Kindling is over for the month. Serenity had nine kits, all but one in the nesting box. The one born out of the nesting box did not survive. I buried it deep in the enclosed compost bin with the one that we lost from Lola’s litter, so they are together. I know I could take them to the raptor recovery program, but I just can’t bring myself to put them in the freezer and wait until we have slaughtered the next litter and have heads to take in. And we can’t bury them in the yard or the exposed compost or the chickens will dig them up and eat them. So they go here for now. Maybe some day I will be able to be clinical enough after losing a kit for that, but today is not that day.
Miss Serenity was surprisingly good about letting us check out her kits so I got to take a photo. That’s one of her newborns up above. All of her kits look healthy and pink. Lola let us check on her litter without freaking out at all. They all look healthy and fed. I don’t want another situation where we have to force nurse a kit, so I’m trying to make sure no one gets left on the bottom of the pile this time right from the get-go.
Here is the whole litter:
And Miss Lola Berry also let us take a short video.
So the new kit count is 16 and this brings the total number of rabbits in our rabbitry to 52! That is 8 adults and the rest are all kits in various stages of growing up. The cuteness factor in the rabbit shed has skyrocketed.
So with Leo producing 9 kits with both Serenity and Sweetie Belle and Starbuck producing 9 kits with Lola, I think the genetics of the smaller litter issue lies with Piper and not the bucks. I won’t cull her though. She is the best mother we have and one of the sweetest. Though her litters are smaller in size, her kits are almost consistently the largest, Colossus not withstanding. And I will try leaving her in with Starbuck all day next time and see if that doesn’t make a difference. Her mating with Starbuck was his first time and she did have to teach him the ropes. So we’ll see what their next breeding holds in mid-February.