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VBF News
Volume 1, Issue 1

Meet the Owners of Vanecek Bunny Farm


click on page number to take you to article 


Future of Rabbit Equipment


VBF Show/Vendor Schedule


Breeding Older Does


Herbal Discussion  Baytril 


Herbal Discussion  immune boosters


Herbal Flea Control


Unusual Uses for CocaCola


Cooling Method--Wet Wall

8 1/2

Texas Heat Tips


Acquired Rabbit Syndrome


This newsletter is for the benefit of our customers. These are our opinions and the opinions of our customers. We make no claim as to their effectiveness and will assume no liability with their use.

We would like to thank all the people who have contributed to our first newsletter.  If you have an article or subject that you think would be of interest to the rest of our customers, please submit it to Pat at for her consideration.
Thanks, Ken & Pat


Let us introduce ourselves. We are Ken and Pat Vanecek. We started Vanecek Bunny Farm in 1988. We began with selling a few bunnies and cages, feeders and waterbottles. We also did construction repair work. The bunny business grew and now “This is all we do”.

We raise Holland Lop, Minirex and Netherland Dwarf rabbits. We carry a complete line of rabbit equipment plus rabbit jewelry (& key chains, money clips,etc) and stepping stones.

We set up as vendors at most Texas shows. Last year we were vendors at the ARBA convention. We also market our supplies on the web and have built up a clientele in Texas over the last 11 years. We ship supplies and rabbits all over the United States and have customers in Japan, Canada and Norway.

Our website offers jokes, rabbit information & a show schedule as well as showing almost all the equipment that we sell. Pat designs and maintains the WebPages. She is constantly updating it and trying to offer help to the novice rabbit owner as well as the seasoned rabbit breeder. Pat does all the breeding and care of the rabbits. She also designs the price list and does all the ordering and office work. Ken does most of the selling. He fills orders and also builds the cages, cuts the wire, maintains the worm troughs (outside the bunny barns), makes the jewelry and the stepping stones. Needless to say, we both stay busy.

The above picture was taken at the 1998 TRBA State Show Banquet. You usually won’t see us in that attire. Some customers hardly recognized Ken in long pants.

We are open from 8 a.m. till 4 p.m. We are closed Wednesday. We are gone most Saturday’s to a rabbit show. People have asked why we are closed Wednesday. We usually have quite a few customers on the weekends so we picked a day in the middle of the week.

We will try to make this newsletter as informative and helpful as possible. If you have any suggestions please let us know, we look forward to your input.

Ken and Pat Vanecek

page 2

I started raising rabbits while in the Boy Scouts to earn a merit badge. I looked at different cages and feeding systems so that I would be able to raise rabbits for pets and food. Most cages were built out of 2"x4" lumber with chicken wire on the sides and what is called hardware cloth on the bottoms. Needless to say, I had a lot of problems with this design. I lost several rabbits to my neighbors' dog because he could tear right through the chicken wire. My rabbits ate most of the lumber that was supporting the cage. My rabbit's feet were always sore because of the roughness of the floor wire. Every thing on the cage was rusting and rotting as fast as I could replace it. I used coffee cans for feeders and my mom's old cereal bowls for watering my rabbits. I had problems with feed and water through out my youth.

When my sons decided to raise rabbits for their 4H club, I again started looking for chicken wire, hardware cloth and 2"x4" lumber. Fortunately I met some friends that showed me a different way of raising rabbits. I started using welded wire, a watering system and galvanized feeders. Today I sell equipment to rabbit and small animal breeders all over the world. The Edstrom self-watering system has made raising rabbits much easier. Each cage gets all the water the rabbits need. It has been especially helpful when a doe has several growing kits with her in a cage. It is easy for me to check to see if the valves are working by simply touching the stem. I also can use the system to medicate or supplement all the rabbits' water with a soluble treatment. All the parts necessary for one cage are priced about the same as the cost of a quart water bottle. I use a 5-gallon bucket with a float to insure the water is always available.

