Saturday, May 17, 2014

New Chicks

🐓 Yesterday our chicks came in the mail and we picked them up! 🐤

Here is our brooder which we will reuse for next year when we add to our flock, then the year after that, etc.
The brooder is inside our RV for right now.

Here are some pics of what is in the brooder -

This is the heater we use for them which is actually better than a classic lamp heater. Much safer and more warmth!!

And... Here are the chicks!! My Nana held some for the pictures.

Eglantine the Buff Orpington

Eglantine is 'my chick', the one I originally picked out. She is very calm, gentle, and tolerable. In a group setting she likes to hang out with her sister, Primrose.

Cuddling is her specialty!

Primrose The Buff Orpington 

Primrose is a bit of a foodie, and whatever Flame or her sister Eglantine does, she does. She really likes to preen a lot, and has been trying to 'fly' more often than the others.

Holly the Amerucana
Holly does everything first. She was the first to drink out of the water dispenser, the first to go under the heater, and the first to poke her head out at a new thing.

Flame The Amerucana 
Flame is bigger than all the others. I find myself calling Flame a male, so I might be guilty of saying 'he' a few times whenever I talk about the chicks. He is very loud and less cuddly.

Miss Gracie the Australorp
Miss Gracie is the more docile one when comparing her and Miss Bea. Gracie seems shy at times, but she is social around the other chicks. Miss Gracie is rather thin as well, lacking a lot of fluff.

Miss Bea the Australorp
Bea is a bossy little chick, keeping the others in line by pecking and pushing around. She sometimes struggles when you try to hold her long-term, and she feels comfortable around the others, probably so she can tell them what to do. She occasionally will alert the others about things that are loud or unknown. Bea has more yellow in her face and has no black beak.

Here are more chick pics!!

I can't wait for lots more updates here on CC! Chicks grow up FAST.




Thursday, May 1, 2014

Bunny Grooming


You should regularly check inside your rabbit's ears to make sure there isn't any build up of wax or other gunk. If there is, take your rabbit to the vet. Rabbits can get ear mites, which cause itching and a build up of yucky stuff. Never poke anything into your rabbit's ears as you can damage the inner ear. 

Do I have to wash my rabbit?

Fuzzy washing her face

NO!!! Never wash a rabbit unless it is very dirty or has soiled itself. Rabbits can go into shock when you immerse them in water. Rabbits do a very good job of keeping themselves clean and only need help when they are very sick. If you have to wash your rabbit, fill a bath/tub with about an inch of water. Put a towel in the bottom of the bath so the bunny has some grip. Use some gentle shampoo or soap in the water. Try and hold the front half of the bunny out of the water. This may stop her struggling. Gently massage the hind leg/tail area with your fingers and remove any poops. Tip the water out and then replace it with clean water to rinse the bunny. Use towels and paper towels to dry as best you can, then use a hairdryer to direct warm air in the general vicinity of the rabbit. Do not point the hairdryer at the rabbit as you may burn the skin. Generally rabbits will try and lick themselves dry. Don't be surprised if your rabbit sulks for a while afterwards !!!

Cleaning out scent glands
Rabbits have a scent gland either side of their anus. The scent gland needs cleaning out as the scent is a liquid that can clog up the gland. Its a yucky stinky job, but it needs to be done. To clean the scent glands out, get a cotton bud and wet it with warm water. You may need to get someone to help you hold the rabbit upside down securely. Gently swab at the scent glands until the discharge comes off. If you have any trouble doing this, ask your vet to do it for you. 

Nail / Claw Trimming
Nail clippers
Rabbits need their claws trimmed every 4-6 weeks. The claws are like fingernails, and never stop growing. Most indoor rabbits won't wear their claws down enough, so they will need to be clipped. You can do this yourself using nail clippers, or you can take your rabbit to a vet. If you are doing it yourself, it helps to shine a light from underneath the claw so you can ensure that you don't clip the blood vessel (the pink bit). 

Rabbits moult several times a year, and having central heating on inside the house must confuse them. A soft brush can be used to brush out excess hair. Rabbits are good at keeping their fur clean and tidy, so you don't need to bother brushing them everyday.

