Friday, August 10, 2012

Rabbit update

Once again, so much to report.  So the last I mentioned was that all of Cream's babies died and we acquired silver foxes.  I bred Maxwell (the silver fox buck) to Sugar and Cream.  Sugar had 8 babies born March 15.  7 survived. Cream  then had 13 babies on March 19.  Unfortunately, they widdled down to 4 in the week that followed.  These have all been slaughtered and eaten or waiting to be eaten by now.

At the end of May I took Mocha, Java and Maxwell to a rabbit show... where Maxwell took 1st, Mocha took 2nd and Java took 3rd.  It was helpful that only 1 other breeder had silver foxes and she had only brought juveniles who hadn't begun to silver yet.  Fur is a major portion of their points. 
We had decided already to risk breeding in the summer so when we returned home, we promptly bred Mocha with Maxwell.  We did this so the girl child would have a silver fox, a smaller silver fox, to show at the fair.  A small girl needs a small bunny.  So we set Mocha up with a pen in the porch with a fan that stayed on her 24-7.  We also knew we needed to breed quickly to catch Maxwell before he went sterile from the summer heat.  So we bred them and 5 weeks later had 6 bunnies.  We figured if none of them survived, we'd just buy a smaller breed bunny for her to show, but we were hopeful.  And they ALL survived!  Compare that with all our previous breeds and bunnies where every baby from the first kit died to silver foxes where she had 6 and all are still doing great!  Very pleased.  Next week we'll wean them and examine them, chosing the one for show, the ones for sale and the ones for eating. 

Just adding a quick picture of our rabbitry.  You can't see the pen all the way on the left much, but there's 5 holes for breeding stock.  When babies are weaned (or if there's too many to stay in the normal hole), they are moved to the large pen on the right.  Nothing fancy, but its on the shadiest, coolest area of the property and no predators have gotten in.  A snake lingered in a tree one morning and a racoon was lurking about another morning, but they have not returned.  Mostly due to Angel, I suspect.

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