Gwen is doing well on her new milk schedule. She was on her way up to the milk parlor when I went out at about quarter to six to milk. She’s right at a gallon and a half a milking, which isn’t great, but given that she’s no longer getting corn or soy, it’s to be expected. I don’t think that three gallons a day should be scoffed at. As I write this, she’s down in the back pasture eating grass. There is some really nice green grass growing along the perimeter of the field where it is sheltered from the frost. That’s where I find her when I go out to look for her.
Yesterday afternoon, Wally stopped on his way home at the store where we were getting her former food to pick up alfalfa pellets. For some reason, the animals like that brand of alfalfa pellets better than what we can get at Tractor Supply, but they were out. I give up. We decided to stop buying from that store and we’ll find another place to get our grain. I gave the rabbits some alfalfa/timothy pellets and they really went for them.
There’s a chance I may be able to source organic alfalfa pellets which would be great. I’ll know more about that later this week.
Two more dead baby rabbits this morning; but it was two I expected would die. All of the adults seem fine. Because we are going to get heavy rain and wind tomorrow, I just put the three that are in the pen up into the barn and discovered the Creme doe that I thought wasn’t due to kindle until the 14th is in labor. I hope I wrote the date down wrong and she’s not kindling early.
I spent a good deal of time on the telephone today with various rabbit breeders discussing the issues that I had. More often than not, the good ones said that they had heard of problems coming from this particular mill. One told me that if the mill had made medicated chicken (or other kind of) grain and didn’t clean the hopper out well, that could have killed the rabbits. That nursing does were the ones that died is no surprise given that they would have been eating more of the grain than the other rabbits. The nursing babies would have been getting the toxins through her milk.
I think I’m going to loose another Chin baby: he is not looking well. One Chin buck is still acting a bit dumpy; the Creme buck is now acting close to normal; the other Chin buck hasn’t missed a beat. The breeder that I got the older Cremes from is going to look for replacement Chin does for me when he’s at shows in other parts of the country that have more Chin breeders. I am probably not going to replace the lost Creme doe: I like the Chins better. I might add one or two adult New Zealand does from a good local breeder to cross with my Chin bucks; or maybe not … I have to think about it. I may just work with what I have for now. The Chin doe that I put a whole extra litter of Chin X babies in her box seems to be doing just fine. I checked the babies this afternoon and they all seem fine. I didn’t really dig in there or take them all out, but as best as I could tell, they are all fine. That’s pretty amazing. This is one good doe.
Until later …