Tag Archives: travel

When the Show Must Go On… (Or, how do you take care of the animals when you’re sick yourself?!)


Taking Care of Animals When You're Sick Too

What do you do when you’re sick but the animals still need daily care?

One of the worst things about raising animals is how they are so darn needy on a daily basis. Seriously – they want food. They want water. They need milking. They need grooming. It’s just so… regular.


I’ve been thinking about this a lot this week because our family has been hit hard by some type of sickness that’s going around. It’s been about a two week period and it’s cycled through all six of us. Assuming it doesn’t offer the pleasure of a repeat round I think we’re about three days from being totally done of it…

And all during this time we’ve still had to feed and water the rabbits. Milk the goats. Collect the eggs.

Animals don’t care a whit if you have a 103* temperature and chills.

Fortunately in our case the sickness we’ve had has been staggered so there’s always been someone healthy enough to do the chores, but it reminds me of the stories of early pioneers who were found dead in their tracks on the way to the barn while the rest of their family is dead in the bed. The last one standing in that situation was obviously overcome with the immensity of it all.

Morbid, I know. Sorry.

My goal in sharing this was actually not to be depressing and speak of death, doom, and destruction, but to point out the need for a plan when things go bad.

We know that life is always going to through curve balls at us – so when it comes to our animals, how are we prepared? Who is your back up to call and take care of the fur babies if you’re suddenly ill? On vacation?

This has been the greatest discussion in our family when our daughter first brought up wanting dairy goats. We know that with a milking animal our schedule will be much more limited and our travel adventures will slow down. However, we’re moving into a season of our family where that fits… so we can make a sacrifice of time and effort for this season.

How are you prepared for an emergency?




In response to our growing microfarm adventures, I’m taking another look at our emergency plan (initially created after I wrote this post a few years ago) and making sure it’s up to date. My plan is to turn it into a fillable .pdf and make it available to all of YOU so your leg work in creating your own plan is a little less stressful. Hopefully it will be out by the end of next week!

In the meantime, may your animal adventures be calm and that Murphy’s Law thing stay far away from you!

I’d love to hear from you about how you handle emergencies and travel plans! I feel like we should create some sort of a web-based service (like the Babysitters Club) where people could schedule others to come and cover chores!

Rabbit Road Trips

Transporting Rabbits

Transporting Rabbits

I took a rabbit roadtrip to meet another breeder and pick up some rabbits. We have 8 1/2 hours between us so it was a decent undertaking to meet in the middle, especially considering we are both the primary care takers for our family.


The time driving gave me a chance to think about the logistics of transporting rabbits, however.


Rabbits move quite a bit around the country – more than I realized when I started this hobby. Most travel is by vehicle, although there are a few airlines who allow rabbits to be shipped.


Our rabbitry is living proof of how rabbits travel. We have rabbits from Michigan, Georgia, Indian, Washington, Texas, New Mexico, and Ohio here at our little Arizona rabbitry! This is partially because we have some of the more rare breeds and had to do some footwork to get them here, but I’ve been very impressed with how far rabbits move!


Many times people who are attending shows are willing to drive  a rabbit with them for a charge of anywhere from $10 to $50. A $10 transport is likely only a few hours, a $50 transport fee will usually include a multi-day caretaking project. There is no set rule book for transporting or Rabbit Relay Guild – but if you ask around you can usually find someone trustworthy who will be willing to let your rabbit hitch a ride for a fee that helps them cover the cost of their own travel.


Because there is no standard, it’s important to ask questions before you confirm the transport:


  • How much will the transport cost?
  • Who will provide the carrier? You or the transporter?
  • What are the carrier dimensions? How about food and water dishes?
  • Should you send food with your rabbit(s)?
  • What responsibility does your carrier offer in picking up your rabbit? Checking tattoo for accuracy? Healthy check?
  • What responsibility does your transporter have if a rabbit gets sick during the journey? What if it dies?


If you’re transporting rabbits, make sure you have all of the above questions answered for each of your passengers, plus you might want to consider a few more items:


  • How much room do you have in your vehicle? Will that change based on carrier sizes?
  • Are you able to have rabbits in air conditioning at all times? In your hotel room (if traveling overnight)?
  • How are you organizing your transport? What is your double check that you have every rabbit you should and get it to the right owner?
  • Will you have time to deliver rabbits at a show?
  • How confident are you in your ability to see disqualification, wolf teeth, etc.?


We transported at the West Coast Classic this year (and have for a few short journey’s since then). It was an enjoyable, stressful experience for us. We’re definitely open to doing it again, but it was much more work than I initially expected and we had rabbits hanging out at our house for up to a month after WCC waiting for pick up.

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