Lola’s family chowing down on fodder and kale.
I am glad to see the back end of the snow. I am not a big fan of the white stuff. I am just not a well-functioning person in cold. I much prefer this balmy 45 degree F rain. Tuesday is supposed to start a few days of warmish, dry days with little wind, so the plan is to start slaughtering on Tuesday. I don’t think we will get all 13 rabbits done in one day, but hopefully we can get them all done in 2 days.
I am thinking about selling Andromeda. She’s still biting and nipping when I check on her kits. I’ll give her some more time to settle down, but if this behavior continues, I don’t want to keep her in my breeding program. I’m not even sure if I’d want to keep one of her kits or not to replace her. I’d rather go with one of Lola’s does because of temperament. And Lola has the same parents and thus the same bloodline as Andromeda. She may be smaller, but sometimes personality and good mothering is more important than being a large rabbit.
I really want to get a red New Zealand or a blue Beveren doe so I’m not sure I’d raise another NZ white kit up to replace Andromeda. If I do sell her, I will sell her bred, I think. Get a little more for her that way.
I’m still not sure what I am going to do about Starbuck. I will probably do 1 more round of breeding with him and his 3 does and see how things turn out. Colossus may have been a genetic fluke, but Piper has never had a kit like that before with Leo, and the small first litter size of his kits with Andromeda may be her fault, not his. He did produce nine kits with Lola, but 2 died (though not his fault). So another series of breedings will help me judge better whether or not I want to keep him. His kits are extremely friendly and do seem to have his personality over the personalities of any of the mothers.
If we do end up replacing Starbuck it will be with a red NZ or a blue Beveren buck.
One of Phoebe’s kits was out of the nesting box this morning. I am glad we had the heater on overnight. We almost didn’t turn it on last night. The husband is going to rig up a heat lamp over Phoebe’s cage and one over Andromeda’s cage and that way the kits will stay warm even if they do get out. We’ll just have it over one side of the cage so the Mamas can get away from the heat if they need to. At least the kit was okay. I didn’t see it. Fortunately the husband did. So for the next week we’ll have to watch for them like hawks until they are old enough to get in and out of the nesting box on their own. Then we can put away the heat lamps and not worry about that again for a few months. We won’t have kits again until the second half of March when it warms up.
We did some more weaning yesterday so now there are only 2 kits left in with Sweetie Belle and they will be leaving her tonight. There are still 3 kits in with Piper. They’ll just have to stick it out until Tuesday after slaughtering and we can get some cages washed in the nicer weather and finish separating them.