The Good and the Bad of It

Sometimes homesteading really has me in tears. There is so much good, but when the bad comes it breaks your heart. We had kits born on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. On Wednesday we had a rat get in the rabbit shed and attack a kit. It was injured so badly that I had to put it down. This is the first time I’ve had to do that. I know that we butcher animals and that this rabbit only would have lived 12 to 14 weeks, but this was a death without purpose to me, other than alleviating suffering, I mean. It had me in tears.

This was the first time I have killed a rabbit. My husband does the killing at butcher time. I’ve never had to, but he wasn’t home and it needed to be done immediately. I still feel bad 2 days later. I know it was the right thing, but it was just so sad. We had already lost 2 kits the day they were born. So of a total of 9 born, there are six left. One was with Ruby, one was with Kalia, and the other 4 were with Luna. At first I was just going to foster Ruby’s kit to Kalia, but I ended up fostering the two kits to Luna, who had more milk, so she could raise all six. I didn’t think it was warm enough for any kit to be alone.

Ruby and Kalia are both a little sad. They looked for their kits the first day, but have stopped. But I can tell they are sad. I wish I could explain it to them, but I can’t really. I mean, I tell them, but of course they don’t understand. And Serena never kindled. I think Alexander has gone sterile as there have been no kits from his last 3 breedings now.

On a possibly good news note, DH noticed that one of Firefly’s bucks was haystaching. Bucks don’t do that. At least not that I’ve ever seen. So my son and I did a quick sex check and that buck is a doe. And she had been in with her two brothers up until 3 weeks ago. The magical rabbit sex change fairy strikes again. So we quickly transferred her to a baby safe cage and gave her a nesting box. It is possible that she is just reacting to the mama hormones in the air, but she is old enough that she could be pregnant and I didn’t want another Fiona incident on my hands. Fortunately she is big enough that a pregnancy is not detrimental to her health. She jumped right into the nesting box and started digging. As a boy she was on the butcher schedule for this weekend, but I guess she missed that.

If she does have kits we will let her raise the litter and then sell her. We don’t have the cage space to keep 2 new does and I want to save one of the blackish kits from Cinnabun’s latest litter as a breeder if there is a promising girl. They are gorgeous and super soft and very sweetly tempered. My son wants to name her, but that is dangerous. Once they have a name he always wants to keep it. And we just can’t. Unless we sell some other does. And this really isn’t the time of year that people want to buy starter trios.

So as you can see the week has been very up and down. I hope next week is calmer and not so crazy.

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2 thoughts on “The Good and the Bad of It

  1. jolynnpowers says:

    I have never heard of Rats attacking living baby animals… helped me rethink our ideas about building a rabbit house when the time comes..so sorry you bredding season has been a struggle. We bred twice to a very old buck and got nothing… so we are baby free until spring when we will be looking to get a new buck… great post Jolynn

    • LuckyRobin says:

      I knew that they could. I just didn’t think they could get through the cage wire. But they can get through very small spaces. At least the rats are dead now and the kits are doing well.

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