The galvanized fine-X feeders are also on each one of my cages. They have lid attachments available to keep little kits in and help keep rodents or moisture out. The wire bottoms sift out most dust or small particles to help the feed and feeder stay clean. I use the "wide mouth" type feeder for my Holland Lops because it is easier for them to get their big heads to the feed and less rubbing of their heads on the wire. The "wide mouth" feeders stick into the cage about 1/2 inch further than the regular feeders.

The cage wire has been the most important and expensive part of my cages. When using the normal galvanized before wire, I have noticed rust forming very quickly especially in the corners where they urinate. The bottom galvanized wire that is 1/2"x1" is made from 16 gauge wire. I have noticed that several larger breeds of rabbits can have problems with sore hocks using this type of wire. The 16-gauge wire is more flexible and tends to "bounce" in the larger size cages. Now that I use double dipped wire known as Galvanized After Wire, these problems have been eliminated. The 1/2"x1" galvanized after wire (GAW) is made with 14 gauge, instead of 16 gauge, wire. The cage floors stay very steady under pressure. The thickness of the wire, along with the smoothness of the second coating of galvanization, helps prevent most feet problems. The best feature of this bottom wire is the money saving fact that this wire will probably last three to four times longer than the regular galvanized before wire. I use GAW on all my cages now. I have had this wire in use for over six years with no rusting or deteriorating areas.

There are two types of clips made for putting together cages. J-clips or C-rings are the most commonly used types of connectors. These clips also come in many different materials. Galvanized, aluminum and stainless steel clips are all good metallic substances. I use the stainless steel c-rings for two reasons. First of all, they will never rust or cause the cage material to rust. The c-rings also do not collect or hold any foreign material inside the clip like the j-clips can.

Using Babysaver wire, which has 1/2"x1" (or 1/2"x2") wire on the lower 4 inches of the wire has saved many a kit from falling through the regular 1"x2" side wire. It costs a little more than regular side wire but if it saves just one kit, it has paid for itself.

There are several new types of feeders and water bottles that have helped me while traveling or transporting rabbits. Loc-crocks, Smart Crocks, top fill bottles and hay racks make traveling with rabbits much easier.

One of the most spectacular new ideas is the use of plastic and molded Polytrays. Carrying cages and stacked cages using Polytrays stay cleaner, rust free and are much lighter than the conventional metal pans and trays. These trays are made to slide under cages or so that cages may set inside the pans. Most Polytrays are made to specific sizes so that odd size cages are difficult to fit. Plastic or PVC sheeting is also excellent for use behind or under cages to catch droppings or to inhibit problems behind the cages from rabbits urine or spray.

The development of new materials used for keeping our rabbits safe and happy is a never-ending process. Maybe someday stainless steel wire or platinum coated wire will be available to us at a reasonable price. We must do our best to save our rabbits and save money by using the best products available.

Ken G. Vanecek

page 3

Vanecek Bunny Farm
Show Schedule

below is a list of all shows that we will be set up as vendors

3/4/00 4 County 4H Michelle Martinez
(409) 885-1100

3/25/00 Bay Area RBA Doris Mills
(512) 552-2753

San Antonio RBA Kathy Kotara
(210) 599-7956
Happy Hoppers

Stephens Co RC CJ Carroll
(405) 252-7381
4/15/00 TRBA STATE SHOW Danny Messer
4/16/00 BELTON (806) 353-6247

