This is the best photo I could get of the little squirmy kits. They kept moving and making the photos blurry. I was able to count them this morning and there is a grand total of seven. Last night I just checked to make sure they were all moving and warm. I gave Piper half an organic carrot (and Daddy Leo the other half) and slipped the nest box out of the cage while she was eating it. I was able to inspect and handle each kit, though they kept trying to get back to their litter mates. So I had one hand holding each one back as I checked them out and added them to the new pile and then gently put them all back in the original pile. They all had round little tummies and were nice and warm. They sure do squeak when you wake them up!
By the time Piper was done with the carrot I was just slipping the nest box back into the cage. She really liked it. Then she hopped into the nesting box to check out what I’d been up to and to make sure the babies were all nicely covered up with her fur. She sure pulled a lot of fur. There was about a loose three inch layer on top of the kits. She’s such a good mama.
We’re building the lower half of the PVC hutch frame tonight and putting two of the new grow out cages on it. Then we can transfer the youngsters to their larger cages. And they will have a couple of tiles and plenty of straw on half of the cage floor to rest on if they don’t want to be on the wire. They tend to ignore the tiles except at night because they like to bounce around. Lola we will go ahead and leave in the smaller 24″ x 24″ cage since we are keeping her and she will now have it to herself. Then when she is about Phoebe’s size she will move to a bigger cage.
The kits we brought home on Sunday are doing very well and seem happy in their new outdoor hutch. I had to pull the tarp down over it for a couple of hours yesterday because we had a windstorm with whipping rain, but then it passed and I could pull the tarp back up. I will be glad when their two weeks of quarantine is up and I can move them inside the rabbit shed with the others.
The husband is designing a rabbit tractor so that we can have them on grass for part of the day on nice days. They are wanting to explore more so I think that will help them with that urge. They can be in it while I am gardening and can keep an eye on them. There is a nesting pair of eagles two blocks away in a tree by the hospital and there is at least one red-tailed hawk I saw last summer and it is back in the area this spring. With a covered tractor they are safe enough, but I’d still prefer to be nearby regardless.
The weather is supposed to be rainy until Friday and Saturday, so I should be able to get a lot done on the early part of the weekend. Today is beautiful, but has been busy. I sure wish it wasn’t supposed to rain tomorrow.
When I stopped at the feed store to get rabbit food yesterday they had a sign in it for a meat rabbit expo on Saturday so hopefully the husband and I can make it to that. They are going to show how to butcher a rabbit, which would be good to see before we try. I mean, youtube vids are all well and good, but I think seeing it in real life will be more helpful than that. They will also have a bunch of other stuff as well and have barbecued rabbit and some information on cooking rabbit. I think they will also have show information as well. Not that I’m into that end of things. Only the three new kits have pedigrees and I can’t make them for the other rabbits (which are purebred) until I’ve got the third generation.