Monday 27 October 2008

We need your suggestions to get Buster drinking on her own!

Hi all,

apologies for the delay, I know it's been a while and many of you are looking forward to more updates!
Buster is doing well.. I'm sure you'll agree she's grown since you last saw her!

First off, I'd like to answer some questions you've been asking:

Q.: Does she ever hop like a bunny or does she only walk around on her hind legs all the time?
A.: Buster doesn't walk on her hind legs, however, she likes to stand on them while sniffing around. I think it gives her better perception of what's around her in terms of noise and smell.
Having said that, she doesn't hop either, rather, she lopes.

Q.: Is she still drinking her morning bottle?
A.: Yes, we still give her milk in the mornings and water in the evenings. Buster never learned to drink on her own even though we provide her with fresh water in a bowl and in a drinking bottle every day. Hand-feeding her milk and water twice daily are her only means of fluid intake.

Q.: Does Buster hop?
Or she likes to stand on her hind legs?
How are her eyes? Are they still deteriorating?

A.: Re. the walking, see above. Her eyes are still the same, not getting any worse but not getting any better either.
Q.: How does she get around?
A.: By memory

Q.: Because Irish Hares are endangered, are there any plans to breed her? Is her eye condition a genetic problem or just one of those random development errors? Would breeding be too complicated/make the release of the buns impossible?
A.: We've no plans to breed her yet as she is still too young. I remember reading that hares only become adults after the first year and Buster is just over 5 months old. Re. the eyesight, we think it was just a random birth defect and might not be genetic but the truth is we don't know and we hope for the best.

Q.: Have you ever considered making a bunspace fo Buster?
A.: No, we didn't, but we'll probably stick with this blog for the moment.

Q.: I have a sense that she might be a real character. Is she intelligent?
A.: Buster is very curious, the moment you put something new in a room she's there investigating it! That includes finding her stash of treats and removing them from the bags and having a merry little feast when we're not home.
She's now learned to go to the garden and come back to the house on her own: she was always afraid of the step from the kitchen onto the patio but my husband has built her a ramp and she now comes and goes as she pleases when the door is open (she's always guarded).

Q.: Do you let buster roam freely about the house? what about when she does her business? have you litterbox trained her like i hear you can?
A.:Any suggestion on how to train a rabbit or a hare to use a litterbox, please advise! :-)
Buster has a litterbox which she does use from time to time. We put in cat litter at the bottom and corn seeds at the top, however, she's not trained and a brush and pan are always at the ready!

Q.: Will you be spaying her?
A.: We'll seek advice from the vet re. spaying, she's going in for a 6-month check up next month so we'll be asking them.

Okay, I hope I answered all your questions! If I didn't or I left out any questions, please let me know.
Now, onto the drinking problem!
We'd like to ask for your suggestions with regard to getting Buster to drink water on her own.
We have tried giving her water in a bowl (pure water or mixed with apple juice), we have tried the drinking bottles (the upside down ones with a metal tip) and we tried with a feeding bottle however Buster does not drink on her own!
Currently Buster is fed milk in the morning through her feeding bottle and water in the evenings through a syringe with no needle.
We need Buster to be self-reliant for fluid intake.
If you've any advice on how to do this (we already tried what's been suggested so far) please let us know!

Now onto the part you're all looking forward to.... the pictures! :-)

This is Buster in the mornings taking her milk bottle!

What you see under her chin is a wool cotton disc (the make up ones!) so she does not get any milk on her fur.

Buster: "It's not a golf ball, it's my tail!"

Buster: "You need to be aerodynamic in this Irish wind..!"

Buster: "What do you mean I'm getting too big??"

What's missing??

Getting hard to find a comfortable spot..

Buster: "Ahh, found it.."

Wednesday 1 October 2008

September pictures!

First of all, apologies for the late post, I've been quite busy lately and haven't had the chance to update the blog. On the other side, I've 3 weeks worth of pictures so I'm sure you'll forgive me :-)

Buster is doing well..
she's settled back in well after her week away at the vet clinic.
She's developed a liking for our indoor plants and she's quite keen on chewing the earth and leaves! Yesterday she actually climbed into the flower pot!

She also has developed a taste for shoes and jeans! (especially when you're wearing them!)

We heard that hares like bark, so we gave Buster a large branch to nibble at.. turns out she's really fond of it and it's nearly time to find another branch for her!

"Hey, what's cookin'?"

"What do you mean it's not for me?!"

"I wonder where they keep hare food around here.."

"Ok, let's try these presses.."

"Are you sure that casserole is not for me?"

"Let's see what's in this drawer"

"I'll just have a little nibble"

"Ok, maybe another one.."

"And a little bit of this too"

"It wasn't me!"

"I've never seen this plant before in my life!"

"It's good to be the Queen!"

Buster has green fingers!

"I think I'll prune this plant a little bit"

"this too.."

Buster just out of the shower (just kidding!)
In Ireland it's rain season all year round!