South TX RBA Mike Withrow
(361) 293-7227

Central TX RC Marilyn Morris
(512) 281-3803

Grimes Co Fair Sandra Kuta
(409) 894-2700

offer good thru 3-31-00
ITEM* EZ CROCK reg $6 sale price $5
3 compartment carrier reg $24 sale price $21

page 4


1. Increased exposure to strong light......give the doe at least 16 hours of light a day. The closer the light is to natural sunlight, the better. I don't use lights 24 hours a day....remember, rabbits are nocturnal creatures by nature.
2. Add apple cider vinegar to the water..........add 2 tablespoons to a gallon of water, offer this as the only water source. This is a constant in my is in the water all the time. And it does work......I have a 98% conception rate in my barn and a 95% live litter rate.......and I have over 150 working does, so it is a fairly impressive number, if you ask me. You usually see the greatest effect from this about 4 weeks after beginning treatment. There is a side benefit to this.......I have noticed that the does treated with it seem to have larger litters, and all the animals (bucks & does, nursing or not) that receive it have the most wonderful coats I have ever seen......even in the worst of the Texas summer. And, if you use can always add it to water at a order to "cover up" the smell or taste of the strange water from the show barn.
3. Put her on a diet.......give her only half of what she normally gets for 10 days......give her lots of grass hay (timothy, coastal, alfalfa), to fill the void. Then try her with the buck. The object here is to get her thin (not to the point of death, but very thin)...I know it sounds bad, but I have used this method many times. My theory is that the doe has internal fat built up, and it is interfering with ovulation. I have posted several older non breeding does, and have found an extraordinary amount of fat in the internal body cavities, and the fat seems to be clustered around the ovaries more so than anywhere else in the cavity. I have also posted older does that bred until the very end, and they lacked these fat deposits.
4. Run her with the buck.......if you have a fairly gentle doe and them together for as long as it takes to get her bred. This method only works if you can palpate. I usually check the doe every week, and I have yet to have a doe that didn't get pregnant using this method. Be aware that the doe will look pretty scruffy if you do this.......for some reason, bucks like to pull out their hair. Rabbit courtship is STRANGE! LOL
5. Wheat germ oil....give the doe several drops of wheat germ oil on her feed every day.
6. Breed her often........if the doe is raising, but not conceiving.....breed her to the buck as many times as you can over the course of 6-8 hours (I have bred a doe as often as every 15 minutes, aggravating, but it usually works). Rabbits are induced ovulators, and the continual breeding gives you a better chance of success......if you get enough sperm into the doe.....there is a good chance that a few will make it through. Usually, my bucks cannot hold up to this, so I use several on her during the day...........of course, if you can get her bred.......the litter won't be any good (you won't know who the father is).....but after you get the first litter, she will be much easier to breed the next time around. Another thing......I use younger bucks when using this method......IMO some older bucks seem to suffer from a lower sperm count, and if the doe is hard to get going, you don't want to take any chances.
7. Try her with a buck from a slightly larger breed......i.e. dwarf doe x mini rex buck. I don't know why this works, but it does. Really good with the doe that won't raise. IMO, I think the heavier buck stimulates her to raise. I have seen dwarf does that won't raise for a small dwarf buck, but easily raise for a larger one. I have also seen the same phenomena in the other five breeds that I raise.
8. Give her parsley.......I have had limited success with this, but you can try it. Give the doe one spring of parsley daily for a week, then try to breed her.
9. Change locations.....if you have a friend who is a breeder, try sending her there. Sometimes all they need is a change in location.
10. Never overfeed.....a fat doe is very difficult to breed, and a fat buck doesn't have the stamina to get the job done.
11. Allow the temperature in the housing area to come up. Sometimes a "warm spell" really kicks them in the rear (so to speak). It stands to the wild, rabbits are seasonal breeders (spring/summer), it seems that some of our domestics have retained a minute trace of this......Belgian Hares are noted for being easiest to breed in the spring/summer months. I have found that a raise to 75 degrees for several days really does the trick. Works for my other breeds too.
Here are a few other things to consider if the doe won't raise for the buck:
1. Take her to a show, this always seem to put my does in the "mood". I don't know why, but this REALLY works. Just ask any judge who has handled my open does.......hard to pose a dwarf that has her rear up in the air. LOL
2. House the doe between two bucks. I think the close proximity of the boys gets the does going. Maybe it is the smell, visual contact, or both.
3. Try forced breeding...hold the doe in position and let the buck breed her. Many times she will raise on her own for a repeat breeding after being force bred.
Sherita Tabner
Netherland Dwarf * Britannia Petite * Hotot * Belgian Hare * Himalayan


