My wife Diane and I are house rabbit people, not farmers, and it was our house rabbits that guided us to Vermont in the beginning of 2014. We adopted both of our rabbits, Jeffrey and Lilly in Anchorage, Alaska in the summer and fall, respectively, of 2013 and they changed our lives forever. It was Jeffrey and Lilly that awoke something within us, and made us realize that we wanted to dedicate more of our lives to our animals and to live more simply and closely attuned with nature. When we started looking for locations for a hobby farm in what we Alaskans call "the lower 48," Vermont, with it's rolling green pastures, fertile farm land, and progressive attitude toward organic agriculture, rose to the top of our list very quickly. After finding the perfect spot, we sold our house within a week in Anchorage and soon set out across Canada with our truck, a Uhaul and our rabbits. It was an adventure, to say the least. Although Lilly handled the trip like a pro, our poor Jeffrey protested half way through and stopped eating. Jeffrey was never much of a hay eater, but now she (Jeffrey is a female) was in full on GI stasis. It took many weeks to resolve and she now loves her new home even more than her old house in Alaska. And when I say "her" home, I mean this little farm is essentially "hers", we just live here with her.
Lilly did very well on the road and when we arrived here. She seemed to like Vermont very much and was enjoying all of the fresh foraged food we were collecting for them on our twelve acres of land, but in autumn, whilst we were enjoying our first fabulous New England foliage season, Lilly began to seem a bit off. We attributed it to changing from all of the wonderful foraged food to more store bought greens, but she seemed to become normal again as quickly as we suspected anything was wrong with her. It was around Thanksgiving when she stopped eating and started showing signs of a neurological disorder. To make a very long, painful story short, Lilly had developed E. Cuniculi after her immune system had been compromised by a bladder infection caused by bladder sludge. She had to be nursed back to health with syringe feedings, medications and sub Q fluids for months. We believe that the outpouring of support, positive energy, and prayers from the rabbit community on various social networks greatly aided In Lilly's, and frankly, our recovery. Lilly had always been a fabulous hay eater, but now she wouldn't touch whatever we put down for her, essentially, we now had two non-hay eating rabbits in the house.
We had been trying all sorts of hay ever since adopting Jeffrey to try to get her interested. We tried spraying her hay with apple juice, ordered hay with herbs mixed in, and just about every brand on the market that we could get our hands on. It was around the time of Lilly's slow recovery that we started visiting local farms in our area to look at fresh local hay. The difference in quality was immediately obvious between store bought hay and the hay we could buy here locally in Vermont. The fragrance, the color, and the strand size, were all much more appetizing. One of the first things Diane said was "I would eat this!". We saw immediate interest from our rabbits as soon as we put their Vermont timothy hay down in front of them. I'm happy to say, we now have two hay eating rabbits in Jeffrey's house.
It didn't take Diane and I very long before we realized that we could provide a great service to the very same community that graciously helped us through some pretty dark periods of Lilly's health issues. We feel as though our rabbits are guiding us again, they have compelled us to start our business, "One Ear Up" and to make available fantastic Vermont timothy hay, to all house rabbits and their human servants.
Thank you for visiting us here at One Ear Up!