About a month ago, I bred Snowball to Surprise. I wasn’t sure if it was a successful breeding or not, but I put in the calendar and put in the nest box. On Tuesday, Snowball had a litter of what I thought was six kits. They all looked healthy and warm. On Wednesday, we had a blizzard. The kits survived through that night. Thursday was warm, but that night it got really cold. The next morning, I found six dead kits and one live one. It was mostly my fault because I knew it was going to get cold that night. I should have brought the nest box in. Most of the kits just got scattered throughout the nest box and couldn’t stay warm. I found one kit underneath the cage. I am not sure where it came from, because I didn’t know I had seven kits in that litter. I guess I counted wrong. Anyway, now that there is only one kit left in the litter, I am repeating what I did when Snowball had only one kit in her last litter. Unfortunately, Snowball is still producing enough milk for a litter of seven, not for one. She is very uncomfortable right now, and I would give her something to slow down the milk but I need her to keep producing milk for the last kit. I will probably breed her soon, and that might help dry up milk production a little bit.
Well, so far November has not been too eventful, all things considered. I was expecting Snowball’s litter sometime around the 21st. I gave her the nest-box on the 20th and she didn’t do much with it at first. I gave her hay and she just chewed on it and dug it all out of the box. On the 23rd, she started seriously making a nest, so I gave her a bunch of hay and went away for a while. When I came back, she was still in the nest box, but there was fur, and she was cleaning up. I checked later, and there was one baby. She had been in the nest box for about an hour, but there was just one kit. Since it has been getting chillier lately, I took the nest-box inside and put turned on a heater next to it. I took the baby out to feed that night, and I have been bringing the box out every morning and night for Snowball to feed it. It has been growing pretty big because it doesn’t have to share milk with other kits. I had put a old cloth underneath it to keep it from getting on the floor of the nest box and a couple days ago, I lifted the kit out of the box and it had managed to wrap a string around its neck. Thankfully, we were able to get it off fast, and the kit hasn’t seemed to suffer any ill effects from that. I am planning on re-breeding Snowball sometime soon, and hopefully doing Secret at the same time.
The pictures aren’t that great, but you can see that Snowball built a pretty good nest and pulled plenty of fur.
My new buck is quite hefty. He is about 9 and a half pounds and I am really happy about that. I still haven’t thought of a name for him. I really haven’t been thinking that hard though. I am hoping the single kit doesn’t haven’t anything to do with his ability to breed. I will be trying him again soon.
Hey everyone, sorry it has been so long since I posted. There really has not been much excitement around the rabbitry.
I saved a buck out of the litter from March. He is now seven months old and he is a nice size. I still haven’t named him. I bred Snowball and him together last night. He was ready to breed and got her twice. I tried Surprise and Secret together, but Surprise is getting old and out of shape. Secret was willing, it just didn’t happen. Hopefully, I should have a litter a month from now. When I can get a hold of the camera, I will take pictures of the new buck and of the rabbitry.
It is June already! The bunnies are twelve weeks old tomorrow and are getting really big. They are healthy and eating a ton. I have to get rid of some soon. I have been supplementing their feed with alfalfa and grass. That cuts down on the amount they eat a little bit. I still haven’t decided which doe or buck I am going to keep. I have to weigh them and see which are the biggest. Most of them have at least gotten to five pounds, if not past that. The runt of the litter is my favorite, but he wouldn’t be a good addition to my breeding stock. He is much smaller than the rest.
Well, the kits aren’t weaned yet. I decided to redo my grow-out hutch and it took longer than I expected. I threw away the old frame and built a new one. I also converted the cage into a hanging cage. The wire I had stapled onto the wood was the right size, so all I had to do was J-clip it together. Anyway, the kits are still living with their mom. I hope to have at least two or three out of the cage tonight.
I got the new cages on Wednesday night. I started putting them together Thursday morning, but since I didn’t have J-clip pliers, it took a lot longer than it should have. I got a pretty good method down with the pair of pliers that I did have. I got done with all four cages at about four-thirty. This picture shows the pair of pliers that I used.
We got the rabbits in their cages today. I had to transfer them and since Squash hates being held, it was a little bit of a task. However, they are all safely in their cages now and have food and water. I haven’t gotten a permanent stand set up yet, so right now, they are in the garden on some two-by-fours and they have a roll of plastic sheeting covering them.
These cages have Snowball and Secret in them.
These cages have Surprise and Squash in them. Surprise got a smaller cage.
This is all of them together. In the back is the temporary chicken coop.
Finally, here is Snowball in her cage. She seemed to transition the fastest of any of the rabbits.
There are only two more days in 2014. The year has gone fast and slow. I didn’t get as many litters this year as I would have liked, but I am hoping next year, I can get a few more litters. I am also hoping to add a few more rabbits.
My hutches are getting old. When I got them, they were about ten years old, and I have had them for three years. They have done really well for wood and wire hutches. However, Snowball and Secret are rough on their cages. They chew holes in the wire on their door quite fast. Squash has started chewing a hole in the wall between her cage and Secret’s old cage. I had to move Secret to a different cage because she made a hole almost big enough for her to get out of. So, I ordered four new wire cages from Bass Equipment. I think they will be a good investment. They should last quite a while.
Here are some pictures of the condition of the hutches right now.