page 5


Date: Sun, 13 Jun 1999 15:09:37 EDT From:
Subject: Baytril
Just a note: Baytril needs to be a fairly long-term treatment. When treating bunnies with respiratory symptoms (probably snuffles), the Baytril must be given for at least 45 days. We've successfully treated a case of snuffles, using strict isolation & Baytril. However, any antibiotic will cause an imbalance of the rabbit's gut flora, so you should also give something to replenish the healthy "bugs" in the intestines, such as a probiotic or natural yogurt. Remember, the yogurt you buy in the grocery store has probably been pasteurized and therefore doesn't contain enough of the live bacteria to do any good. Go to a health food store for it.
Echinacea is an immune booster, not an antibiotic. That means that it strengthens the body's natural defenses (antibodies). It alone will not kill off a bacteria like pasteurella. What it will do is allow the body to suppress the bacteria. Although you may not see symptoms, the bacteria is probably still present, and will recur when the rabbit is stressed. The suppressed bacteria can also be passed to any other bunnies you have. If you have only one rabbit, who never comes in contact with others, by all means, use Echinacea and keep it. If, however, you show that rabbit, you should think twice about exposing others.
I feel very strongly about our responsibility NOT to expose other folks' rabbits to contagious illnesses. Even after testing, the rabbit we treated with Baytril was never shown again, and lived in the house away from our herd. Dawn

Date: Tue, 27 Jul 1999 22:48:44 -0700 From: "Alice" <>

page 6


Hi Marie, So glad to hear your bunny enjoyed the leaf so much. I sure hope it helps her to get better. I have one buck that sneezes from time to time, mostly when I give him hay, so I think it must be from the dust, or an allergy. He shows no signs of snuffles, just occasionally sneezes.

When I responded to your post it was just "off the top of my head", and after reading your letter to me I opened some books to further investigate. One book agrees with you that it is the root, the other book says all parts of the plant. I will copy what each says for your info, and I will send a copy of this letter to HerbalRabbit as others may be able to benefit from the following info, too.

TODAY'S HERBAL HEALTH by Louise Tenny is a book written for humans.… ECHINACEA (Echinacea angustifolia) Echinacea stimulates the immune response, increasing the body's ability to resist infections, especially the production of white blood cells. It improves lymphatic filtration and drainage, and it helps remove toxins from the blood. It is considered one of the best blood cleansers and is called the King of the Blood Purifiers. It is considered a non-toxic way of cleansing the system..... It is a natural antibiotic.... It contains vitamins A, E, C, iron, iodine, copper, sulphur and potassium.

Now, from THE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF NATURAL PET CARE by CJ Puotinen..… ECHINACEA (Echinacea purpurea, E. angustifolia) One of America's best-selling herbs, the purple coneflower (E. purpurea) and it's close cousin (E. angustifolia) are often recommended for the treatment of colds and flu in humans and upper respiratory infections in animals, but it effectively fights bacterial and viral infections throughout the body by stimulating immune responses, Echinacea can be given to a pet who has suffered a puncture wound, cut, burn or abrasion for this purpose.

Many assume that because echinacea is so effective at fighting disease, therapeutic doses given daily will keep a person or animal in perfect health. There is controversy among herbalists regarding this strategy, with a growing number now recommending that people and pets take only tiny amounts or none at all until exposed to an infectious disease, suffering an upper-respiratory congestion, vomiting, fever or diarrhea. Echinacea is most effective when taken in large doses in capsules or tincture for short periods every two or three hours for one to three days.

