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June 3, 2016

 

 Due to a series of events, we found it necessary to temporarily shut down.  For those interested, here is an explanation of what transpired between weakening the rabbit's immune system with worming, tainted hay followed by grass with Round Up spray drift... complicated by computer hacking and husband's heart valve leaking:

 

 

We had a problem here with a multiple of things.  After the normal Corid worming for Coccidiosis, a common parasite, we had a problem with rabbit's stomachs being off afterward.  Discovered the first cut Timothy hay I paid $7.50 a bale for out of Canada and made my husband run deep into Maryland to get, well, it had a mold preventive spray that affected the rabbits.  This information came by chance from an old farmer friend in PA that had been offered some by a horse person, their horses had rejected it. Removed the feeding of that hay and fed fresh grass for them, still had some problems and extremely frustrated with rabbits being 'off' and experiencing losses.  Omitted bagels in fear something there was causing a problem, and stopped additional feeds to stabilize the situation..

At about that time I had renewed a subscription to Verizon FIOS, who are currently on strike so they sent out a stand in to setup the set top box.  That person insisted the router move away from my computer to the TV for better reception.  After 2 hours I submitted.  The next day security alerts were coming up on my computer.  That afternoon Microsoft called with serious errors being reported to them from my machine.  I allowed Microsoft to take control of the pointer, they showed me over 1500 errors occurring...telling me I had an expired warranty on my free Windows 10 that caused it to be vulnerable and requested credit card payment to continue the warranty.  Midway into logging into my credit card I thought twice and freaked out, shut down, and called my computer guru son who confirmed I had been hacked, breached, and should replace the hard drive, reset my accounts, issue fraud alerts and pray for the best.  Luckily the best happened but I'm going through the hassle of resetting accounts and codes, very time consuming.

 

On top of that, my husband who had previously had a mechanical valve placed in his heart as well as another valve repaired about 4 years ago, has been sluggish since about mid March so I'm covering some of his farm work.  The heart doctor is now telling us it's not due to a virus, he has one valve leaking and causing another to leak. It may be able to control with meds, will know more after viewing by scoping into the heart in early June.  We are staying positive, redoing open heart surgery is something neither of us is looking forward to.  In the meantime we have downsized and are completely out of cattle to make life easier.

 

Meanwhile, we had tried to connect with a vet that rerouting us to the state vet, but we were after hours for them.  Then checked in with a long time breeder for another opinion and he told me NEVER to feed grass in the Spring... no idea why, but old timers had told him that.  Putting two plus two together about our location, we realized that in the Sping farmers spray crops. There is a field behind us that is worked for corn with a potential wind drift in our direction of whatever sprays were used.  We assumed at that point it had been a RoundUp drift getting the field ready for planting.  The grass was dangerous to them.  Some had problems, some didn't, depending on where the grass was pulled from.

 

My rabbits in the barn that were given the utmost care of specialty Timothy hay and grass from around the big barn were having problems. The ones that had been moved out to the older pens in the runway were getting cow hay from the other barn and grass from under their pens, protected from the drift by their pens. This confirmed to us the hay and grass were the culprits. Unfortunately the young bunnies were the affected ones.

 

And another enlightenment was the feed, mine very widely used and had been good under normal circumstances.  But with the antibiotic, Corid, it takes away the bad germs and good germs also, just like people antibiotics do.  If we had known the hay or grass was also undermining the bellies it would have made sense.  Now we have switched all feed over to Southern States 18% premium rabbit feed https://www.southernstates.com/catalog/p-1108-southern-states-premium-rabbit-food-50-lb.aspx

that contains probiotics (yes, like we take) for the addition of good germs as well as a yucca plant that works like the Braggs Apple Cider Vinegar for ammonia control of the pee.  It runs about $16+ a bag but well worth the difference.  Added in are high doses of Vitamin A and Vitamin E. Also doing additional water supply with Acid Pak 4-way 2X  that adds probiotics to the water for an extra boost whenever there is an antibiotic administered for worming.  If you would like to get this product, a good source is https://www.bestvetsolutions.com/, online or located in Dagsboro, DE.

 

I'm giving you this 'rundown' so you can understand why we've done the temporary shut down of the rabbitry website and needed to get my head above water again given time consumption with all that's going on. 

 

With a horrible problem hitting us, the only option was to persevere to determine the cause, correct it, and keep going forward.   It has been a huge learning curve for us as well as those that have aided in our recovery.  Thank you so much for your patience, it's been a tough road to say the least, and we are getting back to operational once again.

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