Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Year of the Rabbit

In what has become my tradition, I bred 2 of my does on New Years Day. They didn't seem too much into it but I bred put them with the buck a few times during that week and they eventually relented. Sometimes they just need exposure to the buck to get into it. I bred Cypress, our original meat rabbit with Hazel and Charlotte (pronounced with a French accent) my new white French Angora with Lars, my white Satin Angora buck.

On February 7, just 4 days after the start of the Year of the Rabbit Cypress gave birth to her 4th litter with 8 babies - all healthy. Four white ones (she always has 4 white ones no matter what else), two grey ones with white tummies and inside of their ears and around their eyes (which is a tan pattern even though there is no tan). Then there is one grey one who is solid dark grey everywhere. One one black and white with Harlequin markings. Within 12 hours Charlotte gave birth to her very first litter (she was just born herself last summer) of two white babies.

Although it had been warm the week before, the temperatures plummetted to -12. I was worried about those two wee babies keeping eachother warm enough. I brought Charlotte in and brushed out more of her fur to put around the babies because she hadn't pulled out very much (Cypress plucks herself bare practically). Then I took two of Cypress' white babies and rubbed some of Charlotte's poo on them so they would have her scent and put them in with Charlotte's babies.

Over the next day or so I brought Charlotte and her babies in a few times to make sure everything was going well. I cut a lot of her long angora fur off of her belly and from around her nipples. I could tell that a couple of them were not being used because they were too hard to find. She accepted the foster babies just fine. Here's what they all looked like within a few days. I think there is almost nothing cuter than a nest box full of furry, chubby little bunnies. I think they are all a bit chubbier than usual. Cypress normally has 10 and always has enough milk to successfully raise them all and now she only has 6. And rabbits have 6 teats so even Charlotte with four kits, has more than enough milk. In fact, we have named one of the meat rabbits that she has King Fatty. You can see him there on top.

And here is the black and white one who has been named 'Oreo'. There is always an 'Oreo' in every litter - at least one but they usually turn out to be grey or dark brown but this one is really black.

Thursday, February 10, 2011


Time for some news - and there's lots, of course.

Since Eryn's birth, I have always lived in a home where the girls outnumber the boys. Female energy reigned supreme from 1986 to 2010 when Kaetlyn moved out. That's a pretty good run, really. Then I was enjoying balance with Dean, Drew, Rhiannon and I. And I was really enjoying having Kaetlyn's room. All my sewing stuff moved in there. We set up a TV and DVD player. It was a great guest room. But recently a longer term guest moved in. Brother Layne as Dean calls him who likes to invent ridiculous names like that. He has severely overused the suffix 'the kid' (as in Kaetlyn the kid, Eddie the kid, Evan the kid and so on) so Brother Layne is a refreshing change. Now been shortened to BL. But he is also known as bread boy or egg and bread boy because of his rate of consumption of those household commodities. Here he is in his bread cutting pose. To his credit, he is now the chief bread maker. Fitting.

But let me tell you that Layne is an excellent guest/room mate. Rivalled perhaps only by his next younger sister.... He cooks and cleans and makes music with Dean and even fixes my computer. He even babysat last weekend so both Dean and I could go away (to different destinations, unfortunately). Anyway, I love my brother and it is nice having him here.

He has got a job in Kelowna selling Jacuzzis and will be moving to Kelowna or close to soon. (don't worry, Katie, your room is safe). I've been trying to talk him into settling for Winfield which is so much closer and free from Kelowna traffic. Of course, really I would prefer Vernon but I understand that is a lot of driving and the gas sure adds up these days.