For best results, use a tincture made from the fresh rather than dried plant; look for a dark color, sharp fragrance and pungent taste. The entire echinacea plant is medicinal, from dramatic blossom to leaf, stem, seed, and root.

I also decided to check the Echinacea that I take (when needed). The tincture has E. Purpurea flower & root, and E. Angustifolia root. The capsules say Echinacea ang/pal/purp..... A proprietary blend of concentrated and assayed Echinacea whole plant and root powders. So I guess it may depend on the type of E. you use. To feed the rabbit a root I personally would wash and dry the root and feed it fresh and raw. The bunny may love to eat this, too, and I would keep feeding her the fresh leaves. Sounds to me like this is the correct herb to help your rabbit.

Yes, I would like to hear any updates you have on her, and how this herb works for her. Thank you so much for writing. Good luck. Alice Gold 'N Glory Menagerie

Vanecek Bunny Farm
Ken & Pat Vanecek
51 Sun Valley Drive
Spring Branch, TX 78070

page 7

Date:Mon,28Jun1999 From:"Alice"<>

Subject: fleas

Pat: I have a book called "Everything I Ever Knew About Fleas And Was Afraid You'd Never Ask" by Rocky. Following are some excerpts from that book:

*- Certain herbs such as sage, tobacco, eucalyptus, sassafras, bay leaf and vetiver when dried and powdered and used on pets and surroundings help to repel fleas.

*- Certain oils such as citronella, eucalyptus, pennyroyal, orange, sassafras, lavender, geranium, clove and mint are flea repellants and can be used directly on the animal without irritating it unless the animal has exceptionally sensitive skin. Although these oils repel pests they do not kill the adult flea nor affect the eggs, larvae and pupae.

*- Natural diatomaceous earth sprinkled on pet bedding or on the animal will kill fleas by the silicon material of the earth dehydrating them by chafing their shells which causes them to lose body fluids. You must be very careful, though, in applying it because the dust can irritate the lungs of both you and the pet.

*- Quite good results have been had with feeding Brewers Yeast and garlic to the pet as apparently the smell comes out in the skin of the animal and repels the fleas. This method is not terribly efficacious by itself but is a help when used with other methods. And as both are healthy food additives they cannot help but be good for the animal even if they don't work too effectively against fleas.

*- Finally I come to the one natural product which is not only a flea, tick and insect repellant, but best of all stops the eggs, larvae and pupae from maturing and so breaks the life cycle..... Mother Nature has provided a natural product which is abundant in the Pacific Northwest which not only repels the adult fleas but STOPS THE EGGS, LARVAE AND PUPAE FROM HATCHING!

You are all aware of it because it has been well known for centuries in the form of a cedar chest. That is correct -- Western Red Cedar! For centuries people have stored their precious furs and woolens in cedar chests and cedar closets to repel clothes moths little realizing that cedar also repels other insects such as spiders, mosquitos, ants, fleas, and ticks as well.

*- The cedar oil spray or powder used all over the house wherever the animal has been will effectively stop the eggs, larvae and pupae from hatching and this is the most important thing in the control of fleas, because if you cannot stop the adolescents from maturing you will always have a new crop no matter how many adult fleas you kill.

Sounds like a load of cedar chips/shavings spread around the inside of the rabbitry would be a great idea. Hope this helps. Alice Gold 'N Glory Menagerie

Subject: Fleas Date: Tue, 29 Jun 1999 12:36:11 EDT From:

Alice, it's true that aromatic cedar works wonderfully with cats and dogs, but it's not recommended for rabbits. The current feeling among many breeders is that the rabbit cannot metabolize the inhalants, and suffers from liver & respiratory tract damage.

