Saturday, August 29, 2009

So Little But Sooooo Pricy

Today, I received a phone call from Ming Yu 2’s Tokey. She said the new batch of bunnies already in store. I immediately grab my car key and drove there. Lot’s of new bunnies. Variety of colors and sizes. But all of them look too young to be sold or taken apart from the mother. The Tokey says that the bunnies usually came smaller than this. I looked around and found none of the bunnies interest me.
I manage to take some pictures of the bunnies in the shop.
These are Lionhead Bunnies ( RM 128.00/pair )
These are Angora Bunnies ~ That’s what she says ( RM 128.00/pair )
These are Local Bunnies ( RM 38.00/pair )
And this one she said it’s a Dwarf or Mini Bunny ( RM 68.00/pair )
If you look at the prices, you must be amazed that Chinese people always use 8 anywhere in business. They say 8 is their lucky Number.  My lucky number is when the calendar shows number 25. That’s my PAY DAY!.
I left the shop empty handed. So, I went to another pet shop. After browsing around in the shop, I found what I came for. A White Doe. I name her Snowy after Snow White. I took her home and put her in Room 4. After giving her a bowl of water and pellet, I introduce her to Jack, my English Lionhead buck. Jack immediately climb her back but she refuse. I just left them together. Hope there be some litter soon……..

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Common Diseases of Pet Rabbits

Common conditions of pet rabbits include snuffles, hairballs, parasites, overgrown incisors, uterine cancer, and sore hocks.With proper attention to your rabbit's diet and living requirements, and with daily handling, many of these disease can be prevented. If you notice any changes in your rabbit's normal habits then you should seek your veterinarian's advice.

Uterine cancer
Uterine cancer is the most commonly reported cancer of female rabbits. Some breeds have a 50-80% incidence of uterine adenocarcinoma by the age of 5 years. Desexing (spaying) your female rabbit is recommended early in life (5–6 months of age) to prevent uterine cancer. Other good reasons to spay female rabbits are to prevent unwanted pregnancies, reduce aggression and help social integration with other rabbits.

Hairballs (trichobezoars) are relatively common in rabbits and should always be considered when a rabbit is lethargic and not eating. When a large amount of hair is swallowed during grooming it can form a ball in the stomach and form an obstruction if it doesn’t pass through the intestinal tract. Rabbits are unusual in that they can’t vomit.Diagnosis can be made by taking X-rays of the stomach. Early treatment by your vet is recommended to avoid the possibility of surgery. Treatment includes injection of drugs that alter intestinal motility and fluid therapy.Prevention is far better than cure. Feeding rabbits a diet high in hay (fibre) helps prevent hairballs and other intestinal problems. Daily brushing is also essential for removing excess dead hair and your vet may recommend using cat hairball medicine on a regular basis.

Like dogs and cats, rabbits are susceptible to various internal parasites. Yearly microscopic examination of your rabbit’s droppings is essential to its health. Your vet will prescribe the necessary medication, depending on the findings.External parasites, such as fleas, ticks, mange, and ear mites can also infect rabbits. Again, the correct treatment needs to be advised by your vet, as many products used on other pets can be toxic to rabbits. The product Advantage is now registered for the treatment and prevention of fleas in rabbits (take care with very small rabbits). Never use Frontline or any other dog/cat flea control products on rabbits, and prevent your rabbit from licking your dog or cat if a topical medication has recently been applied to them.

Overgrown incisors
Rabbit’s incisors, or front teeth, grow continuously throughout their life. Normally, chewing on their food and on wood blocks keeps them a normal length.Sometimes this is not enough and the incisors become overgrown. The rabbit will be unable to eat properly and unable to groom. Its coat will become ragged and you will notice excessive drooling.Treatment involves filing the incisors under anaesthesia. Clipping the teeth is no longer recommended as they can fracture easily and become infected.

‘Snuffles’ is a common infectious disease of young rabbits caused by the Pasteurella bacterium. Symptoms include sneezing and a watery nose or eyes. Pasteurella can also affect other parts of the body and cause ear infections (resulting in a head tilt), abscesses (seen as lumps on the body) and uterine infections. Sudden death from septicaemia (infection in the blood) is rare but can occur.Most cases of snuffles are mild. Treatment involves antibiotics that are prescribed by your vet, as many are toxic to rabbits and injections are often preferred. Eye and nose drops may also be provided.Pasteurella, while easy to treat, is almost impossible to cure. Many rabbits develop a chronic (constant) infection and always have a snuffly nose or watery eyes. The disease is easily transmitted between rabbits, so new rabbits need to be housed away from existing pets for the first month. Stressful situations, such as the introduction of a new pet, new diet, or overcrowding, can cause relapses.Litter should be changed regularly to prevent ammonia accumulation from the urine, which can irritate the eyes and nasal tissue.

