Thursday, March 19, 2015

Rabbit Happenings

We had a couple of days of very warm temperatures earlier this week, so I had to keep a close eye on the rabbits for heat stress. Especially the pregnant does, which are due this Saturday.

I kept the fan on them and misted everything down a couple of times, and they didn't seem to suffer too much.

Poor ladies. I know what it's like to be big and pregnant in hot weather.
It'll be awhile before the trees leaf out and shade the rabbit shed, so hopefully we don't have anymore intensely sunny days until then.

Now we are back to perfect rabbit weather: cool and misty, but not so cold that their water is freezing.

It looks like this nice weather will continue for awhile, so it'll be a good time for kits to be born. THREE LITTERS this time!

If things go well, we are going to be swimming in rabbits.

All eyes are on you, ladies!

The grow-outs are now 8 weeks old.

I've been a little concerned about them. This past week their appetites really dropped and they began to look thin. I noticed some loose stool, but no full blown diarrhea. They were still hopping around, but just seemed off. Kind of blah.

I began to wonder if we were dealing with an outbreak of intestinal coccidia.

Their pen got kind of sloppy last week when we had all the rain, and I didn't get to spread fresh straw as soon as I wanted to. So I was afraid that may have lead to a cocci overload.

This was one thing I knew could crop up, housing them on the ground, so I really hoped to stay on top of their bedding to help prevent an outbreak.

It really bothered me. They were so fat and sleek and beautiful when I turned them loose in there.

This was before I got fresh straw in there
They were holding their bodies in a bit of a hunched position, which is a characteristic of cocci-infected birds.

I was starting to worry that I would have to go ahead and butcher them all and scrap the grow-out pen all together.

But I calmed down, took a deep breath and decided to treat it as a regular intestinal upset. It's possible that introducing some wild greens and soil has just caused a gut flora imbalance. So I pulled their pellets and am giving them only hay for a couple of days.

When I checked on them this morning, they seemed perkier and hungrier, so I'm hoping things are going to be okay.

In the interest of science, this is what their poop looks like:

I must admit, I felt a little silly watermarking these photos. "These are MY poop pictures, dangit!"
And it's not like every poop I find is like this. I'm still finding a lot of actual formed pellets, so it may be that not all of them are affected, which would lead me to believe it isn't cocci. I'll see how things look tomorrow.

It's time for their 8-week weigh-in, but I really don't expect too much, considering they've not been eating well. If I get the chance I may weigh them this weekend.

I'll keep you posted!

Yesterday's sunrise

Shared on The HomeAcre Hop, From the Farm Hop and Front Porch Friday Blog Hop


  1. Yay for all the mammas! I'll keep my fingers crossed for LOTS of healthy little popples in those nestboxes. Sorry to hear the grow-outs are a bit thin and acting funny. I would also be concerned about cocci, but you are doing all the right things in case. I don't want to worry you, but the handful of rabbits I've lost over the years to GI stasis presented with a hunched appearance, loose stools, and I would hear teeth grinding at times as well. They lost weight quickly and their bellies felt "sloshy" for lack of a better description. They would usually eat for me initially and then stop. Even with vet involvement, anti-gas meds, bags of fluids, etc. I was never able to save them. I never did find out the culprit and is it seemingly happened at random to random rabbits and it has been years now with no repeats. Hoping that is absolutely not the case with yours though and that they will perk back up for ya. Sending fat and happy rabbit vibes! :)

    1. Thanks for the extra info. I'm keeping a close eye on them, but they really do appear to be improving. The two solid reds hide when I go in there, so when I have toddler-free time later I'm going to grab them and get a closer look at them. Everybody else is coming out and eating hay really well, so I don't think we're dealing with anything too serious at this point. Fingers crossed!

  2. Hopefully they are feeling better now! I appreciate the poop pictures as I like to know what things look like! Can't wait for the babies, we've got two more does bred now. Babies, babies, everywhere!