Other aromatics which repel fleas include witch hazel, eucalyptus & pennyroyal. I haven't experimented with them, due to the possibility of the same complications suffered from cedar. I have heard that apple cider vinegar, when added to the water, will cause rabbits to be unattractive to fleas. It doesn't actually kill them (unless you drown them in it!), but is supposed to make the rabbit "smell" wrong to

the fleas. I don't know if it's true or not, but we add a couple of tablespoons to 32 oz of water about once a month, and haven't had fleas on the bunnies (we also have 4 cats & 3 dogs who are often in the bunny barn, and who play with bunnies who visit the house). However, we also treat with Ivomec regularly, so who knows? Good luck! Dawn

page 8

Unusual Uses for Coca-Cola

Just when you thought you knew everything....
To clean a toilet:
Pour a can of Coca-Cola into the toilet bowl. Let the "real thing" sit for one hour, then flush clean. The citric acid in Coke removes stains from vitreous china.
To remove rust spots from chrome car bumpers:
Rub the bumper with a crumpled-up piece of Reynolds Wrap aluminum foil dipped in Coca-Cola.
To clean corrosion from car battery terminals:
Pour a can of Coca-Cola over the terminals to bubble away the corrosion.
To loosen a rusted bolt:
Applying a cloth soaked in a carbonated soda to the rusted bolt for several minutes.
To bake a moist ham:
Empty a can of Coca-Cola into the baking pan; wrap the ham in aluminum foil, and bake. Thirty minutes before the ham is finished, remove the foil, allowing the drippings to mix with the Coke for a sumptuous brown gravy.
To remove grease from clothes:
Empty a can of Coke into a load of greasy clothes, add detergent, and run through a regular cycle. The Coca-Cola will help loosen grease stains.
It will also clean road haze from your windshield.

Date: Tue, 15 Feb 2000 09:25:36 +1100  From: "Barbara" <>
Subject: Tea tree oil FUR MITES
Hi Emily,
I mix the Tea Tree oil with some vegetable oil about 5 drops to a couple of tablespoons and then apply it to the affected area. It's very messy but you will find that you notice a difference very, very quickly.   Regards, Barb
From: "Emily/Linda Spencer" <
`I have several bunnies with fur mites. I wanted to know how to treat them with tea tree oil. I really want to nip these mites in the bud. So how do I give the oil to them? And where?   Thanks! Emily

page 8 1/2

From: aseasons [] Sent: Sunday, January 23, 2000 12:42 PM
To: Pat Vanecek
Subject: WET WALL
Hi Pat, Hope all is well with you and yours.
Our wall is 6' tall 12' long and is the center of our wall on the south side. We built a frame 2 sides and top out of 1x6 boards. placed wire on one side and wire will do just to hold batting. We used batting like inside a water cooler, from hardware store, pack as close together and as tight as possible. c-ring it to the wire in several places it has to be tight once the wall is up and wet it could sag. place wire on other side of frame. place frame on wall. remembering that pvc pipe will need to run across the top. Place half barrel at one end of wall with pump, pvc pipe goes up and across with small holes drilled very inch for spray. plug end of pipe. We used fiberglass sheets across the bottom to return water to pump and barrel fastened to the bottom of the wall with wire in the shape of a  u  Hubby hard plumbed water to barrel with a toilet float for water to refill as needed. Large fans were placed in walls opposite water wall blowing out. this pulls air through the wall cooled and filters it across the barn. I place one cup of bleach in barrel twice a week for bacteria and this is our third year with the wall. Our barn stays 75 at 105 outside and our barn is not insulated. The commercial and the show buns seem to enjoy the cool air and have not had any problems with it. It really is not as complicated as it sounds.
If you have any more questions please feel free to ask. Barbara All Seasons Rabbitry & Supply

page 9
Texas Tips for Beating the Heat!

Subject: Texas Tips for Beating the HEAT

Hello fellow SB's!

