It’s the fourth day of the fodder experiment and it is really neat to be watching how it changes even over the course of a few hours. This is how it looks tonight with lots of little green shoots coming up. This afternoon there were about ten shoots between the two trays and this morning there were only two in each tray. The really big changes should start tomorrow.
We bought some cheap dishpans ($2.50 each and BPA free) at Kmart that are big enough to grow several portions in and some inexpensive wire racks to put them on. The husband is putting the racks together tonight and we will start working on getting the drain holes put in. I’ve got the first one soaking a half inch of barley. That one won’t get holes drilled in it and two others will be catch pans.
I am not sure that I will try to do one tray a day at first. For one thing I only have one bag of barley, and for another I think feeding it to them every three days at first is good when changing the rabbits’ diets, especially considering they’ve barely even had a chance to be out on grass for the past five weeks or so. The youngest kits never have been on grass because of the weather. I will also start with half portions. A half pound of grown out fodder is recommended for a fully grown New Zealand White, so I figure we’ll begin with 1/4 pound portions along with pellets and hay until they get used to it and then gradually switch over as they get used to it and as we use up our pellets.
I think I will probably always have pellets available for growing kits and nursing or pregnant does, at least until I am convinced that they grow as well on just fodder, hay and veggies with my own eyes. I’ve read about it being successful, but I want to be sure first hand. I don’t want my animals to ever lack for nutrition because of my choices. I don’t think they will, but there is that little bit of worry that I always have when I make a new decision for them. This probably has more to do with the fact than I am a major worry-wart than anything else.
The two week olds are all jumping in and out of the nesting box now. One of them even jumped up onto the pellet feeder today. It was so cute. It’s amazing how much spring they have in their steps even so young. I put a lot of extra hay in their cages tonight to help to keep them warm if they get out of the nesting box. It is sleeting and so cold. It’s not too horrible in the shed, but outside with the wind going it was bitter. It’s the coldest night we’ve had this year and I don’t want to lose any of them. I think we are beyond that, though.
The six week olds got weighed and are growing pretty well. Piper’s especially. She has two that have hit 3 pounds already. Goodness! Little Colossus is only a few ounces behind the runt of Sweetie Belle’s litter so he is starting to catch up to them. Still a ways behind his own litter though, but mostly because they are little piggies. Remember that Piper’s litter is one day younger than Sweetie Belle’s when reading the weights.
Sweetie Belle’s First Litter:
Kit 1: 2 lb 5.4 oz
Kit 2: 2 lb 7.7 oz
Kit 3: 2 lb 10.6 oz
Kit 4: 2 lb 2.5 oz
Kit 5: 2 lb 5.8 oz
Kit 6: 2 lb 10.5 oz
Kit 7: 2 lb 4.7 oz
Kit 8: 2 lb 8.5 oz
Kit 9: 1 lb 12.2 oz (runt)
Total Litter Weight: 21 lb 3.9 oz
Amount Gained This Week: 6 lb 1.2 oz
Piper’s Fifth Litter:
Kit 1: 1 lb 7.6 oz (Colossus)
Kit 2: 2 lb 12.5 oz
Kit 3: 2 lb 13.1 oz
Kit 4: 3 lb 0.5 oz
Kit 5: 3 lb 1.6 oz
Kit 6: 2 lb 8.1 oz
Total Litter Weight: 16 lb 11.4 oz
Amount Gained This Week: 5 lb 5.5 oz