Lost a litter of rabbits :(

So I had bred my two does before Christmas to my (surprise) buck that actually does his job. A few days back I felt the belly of one of the does and could feel some moving, so I was quite excited! I put a nest box of hay in the cage with her ahead of time and she only seemed interested in eating the hay. One day I go out to feed them and notice babies on the wire (5 and 1/2). I tried to revive them (in a bag of warm water or on a heating pad seems to have a lot of success on the meat rabbit forum I’m on) but was unfortunately unable to revive them. About 12 hours later that dumb doe started pulling fur for a nest! I’m not sure if she was bred before I got her, but at least her first time instincts were not very good for me. However, the babies did seem quite quite cleaned off, so maybe she wasn’t 100% terrible. The other doe I bred did not take at all (she wasn’t very cooperative and she is pretty big, so not sure which is the cause). I’ve now re-bred both rabbits to see if we can have some easter bunnies (not that I care about that, I just want to start getting some meat off these rabbits!).

So, expect another bunny update in the late Feb/ early march time frame. Things I’ll do different: My smaller doe had no interest in the nest box. I’ll keep it in there still, but I’ll also give enough hay she can’t possibly eat it all. She appeared to be trying to make a hay nest after she had the babies, so I can try to encourage that at least until they are born and then put them in the nest box. I’ll also free-feed that last week or so to make sure they are not hungry enough to eat the hay (though they WANT to eat it even when they have food many times).

Other than the failed attempt at bunnies there hasn’t been much going on with the rabbits. The heated water sytem is working pretty well so long as I keep it filled. I will need to do something a bit different next year though to make sure the water level can’t get too low; maybe a float to turn off power to the pump? If it gets too low it burns out the heater or can’t pump and then everything freezes up anyway. At least if I turn the pump off at low level the heater won’t break and the pump won’t freeze. Then the tubing can just be pulled and tossed in the bit of hot water that would be left to melt out the ice. A larger bucket is probably also in order; the 2 gallons isn’t enough to last more than about 36 hours so I have to fill it each day as it is. This worked nicely though in that it was contained within a 5 gallon bucket; maybe I can find something that would allow 3 or 4 gallons and fit in a rubbermaid tub with the insulation.

Leave a Reply