After seeing much discussion about how to the handle the heat... I decided to add my few cents worth. My rabbitry is located 45 miles, west, of San Antonio, Texas. Here we have temps of 100' -103' degrees everyday. (Today it is 103')

Currently I have 128 Holland's. 3/4 of them are in the barn... the other's are outside. My barn is located in direct sunlight from sun up to sun down. ( obviously the building was never intended to be a rabbit barn!) The first step I took towards cooling down the barn was to insulate it. Believe me… nothing does any good if you do not insulate it. That alone cut the temp down 10 degrees! I bought the best money could buy. I bought the double silver-sided, R-11 foam board insulation. ( the thickest they had) It ran me about $14.00 per sheet. Doing the roof is the most important. If possible.... double the roof and single the sides. Next was I bought a water cooler. (aka- Swamp cooler) It is a big one. 1/2 horse power. It ran me about $340.00 last year. Although I have heard from friends that had to buy one this year... that they paid quite a bit more for theirs. It runs me about $15.00-$20.00 per month to run! A lot cheaper than AC! I also have a standing fan in the corner to help move the air around. Well, the good news is.... even thought my barn is baking in the sun all day... my barn stays between 79'-83' degrees in the hottest part of the day! (on average it is mostly 80') My rabbits are in heaven, and it allows me to keep my breeding program going during the summer, so I have plenty of fall babies to show.

As far as my rabbit outside go... I try to keep only the juniors out there. They can handle the heat much better than anybody else. I have done all the normal things that people do for rabbits outside. Water bottle, wet rags, sprinklers, etc...etc.. Well, I decided this last week that it really was not helping that much... and I felt that I could not go anywhere because I needed to be home to cool the rabbits down from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. everyday. So, with the advice from my friends... I installed a mister system a few days ago. I needed to install misters over 110' feet of cages. I bought 110' feet of 1/2 inch PVC pipe, all the connectors, and glue from Home Depot. The misters and connectors that the misters screw into...., I bought through Vanecek Bunny Farm. They are not expensive at all... and the PVC pipe was .95 cents per 10 feet! I have never done anything with PVC before... so I was worried. But, it was so easy!! You just cut if needed, and glue!! No drilling or anything required. PVC is very easy to cut through...only takes a few seconds. I put the whole mister system up in less than 2 1/2 hours! If I had only known that it was going to be so inexpensive and easy to do this... I would have done it years ago! Now I just feel guilty for the past years I have not had this! The misters run along the roofs of my cages. They cool down the roof and with the little breezes that mother nature gives us… it cools down the area's around the cages. You can see the difference in the rabbits already. They are not breathing like it is their last breath anymore and they are eating better. You can even see them run towards the corner of their cages.. in hopes that the wind might catch some of the mist and send it blowing in for a quick mist down on their heads! The only last concern I had was that I did not want the misters running

all the time. Only from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. everyday. AND.... not constant the whole time. I wanted to be water conscious and let things dry up a little between shifts. I am not home a lot... so I decided to purchase a water timer. It is a water timer by NELSON. It is hard to find ones that you can make it turn on and off more than twice a day... but I found one at out local True-Value. They have one that you can set it to go off from 4 times per day... and one that you can have go off and on 6 times per day. They did not have the 6 times per day in stock... so I bought the 4 times per

day one. It is so great!! I have it set to go off automatically at intervals from 1 to 7 p.m. everyday. It is working out great... and I feel good when I am not home that the rabbits are doing great. The timer was expensive... but worth it. It ran about $50.00. So for a little less than $100.00.... I did the whole mister system with timer. Now, that's great! Well, I know this was lengthy.... but I hope it helps somebody out there keep their rabbits cool. If I can be of any help please feel free to contact me.

