Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Growing up Bottle Babies-Nash and Maxine

Maxine is a Chestnut Agouti colored French Lop born 2/20/14 and Nash is a Fawn colored French Lop born 2/21/14 in a very big snow storm. He was one of ten babies an unfortunately, his moms milk never came in, by the time this was realized the babies  had started to slowly pass away. I took Nash and 2 of his siblings and I put them in the nest with my other moms 8 babies that were born the day before. Thankfully Nash survived but sadly, due to the lack of strength the others had, he was the only survivor of his litter. At 2.5 weeks old the other mom because very aggressive towards the babies and I found that her milk had also dried up which was the cause of her aggression, no milk for them but they kept nursing OUCH! I was then forced to take action. I started bottle feeding the little tykes and trying to get them healthy again. The odds for the 5 little orphans were not good but I was determined to try. Day after day passed of round the lock feedings for the "Fab Five" as I called them and they began to gain and grow. As they grew they became more and more full of life and naughty as a rabbit should be. When they were 4 weeks old I had to bring them with me to a rabbit show due to them being bottle fed. That morning in the hotel room, my travel buddy woke up to start getting ready and she saw a baby bunny dart across the floor. Oh no! They had managed to get out of their pen and loose into the hotel room! Trying not to wake the rest of us up, she used her flashlight on her phone to try and spot the little escapees. One over by the bathroom, One by the night stand, One by the pen, but wait? Where were number 4 and 5? Ah ha! There is number 4! peaking her little face out of her cowboy boot looking directly at her, how she got in there is beyond us! Ok, now where is number 5, Nash? Scanning the room she could not find him when all of a sudden there he was in the glow of the light sitting right next to the mini fridge just watching her capture all of his foster brothers and sisters. She walked over to him and he let her grab him and place him back in the pen with the others.

As they grew their personalities started to become even more pronounced. Nash was the little lover/booger of the group, Maxine was the character, Rocky was the mellow one, Zada loved to play with the cat and Dixie was a little more on the shy side but once she trusted you she was the friendliest little thing ever.

As they got older Zada, Rocky and Dixie all went to their new homes while Maxine and Nash stayed behind with me. I may have gotten a little bit attached to them all while bottle feeding them.

Nash and Maxine have since been fully potty trained, come when you call, snuggle like a teddy bear and have got the biggest personalities I have ever seen. They are always out with me and Nash is always following me around where Maxine would be content with me just cradling her 24/7. Those two little tykes who once had a very small chance of survival beat the odds and have surpassed everyone's expectations on size and just about everything else. Everywhere they go people notice the characters they are and are drawn to them. They just go to show that big things happen for little critters. They will both be featured in their own  children's book under the Milo & Me series. The fun never stops with these two and I hope they continue to bring joy to all of those who they meet.

Trouble in the nest

Once in a while a Rabbit cones along that just doesn't get how to be a mom. Some people have a rule, three strikes and you're out, but when it is a Rabbit whom you're attached to it makes it a little more difficult to just part ways with them.

I have a Rabbit who beat the odds early on and we have been super close since. When she was finally old enough I decided to breed her. She had a beautiful litter of babies all healthy and Alive when days after we started to lose them. It was devastating for me as I frantically tried to figure out why we were losing them all that way. Eventually we found out her milk simply had not come in. I fostered the remaining baby to another mom and hoped for the best.

Her second litter I prepared her fresh veggies and bananas and anything you could think of to prevent the same issues from arising again so when her milk wouldn't come in I was ready for it. I was not however ready for the 9 intense days of bottle feeding and trying to get her milk to come in but when it finally did, it was entirely worth it.

Rounded three, she delivered a litter of seven very chubby and healthy babies when around Day 2 she decided the jest would be a good place to use as a litter box. Unfortunately we were unable to save any of those babies.

Another litter was expected recently and to My extreme joy she had a beautiful and healthy litter and when I checked on her and the babies she would be in the nest feeding them. The next Day she was just sitting in the nest and one started to scream from in the nest. Startled I quickly removed her from the nest to check the babies finding that she sadly had smothered most of them from sitting in it too much. The remaining babies were removed and she has supervised visits with them to nurse them twice a Day which would be when mom usually feeds them. So far, it is working great and I hope it continues to work!

