Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Our first rabbit dinner, Tanning, and Growing Babies

Life has been very busy lately between this, that, and the other thing happening in addition to our day to day routine. Going to check up on the rabbits every morning has become something of a calming ritual before greeting the inevitable insanity of the day. Seeing the babies had opened their eyes yesterday morning was a nice thing to wake up to.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

First Butchering Done

Yesterday we did our first butchering, and over all it went very well. We have one of the first two litters we are holding aside for potential breeding to bring Sunny's strengths into our American Blue lines if we can. As you can see Above he is still in the growing out hutch, and seems to be enjoying being able to eat without fighting off everyone else.

There are no photos of the process below the cut but there will be detail about the killing and butchering process.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Ups and Downs

 Dawn is doing fairly well in the wake of giving birth to her second litter. She has been a little nervous and jumpy lately, but has been a good mother to her 5 babies. The main signs of her nervousness is trying to dig at the cage and occasionally chewing on the wire. I've been considering whether it might be good to shift her to the growing out hutch when butchering happens on Wednesday.

Dawn's second litter is still in the huddle in small balls in their nesting box. In this case, a literal nesting box. They are doing quite well for being at that age, and are very very energetic. I'm not sure how much of that is the warmth allowing them to use more of their food to move around rather than just live, how much of it is them, and how much of it is Dawn being a more experienced mother. In any case, they are all over the place. I look forward to seeing how fast they grow.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Dawn's 2nd Litter Born

And as you can see they look a lot like Dawn's first litter in terms of basic appearance. There are five living kits. There were two unformed kits that were stillborn, likely due to the heat and stress from the repeated bear visits. There was also one large baby that was outside the nest on the wire in the main area of the hutch when we got home already dead. We tried to warm it up, but unfortunately it didn't come around. On the up side, all five of Dawn's babies are nice, big, and healthy. They are also very active and hard to photograph.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The State of the Garden

Michelle in today, Coureton's putting in long hours and couldn't write the post.

We're still waiting on the next two litters of bunnies to be born, both Sunny and Dawn are very large.

In the meantime, the first litters are ever larger by the day (except when the bear visits, which stopped last week out of the blue...hopefully for good?)  here the Himi demonstrates how not to do weight checks.  She actually turned out to be our most out-going and friendly baby so far, surprising as she's out of Sunny's litter who otherwise are quite skittish. She loves to be the center of attention, even over food.

Does this make my butt look big?
We've had our first fight--very minor injuries and some fur fluffs only.  Coureton and I treated them with hydrogen peroxide and neosporin-one rabbit had a bite to the ear which started healing within hours.  Both babies involved were from Sunny's litter, which is a week younger than Dawn's so unexpected.  One was licking the wounds of the other in what seemed to be a gesture of friendship--I'm not sure what happened.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Genetics Part 1: A Primer and a Quiz

Rabbit Genetics, Part 1:

Genes control everything in an animal, from temperament  to maximum size and growth potential.  It is why peanuts are born to dwarf rabbits and not in normal lines, and why some rabbits are lops or wooly. The easiest type of genes to see and study are the color genes, because it produces an obvious result that is only rarely affected by outside factors.  For this reason, I’m focusing on color so that you can get the idea.  

I’m going to assume you have the basics of genetics down, and can understand words like dominant and recessive.  I’m happy to answer questions in the comments!

You can find some well-written and enjoyable primers at these links:

Why do some litters look like a rainbow and others look nothing like mom?

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Preparations For Litter 2, and Reality Reminder

Dawn has begun nest building preparations for her second litter as of this morning. When the Lady of the House went to put hay in, Dawn was so eager for it she was taking hay from the Lady of the House's arms. We were a bit surprised by this turn of events needless to say, given that this is day 24 of her pregnancy, and we wouldn't be expecting kits for 4 more days.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

General Update

Well, looks like I forgot today was Thursday. I have no new photos for you today, and nothing at all even vaguely planned too write. So instead I'll do a quick run down of where we are and our plans for the near future.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Moving The Litters

The growing out hutch is complete, and all of the babies are in the hutch giving their mothers some much needed peace before their next litter is born, which should be around the 16th or so for both Dawn and Sunny. As you can see, the babies are no longer so small, and are very actively curious about everything going on in and around their new home.