I May Not Buy Livestock From Feed Stores Again

This story may be why not to name your livestock for the first few days. The day of the cage debacle I bought two rabbit kits to start replacing what was lost. I chose a spotted white one that the wife and I named biscuit an eight week old New Zealand white crossed with American White and a Grey nine week old meat mutt that we called Gravy. I set these two up in a quarantine cage away from the rest of the rabbitry to keep everyone healthy. Through the afternoon and evening when checking on and handling the new additions everything seemed fine. In the morning it was not the case as Gravy was dead. Gravy had shown no signs of being sick. Calling the feed store I let them know what happened and they inform me of the no refund policy, but offer to trade out for a live one next time I come in, so Lisa and I decide to head up there.

Arriving we head inside and see that over half the kits that were there the day before are gone. Left are a solid black and two black and white meat mutts and one all white from biscuits litter. We look at all of them and decide to get the all of them despite some screaming warning signs not to get the all white one(clear jelly poop). Getting home we load them all into the quarantine cage and see them all getting into a bunny pile.

The next day we see that Salt the all white one in doing a little better, but through the day gets lethargic and lays down. I check on Salt a few times in the night the last being at 2 am and they are still alive, so we have passed the 36 hour mark on Salt and the other three picked up at the same time and Biscuit has passed closer to 70 hours. In the morning thou I find Salt dead.

This is now two kits from two different litters that have passed, and in doing research I find that stress can cause things to exacerbate and kill kits. I bury Salt and take a look at the rest of the new additions. Pepper the all black, Cornbread a black and white, and Meatloaf the other black and white were all well, but Biscuit started showing the same jelly poop that Salt had shown at the store. I immediately separate the kits and clean out the cage and replace the bedding. I don’t know if this is just from that litter or something that could be spreading.

We are upset at the loss of life and capital, but like I told Lisa this is a learning experience, and from it we have learned to only buy from good breeders. I have to also remind my self to not go so fast on things as well especially as we know some of the direction we are going to take the rabbitry over the next few years.

in all I have lost 5 of the 6. Pepper is the only remaining one. This is my story others may have different luck in this area.