My tattooer is getting some good use lately; seeing how I only use it on litters here and there these days.
My 4-H leader's mom had several rabbits to do before county fair and with the fact that she's older and her's breaking, I decided to do them for her... all seventy-eight of them. What was I thinking?
Anyways, I took the opprotunity with open hands because she raises a lot of breeds! I tattooed several Velveteen Lops, Florida Whites (wishing I almost had a couple), Himilayans, Dwarf Hotots, Holland Lops, LionHeads and a litter of English Lops. (she also has Netherlands and English Spots). It was really nice to see a lot of them, different colors and such. I walked away with no scratches (I love arm guards!) and got them all done in a few hour's time.
While I'm on the topic of tattooing, I figured I would talk about what I use and works best for me. Each breeder has their own method and style I've come to figure out.
I have two tatooer's. I have an electric one that I bought about 3 years ago. I'm still on my original needles and have only gone through a couple bottles of ink. It's pretty quick, less painless and comes out a LOT better! If you have steady hands and good handwriting, this is a very economical and pratical use. You can hold the rabbit yourself or have someone else hold the rabbit just as you would with a clamp-style. Also, the results are immediate. You don't have to wait for the tattoo to dry or figure out if the tattoo took or not.
I had to buy a clamp-style tattooer when I got my registar's license. I really only use it for his unless I am doing big rabbits or dont really care how they turn out.... I have the 5/16" I think, the medium sized one. The letters are best kept in a pill box for easy assortment.
The clamp style, you have to worry about blood vessels. You have to worry about the tattoo taking. Afterwards there is a big black blob in the ear and you have to wait for the rabbit to clean it out or to where you can clean it out yourself. The ink comes in a screw-top small plastic jar which rabbits are very easily able to kick over (lost a whole jar one time that way). And you have to use q-tips and often need vaseline because it's more evasive.
I start off with the rabbit flat on a table... preferably bigger than my show table, with carpet and or towels. I clean the rabbits ear out with alchohol. I then decide which tattooer I would like to use (mostly my electric one). I pour the ink into the well, soak up some ink. I put my right arm around the rabbit, holding the whole body with my left holding the head and other ear. I tattoo slowly. Most of my Mini lops just sit there... really not the most wild creatures to tattoo I must admit. I was tattooing my Satins I would use my clamp style tattooer because they are less eager to participate and they turn out good in their ears.
After I have finished the tattoo I run my finger over it and see if it stuck or needs any areas of improvement. :)
I don't want to tattoo anymore rabbits for a while.... :)