Sometimes rabbits get sleep in their eyes. Just wipe this away for them. If there is excess gunk or a lot of tears, your bunny may have a problem. Take your rabbit to the vet. Interesting facts - rabbits have a third eyelid, and don't need to blink very often. This is how they can sleep with their eyes open. 

If your rabbit is scratching itself a lot, he most likely has fleas. Fleas are small flying insects that are dark brown in color. They aren't easy to find in all that rabbit fur, but you can see small black specs of flea poop that has been left behind. Fleas need to be treated ASAP as the fleas will lay larvae on rabbits, rugs, carpet and anything hair like. The best flea treatment for rabbits is Revolution. The dosage needs to be worked out based on the rabbit's body weight, and is then applied to the back of the rabbit's neck. This is so it is not groomed or licked off. Rabbits should be seperated after treatment to ensure they do not lick the flea treatment from each other's fur. Any rugs or material items eg. towels, that have been around the rabbit should be washed in hot water to kill the larvae eggs. The revolution treatment lasts for a month, but rabbits may need further treatment if more fleas have hatched from the eggs. 

Guinea Pigs + Other Pets??

If you have other pets aside from your cavies, it’s nice to see one another in harmony. But are there ways to introduce your cavies to your other, bigger pets? Isn’t it dangerous for a small guinea pig to go near a dog or a cat for example? The truth to the matter is that you can introduce your guinea pigs to your other pets provided you follow systematized ways of introducing the animals. And you avoid some situations that you know you can’t get your guinea pig if the situations head south.guinea pig and other pets

The DON’Ts

Before you set your dreams high about introducing your cavies to your other pets, know that there are situations which prevent you from fulfilling your dream. Don’t push it if

1. Your other pet is aggressive

guinea pig attitude

Pets that are known to have aggressive tendencies such as a pit bull or a territorial rabbit should never come close to your guinea pigs. Or is it the dog who needs to watch out for the cavy?

2. Your other pet is a known mouser

cat and guinea pig bonding

Some cats are known mousers that they’ll let no one, including you, stand on their way to catch a rodent. You can’t give your guinea pig help once your mouser swings into action, so it’s better to separate the animals.

3. Your other pet is too large

bonding dog and guinea pig

No matter how gentle your other pet is, if it’s too large for a small cavy to handle, then they should never be introduced. Examples of such gentle giants are a St. Bernard and a Labrador. One unintentional thump from these animals can render your cavy unconscious.

Draw a Plan

guinea pig introduction

Like setting up people for a blind date, you need to draw a plan to introduce your cavies to your other pet. For example, you need to ensure you can get your guinea pig help in case the animals stepped on each other on the wrong foot. That may mean setting up the date when there are other people in the house. You also need to plan about restraints, barricade (putting your cavy in its cage will do), , toys, etc.

Execute the Plan

Before you execute your plan, know that you can’t rush things. You need to be patient about introducing your guinea pig to your other pet as it may take some time before you can see them warming up with each other. Here’s what you can do:

1. Introduce the animals with your cavy in its cage.

cat and guinea pig bonding

When introducing your cavy to your other pet for the first time, don’t take your cavy out of its cage. The cage should give your piggy space in case the other animal get a little too close for your cavy’s comfort. Place the cage with your cavy in it on the floor and let your other pet introduce itself to your cavy. Do this frequently until the animals are acquainted with each other.

2. Introduce the animals without the cage.

guinea pig and cat introduction

Once you’re confident that your cavy and your other pet are used to their sights and sounds, you can introduce them in person without the cage. Ask someone to give your guinea pig comfort and protection by holding it on his or her lap while you let your other pet sniff the cavy up close and personal, paws, furs, and all. But, always keep the restraints ready in case your other pet gets too excited and frightens your cavy.

3. Put them in the same room without restraints or cage.

guinea pig training

Once you see your pets can handle each other without restraints or barricade, you can put them in the same room together. However, don’t leave them alone in the same room no matter how acquainted and friendly they are with each other. You can’t predict your pets’ mood; it’s better to be safe than sorry.

The key to introducing your guinea pig to your other pets is patience. Be patient about the process and give your pets enough time to warm up with each other before giving up.