What gets those rabbit cages cleaner than anything else? What’s more effective than Vanodine, a power washer, or even bleach?? (As a side note…have you ever poured straight chlorine bleach on to an aluminum rabbit drinking dish? I have. It’s interesting.)
But what’s the best weapon against dirty rabbit cages? Motivation, of course.
I was thinking today about motivation, and how it’s not quite the same thing as perseverance. Sure, they’re both guided by the same thing: vision — but perseverance sounds like the ability to hang on when you’re giving your all in a righteous war; when it’s conquer or be conquered… but motivation isn’t half so romantic. Motivation just sounds like getting ourselves to stop slacking and do what we know we ought to do do.
All people struggle with staying motivated. Yes, I mean BOTH kinds of people: the rabbit breeders and the non-rabbit breeders. But we rabbit breeders find the results of a lack of motivation to be devastating in our herds. Lost breeding dates, mixed up pedigrees, littermates kept in the same cage so long that they are breeding each other, droppings piled high enough to reach the cage floor… I’m not picking on anybody, because at some point in my history of raising rabbits, I’ve been guilty of all of those things.
Here are some tips that might keep you going in those times when you’re lacking motivation. *cough* When it’s time to empty trays. *cough*
– Ask someone to do it with you. Sure, this isn’t always possible, but those dull and common chores like tattooing, cleaning, and toenail trimming seem a lot more fun when you have a buddy to talk and joke with.
-Set a REASONABLE regular schedule. Remember what Ma Ingalls from the Little House books would say? Wash on Monday, iron on Tuesday… ? Well, developing a weekly chore schedule for your rabbitry can help you stay on track. Back when I had my heart set on being ARBA Queen, I developed a “weekly chore schedule” for my rabbitry that I thought would look good on the royalty application. It ran something like the list you see at the right, with some task for each day. Time proved it not to be very practical to chop up the chores like that, but eventually I dropped some of the extraneous jobs that didn’t need to be done every week, and focused on what mattered. Once it got locked into my head that Sunday meant updating records, Monday meant dumping trays and Tuesday meant washing crocks, and the rest of the week I was free to play with the bunnies or do miscellaneous chores at my own pace, the system worked pretty well.
– Time yourself when emptying trays. I know this is crazy, but somehow it works for me. If I have to beat the clock, I find the motivation to finish the job. Maybe it’s that competitive nature coming out.
– When you get the job all done and have pretty rabbitry full of sweet-smelling pine shavings and bunnies that are already doing their best to soil them, take the time to sit down and enjoy the moment before going inside. A well-kept rabbitry with rows of shiny cages is a sight to be proud of. (That’s one good reason to buy cages with blue door guards: they look pretty.)
Remember, the hardest part is deciding to do it. After that, jobs usually go easily because frankly, people were made to work and it gives one a lot of satisfaction. But when you’re lacking that motivation, don’t feel too badly: it’s something that we all struggle with. Like me– m u s t f i n i s h t h i s b l o g p o s t e n t i r e l y b e f o r e c h e c k i n g e m a i l. 😛