Friday, June 3, 2011

Disaster strikes hard...

in memory of all the bunny souls lost
Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your love, your wonderful company, your friendship and your gorgeous beauty.
We will not forget. We will never stop loving you.

Last Saturday I was at the handknitters guild mini wool show meeting fabulous fibre fans and having a great time. Little did I know that back at the farm there was the start of a drama unfolding. I came back very late at night and only on Sunday morning Paul told me we lost one of he bunnies: Chewbacca. It looked like a brain aneurysm and all the other bunnies were fine. They were happily hopping around, eating, doing binkies and being their wonderful fluffy selves. There was no indication that some horror was brewing under the surface of all that joy and fluffiness.

I had to go into hospital on Tuesday the 31st of May: something I wasn't particularly looking forward to: total anaesthetic and some poking and prodding and taking of biopsies and “things holiday’ing in my bowel, is not what I call a good day out. I was nervous ofcourse.

In the morning of that Tuesday I went to feed the bunnies as usual, only to find Dash, one of our youngest black males dead in his cage. There was no indication, he was fit as a fiddle, there was no blood, no nothing!. Next thing I notice Ookie (one of the brokeback mountain boys as I call them) was a bit off. As soon as I picked him up I knew there was something seriously wrong: he was lethargic and seemed to have symptoms of floppy bunny syndrome. Immediately I give him critical care and fluids, keeping him warm in my arms. Then there were epileptic fits and a huge high pitched cry , two more breaths and ….he was gone….By that time I was numb and devastated, in the course of 72 hours 3 absolutely healthy animals had died ! it was freezing cold there were no flies, no mosquitos, we protect our bunnies and still this happens?

Tears flowing down my face while I disinfected my hands and started feeding and inspecting all the other bunnies. They all seemed fine except Babe who was a bit quiet but still went for his food. No one else seemed to show any lethargy, disinterest or anything to alarm me. There was nothing I could do!

By that time I was almost late for my own procedure at the hospital..Paul drove me there all extremely distressed and wondering what was going on at the farm.

The op went fine (results in a weeks time) and they discharged me that same day. That night we came back to total disaster: In the course of 12 hours we lost all but two of our studmales and our 7 of our does, so many losses! So many empty cages!, so much heartache.

Babe gone our blue eyed white ! and Popcorn our precious pure Gold bunny! And so many more! 7 years of careful breeding gone in matter of hours !!!

Wednesday morning I took one studmale to the vet together with 4 does (It was only when I came back I thought “oh yeah, I wasnt supposed to drive for 24 hours after the op..). The vet was flabbergasted of what had happened and all the animals there were thoroughly checked and vaccinated and were given a total clean bill of health. That, she said, did not really mean anything. It was obviously a virus, she suspected a strain of caliƧi, that is devastating to rabbits and kills 70% of the population.

We are still in such a state of shock and every hour we check the remaining bunnies, handfeed those who have trouble eating themselves, look for any signs but up til now, all the remaining bunnies are still with us.

The incubation period is anywhere from 72 hours to a week, but the vet said , “they” don’t really know. “They” are the intelligent scientist monsters who have devised these kind of viruses. “They”are so called helping the graziers and farmers to cope with a wild rabbit over population by putting a MANMADE virus into the environment that is carried by so called vectors: carriers of the disease.

These vectors are : mosquitos, flies, rats, mice, birds even humans. When we got home that fateful night we saw a big honey eater bird lying dead in front of our studio door in a pool of blood that had obviously come from his beak…I am certain that even some vectors/carriers can develop symptoms and die a horrible death.

Here in Australia we are not allowed to vaccinate our animals our pets our breeding stock our livelihood, against Myxomatosis, for fear of rendering the hard work of these Dr Frankensteins worthless. As if I am going to set free my inoculated angora rabbits into the wild !!

When is mankind going to come to its senses that introducing something foreign and so dangerous and manmade into nature is upsetting a balance that will most definitely be turning against all of us in in the end. Especially clowning around with viruses that obviously can mutate.

