Thursday, July 25, 2013

Two litters born, two to go.

I always forget just how small new baby rabbits are when they're just born. Especially when I've been handling all of the older rabbits regularly. The litter in my hand there is all six babies in Dawn's newest litter of kits.

Unfortunately I don't have photos of Twilight's litter because she's being hormonal with us again, and in the woods the dark lighting makes it difficult to get good photos So for now we'll have to make do with a few photos of Dawn's litter. Unfortunately with Dawn's litter the left baby that's upside down in the Top photo isn't likely to make it. It was born at 32 grams, and has lost 2 grams coming to a grand total of 30 grams today. Not a promising number when you look at the rest of the litter, or honestly even just on its own.

On the positive side though, the rest of Dawn's litter is doing well.  Their initial growth is a littler lower than I like to see from all but the biggest kit, but it's not a concerning set of numbers other than the runt that I predicted wouldn't make it from day one.
            1   2    3     4    5    6
07/24  32  45  51  60  69  70
07/25  30  48  55  68  77  83

Twilight's small litter is doing spectacularly well, our going theory is that the biggest baby got that way by consuming its unborn siblings in the womb. If we're fortunate its stomach will burst open and 9 healthy and strong baby rabbits will burst forth, and it will go on with its life controlling time.
             1   2    3
07/23  44  52  83
07/24  50  61  90
07/25  62  68 103

More seriously though, both litters are looking good other than being a bit small for Twilight. We're expecting Halley and Comet to give birth any time, if both of them give birth. My current going bet is that only one of them will give birth to a viable litter again. Either way we're looking forward to seeing how many living kits they give birth to between them. If between Dawn, Halley, and Comet we have 3 nipple spaces open we are going to go ahead and transfer Twilights kits over to the three of them and promptly re breed Twilight and at the same time do our first breeding with Sunshiine.
Remember how I mentioned that it was interesting that Sunshine has been sitting almost exclusively on the cooling stone? The Lady of the House noticed, and I confirmed that she has sore hocks on her back left foot. It isn't a bad case, but she is missing fur there. No blood at this point. We didn't give a thorough check before walking out of Michelle Chandler's rabbitry with her so she could have had it then, or it could have come due to the stress of being in a new place. With the stone in place she should be able to recover from it fairly quickly, and if it ever shows up again that's a culling offense for her unfortunately. We're just going to keep an eye on it and see what happens for now. She seems to be settling in and sniffed me without running for the back of the hutch today which is progress.

There's actually lots going on in the garden, but unfortunately I woke up late and can't provide photos for today. The brief run down is, our squash plants are producing almost nothing but male flowers which is inconvenient since only female flowers can set squash. Our corn is falling over, likely because I didn't plant it deep enough. Or tomatoes have been a second teaching experience to add to the Kale, don't plant too close together. We have a tomato jungle. And in that tomato jungle, a couple of the plants, but only a couple have turned out to be too heavy for the light weight bamboo trellises. So we're kind of scrambling to deal with that. All in all, we're learning a lot this year via our traditional method, read thoroughly, make mistakes, and scramble to fix or survive them!

Signing off for now, I look forward to being able to share many baby photos with you Tuesday, and talk more about the fast moving learning experience that is a first year garden.

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