Monday, April 9, 2012

Shak Rabbits

Welcome back to The Shak.

I hung the second row of cages. It was a pretty simple process. First, I bent wire into hooks. These hooks I hung through holes I drilled in the long ends of each L bracket. The hooks not only hold the cages below, but also secure the cages above from sliding off the brackets.

From each hook, four per cage, I hung a 20" piece of chain. I ran the chain through the inside corners of the hanging cages and secured if with wire under the cage bottom. If you recall my post on building the cages, I used a sturdier wire for the cage floors than sides or tops. It only makes sense to suspend the cages from their strongest points. These points are the corners of the floors.

With the cages hung, I added the feeders, waterers and rabbits. I removed all eight rabbits from the first litter from mother rabbits cage, putting four in each of two new cages. Their eating pellets and drinking from waterers indicates that mom is not as important as she once was.
Two rows of cages in place. Two cages furnished with feeders and waterers and each inhabited by four rabbits.
I put four in each cage so they could benefit by each other's warmth while at the same time reduce by more than half the number of mouths at each feeder and waterer. I then divided the thirteen rabbits from the second litter, giving the doe of the first litter six of the second does kits to raise. Now, one has six and the other seven kits. Much less of a workload on the second doe.
I also installed three 20" 20W fluorescent lights. Two of which can be seen here. 
I am still working out the details of the "plumbing" system between the rows of cages. That is soon to be completed. I cannot put rabbits in the top cages until I can keep their droppings and urine from getting on the rabbits in the cages below.

The first doe has a date scheduled with the buck tomorrow. She does not know it yet; however, twenty-eight or so days later, more kits. The buck has been waiting a long time for this. One might say it is what he lives for.

You may also have noticed I said eight rabbits not nine rabbits in the first litter. I culled the runt of the litter Saturday night. I found the poor little fella in a pile in the middle of the cage. Breathing, but apparently unable to muster the strength for anything else.

I weighed my options with regard to the little fur ball and decided it's time had come. I had not planned on killing so small a rabbit and it was no fun doing so. In the world of rabbit breeding, however, unlike that of homo sapiens, there is no moral concern with the timely elimination of the weak and nonviable. The only moral concern would be in keeping what should be dead and at peace alive and suffering. Hint, hint United States "medical/legal" industry.

Thanks for stopping. Come again soon.

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