Even when you vaccinate your animals against calici with the RCD vaccine from Cyclap (you need to inject 1ml subcutaneously into the rabbit with a 25ga syringe) it is not certain it will protect it. On the information sheet of the vaccine it says the following;”A small number of animals in any population may fail to respond to vaccination as a result of immunological incompetence or for some other reason” Well, that is a super scientific and logical explanation isn’t it? NOT!!!!

Last week, the politicians were all of a sudden in arms because some inhumane (hahaha, cynical word isn't it?) treatment of live exported cattle to Indonesia. Wake up: this has been going on for years! And not only to Indonesia! To the Middle East as well! But all of a sudden because of the public outcry and savage imagery, people decided no more and politicians were thinking of their ratings and votes, so there : all of a sudden some steps in the right direction were taken> Will it be enough? No , ofcourse not. Because as soon as those savage images and reports are slowly vanishing into the backgrounds of our minds and other disasters take their place, it’s forgotten about or deemed less important. We have to stay alarmed, stay vigilant, stay critical of processes that have been in place because it is good for somebody’s bankaccount. Status Quo of the way we treat nature, our animals, has to change . We have to think ethically and with compassion…and how can you possibly stand by while the department of primary industries and others are injecting wild populations with a manmade virus ? Where is the ethics and the animal friendliness that mankind professes to have?

Safe to say, I am exhausted..ofcourse haven’t had time to do my work at the dyepots or spin or do anything else but trying to save the animals we have left and then the clean up and disinfecting and sanitisng cages start: a HUGE job!.

There is so much cleaning up to do, so much rebuilding. It is so painful , every time to go into the bunny run and see so much emptiness. It is heartbreaking !

I was going to update a bit with camelbunny yarn but I just can't at this time:I am too exhausted. It’s all too painful and there is still so much to do for the bunnies still with us. However I did promise you on my Ravelry group some silk ribbon so I took a photo of that. I still have some looooong repeat rainbow yarn left so I am repeating the offer and some twinkle bunny tops have left, In honour of the bunny souls lost.
I am also starting sign ups for the ixchel clubs starting again in July. All the information you will find below.

If there is anything you want to do to help us get back on our feet and you are able to physically help and don’t mind getting very dirty: email me if you want to help us clean and disinfect and repair. It will probably be next weekend but more details on my RAV group. Also, you can show your support by just keep doing what you have always done. You all have been such a tremendous help in dark times like these and I am so grateful to have you as my know who I am talking about :D

If you want to put a stop to the releasing of calici and myxo here are some petitions you can sign on line:

If you want you can copy the text and send a signed copy to

Senator Joe Ludwig,

Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry,

PO Box 6022, Parliament House,

Canberra ACT 2600 Australia.

Fax +61 2 62764120 or email him

I will also be collecting signatures at Bendigo ! Help by changing the way things are unethically done now and secure a better, peaceful , animals and human friendly world tomorrow.
Thank you so much fro your help and support !

Twinkle Bunny Tops (70% 18m merino, 20% tencel, 10% angora)
100g /AU$24

Natural Twinkle bunny tops also available






Rainbow Angorino
(70%merino, 25%silk, 5%angora) 100g AU$22

hot chilli


Looooooooong repeat 100% wool yarn

4ply Rainbow yarn in two colourways
special loooooooooooooooooooong repeat dyed yarn in a 100% wool that knits up like a dream! See the citron I made for example ! Feltable as well and looks amazing ! Huge skeins of +/- 150grams at an amazing price of $26. Yardage per 100grams +/- 400meters !


Purple rainbow

Silk Ribbon
115grams-180grams AU$20
handstitched ribbon to knit or crochet with, recycled silk fabric . handstitched silk ribbon
110-180grams AU$20
great for weaving (esp Saori weaving),knitting crochet,anything goes ! All skeins are predominantly silver and gold with flashes of colours in it.