It never seems to be easy when breeding but sometimes are much more difficult than others, times like this especially. no one wants to see their babies pass away so when it does happen it is extremely saddening.

The Adventures of Ally and Sam- Tree'd by Goats

As a young child with my best friend Ally always by my side, we would get into some pretty unusual predicaments. One that happens to be a fond memory is when we were walking in the woods at my parents home in the country picking raspberries, what happens next is something that couldn't even be imagined.

On a warm late summer day Ally and I were out walking on my family's trails in the woods behind our home looking for raspberries with the dogs, Lady a Collie and Tawny a rescue special. Stumbling across some of the biggest raspberry bushes we had ever seen we started picking and filling our ice cream buckets. As usual, we split up and were picking the berries on each side of the trail, the ole divide and concur mentality at a young age, and the dogs were never far from sight sniffing and eating berries. 
Stopping cold in her tracks, Ally muttered that there was something in the bushes. Me thinking she was over reacting (like she usually did) told her to keep going. Then it happened, the bushes started moving. Jumping back towards me, Ally let out a shriek when out jumped a big goat and a ram right behind it! 
They charged at us, running full throttle at us! Dropping our buckets we turned and ran, we ran faster than we knew we could at that point. Looking back they were still chasing us and gaining at that! We had no clue where the dogs went and then we caught a glimpse of them LEAVING us and saving their own tails! 
Running out of breath and starting to lose our speed both Ally and I darted off to the side into a patch of birch trees. Scrambling to get up the roughly 5 inch diameter trees with no branches to grab onto to help, we managed to get about 5 feet off the ground. The goat and Ram stopped right below us and probably could have reached us by standing on their back legs. They just stood there for what felt like hours, which in reality was probably only 10 minutes or so, until I started to loose my grip. 
Falling from the tree onto the ground I curled up expecting them to start biting, stomping or something. To my surprise, they did not do anything! They simply nuzzled at me and wanted to be pet... 
So here we were, running for our lives and treed by these "vicious" creatures when in the end, all they wanted was to play. 

All in a days adventures for Ally and Sam! 

Monday, October 6, 2014

Stella Quirks-10/6/14

Stella's most recent quirk is here!

In our recent training of Stella we are trying a new approach to break her of her sassy ways and making major headway. So, when she is barking at us or constantly we have tried a different approach from the original, simple, normal "NO" since she will only bark more AT us when the word "no" is used, we have started putting our pointer finger up to our lips and making the sound Shhhh. It WORKED! As for when she is doing something wrong, if we say no, she will bark at us so as suggested by a friend, we started saying "Stop". This has been working amazingly! 

Now, for her quirk. Last night as my husband and I are eating dinner, Case was sleeping under the table at dad's feet for his belly rub by dad's feet while Stella laid in the living room chewing happily on her bone. I happened to look over at her and noticed her chewing on a sleeping bag zipper instead of her bone. Sternly I scolded her with a "Stellaaaa," causing her to stop chewing and with it still in her mouth, look at me. I continued with a "No Chew," and she spit it out and went back to chewing on her bone while intently watching me. Not even a full five minutes later, I look over to find her chewing on the zipper AGAIN. Now this is nothing new with Stella, it can be a battle of the wits with her all night as she loves to test us, and I do mean LOVES. So I say again sternly, "Stellaaa." She lifts her head quickly looking my direction with the zipper still in her mouth.I proceeded with something someone else had mentioned trying, talking to her like she was a toddler. So I proceeded with asking her, "Is that for puppies, Stella?" and to my absolute dismay she spit it out and laid her nose on her bone with a heavy sigh that seemed as if she were answering no this is for puppies. I told her good girl and she began chewing on her bone again. Periodically I would glance over to see if she was chewing on the zipper again and she was still content with her bone. Usually Stella will continue to chew what ever it is you tell her not to continually until you take it and move it, but not this time. This time she listened and is showing us exactly how smart she really is in all of this. 

We claim to be training her but, in all honesty, she is training us.

I hope you got a good laugh from this Stella quirk!