Rabbit Update

August5

It seems that I am long overdue to give an update on how the rabbits are doing.  I got a bit preoccupied at the end of the pregnancy, and I have been quite busy since Cyprus was born.  There is a LOT to update you on.

Thing 2 finally kindled successfully on June 17th.  She only had 4, which I found quite surprising.  I kept going back out to the box over the next day or two looking around expecting to find a pocket of 5 more, but that was not the case.  I was sure that she was going to have 12 like her sister.  The truth is that it is a blessing that there were only 4.  The rabbitry got up to over 30 rabbits during its height, and that is QUITE enough bunnies if you ask me.

Thing 2 had 3 black babies and 1 white baby.  Here they are nice and brand new.  There is even still blood on the paper from the birth.

Thing 1 did an incredible job with her babies.  I finally weaned them a few weeks ago because they were old enough and they were driving her nuts.  The day I weaned them I sold a white buck to someone who is looking to  breed some meat rabbits for home production.  Here is Thing 1 with her 8 babies.

The babies sure are cute.  These are some photos I took of the black and the white ones quite a few weeks ago.  I will get some new photos in the next day or two.  It is amazing how much they have changed.  The white bunnies now have dark ears, feet and tails, just like mama.

I finally got a good portrait of Thing 1.  She looks so mama-like to me in these photos.

The angora babies are doing great.  They just keep getting bigger and more fuzzy.  They don’t look much different than the photos I took a while ago.  Ok, they have more hair now, and they look more mature.  I’ll get some more updated photos soon, but these will have to do for now.

The angora babies are doing really well.  I only have 4 left, and they are all for sale.  One of the babies we found dead when I got home from the birth center.  I’m not quite sure what happened.  The bunnies had food and water and were all doing fine when we left.  We were only gone for a little more than 24 hours and Jared came home to check on them.  I sold 2 of the white bunnies to some nice ladies who will love them and take care of them.  I also sold the agouti tipped bunny (remember the one I thought would be chocolate?).  The final ones are advertised for sale.

I have a butchering appointment for all of the bunnies for the 25th of August.  I am taking all of the meat babies and any Angoras that I have not sold.  The Angoras are definitely big enough and meaty enough to go for meat at this point.  I was worried that Thing 2’s babies would be too small because they are 4 weeks younger than Thing 1’s babies.  When I weaned them, I put them all together in the same pen, and you can’t even tell who belongs to who.  It seems that the 12 from Thing 1 grew more slowly because there were so many and the 4 from Thing 2 grew more quickly.  It all evened out.

I am excited for the butchering appointment.  It is going to make things a lot more sane around here in terms of the chores that need to be handled.  It has been a struggle keeping all the babies fed and watered adequately in the 108 degree heat we have had.

I decided on a complete restructure of the rabbitry so that it is a more manageable operation with a newborn.

I decided that I was going to sell Poe.  I bought him when I had no bucks in the warren, and I really needed to get Daisy, Thing 1 and Thing 2 bred or I was possibly going to lose their ability to reproduce.  (If you don’t get a successful litter out of a mama by the first year, it becomes increasingly harder and harder).

Poe is one of the most sweet rabbits I have ever had, and I am sad to see him go.  I really liked his fiber quality, but it came down to the fact that he just didn’t fit the master plan.  I am looking to keep 100% bloodlines, and with him being 60%, he was not close enough in either direction to keep.  Also, I have 5 shearings of black fiber from my black bunnies, and I didn’t feel compelled to keep him.  He went to a really good home, and I am happy that is the case.

I also decided not to keep my black doe Lydia or my blue doe Ava.  It came down to what I was looking for.  I only want to keep a maximum of 4 angora rabbits at a time.  It is just too much work to keep any more than that with all the other things I have going on.  The blue doe was beautiful, but she just again was not what I was looking for to keep.  I sold them to a woman who is really getting into Angoras, and I am very happy they went with her.  She seems incredibly knowledgeable, and she has the time to work with them.  She also bought one of the angora babies.

We have had some incredible heat here, and I am sad to say that Thing 2 didn’t make it through it.  She had a heat stroke when it started to build up to getting hot.  It was only in the low 90’s that day, but it was too much for her, and she didn’t make it.  She had plenty of food and water and shade.  Sometimes, in extreme weather, there isn’t much more that can be done, and I feel that what happened was beyond my control.

I did make the decision to keep Zorba even though he doesn’t match many of my specifications for the rabbitry.  He is only 60% German, but his coloring is lovely, and I can honestly say that I have never seen such a lovely looking bunny.  I just took his hair off or I would show you some photos of how lovely he is.

So, I have things the way that I want them.

The head of the rabbitry is Daisy, who is 100% German.  Her and I are in it for the long haul.

Zorba is the first mate.  I think I will try breeding Daisy to him at some point in the fall when life is normal again.

Thing 1 heads up the meat rabbit section.  I am going to keep her for her productive breeding life.

There is a brown-eyed-white rabbit that I own but do not yet posess.  He is 100% French, and I am excited to go pick him up soon.

As soon as the babies are gone, that is all that will be left.  It is the perfect set up for me for now.

posted under Rabbits

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