Sik ribbon

IxCHeL Fibre Club
The subscription is for a period of three months and you will receive one special hand dyed top/roving per month to the value of AU$20 or more !
All the tops will be hand dyed and will be especially made for the members of Ixchel Fibre Club !
Price to join the Ixchel Fibre Club #9 and receive your special hand dyed top :)) for three months is AU$60 + postage (parcel post or airmail). AND double and triple serves are available !!! So in short:
For Australia :
single serve $60+$18 postage (parcel post)
double serve $120+$21
triple serve $160+$33
For USA + Canada:
single serve AU$60+AU$35 (Airmail)
double serve AU$120+AU$60
For UK,Europe, rest of the world:
Single serve AU$60+AU$38 (airmail)
Double serve AU$120+AU$58
For Asia:
Single serve AU$60+AU$28 (airmail)
Double serve AU$120+AU$39
If you want to receive a fibre surprise every month then join the IXCHEL FIBRE CLUB #10 now. Numbers are strictly limited ! Deadline for signing up for fibre club #10 is JUNE 30th ! And the first installment is going to be shipped out mid JULY:)
Payment via direct deposit or credit card. Just PM or email me your details :))

IxCHeL Funky Bunny Batt Club
Here are all the details and just pm me when you have any questions or want to be part of the funky bunny batt club Movement ;-) Welcome to the blingy dark side ;-D
At the request of so many fibre fans and bunny lovers I am starting this thread so that everybody who wants to join the 10TH funky bunny batt club can put their name on the list.
The subscription is for a period of three months (july-august-september!) and you will receive one special hand dyed funky bunny batt per month to the value of AU$32 or more . The batts will range in weight from 100grams to 150grams with luxury fibres like camel , angora, cashmere, silk, yak, llama even buffalo and wolf this time ! is on the cards for the next funky bunny club!! )
All the batts will be hand dyed and will be especially made for the members of Ixchel funky bunny Club ! Every month you will receive a HUGE luxury funky bunny batt !
Sign up now and you will receive an Ixchel Hand dyed , super luxurious funky bunny batt in july-august-september 2011 !
Price to join the Ixchel Funky bunny #10 :)) for three months is AU$96 + postage (parcel post or airmail). So in short:
For Australia : $96+$18postage (parcel post)
For USA + Canada: AU$96+AU$35 (Airmail)
For UK,Europe, rest of the world: AU$96+AU$38 (airmail)
For Asia: AU$96+AU$28 (airmail)
If you want to receive a fibre surprise every month then join the IXCHEL FUNKY BUNNY Batt CLUB now. Numbers are strictly limited ! Deadline for signing up for the funky bunny batt club #10 is JUNE30th! And the first installment is going to be shipped out mid JULY 2011 :)

IxCHeL Sock it to me yarn club
What is the deal? hmmm it is sooo good and fun and sockaliscious you just will HAVE to join :)
Here are the details:
Every month for three months you will receive:
1. enough hand dyed luscious yummy yarn to make a pair of socks; (the hand dyed yarn will be exclusive for the Ixchelbunny SOCK-IT-TO-ME Yarn CLUB and will range from a sockweight yarn or a 3ply or a 4 ply);
2. Every month a new sock pattern, tips and instructions ! Now is that GOOD or is that GOOD ??! :) I will even offer a double serve for those of you who like their socks extra long :)
Here is the nitty gritty:
For Australia :
single serve $78+$18 postage (parcel post)
double serve $130 (= one skein FREE!!!) +$21
For USA + Canada:
single serve AU$78+AU$35 (Airmail)
double serve $130 (= one skein FREE!!!) +AU$49
For UK,Europe, rest of the world:
Single serve AU$78+AU$38 (airmail)
Double serve $130 (= one skein FREE!!!) +AU$57
For Asia:
Single serve AU$78+AU$28 (airmail)
Double serve $130 (= one skein FREE!!!) +AU$42

Numbers are strictly limited ! Deadline for signing up for the Ixchelbunny SOCK-IT-TO-ME Yarn CLUB! is JUNE 30th ! And the first installment is going to be shipped out mid July 2011 :) Payment via direct deposit or credit card. Just PM or email me your details :))
By the way: you don’t HAVE to knit socks if you don’t want to.. the hand dyed yarn is amazingly nice for scarves, cowls, beanies and even tops ! Anything goes :)

Email me on or if you want to adopt any of these Yaaaarns! or fibres : message me on Ravelry or facebook where I am Ixchelbunny !