You can order the misters from Vanecek Bunny Farm. I am sure they will gladly be of help to you if you have any questions. Here is their email and web page.  or  (you can order them from their web page)

Thank you and good luck!   The Holland Hut         Joy Kretzer

page 10

Acquired Rabbit Obsessive Syndrome or AROS from Wanda Twellman, MO

Bob Davis from England just informed me of a new rabbit disease that they have found in Europe. I felt that time was of the utmost importance in letting American breeders know of this dreaded new disease. So here's what he sent me. "I think it may be too late for some of us:

We have identified a new disease, probably caused by a virus, among rabbit-owning people. It apparently has been in existence for a considerable time, but only recently has science identified the disease, and begun to study it. It is called Acquired Rabbit Obsessive Syndrome or AROS. At first AROS was originally considered to be psychological in origin, but after two young researchers here suddenly decided to become show breeders we realized that we were dealing with an infectious agent. Epidemiologists here have identified three stages of the disease, and typical symptoms.

A. You have early symptoms (Stage 1) if:

1. You think that any show within 300 miles is close.

2. You begin to enjoy getting up at 5 in the morning feed your rabbits.

3. It is fun to spend several hours a day grooming rabbits.

4. You think you are being frugal if you spend less than $3000 a year on shows.

5. You can't remember what it was like to have just one rabbit.


B. You definitely have the disease (Stage II) if:

1. Your most important factor when buying a car is how many carriers you can fit in it.

2. When you look for a house, the first thing you think of is how many rabbit cages can fit in the garage or shed.

3. Your rabbit food bill is higher than the grocery bill.

4. You spend as much or more on Veterinarians as you do on Doctors.

5. You have no money because of showing rabbits.

6. You have to buy more than one vehicle a year because you keep burning out the 7 year or 70,000 mile warranty going to shows.

7. You have more pictures of your rabbits than you have of your family.

8. Your idea of a fun vacation is to hit a show circuit.

9. Most of your conversations revolve around rabbits.


C. You are a terminal case (Stage III) if:

1. You wake up in the morning to find that you have put the kids in the carriers, and the rabbits in the beds last night.

2. You know each rabbit's name and pedigree, but can't figure out who that stranger in the house is, and it turns out to be your spouse.

3. Your neighbors keep insisting that those kids running around your house are yours.

4. You keep telling the kids to hold still, and can't understand why they won't. And why they keep objecting to the way your posed them.

5. You cash in the kid's college trust fund to buy new breeding stock.

6. You've been on the road showing so long that you can't remember where you live.

7. Your family tells you "it's either the rabbits or us!" and you choose the rabbits.

Do you have this dread disease? Well there is hope. In the course of our research we have found that most cases seem to stop at Stage II and remain chronic. We have with great difficulty, managed to acquire several Stage III AROS patients. They are currently in our isolation wards, where we are studying them to gain a better understanding of this disease. It is a sight, seeing these formerly vibrant people as they shuffle around their rooms cleaning things with wire brushes and dumping the water pitcher once daily. Merely saying the words "ARBA convention" can send them into an uncontrollable frenzy.

Unfortunately, there isn't much hope for these cases, but with time and research we hope to further understand this disease and come up with a cure. We are now attempting to isolate the causative agent, and may be able to develop a vaccine in the near future. An interesting sidelight of this disease seems to be that exposure at an early age has an immunizing effect. Several people afflicted with AROS at Stage II and Stage III have close family members (children/wives/husbands) who have absolutely no signs of the disease. It is thought by some that this may be due to some environmental effects, to an age related immune function, or maybe the fact that people in these stages of the disease tend not to associate with their close family members, due possibly to memory deficit induced by the disease -- that is, in layman's terms, they don't remember they have close family members!

What can you do to prevent this disease? Until a cure is found, prevention is the best measure. Avoid rabbitries advertising "Show rabbits", since it may be that the rabbits are carriers of this disease. Leave town on those days that the local newspapers inform you of a rabbit show in the area.

If you inadvertently come in contact with an AROS person, leave as soon as possible (they do tend to cling) and thoroughly shower, preferably with a germicidal soap. If you are living with one take comfort in the fact that if you haven't succumbed yet, you are probably safe.