New Zealand White Meat Rabbits–Weigh In at 4 Weeks Old and 11 Weeks Old

Phoebe’s kits seem to be growing well, though of course not as fast as Piper’s did. That week of temps in the high 80’s and low 90’s really set them back. If I compare their weights today at 4 weeks to Piper’s kits at 4 weeks it is very far off. However if I compare them to Piper’s kits at 3 weeks old they are very similar. So I’d say the heat set them back a whole week in growth. I don’t think the litter size has too much to do with it. A little maybe, but the temps just make it more logical that was the issue, combined with it being a first litter for Phoebe and her being so young.

I am using the new scale from now on. It measures up to 1/100 of an ounce while the scale I was using before measured up to 1/8 of an ounce, so I’ll be using decimals instead of fractions for fractions of an ounce. I do like the new scale much better than the old one. It is easier to read and it has a hold button so that you can lock in the weight and it doesn’t matter if the rabbit moves around after that.

Kit 1: 13.25 oz
Kit 2: 10.25 oz
Kit 3: 11.5 oz
Kit 4: 13.25 oz
Kit 5: 12.5 oz
Kit 6: 12.25 oz
Kit 7: 12.7 oz
Kit 8: 14.3 oz

Total Litter Weight: 6 lb 4 oz

Weight Gained This Week: 2 lb 11.75 oz

Now for Piper’s 3rd Litter Weights at 11 Weeks Old

Kit 1: 3 lb 14.2 oz
Kit 2: 4 lb 8.2 oz
Kit 3: 5 lb 15.1 oz
Kit 4: 5 lb 2.2 oz
Kit 5: 5 lb 4.1 oz
Kit 6: 4 lb 14.2 oz
Kit 7: 5 lb 0.3 oz

Total Litter Weight: 35 lb 5.3 oz

Total Weight Gained This Week: 4 lb 13.2 oz

Andromeda is almost 6 pounds! Goodness that little doe is a major grower. She’s going to be a good breeder, I think. Everyone hit 5 pounds that I expected to. I was actually surprised at Kit 2 who gained just over half a pound this week. And Kit 1, the runt, gained a little over half a pound, too. Kit 6 will hit 5 pounds at the next weigh in. Kit 2 may hit 5 pounds by the next weigh in. If she does, I think we will go ahead and slaughter five kits and just leave the runt in with Andromeda for a couple more weeks. If she doesn’t, then it’ll be the two of them in with Andromeda.

I have thought about trying to sell Kit 1 as a pet. I can’t sell her as a breeder unless they know going in she’s a slow grower and likely her kits will be, too. I know we could just slaughter her a couple weeks later than the others, but despite my best efforts, my daughter has attached herself to the runt. And I am trying very hard not to, but she is just the sweetest, gentlest, cuddliest bunny. I’m always a sucker for the runts, the underdog, the one who shouldn’t make it, but fights so hard that it does.

I am trying not to hold any of the 11 week olds except Andromeda to keep my distance with slaughtering day coming up soon. I am just holding the little four week olds when I want bunny cuddles. It makes it easier.

Piper is looking very big. She is on day 29 of her pregnancy. I am hoping that doesn’t mean she has too many kits. I’m sure she could handle 12, but a smaller litter will grow faster. She’s never had more than 7 kits so it probably won’t be too big a litter. I guess in 3 or 4 more days we will know for sure. She seems healthy, but tired. She still has no interest in going outside, which is fine. I can keep one rabbit cool in the shed easily.

We will be cleaning the three kit cages this evening and taking care of the floor of the shed. I’ll also be wiping down the PVC hutch frame with soapy water and bleach. It gets dirty fast. I swear Leo aims out of the cage to do his business. And all the dropping trays will be sprayed out tonight after they are emptied. There is a lot of work involved in taking care of rabbits, but staggered out over days, no day has too much.

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