First things first - this morning our neighbor called at 7 a.m. to state that a large dog was nosing around the hen house. I was out like a flash and caught site of him at the coop door. We made eye contact, I pointed at him and yelled 'NO!'. He took off like a flash, it was almost as if he disappeared. I have not seen a husky/malamute this big before. His back was easily close to door knob level; bright blue eyes. In retrospect, as I never saw him run away, it was almost like he was a spirit guide come to visit. I had not yet released the hens from their coop into the run so they were not aware of perhaps how close they had come to becoming someone's breakfast.
On to the topic of the title - this is a husbandry story and is kind of graphic, so if you of a more delicate nature, just stop here. I'll have other good reads coming up!
The California's litter is growing well. Yesterday morning I discovered one of the kits had his hind foot caught in the floor mesh. I helped him extract and later that day noticed that his foot was swollen. Other than that he was moving around with the other kits, hopping, etc. I placed two more comfort pads in the cage (making a total of 3) to prevent anyone else from 'slipping through the cracks'. This morning, after the above incident with the Husky, I discovered this same kit had found an unprotected spot and slipped his other foot through the floor. *heavy sigh* Long story short, in his struggle to free himself, he created a compound fracture - yes, the end of his femur, above the hock was sticking out of the bottom of his leg. Breaks my heart to write that I was not able to save the kit. Ronnie had to step in and help me.
I did not cry then; writing this now brings crocodile tears to my eyes. Understanding that this is the true cycle of life and a first hand experience of where our food comes from, I have to wonder if I am cut out for raising meat rabbits. Perhaps an adult will be different than a kit (trying to use rabbit vocabulary). There does not appear to be written material that details how to cull a litter; breeders do it often when a rabbit does not meet show standards.
What non painful method (for the kit) does one use to cull a kit? Breaking it's neck is hard as they are so tiny... Cannot believe I am writing about this. It is life though, and if unshared, cannot help another.