Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Hazel is a Boy

Just like in Watership Down, as Eryn pointed out. In my defense, I didn't sex Hazel - he was sold to me as a doe. (And don't even go there, Ronni - I didn't sex Rosco [Sophie], or Sampson [Delilah] either!) We bought the rabbits from seasoned rabbit-eers and didn't think to question them. In their defense, like cats, rabbits are notoriously hard to sex before they reach sexual maturity. How did I discover this fact that Hazel is not who we thought she was? Well, I had noticed that the day before, Cypress had started pulling fur out of her dewlap. I thought maybe she was coming into her first heat. However, it turns out that her first heat had actually happened a month before. I glanced out at the rabbit hutch while I was starting to make Dean's lunch. Now I noticed some dark things moving about in the white fluff of her pulled out fur... My first thought? There were mice in the rabbit hutch! How did they get in there?... and then it dawned on me...duh! Hazel is a boy and those are baby rabbits.

We rushed out there to find that indeed, Cypress at not even 5 months old herself had given birth to 10 wee baby rabbits. Ten. And on Rhiannon's birthday no less! And she didn't even have a nest box but had made do with the solid floor part of her cage. We scrambled up a box - the same one that the chicks hatched in, grabbed some straw from the neighbours and gathered all her fur together and put the babes in, hoping that our scent on them would not put her off.

Well, this explains why whenever we put Cypress and Hazel in the chicken tractor for some exersize (rabbit tractor?), Cypress dug 3 foot deep holes... (and I was grumbling about how they were not supposed to be burrowing rabbits!) However, it doesn't explain how the 'book' says that Flemish Giants are not supposed to reach sexual maturity until 8 - 10 months... I have news for them. Apparantly not onlya sexually mature doe, but a sexually mature buck, as well!

Here are pictures of 2 of them taken today - already growing so quickly - fur coming in already. Rhiannon thinks they are definitely more cute than yesterday because yesterday they were ugly, according to her. I think she was expecting a bit older of a rabbit, complete with all fur, open eyes and ears sticking up.

Whenever I stick my hand into our makeshift nest box, they all start jumping blindly around in their white furry nest. So cute! There are 3 white ones, a grey one or two, a black one and three that are black/grey and white. Rhiannon
has named the smallest of these 'Oreo' (hope that's okay, Megan!)


beetlemack said...

so cute!! i think they're cute now! i would get attached.

Sarahstottle said...

yeah they are cute!! I sort of want one...I know Adriel would love it.