Kits, Kits, and more Kits

It’s been a while since I’ve posted.  When you’re working 70-hours a week it’s hard to find time to fit anything else in.  I did find time to make a bow tie and suspenders for monkey #2 for his aunt’s wedding that he is in this weekend (Pictures in a post later this weekend). And I made it to a hockey game this week, so that was a much needed rest even if my team did lose.

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But the real news this week is more new kits.  We woke up Easter morning to this.

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It’s kind of like Christmas morning.  You know there is something there to be unwrapped, but you’re not sure what it is (or in this case, how many) until you dig deeper.  It was still pretty early in the morning and quite cold, so I left them alone until mid-day and then decided to dig down to see.  And I found this.

DSC_0011-001There were actually 8 little ones, but one was dead.  The other 7 were very active and squirming all over the place.

Here is the proud mama.  She is very wary of me and wonders what I’m doing messing with her babies.

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Then three days later, we woke up and our broken female was pulling fur like crazy.  She was a day late to deliver so we were already wondering if she was really pregnant or not.  She is the same female that had our last litter and she doesn’t get real big.  And I still haven’t figured out how to tell if a female rabbit is pregnant by feeling for lumps at 10-14 days gestation.  So, even though we bred them on purpose and counted down the 31-days to delivery, we were still uncertain if she was even pregnant.  From what I hear breeding isn’t always successful.

But about 2 hours later, I checked on her again and found this.  I guess it was successful.  [smile]

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Again I waited until mid-day for it to warm up before I dug deeper.  And I found 8 squirming little ones. We have since lost one due to the cold.  It was 40 degrees and rainy all day yesterday, and one got away from the rest of the litter and died of exposure.  We didn’t find him until it was too late.  {tear}

Here is mama looking on while I check out her babies.  She is probably a little more trusting of us since she is the mama from our first litter.

DSC_0049-001Here is a picture of one of each litter taken today — one is two days old and the other is 5 days old.  It shows just how much they grow in just a few days.  It’s amazing.

DSC_0052-001Update on the first litter we had in January — we still have 4 left from a litter of 10.  We sold 5 to homes looking for a pet.  And one male we traded for another male to someone else looking to diversify their gene pool.  I thought it was a great idea, so I was all for it.

About a week later, honeyman mentioned that he had put the new male with our other male for a few minutes because he wanted to see how they would get along.  But he said that our male just kept trying to hump the new one.  I thought that was strange.  I mean male dogs hump each other, but do male rabbits?  So, I asked, “You did check to make sure it was a male that we got in trade, didn’t you?”  Well, he hadn’t so we decided to check right then.  And I bet you can guess what we found before I even tell you.  It wasn’t a male after all, but a female that we had gotten in trade.  The man who traded with us also said he (she) was 9-months old, but I’m not sure how to tell the age of a rabbit, so I’m not sure about that either.  I guess we’ll try to breed her one day and see how it turns out.  Honeyman said they didn’t actually mate that day he put them together.  Maybe I better count down the 31-days just to make sure.  Otherwise, I guess it’s a lesson learned.

But, here are our 4 remaining from the first litter.  They are about 9-1/2 weeks old and approximately 4 pounds.  We are keeping the white and brown one.  The others are… well they are very close to eating size if they don’t get sold in the next couple of weeks.

DSC_0065-001Back to work.  Thankfully, April 15th is almost here.

 

 

 

5 Week Update

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The kits are 5 weeks old, today.  For meat rabbits, they should be 1-1/2 pounds by now.  And they are very close.  They weigh between 1 pound 4 ounces and 1 pound 7 ounces.  They are eating about 100% pellets and hay now.  We still put the mom with them once a day to nurse them, but she only nurses for about 5 minutes max and then she’s done.   So, it’s probably time to start weaning them.  We also re-bred the mom this past weekend, so hopefully she’ll be having another liter in 4 weeks.

We have 3 females and 7 males.  It surprises me that the split between male and female is not more even.  I”m not sure if this is normal or not.  I believe we are going to keep the white and brown female.

So, I broke rule #1 and got attached. The runt of the litter – the small brown one — is the sweetest little bunny.  My 3 year old grand daughter plays with him often and he lets her hold him all sorts of ways, and he doesn’t care.  He doesn’t kick if she doesn’t hold his hind legs.  It’s amazing.  We hadn’t planned on keeping a male, so I’m trying to find him a home.  If we can’t find a home for him, we’ll likely keep him too.

I also made them some organic snacks.  They love them.

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We Are 10-Days Old Now

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We turned 10-days old today.  Several of us have just started opening our eyes and are starting to wonder about the world around us.  We have also recently discovered that the timothy hay our bed is made out of is pretty yummy.  Sleep a few winks, munch a little, sleep a little more, munch a little more…  It’s a great life!

Our legs have got this twitch to them.  Our human mommy thinks we’re spazzing out, but really we’re just trying to get our hind legs moving so we can be jumping around soon.

So, how big are we now?  Well, you met me (the black one) almost a week ago when I was 3.0 ounces.  Now I weigh 5.5 ounces.  My brother/sister beside me in this picture is the smallest of our litter.  She/He weighs just 3.8 ounces now.  The others are all somewhere in between.  So there is a pretty big difference between us.  But, we all love each other and still love to cuddle and sleep together.

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We Have Kits!

I am excited to announce that we have kits.  They were born about 2 1/2 hours ago.  I’m not exactly sure how many she had.  At least 8, maybe 10.  Our first litter about 3 weeks ago died from the cold.  So we moved this mama inside where it was warmer.

She has been nesting for a week and I was really beginning to wonder.  Last Monday she made a nest, then by Thursday she had messed it all up and eaten a lot of the hay.  Then this past Friday she started pulling hair and rebuilt the nest.  Then by yesterday she had messed it all up again.  I didn’t know what was going on.  Is she going to have babies or not?  I watched her belly last night and saw some kicking so I was pretty sure we were having babies.  But when?  She’s been nesting off and on for over a week.  In fact, I was going to post something this morning about these strange habits and how I can’t figure it out. But I got up late this morning, and had to hurry to get to work on time so I didn’t get around to it.

I worked from home today and I checked on her at lunch time.  She was pulling out hair like there was no tomorrow.  There was hair everywhere.  She was breathing real heavy, and looked generally uncomfortable.  Today then??  Maybe…

Then around 5pm, honeyman came up stairs and told me there were babies.  So far, they have lived longer than our first litter, so I feel the need to check on them often.  There are 6 or so in a group all huddled up together, but then there are another 2-4 in other parts of the nesting box covered up with hay and mama’s hair.  Should I worry about those?  Should I move them so that they are all in the same huddle?  Should I just leave them alone?  I don’t know…  I don’t want to mess with them if I don’t need to, but I don’t want them to die either.   Looks like we have a good mixture of color here though — some dark, some white, and some black/white like their mother.

The expectancy surrounding this for the past couple of days reminds me of when I was pregnant and anxiously awaiting the baby to arrive.  Whew!  Now if they can just live till tomorrow, I will feel a little more comfortable.

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