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.


Beth-a-knee said...

I applaud the name King Fatty. Cute pics. I wonder if the new Oreo will be as good at escaping as the other one.

Laura said...

yes king fatty has a nice ring to it.here's to the year of the rabbit!!

Sarah-Lynn said...

so cute! you are so brave, cutting hair around nipples and rubbing poo on stuff...Those are not tasks I would mention so casually.

bum.by.the.sea said...

King Fatty is a hilarious name for your meat bunny! I always enjoy the creative names you give your animals. Interesting all the ways you need to take care of the bunnies, too. I never would have thought that raising rabbits would mean sometimes rubbing them with poo.