Today was our first time breeding rabbits. It was an interesting experience to say the least. When we first started our move to sustainable homesteading, I did not think it would include watching rabbits mate. Or laughing so hard when they did. First we took Piper out of her cage and put a couple of drops of an all natural food coloring on her ears. Piper and Leo are roughly the same size and I was afraid that we wouldn’t be able to tell who was who afterwards. I won’t have to worry about that in the future, though. Leo’s ears are rounder and bigger than Piper’s.
We put Piper in with Leo since you are never to put the buck in the doe’s cage. She will be territorial and fight him. Leo and Piper have bred together before and it didn’t take him long to figure out what to do. As in 20 seconds, tops. Piper didn’t know what hit her.
It was a successful first mating with him doing the falling off and making the little noise at the end thing. It shakes the entire cage when they mate. We left them together for about twenty minutes. There was a bit of chasing around the cage and some snapping. They did complete a successful second mating as well as several “giving it the old college tries.” Then they snuggled up and Leo was grooming Piper’s ears and rubbing his chin against her.
We put Piper back in with her kits and she kind of glared at us for a bit, but then settled down. So if all went well, we should have a new litter in four to five weeks. I kind of feel like we are truly farmers now.
Stray bunny was not around this morning due to a rather nasty storm. The wind and rain were pretty bad, so I’m sure she stayed under cover. She was out there after school when my daughter got home and she nudged her way under the fence and into our chicken yard. And then when we went out around five she was back on the other side of the fence eating grass and blackberry leaves. She didn’t run away this time and we all spoke to her very gently. So maybe she is getting used to us. I hope so. It would be nice if she didn’t feel the need to move away every time we came near her.