How to Use a Rabbit Tattoo Clamp

Here we show you how to quickly and effectively use a tattoo clamp to tattoo your rabbit’s ear with a breeder ID number. This rabbit is 8-weeks old and we are using a Stone brand 5/16″ tattoo clamp with an ear release. Always tattoo the breeder number in the left ear. The right ear is reserved for the rabbit’s registration number.

This rabbit does scream in the video so be prepared. He was not hurt, he was just startled. One screamer out of thirteen rabbits tattooed isn’t too bad! But of course it had to be the one we were filming as an example that screamed. Oh well. The little guy was just fine once he realized it was over in no more than a second. This is the very reason I will never use rabbit tattoo pens! Imagine five minutes of that while you try to neatly write the number on the inside of his ear. I think not. Clamps win.

New Honey Super

We got a few new toys today thanks to a purchase from Miller Bee Supply earlier this month. In our box there was a new “medium super”, ten medium plastic comb frames coated with natural beeswax, and a frame grip. The medium super is a 6 3/4″ inch deep box that holds the ten frames that the bees build honey stores onto. This medium super will be placed on top of our current “shallow super” and our queen excluder. Queen excluders are just a simple slatted panel that keeps the queen from entering the honey supers to lay eggs. No one wants larvae in their honey.

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The medium super itself is just a box that holds the frames. We ordered ours unassembled mainly because it’s cheaper to ship. They really aren’t difficult to put together. Miller Bee Supply is thoughtful enough to pre-drill all the interlocking finger joint corners so all you need to do is nail it together. Easy peasy!

Trevor assembled the super and I painted it with “Cafe Latte” color exterior paint. Once it is dry we can add it to Beehive #1. We will be ready for a big honey harvest come late August. Get busy bees!

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Mud

Go out and enjoy the mud today!

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Cami likes to take every opportunity to take her shoes off and splash in the mud. Especially after I water the garden. Maybe we should all follow her lead. She obviously knows how to enjoy the morning.

Today I am going to the fairgrounds to set up the fair art show… easy but tedious work. I have to keep reminding myself that this is going to be the last of the money I need for that “farm truck” we’ve been needing. Just two more days this week and three more in the next few weeks.

This weekend I have someone coming up to pick out a rabbit. And two more will be going to their new home soon as well.

I am also hoping to do a “farm tour” video of our little tiny lot this week as well as a video on how to tattoo rabbits using the tattoo clamp. I’ve had a lot of people asking if it is painful for the rabbit so showing the process in this video should help. And no… it isn’t anymore painful than an ear piercing. It is very fast!

So there are a few things to look forward to this week. I’m working on some substantial blog content for you so keep an eye out.

Big Decisions for the Rabbitry

I feel as if there are a hundred decisions to make for the Rabbitry lately. In just one moment of thought I feel as if I’m drowning, blessed, excited, and anxious. Although I am not sure exactly who is staying and who is going… or where, I do know that a final decision needs to be reached in three weeks. It’s good to give yourself a deadline I think. Otherwise I would keep everyone all the time and I would eventually live in the overrun rabbit version of China. No one wants that.

First off, I have to think about how much room I have verses how many rabbits I have. Right now I have 12 rabbits and 5 cages. That’s not good math. I would like to keep just 5 rabbits through winter and into my spring breeding season. Not counting the 2 rabbits that are sold and waiting to be picked up, I need to find a place for 5 rabbits.

One option is to sell them. I think I may have sold all the rabbits I can for this year. The second and more likely option is that I will have to butcher the unsold 5 for family consumption. Before I get too much slack for even suggesting that a few rabbits may end up in the freezer, let me just say this: Would you rather eat mystery meat that was raised in an inhumane manner and had never seen the light of day during their life? Or would you rather eat meat that was raised in a happy, clean environment, surrounded by love until the moment they are sent to the freezer?

I know my answer. Our family chooses locally raised grass-fed beef over mysteriously raised “store” or fast-food beef whenever possible. I realize that most people don’t raise their own meat or even eat meat. We do have that opportunity though and if we are going to be meat-eaters, we need to be more responsible meat-eaters. Sorry if you don’t agree, but I will always respect your decision so please respect ours.

Another decision on the table is who to keep. Thistle and Clementine are givens just because they have the furthest distance of relation between the two of them. Blackberry is a keeper for her beautiful color wool. The rabbits in question are Dandelion and “7 of 9”.

Dandelion has caused me some trouble this year and I am really hoping it’s just because this was her first litter. It took her three tries to have a litter and then the litter had some unhealthy kits. If you remember, Dandelion’s 4-week old blue tortoiseshell kit died of digestion problems and then on Friday her cream fawn kit died of heat stroke quite horribly at 5-weeks old. Dandelion will get one more chance for a healthier litter come spring. Hopefully I can replace Dandelion next summer with a beautiful fawn buck.

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We named one of the chocolate tortoiseshell bucks from Clementine’s litter “7 of 9”. He is the seventh of nine kits in the litter and was jokingly named after the Star Trek character. I would like to keep him only through the spring breedings to increase my chances of colored kits in Dandelion and Blackberry’s litters and then sell him.

I also have the matter of how often to breed. I am pretty sure breeding once a year in the spring is going to be my best option. Breeding once a year is the minimum to keep my breeding does healthy without being overrun by baby rabbits. And with Blackberry as a third doe in the breeding program, three litters should be more than enough to foster back and forth in case a doe cannot feed her kits for whatever reason. The health of my rabbits is always my top priority.

So anyhow… this gives you a little idea of what has been on my mind lately. A little long winded, I know, but I have a few crucial decisions to make in the next few weeks. I’m giving my extra 5 rabbits until two-weeks after the county fair to be sold and then they will have to make the trip to the freezer. It is not a decision I take lightly, but it must be done. And that’s why we are here. To learn to be more self-sufficient. It’s a journey.

Giveaway Winner is….

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Congratulations! I feel like I should have named you by name, but then I realized I don’t know it. It’s funny how you can correspond with someone online and still have no idea who they are. Anyhow, congrats and please email me (sarahmelisse@gmail.com) with which two prints you truly want and a mailing address. I’ll get those photo prints out ASAP.

Also, thank you to the rest of you who entered! It may seem cheesey, but I really do appreciate all the kind words and happy anniversary wishes. Here’s to another year of DIY projects, successes, failures, new friends, births, deaths, and everything in between!