Yesterday was a very eventful day. Although I spent a good portion of it wishing I had the miserably warm and humid days back. We topped out at 90 degrees F . In June. In the Pacific Northwest. A hot, dry heat it was, and it gave me quite a tan on my arms. I was never out for very long at once, but I was doing a lot of rabbit checks, so I got more exposure than I expected. I will have to remember to put on sun screen the rest of this week, even if I just think I’ll be out for only a minute. 90! Gracious, but that’s high for here. And it’s looking like quite a bit of the same for the next week. Slightly lower, but anything over 75 makes me wilt.
We’ve got two oscillating fans set up in the shed now. One for the bottom level and one for the top level. I’m freezing everything I can get my hands on for tomorrow. I’ve got a few jugs I’ll be using as well as the smaller water bottles. Serenity and Sweetie Belle keep chewing through their bottles, so a heavy duty plastic jug will be going into their cage. I’m not talking ordinary milk jug strength either. I’m talking Simply Orange orange juice bottle strength. I’d like to see them try to bite a hole in that.
I had a handful of ripe blueberries yesterday. In June. In the Pacific Northwest. We never get them this early. Last year I think it was the third week of July and that was early, but this is ridiculous. Not that I’m complaining. And the chickens know there are blue ones, too. They leap for them. If you’ve never seen a chicken leap three feet straight up, well, it’s a sight to behold.
I also weighed the kits yesterday. The litter has gained a total of 4 pounds, 10 and 5/8 ounces this week. Piggy is miles away the biggest at almost 3 ½ pounds. I really do hope she is a girl, as I would love to keep a doe that grows that fast to pass on the trait to her babies and since I’m still not sure about keeping Lola. Such a skittish girl, that one. Have to find a better name for her than Piggy if she’s a girl. I will sex the kits next week and then I’ll know for sure.
Kit 1: 2 lb 2 3/7 oz
Kit 2: 2 lb 8 7/8 oz
Kit 3: 3 lb 7 1/4 oz
Kit 4: 2 lb 15 3/8 oz
Kit 5: 2 lb 14 7/8 oz
Kit 6: 2 lb 10 oz
Kit 7: 2 lb 11 3/8 oz
Total litter weight: 19 lb 6 1/4 oz
I worry a bit about Kit 1. She’s so far behind the others. She looks healthy, but she’s just so small. I don’t see her push her way to the food like the others do. She will be the last kit to leave Piper when I wean after week 8. She’ll hopefully catch up some. She is such a little darling, just the sweetest personality. Why do I always adore the runt of the litter? Underdog syndrome, I suppose.
I didn’t weigh the previous litter, the one that came with Piper when I bought her, so I don’t really have a basis for comparison, yet. But I will be able to compare the first litter I bred from Piper to Phoebe’s first litter as they grow. Then I can maybe worry less about the next runt if it follows the same pattern. I do remember though that the runt of that litter was quite a bit behind the others. Actually two of them were behind, but one was more so.
All of Phoebe’s kits were alive as of this morning and have fat little bellies. Even the little one born on the wire. I couldn’t even tell which one it was, so that is good. They were all warm and squirmy, but didn’t seem overly hot. I just hope we can keep them from getting too warm or too cold. It’s a battle for a few days until their fur grows in and then I don’t worry so much. I didn’t bother them too much because even with a carrot for a distraction, Phoebe still looked worried with my messing with them. Not enough to leave the carrot mind you, but still worried, and I don’t want to stress her at all.
I can tell it’s going to be another scorcher today, though 84 is predicted, not 90. I turned on both fans and left the door propped open. I also dragged the tractors to the best shade and made my ladder tarp awning to create more shade as well. I will have Serenity and Sweetie Belle out in one tractor and Piper and the kits in the other today. I am thinking about putting Lola in the tractor with the girls and hoping they all three get along, just because it will allow for more rabbits to be in a cooler area. Or maybe dragging two of the outdoor hutches to the shade for Lola and Starbuck. Then it will just be Leo and Phoebe and her newborns in the shed with the fans and the frozen water bottles and hope that will make them comfortable enough.
I checked on the blackberries while I was outside and there were a couple of black ones, but they were still very hard so need a couple more days. But the fact that we will have blackberries in early July is ridiculous. This is usually an end of August fruit. Well, if it’s going to be this hot, at least we will have plenty of fruit to quench our thirsts.