Sore hocks
‘Sore hocks’ refers to the development of open sores on the rabbit’s hocks. When a rabbit is sitting its hocks are in contact with the floor of the cage. Dirty housing conditions and wire floors with no bedding will cause the development of sore, red areas that become ulcerated and painful.Treatment can be difficult, especially if the condition is advanced. Antibacterial medications to clean the wounds are required and soft bedding provided to allow the sores to heal.Prevent the condition from occurring by providing adequate bedding and some solid floor area if your rabbit has a wire cage. Clean your rabbit’s hutch daily.

Rabbit Calicivirus (RCD)
Also known as viral haemorrhagic disease (VHD). The disease is almost always fatal and death occurs rapidly, within 12 – 18 hours, from respiratory and heart failure. There is no known treatment. Vaccination should be performed by your vet at 10 - 12 weeks of age. Only one dose is required at this time, then yearly boosters are required for continuing protection.Spread of the virus is by insect vectors (e.g. flies and mosquitos) so rabbits should be kept in mosquito proof hutches, or indoors, especially early mornings and evening when mozzies are most active.

Myxomatosis is a viral disease spread by insects (mainly fleas and mosquitoes) or direct contact with affected rabbits. There is no treatment and the disease is almost always fatal. Typical clinical signs include fever, swelling of lips, eyelids, ears & genitalia. Eyes are often swollen shut with a mucopurulent discharge. Euthanasia is the best option. Control is the best option. Keep wild rabbits away from pet rabbits to prevent the spread of the fleas, as well as practice good insect control. Keep rabbits in mosquito proof hutches or indoors, especially early mornings and evening when mozzies are most active and use flea control on your rabbits (Advantage) as well as other pets in the household.

Courtesy of : Dr Julia Adams BVSc

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Napier For Bunny

Napier grass is a fodder grass that produces a lot of high-protein forage. It is also known as “elephant grass”, “Sudan grass” or “king grass”. Its scientific name is Pennisetum purpureum.
Napier grass is best suited to high rainfall areas, but it is drought-tolerant and can also grow well in drier areas. It does not grow well in waterlogged areas. It can be grown along with fodder trees along field boundaries or along contour lines or terrace risers to help control erosion. It can be intercropped with crops such as legumes and fodder trees, or as a pure stand.
The advantage of napier grass is that it propagates easily. It has a soft stem that is easy to cut. It has deep roots, so is fairly drought-resistant. The tender, young leaves and stems are very palatable for livestock and grows very fast
The disadvantage is that it is an aggressive plant that spreads through
rhizomes under the ground. If it is not controlled, it can invade crop fields and become a weed. The older stems and leaves are less palatable for Goats or Rabbits.

Plant them angled into the ground at about 30 degrees, so two of the nodes are buried in the soil and one is above the ground. Plant more rows with a spacing of about 90 cm (3 feet) between the rows. Planting “slips” or “splits”* If you planting “slips” or “splits”, you do not have to wait a long time for the grass to grow before you can multiply it. Seedlings from the slips become established more quickly than those grown from cuttings. Cut Napier grass stems at ground level to remove all the green material. Dig up the clump of roots and shoots growing under the ground. Separate each seedling from the clump. Each seedling must have both roots and a shoot. Trim the roots to about 5 cm (2 inches) long. Plant the seedlings in small holes or a furrow. Cover the roots with soil, but leave the shoots open to the air. Planting whole stems is useful during the heavy rains, and in hilly areas where you need the grass to sprout quickly to cover the ground. Plant them along the contour to control erosion. Cut whole young stems of Napier grass, about 2 m (6 feet) long. Put the stems end-to-end in a furrow, and cover them with soil. Water immediately.
Weed the Napier grass plot regularly. If any of the cuttings die, fill in the gaps with new ones. Harvest the grass when it is 90_120 cm (3_4 feet) high. Harvest the grass following a pattern. Beginning at one end of the row, cut enough grass to feed your animals for 1 day. The next day, cut the next grass along in the row. Carry on until you reach the end of the row. In this way, you will always be able to cut fodder for your livestock. Apply liquid manure by digging trenches in between the rows of grass. Pour liquid manure into the trenches If the livestock do not eat all the grass, use the remainder as mulch or compost. Cut the grass 15_25 cm (6_10 inches) above the ground. Some farmers have found it is better to cut at ground level, though this may damage the plant too much. Fill in any gaps in the rows with fresh cuttings. Don’t use older stems as planting materials, as they will not germinate well. Don’t intercrop with cereals, as the grass will compete with the crop for nutrients and light. Don’t allow animals to graze on the napier grass, as they may damage or kill the plants. Don’t allow the grass to overgrow, as it may become a weed. Don’t allow the grass to grow too high (more than 120 cm or 4 feet), as Goats will not eat the tough bits.

