When I went out this morning at 7:00, there was no sign of fur in the nesting box. There was a much deeper indentation, though. When I checked on her again at 12:30 before we left to go to Arlington, she had started pulling fur. It was mixed in with the hay. She sort of gave me the stink eye. I don’t go out that often at mid-day so she wasn’t expecting me. I checked her water and then left her in peace. When we got back from our road trip I peaked in on her and there was a lot more fur as you can see in the photo above. No kits yet, but she will probably have them tonight. It’s day 32. She didn’t give me the stink eye this time. More of a chilled out look that innocently claimed that absolutely nothing was going on.
I am a mixture of excited and worried. Excited that my first breeding took and that Piper hasn’t been faking me out all this time. That I actually did feel a couple of the babies when I palpated at two weeks. I feel like a first time mother almost. And worried because so much can go wrong. She is an experienced mother though with two litters under her belt. She’s not nervous at all. Just me.
In other news we went to the breeder in Arlington and got 3 kits who will be 8 weeks old tomorrow, two does and one buck. She got her original stock from the guy up in Marblemount that I’ve mentioned before. I was going to go up there if I hadn’t found any of a different bloodline nearby. I am glad I didn’t have to because that is quite a drive. I am happy to have some unrelated rabbit stock. Now I just have to wait for them to grow up.
All of her rabbits looked healthy and strong. They had clear eyes and were active. The only thing I noticed was there were an awful lot of flies. Now it was an open shed and so that probably makes it harder to keep them out, but there was a lot of manure on the floor attracting them. Since I use drip pans or bins under the hutches and empty them frequently the manure doesn’t build up and we don’t get many flies. There have been a couple when we’ve left the door open, but they aren’t buzzing around a lot. They weren’t on the rabbits or anything, though. I think they were in the middle of cleaning out the shed when we arrived anyway.
They are so little. It is hard to believe that just 4.5 weeks ago our other litter was that small. It really shows you the difference it makes in the amount of meat you get if you harvested at 8 weeks, which seems ridiculous looking at them, and if you harvest now or in the next few weeks. Here they are exploring their new digs.
They are completely adorable at this age. I have them in a hutch in the back of the house. I will put them inside the shed after a couple of weeks. I don’t want to risk bringing any new bugs into my rabbitry, especially with Piper about to have kits. They are very friendly and don’t mind being handled too much. One doesn’t like to be picked up, but doesn’t mind being held once it is. I’ll work with them a lot so that they will be easy to deal with when breeding age comes.
We are going with Serenity (after the ship on Firefly), Sweetie Belle (a My Little Pony), and Starbuck (from Battle Star Galactica, the original series, so the male) for names.
It rained all day today so no garden work got done. Maybe tomorrow.