Monday, November 5, 2012

Celebrating Ryan's Birthday

The coming of the end of October always means a birthday celebration for our family, and this time, we had been planning for months what we were going to give Ryan! They had invited us over for the day so we loaded up the back of the truck with the 'surprise' and headed to their place for what was a special, enjoyable and fun day. I'll let the photos tell some of the story :) . . . .

This little munchkin kept us all entertained until she went down for her nap

 In the middle of showing us all of the sign language that she knows . . . she even has a sign for please and thank you! And as of right now, is speaking some words, too. This is such a fun age!

Going out to see the birthday gift which was still in the back of our truck. After getting down the steps, Ryan closed his eyes, and Ashley led him the rest of the way.

 And there it was! He was so surprised!

Rabbits! Two bred does that were due to kindle in a couple of weeks. Plus cages, feeders, waterers, nestboxes and the supplies to build a stand/shelter for them.

One of Adelyn's pictures. :) She was watching me take photos and walked over with such an inquisitive look on her face. I bent down and helped her push the button down to take a photo and she kept wanting to do it over and over! And then of course, to see the photo she had just taken. :)


Ryan and Leah working on setting up the rabbit cage hanging system . . . Dad had already put so much work into getting things ready such as cutting and fitting the PVC, making the plates to go inside of them, and cutting the metal pipe and boring holes in them, so that on Ryan's actual birthday, all that needed to be done was to put it all together!

Dad putting wires into the already drilled holes in the metal pipe

Meanwhile, Mom, Ashley and I went inside . . . it was time for Adelyn to go down for her nap and Gracen was ready to get up. She enjoyed storytime with her Grandma!

Then came time to put the rabbits in their new home!

Sweet little Gracen in her Mama's arms watching the proceedings

Almost done! It still needs some greenboard put on the back and sides for protection from wind and rain.

Ryan, Ashley and Gracen

 Gracen and her Daddy :)

We went for a walk around their place and all took turns holding Gracen . . . here she is enjoying being in Aunt Leah's arms while watching the sheep.


Gracen and I

Ryan and Ashley

And to end the day . . . storytime with Grandpa. :)

9 comments:

  1. Hi Sarah,
    Thanks for sharing the birthday event. It looks like the whole family had a wonderful time. The girls have grown so much and such a great gift of the rabbits and cages. So nice of your dad to have the cages in ready to assemble shape too. :-)
    Thanks for visiting ~ it was nice to hear from you. :-)
    God bless,
    Miss Anne ♥

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  2. Your little nieces are growing so fast and they are so precious. It is always a blessing when you share about your family. It looks like Ryan had a wonderful birthday surrounded with loved ones. Have a wonderful day Sarah.

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  3. That was such a great post! I love the look on Ryan's face (though we can only see a bit of it) when he sees the rabbits! Good shot! The little girls are real little people now, aren't they. Very different from each other.

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  4. Thank you, Mrs. Anne, Ellen, and Rena for your comments! I enjoyed reading them. :) And I am glad that you enjoyed the post and photos!

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  5. What a wonderful gift that will keep on giving for Ryan! :) What a wonderful time you all must have had. :)

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  6. What a fun birthday! You all are so very blessed to live close to each other so that you have opportunities to spend such fun times together.

    Mrs.

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  7. Rabbits are a lovely gift but why on earth do you have them up in hanging wire cages rather than on the ground? For starters standing on wire mesh all the time will hurt their feet and if you are hoping for them to give birth you might find that the stress of being hung up in such small cages will cause them to reabsorb the kittens. Rabbits should be kept in wooden hutches so that they are protected from the elements and have somewhere to hide away and nest. They should also have large wire runs on the grass (I see you have a lot of lovely looking grass in your photos) and plenty of fresh hay both for eating and using to make their nests. I don't mean to sound rude but just because they are (presumably?) meat rabbits doesn't mean they shouldn't have the best quality of life possible.

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  8. Thank you for your comment, Lost in the Day! I hope that I’ll be able to alleviate some of your concerns. :)

    I would like to share right at the beginning that with any animal we raise, whether it be a pet or for meat, we strive to give the very best care that we possibly can. Animals are part of God’s specially designed creation, and we are to be good stewards and caretakers of those animals. Plus, we like to see each of our animals happy and healthy!

    Raising rabbits on grass is a wonderful idea, and if we had more land, it is something that we would like to do. Let me explain about the concerns with grass raised rabbits, though, and the necessity of having enough land . . . Domestic rabbits are very susceptible to a protozoal disease called Coccidiosis, and when rabbits are raised on grass, contact with their own feces can quickly lead to a coccidia outbreak. The result of that is poor health, unthrifty and stunted animals, and death, especially among young rabbits.

    Treatment of this disease is difficult, and even rabbits who recover, frequently remain a carrier of the disease making a future outbreak much more likely. In order to prevent this from happening, rabbits raised on grass need to be rotated to fresh, clean areas on a very regular basis (as in, every day to every few days.) And then, they should ideally not return for one year to a spot that they have already been. Doing this would take a great deal of land which is something we do not have.

    Strict sanitation is necessary to prevent coccidia (and other diseases) which is one great advantage of cage raising as with wire bottom cages, any feces and urine passes immediately through the bottom of the cage. This gives the rabbit a very clean and healthy environment in which to live, and as a result, there is very little risk of coccidia oocysts being transferred to the rabbit (or any other diseases for that matter.)

    We give hay to our rabbits as part of our feeding program, but only enough that they will consume. Any remaining hay left in the cages quickly becomes matted down with feces and urine which again, provides an environment which leads to bacteria growth, disease, etc.

    When it comes time for a doe to kindle, she is given a specially designed wooden nestbox the bottom of which is covered with pine shavings (which absorb urine, giving the kits a much drier nest.) On top of the shavings is a bunch of fresh hay that the doe can make her nest out of.

    Our rabbits are indeed protected from the elements with a covering over top of them and on the sides and back of the cages (and as mentioned in this post, my brother’s rabbit shelter wasn’t finished in the photos – after they were taken, my brother added protection to the back and sides.)

    continued below . . . .

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  9. You had mentioned that wire cages cause stress to the rabbits . . . with all of our years of raising rabbits (probably around 8 years total?), we have never had a doe or buck stressed by being in a wire cage and have never had a doe reabsorb her kits due to that stress.

    With our careful sanitation and management practices, we have had zero health problems among our rabbits save for some ear mites that our original buck had when we bought him (which was obviously not due to our care. :)

    Our rabbit’s feet are well furred, and they have had no difficulties with the wire bottom cages, except for, again, the original buck that we had purchased. He has some sensitivity to the wire so we gave him a special mat that he can sit on which has fixed that. In the future, if any rabbit began showing signs that the wire was bothering them, they too would receive a special mat. But thus far, they have done great on the wire.

    Our rabbits are healthy, happy, friendly little creatures that enjoy their lives in their safe, clean cages, that thanks to being raised up off of the ground, also keeps the rabbits safe from predators (due to them being hung up high enough and hung from PVC supports which predators such as raccoons cannot climb up.)

    Again, we strive to raise each of our animals in the safest, healthiest and most humane way that we can. And I hope that what was shared here helps to alleviate your concerns!

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Thanks so much for your comment! Each one is read and enjoyed. :)