Monday, December 19, 2011

One more post for the year?

I've been rushed of my feet in the past weeks, again!
I'll copy and paste the relevant conversations from my lifestyle block posts.
Suffice it to say, I'm looking forward to a quiet end of the year, and an even quieter start of the next one!!

First bunny saga:
Sudden bunny death

This time one of the young ones due for slaughter in a fortnight!
Rigor mortis hasn't set in yet, I think. How long does it normally last? The nose is grey and cold, but the body is about as cold when I have finished prepping them, meaning not colder than me, to my touch.
Anyway, this one had plenty of room to run around, was getting pellets and grass ad lib.
The boys were only now starting to get obnoxious with each other.
Could he have died of a sudden fright? No obvious wounds or marks anywhere, so no fight with predator.
I haven't done the post mortem yet, got to look after the goats and kids first.
Back later with my findings.
Wow, I just googled and found a very interesting and informative article on RCD.
It's a PDF but nevertheless:

I suppose if I keep them isolated for the next fortnight, and on pellets, and they all stay alive, they should be safe to eat!
Better evaluate my breeding stock and get it vaccinated too! So far we've only done the pet ones.
Another one this morning, and this time I went straight in.
BUT, it looks all normal. Well, it looks like the other ones that I had butchered for eating.
No discernible spots anywhere, definitely no blackening on any of the organs, no frothy mucus around the cavity.
So far the two dead have been plain white ones, looking the closest like NZ White.
Yesterday I had noticed one being a bit quieter than the others, but can't tell whether that was todays's corpse. When feeding today I noticed one of the coloured ones sitting a bit behind. Also, it's only in the outside boys pen. So far nothing has happened in the girls pen, which is in our courtyard. Let's wait and see.
What is an appropriate way of disposing of the bodies? I had intended of burying them. We do have a drum I could burn them in, but burying would be easier.
and another one.
This one has been dead a while, stiff as a board. So no PM.
I suppose it's like with tummy bugs etc.: a week after the last corpse I can assume the rest will be fine?
I'm tempted to cull the lot, except for the intended stud boy and a couple of mates to keep him company.
Unfortunately I had to euthanize another one last night, but today the ones that were looking a bit on the dopey side seem to be perking up.
Spoken to the vet, he said burying is fine, and he's going to find something out for me regarding vaccinations.
As he wouldn't eat any, I will not cull them, but wait and see who will survive. I'm doing hourly checks now, to be able to put any out of their misery.
Anybody out there in a similar situation who has eaten bunnies?
And what about hunted ones? They might be infected but not showing signs?
On the up side, I can get my animal cuddles from the goat kids, one of them is positively cuddly and always tries to snuggle up on my lap. But, boy do they have ants in their pants! 
and another one today, 20.12.11
If my tally is correct that's 5 out of 14.
Not happy but I can only wait and see.
BUT, today I butchered three of the girls, no rabbit in the separate girl run has shown any signs of infection, so I thought I'd get in there before anything happens to them too.

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