Happy Planting!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Sexing The Bunny

Sexing your new bunny is important, especially if you recently adopted a pair of rabbits. If your rabbits are young, they should be separated by the time they are 3 months old to prevent accidental litters. It will also determine at what age you get your rabbit fixed, as males can be neutered at an earlier age.
Let's start with the basics- where to look. If you hold your rabbit on his back, look at the underside, between the rear legs, near the base of the tail. While it isn't always obvious, there are two holes here.

Here is a close up:

To see the openings, you should gently place your fingers and move them apart.

The opening closest to the tail is the anus. It will sometimes "wink" back at you. The opening closest to the belly is the genitals and the one we are going to examine.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Rabbit Food: A Healthy Diet

Contrary to popular belief, rabbits eat
more than just carrots and lettuce. Here
are some suggestions about what to
feed your bunnies to keep them happy
and healthy.

The bottom of a rabbit food pyramid
would contain long-stemmed fiber, in
the form of hay. This is the primary
food source for the wild cousins and
ancestors of the domestic rabbit. Hay
should be provided around the clock, which is called “free feeding.” Rabbits under one
year of age can be fed alfalfa hay, but as they get older they should be switched to grass
hay – timothy, orchard grass or a blend of grasses – especially if they are also being fed
alfalfa pellets. Buy the freshest hay possible and check for mold and dust, which could
make your rabbit very ill.

Rabbits count vegetables and herbs among their favorite foods. Most greens found in a
supermarket are safe for rabbits, with a few limitations and exceptions. Feed carrots and
vegetables in the cabbage family, such as broccoli, just once a week. Do not feed your
rabbit potatoes, corn, beans or seeds and nuts. These foods are difficult for rabbits to
digest and can cause serious digestive problems.
A general guideline for greens is to feed about a cup for every 3 to 4 pounds of the
rabbit’s weight daily. Here are some yummy suggestions: carrot and radish tops; broccoli
leaves; kale; endive; red, green and romaine lettuce; and dandelion greens. Rabbits love
fresh herbs such as mint, cilantro, basil, parsley and dill. For the young rabbit, add one
new vegetable at a time, and for all rabbits, watch for signs of loose stool or diarrhea.

Rabbits under one year of age can be free-fed alfalfa pellets. As they age, the amount
of pellets to feed is one-quarter to one-third cup per 4 to 5 pounds of the rabbit’s weight.
As rabbits reach their senior years, around age 7 to 8, the amount of pellets may need
to be increased. Be sure to feed grass hay (rather than alfalfa) if you are feeding your
rabbits alfalfa pellets. Pellets based on timothy hay are also available and are a good
alternative, especially if your rabbit is gaining weight or getting too much protein in his
diet. Look for pellets with a high fiber content – the higher the better. Do not buy the
rabbit food with additives such as dried corn, nuts and seeds.

Rabbits have a sweet tooth! Treats are at the top of the food pyramid and should be
fed sparingly. Small pieces of fruit such as apples, strawberries, papaya, bananas and
pineapple are welcome treats. Never give your rabbit chocolate or other sugar-coated
treats. One small section of graham cracker or a teaspoon of Cheerios are OK, but these
should be given only occasionally.

Give your rabbits fresh water every day. A rabbit will drink as much water each day as a
20-pound dog. Water bottles are acceptable, but your rabbit will be encouraged to drink
more if the water is in a heavy ceramic bowl.

This Article is courtesy of : Debby Widolf the coordinator of development and advocacy for the Best Friends
Bunny House.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

3 Is My Lucky Number

Nearly a month goes by without any great news. My English couple didn't perform well. Maybe they are new and still learning. Kelabu, Putih and Brownie are getting bigger. Kelabu and Brownie are CONFIRM buck and Putih still a bit shy.
Today is the first day for all Muslim to perform fasting. It will be a full month of fasting. Today I went to the 'Pasar Tani' in front of Terengganu Trade Center. Lots of merchants and lots of buyers and passers by. My target for today is to buy minced meat for breakfasting.
Never find what I came for but instead I got myself a young light-grey doe. One of her ear seem dropped but the other one is okay. Maybe It's a crossed-breed from a local bunny with a lop ear bunny. Lucky me. I named her Jenny. One is not enough for me. I must find Jenny some friend.
I went to an old rustic pet shop in front of SK Pusat Chabang Tiga. There I found a Black/White local doe resting in her cage. Now I have two in my cage. I named this new one Mimi. As I wanted to leave the shop, a boy came to me and offer me 10 bunnies for a price of RM100. I looked at him and says that I only need does, no bucks. Out of 10 he has, only 1 is a doe. She is a White/light-yellowish-grey in color and I called her Nana. Now I have 8 bunnies all together. And this lucky does will be put in Room 3.


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