Ever the Contrary Mary, dear Sweetie Belle decided to give birth on day 31 instead of on day 32, thwarting my plans of having two rabbits deliver on the same day. I’ll have to breed her and Piper one day apart next time. However, she gave birth in her nesting box. I have never had a rabbit give birth in the nesting box on her first litter, so I am very proud of her. The way she was digging and nest building in the corner of her cage last night, I was sure she’d kindle there, but I am glad she didn’t, because I never would have been able to move them today.
Sweetie Belle didn’t even want me to open the door to her cage. She started grunting and squeaking at me the moment I tried. Then I tried to take photos and she photo bombed them all. I finally got the one above by approaching the cage from the side while she was playing Buddha bunny. Finally I bribed her with a piece of purple kale and she moved away enough for me to open the cage door and she snatched it and then pushed the door shut with her nose. So I will wait until tomorrow to try to count them and check for dead ones. We will take her out of the cage first and I will be sure to wear my jacket so that if she bites it goes into the padding more than my arm. The fur in the nesting box was wiggling over a pretty large area so it may be a good-sized litter. I hope so. Just not too big for her to handle.
She does still have a bit of bloody hay to clean up and she was cleaning blood off her body still, so she may have had them just before we went out for the night time feed and water check. Which might partially explain why she was so defensive. Or it could just be her personality. I was hoping motherhood would settle her down more, pregnancy certainly helped, but she’s still high strung. I will try to invade her cage as little as possible, but I do have to do that check tomorrow. I can’t risk leaving a dead kit in longer than that if there is one.
Piper’s cage looked like a fur bomb had gone off, but there were no kits in the nesting box. She’s a 32 day rabbit. Even the time I thought was day 33 I am now thinking was actually day 32 and I just didn’t see the fur wiggling so assumed they hadn’t been born yet. More and more, based on litter weights I do suspect that is what happened. It was the first time for me so I wasn’t experienced at all. Anyway, I’m sure she will have them in the morning or afternoon. She doesn’t have them overnight. In fact none of my rabbits have ever had them at night, despite the books all saying that is when rabbits give birth. Mine usually give birth after the morning check, but before the evening check.
Phoebe’s little runt is looking better. The eye is still a bit crusty though, so we used the Vetrimycin again today. She looks like she is gaining weight well. Though still behind her siblings it is clear she is getting more to eat now.
Lola and her litter are staying much cleaner in the new cage, so the move was definitely helpful. The weather is supposed to be decent tomorrow, so maybe I can get them out in the grass. That should help finish cleaning their paws and if it doesn’t, then I shall just have to take a wet washcloth to their feet. I wish you could bathe rabbits, but they hate that and can even go into shock from it. Even though they can instinctively swim. But I can spot clean them. It’ll take two of us to do it, though. Maybe even three.
I am halfway through the first pig book. I still haven’t formed much of an opinion, though. Except for if I do it, I’d love to raise the ones that look like Oreo cookies called Hampshires. I’ve also been distracted by some online quail research, some miniature cow research, and also some aquaponics research. I found a guy in between here and Seattle who stocks fish ponds and aquaponics systems with fingerlings. I also found a person who instead of raising fish in one of their water things was letting their ducks swim in it and just using the fertilized water to grow veggies. They even were growing Malaysian fresh water shrimp in one tank. I also found a pretty good system that isn’t horrible on price, but would definitely require us to save up for it. I’m still looking into DIY systems, though.
I was able to get my salmon and my carrots for canning today, but my knee is swollen so badly after shopping that I am waiting to can them until tomorrow. I also picked up some cucumbers and dill, so I will do some water bath canning of pickles while waiting on the pressure canner to do its thing. I really like this pickle recipe. I had no idea I would like it so much. I think I will back off the red pepper flakes a bit, but otherwise will change nothing.
I am also thinking about canning some sweet potatoes when they go on sale at Thanksgiving. They take as long as fish to can for some reason, 100 minutes, but it would be nice to have some ready to go. And not like the ones in the store that are canned in syrup. Just plain ones canned in water and a bit of salt. The sweet potato tastes so good and sweet on its own it really does not need to be drenched in all the sugary stuff.