While it may seem we’re pretty quiet over here on the farm, I’d like to assure you we aren’t! We’ve just found Facebook to be a more interactive outlet for easily posting news, animals for sale, and updates around the farm. If you are on Facebook, please “Like” our page, and make sure you are set to receive notifications of our posts. Here’s the page: Trickster Hares Farm Facebook Page
This fall found lots of hardship here at the farm, when we left on vacation a mosquito-born illness, myxomatosis, hit our rabbits and we lost 30% of our stock. Fortunately we came home early from vacation to save the rest of our herd, I know other rabbitries on the California coast who lost 99% of theirs. We count our blessings, though it be very hard times. We lost many of our long time rabbit friends and foundation stock carried across the entire country (and from out of the country). Including my French import Blanc de Hotots, and Jack the Rabbit, the one who started this whole rabbit mess to begin with, the black and tan Belgian Hare pictured in my first posts.
This sudden loss could have been prepared for, if rabbit breeders weren’t so afraid of the stigma associated with announcing their rabbitry is hit with a disease. The misinformed will talk bad, those who don’t understand the disease. What isn’t considered, is the rabbit breeder who is willing to give you a full case history with what diseases they’ve dealt with so you make an informed purchase, instead of buying into the unknown with a breeder who won’t talk.
In the case of myxomatosis, reported to be 100% fatal, if the rabbit gets infected, it dies. There are no carriers, no survivors. There is either death or resistance. Since the incubation period for the virus is 24-48 hours, sick rabbits succumb fast. There are reports of rabbits fighting it up to 12 days, but none here lasted that long. We went on full quarantine lock down for 30 days after last strike just to be sure the disease was not present in any rabbits. There is a protocol for this disease and its posted on the Facebook group created to help rabbit breeders be informed of serious disease outbreaks: RBAN- Rabbit Breeder Alert Network
The hope is that if rabbit breeders are willing to share what’s hitting them they can help other breeders in their area (or same show, etc) take preventative measures. Imagine how heart broken we were to find other breeders on the coast were being hit for 6 months prior to us, losing their rabbitries, and no one said a word. I wouldn’t wish that on anyone, personally, so I started that group. Its also for legislative updates that affect farms and rabbitries.
The heavy losses left a lot of empty places around the farm but not to worry, they’ve been filled now! Amazing the speed in which these critters reproduce, and go from tiny to full size and needing their own space. We have plenty of beautiful heritage breeds for sale, that’ll follow in another post. You can also peruse the rabbits for sale on the Facebook page mentioned above.
That’s all for now.
Wishing you and your loved ones a very Happy Holiday!!