Yesterday, I decided to try Snowball with Surprise just to see if she would lift. To my surprise, she ran around a little bit and then lifted. Surprise completed a breeding on her pretty fast. I wasn’t going to breed Secret yet, but then I realized that having an experienced doe and new doe kindle together would be a great thing, so today, I stuck Secret in with Surprise and she lifted for him and he bred on her twice. I should get two litters at the beginning of May. That will really help with feed bills. Squash is comfortably getting pudgier and more pregnant. She will be three weeks along tomorrow. Unfortunately, she won’t have an experienced doe to kindle with her, but guessing from her mom’s success at a first litter, she shouldn’t do too badly.
Time is flying, literally. I thought I had more time to put more posts up in February. I guess not.
I have some great news! I finally got a breeding that I was sure of. It was Squash Soup out of all the does. Crazy. I wasn’t originally planning on using her for a breeding doe, but she seemed ready to breed so I stuck her in with Surprise and within seconds of her getting in his cage, she was in the mating position and Surprise bred on her two times in only a couple minutes. I finally know what it means to “breed like rabbits”. She did get scared for a while and stiffened up when I took her out of Surprise’s cage. She just laid in a corner for a long time. I was hoping I hadn’t injured her in trying to get her out of her cage. Here are some pictures of a grown-up Squash.
Secret is about the same size as her sister. They are both about seven or eight pounds. Snowball took a while to get to her full size and I think both these does are going to do the same thing. Her dad is a bit smaller so she won’t be as big as Snowball, but she will be a good weight for a New Zealand. She has an iffy bred date. I am not sure if Surprise actually completed the breeding. However, if she does have a due date, she would be near the end of March or the beginning of April. She is a gorgeous red color and looks like a pure NZ red. I am hoping to get more rabbits of the same color. Here is a picture of her.
Snowball also has an iffy bred date. If she was bred, it was on February 22. I am really hoping to get another litter out of her. She is a great mom, when she has babies. Here’s a picture of her.
And last of all, is Surprise. Have to get the buck in here somewhere.
Maybe I will get more than one post up in this month. Please comment and keep me motivated. Thanks for reading.
Hey all, same old story over here. The rabbits are still comfortably eating up all my money and not having babies. I think part of the problem with the younger does is that Surprise is not trying at all. He is just ignoring them when they get in there. I am considering buying a new buck. I really don’t want to have to add rabbits right now, but I also need to start up the breeding again.
Thanks for reading, and if any of you Colorado people know any New Zealand Red breeders, please comment and let me know.
Well, everybody, here is the promised weekly update.
It has been snowing for the last three days and it is freezing out! It has been in the negatives and consequently, rabbit bottles are freezing very rapidly. We have gotten quite a bit of snow, which is always good in Colorado.
The rabbits are doing pretty well with the cold other than their water. Since only three cages are occupied at the moment, I have enough water bottles to go around for switching back and forth.
Snowball is still stubbornly refusing to breed. I haven’t gotten her in with Surprise as much lately because of the cold, but I have to keep trying. Since Secret was five months in November, I decided to try and see if she would be ready for breeding. I checked her and she seemed pretty ready to breed, but I guess her mind said she wasn’t ready. She and Surprise were running in circles around the cage and I finally just took her out. Guess I am going to have to wait.
Thanks for reading!
Hey everybody. . . I am going to be trying to post once a week, just to let you all know.
The rabbits are doing great with the cold weather. It has been a bother with the frozen water bottles and the snow, but hey, no rabbits with heat stroke. Snowball still refuses to cooperate. She is just gobbling up food like crazy and runs away from Surprise if they are together. However, I can still hope. . . for a little longer. If she doesn’t decide to cooperate within the next month or two, she is going. I really don’t want to get rid of her, but I can’t afford her if she doesn’t pay for herself.
Secret is getting big and is going to be five months tomorrow. I am considering maybe trying to breed her a little earlier than I did with Snowball, since she is healthy and pretty big. Squash Soup is just hanging out with Secret. They are still getting along pretty well and aside from some minor dominance issues, they are best of friends.
Thanks for reading and again if anyone has suggestions about getting Snowball to breed, feel free to comment.
It has been beautiful here lately. The temperatures are pretty nice right now, but it has been getting colder lately. There was ice in the water bottles this morning.
Snowball is getting close to her due date. She has not started nesting yet, but her fur is coming out in clumps and her stomach is hard and round. I gave her the nest box a couple days ago and since then she has enjoyed sitting in it. She is not using it for her potty corner, just enjoying the box. Hopefully soon there will be a nest in there.
Since the blind doe is still hanging out around here, I decided she needed a name. Since I am going with the S theme and because it was goofy, Squash Soup was decided on. She will be called Squash for short.
Thanks for reading. 🙂
Things around the rabbitry were boring for a while, but at least some things have started getting really interesting lately. . .and I mean the not so fun kind of interesting. There are a few other things that I am going to write about, but I will get the bad stuff out of the way first.
Yesterday, I went out to feed the rabbits and found the six month old buck looking funny and not jumping around and moving like he normally is. I tried giving him his pellets and I also offered him some special treats, but he just nosed them and then huddled back up. I was afraid it was catchy or something, because I have never had that happen before, so I moved him to a hutch I had on the other side of the yard. I left him for a while, and when I came back later, I found him with his treats, food and water still untouched. I went away for only about an hour and then I found him stretched out dead. I don’t know what he got or did, but it happened fast because on Saturday evening he was still looking fine. I am wondering if he got something bad in the food I was giving him and then he didn’t drink or eat and died from dehydration.
The heat has been pretty bad for the rabbits. I have the one hutch facing directly into the sun for part of the day and all the rabbits get pretty hot. I try to get a sheet or something draped over it so it provides shade and mist the rabbits ears. It still gets really hot for them, so today, I had to bring Surprise into the garage to cool off. Normally, I bring them into the house, but he is molting right now and hair is flying everywhere. He enjoyed laying on the cement, which was a cooler than his cage.
Anyway, enough of that. Onto the nicer stuff.
I haven’t posted about this before, but I started doing a fodder system for the rabbits. It is pretty simple and cheaper than pellets. I still feed pellets, but not as many as before. I just take a cup of wheat and soak it for a day and then rinse it daily until it is wheat grass and ready to feed to the rabbits. They love it and it is really good for them. When I started feeding it to the babies at about four weeks old, there was no diarrhea or any sickness. It is different than just the grass and stuff you would feed to an adult rabbit. I sometimes give them a whole tray a day and then use only a few pellets. It is very satisfying to see the feed bill go down and see the pellets stay around a little longer.
And now, for the last nice thing. The doe that had a blind eye is getting big and is enjoying spending time with Snowball. They have just been hanging out together, but soon it will be time for the doe to go. Snowball needs to be bred soon and I haven’t ever wanted to find out what she gets like while pregnant and with another rabbit in her cage. Here is the picture of them together.