Bunnies on the way

We have been working on feeding and handling the rabbits the last couple weeks and my wife is to the point she can get hers out of the cage (though it doesn’t always go smoothly). So last night we got her out, let her roam for a while, and then put her in with the buck. I think she was taken a bit by surprise, so he got the job done. After the first time though she looked like she was going to bite him so I took him out of his cage (with gloves in case she bit me) and then we put her back in her cage. I was then going to get another doe out, but unfortunately cannot really reach them with how I have the cages built (with end access instead of side access, that will be changed on the in-progress-but-sidelined-due-to-boat-work modular bunny cage). So, only one doe is bred, but I may try today to get another out.

So, 4 weeks from now will be time to put in a nest box, and we’ll really know in 30-45 days if the breeding took. I am hoping to get a 2nd doe bred in case one is not a good mother; I’d then be able to foster kits to another doe if needed. The babies will get handled a lot (though I have to be careful that my daughter doesn’t go all abominable snowman¬†on them, she is old enough at 7 but she just loves animals so much), so that should make the next round much easier to deal with. I’ll probably replace at least one doe, if not two out of this batch to have easier to handle does. Though I think 2 of the 3 I have could be worked with if we could at least access them better. Still, raising them from babies should make it so even the kids will be able to pick them up without issues. We are definitely looking forward to it.

I’m probably a bit late to the game, but I have heard rabbits are quite cold tolerant. Bred now, babies will be at the beginning of October, weanable by the middle of November, and will be 12 weeks old at the end of December. So timing is probably not OPTIMAL, but not terrible either. The rabbits are shedding right now, so I am collecting the fur to use for winter nest boxes (both for babies and adults). Plenty of people on youtube will have kits down into the 20’s (or even close to 0), so we will give it a try. Maybe I’ll re-breed in Jan, have weened kits in March when things are starting to green back up so I can feed greenery in April. I could also then re-breed in March or April if needed, that timing would be enough for kits to make weight for any 4-H around the area, that may increase the ability to sell some of the kits. I know we have 4H in the area and plenty of county fairs, I just don’t know HOW active it is. I also don’t know much about it so I’ll need to do some research to make sure I make the most of it. I don’t have anything pedigreed, so I wouldn’t be able to show as a pedigreed anything, just as meat rabbits.

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