).
The chinchilla babies are growing well, and they're so adorable! Their mom takes such good care of them.
New hamster babies were born 12/29/12 to one of the calico satin girls. There are only four, but it looks like they're dark, like daddy (panda markings).
Follow along with the joys and heartbreaks of one small-time hobby breeder.