Dates to Remember:

Bunny Spin in at the Ixchel Fibre Farm (11am-5pm)

Saturday, June 18th (please please email me beforehand to secure a seat)

Bring your wheel, spindle, knitting, crocheting and a plate to share with everybody. There is cake and coffee and tea and a lovely bunny to cuddle and lots of fibres and yarn!) very important ! : Please, please let me now beforehand by email or message that you would like to come and visit so I can prepare the infrastructure and cake ofcourse !
Contact me on Ravelry where I am Ixchelbunny, message me on facebook there or email me on

15-16-17th of July !

Bendigo Sheep and Wool Show (with a big dash of Rabbit from yours truly)
see website ;
Woolcraft entries close june 10th. Contact Dot Vallence at the Woolcraft committee for more info or come to one of the Bunny Spin ins to g et your copy oif the woolcraft schedule book.

Bendigo Sheep & Wool Show is NOT to miss in this year of the rabbit !
Lots of special goodies on offer, prizes to be won and a super competition of “Bunny dress up”again this year! Make a a statement ! This year there’s a “Rock-a-Billy Bunny-dress up competition”and win a super duper Bunny Spin or Yarn bunny Prize! C’mon be a rockin”Fibre Bunny! You know you want to J and everybody who spends over $50 to support the IxCHeL fibre farm will have a chance of winning amazing prizes !
All the preperations are already on their way to make this years Bendi show an amazingly FUN FIBRE EVENT !!!!!

Bunny invasion in Queensland planned again just after Bendigo ! @ Mapleton Camp of the Queensland Spinners & Weavers
Mapleton Camp July 22-24 !
Contact the QSW&FA if you want to be part of this awesome weekend of fun !! I will be doing workshops on Art yarn (my nip ‘n’tuck special and Jewellery Sculpture Art yarn)



Textile Tragic said...

so, so sorry to hear of your losses! I have some idea of how much you love your bunnies from seeing you work over the years and I can only imagine how devastating this is for you. Love and strength to you and the furry ones.

Leonie said...

Oh Charly, that's so shocking. I'm so sorry for both yours and Paul's loss. Sending you lots of love and healing wishes for the remaining bunnies.

ixchel bunny said...

today , june 3rd at 4.30pm Flopsy died too and then at around 5pm
Skye fought so hard but died after an agonising 30minutes filled with epileptic fits and cries, in my arms.... it is heartbreaking!

kimchi said...

I just heard about your tragedy from a ravelry friend and I am deeply sorry for what you are going through. this is a huge loss and I hope that the petitions help bring about some change in legislation. my heart goes out to you. xoxo.

monica said...

I am so very sorry to hear about your bunnies! I just cry reading your post. I can't even begin to imagine what you are going through! I am praying for you and all of the bunnies! I want to get some fiber from you to help any way that I can! I sent you a message on facebook!

Hugs and prayers,Monica

ixchel bunny said...

thank you all for sending hugs and prayers so needed in these terrible heartbreaking times
Kabuki passed away Saturday morning at 9.05 am and just now Gilderoy died in my arms, peacefully.....
Please help awareness and make the horror stop! ATM there is no flag system in place so it is just between you and the vet. It is only when it concerns animals for human consumption (like outbreak of mad cow or foot and mouth disease ) that it goes further and alarmbells ring....hey wait, humans eat rabbits as well..hmmm I wonder if we can start ringing those alarmbells ??????

Katie said...

So sad to hear about your loss (and continuing losses :( which is just so terrible). Having just spent the weekend at Knit Camp with 25 other women oohing and ahhhing over the beautiful yarns you gave us made from such delightful fluffy bunnies it seems impossible that we would be unable to keep something so precious alive :( I've gone and signed all the petitions and I wish you luck with rebuilding your bunny family.