Sunday, September 26, 2010

Fun-Bunny Stuff

This weekend I spent the greater part of my time doing rabbit chores. Yesterday I dropped pans, cleaned the barn, and groomed every rabbit that needed it (yikes!). Today I sheared down all the 2011 PA Convention prospects, scrubbed out and sterilized every water bottle on every cage, figured out my breeding pairs for next week's Fall breedings, and did some tattooing. Whew!:-)

While I was doing my grooming I decided to take a picture of my slicker brushes, which are DoggyMan brand in two different sizes. I have one little one for dewlaps, chins, and armpits, and a bigger one for the stomach, chest, and saddle areas.

As everyone in angoras knows, Doggyman is the gold standard in rabbit slicker brushes. They are softer than any other brand and do less damage to coats than any other brand. They are fantastic. The only drawback (IMO) is that the handles have no grip to speak of and are made of the same exact material that the body of the brush is made of. Also, the handle is put together in two parts which are prone to breaking in half after a couple months of use.

Since these are not the cheapest brushes available and no one can afford to be without a means of grooming (LOL), angora people have come up with ingenious ways to doctor their tools to make them last longer and feel more comfortable in their hands.

Electrical tape or textured adhesive tapes work very well for wrapping around handles. The tape makes the handle easier to get a grip on, and it also keeps it from breaking in half so the brush lasts much longer overall.

Unfortunately tape doesn't always do a perfect job, so the second fix is to wrap rubber bands around the handles which gives you an even better grip on the brush. It may sound unbelievable, but rubber bands actually make a real difference in the amount of pressure that grooming puts on your hands, especially your wrists. For some ergonomic reason you can feel a real difference when you have multiple rabbits to do, or multiple rabbits to do fast, like before a show, etc. Some people favor the types of rubber bands used on broccoli at the supermarket, for ex. (because they are wider and flatter) but any kind will work. As you can see, it isn't pretty but it works:-).

Also, we took a trip down to the Museum of Natural History in NYC last week, and look what we stumbled upon in the Hall of Dinosaurs!

For those who do not recognize it without the fur and ears, this is the skeleton of a rabbit, specifically a ROCK RABBIT.

Below the skeleton there was a plaque explaining the relationship between the rabbit and the pika, which is the only other animal in the Lagomorph family. I tried to take a close up that was as easy to read as possible. There were also skulls of some much earlier rabbit ancestors in the hall, but they were difficult to photograph in the positions that they were in.

We took tons of pictures of different dinosaurs at this museum. I do not believe that the collection of dinosaur bones at this museum is rivaled anywhere, and it took a l-o-n-g time to get through the whole thing. Here is a picture one of the boys took of a complete triceratops:

Oh, and here is a last gag photo that the kids took of Jonathan pretending to put his head in the mouth of a stuffed tiger. Nice, huh? All well, boys will be boys:-).

Anyhow, more again next week and hopefully our weather will stay cool here after YET ANOTHER heat wave last week. At this rate we will not be taking the fans out of the barn until Christmas, for sure. I have not seen a summer like this in 10 years:(:(.

Have a great week!


Dru Shepherd said...

When the handles break on the Doggieman, stick in a part of a chop stick from the Chinese resturant and glue back together. The rubber bands on the handles work great for me.-Dru

Amy said...

Great idea, Dru! You are a pro, alright:).