It was a long weekend, but all three of my pregnant does (yes, Luna Blue was indeed pregnant) kindled healthy litters. Persephone had six on Saturday. Firefly had seven and Luna Blue had six on Sunday. The litter above is Firefly’s. She had one very tiny runt. You can see it in the middle of the photo in between two of its bigger siblings. I have never had such a tiny rabbit kit. I have had small kits that I thought were runts, but this is a true runt. It is not a peanut. New Zealands do not carry the dwarf gene that causes that.
It is perfectly formed and active and wiggly. It is just teeny. Yesterday it was as long as my pinky finger and as wide as my index finger. For normal comparison a newborn kit is usually about as wide as two fingers and as long as my middle finger. I don’t know if it will survive or not, but we will keep a sharp eye on it and give it some extra nursings, starting today after school when my son will be home to help. It will probably take a couple of weeks longer to grow out if it survives. There are two other smaller kits in Persephone’s litter that may take a couple weeks extra as well, but they are nowhere near this small.
This is the first time Wildfire has fathered more than six kits. I was starting to think that was all he could manage. I am glad to see it is not. It’s still a far cry from the litter of 12 the person I bought him from claims he fathered on his first go. It’s also a far cry from the litter of 10 Firefly came from. But 7 is an improvement, even if one is itty bitty.
Here is Persephone’s litter the day they were born:
And here is Luna Blue’s litter:
Luna’s kits are huge compared to everyone else’s. But then their father is Leo. Like Firefly, Luna is a first time mother. Unlike Firefly, Luna’s mother died when she was 2.5 weeks old and she had to be fed raw, warm goat’s milk from a dropper for a few weeks. I had no foster mother because Piper had died the week before they were both due to deliver. That was a tough month in the rabbitry. But there has been no illness like that in nine months, so I hope that means we are all free and clear.
Since we have 19 kits and 3 will likely take longer to grow out, I decided to hold off until March 11 before I breed the next set of does. But I will breed 3 instead of 2. It’s not too bad, and I will have 2 more grow out cages in a couple of weeks.
I sold 2 dozen duck eggs on Friday, bringing February farm sales to $105. Sales for the year are $122.50.