Oct 3rd

They are staying out!  We went out today to shop for some stuff to winterize the rabbits.  My husband put together some fantastic plywood nest boxes that will also work as sleep boxes if the rabbits choose to use them.  I also bought some 4 mil plastic to hang all around so wind won’t blow through the fence.  (I’ve already stapled that up).  Hubby still has to build me one more section of roof as I intend on adding two more 30X36 cages.  One just for grow out and one for another doe (Sunny).  The whole thing will be wrapped in plastic from roof to ground with all the seams taped.  The front will be open when the weather is not rainy/snowy/windy.  Each cage will have its own plywood roof as well, I will keep hay on that for easy storage and insulation.   

I’m still working on water systems, but I should have that figured out soon.  I have extra water bottles but it is the nipples that freeze quickly not the bottle.  I might try crocks but I’m worried about the little ones getting wet.

Friday Hanna gets her nest box!  She is such a nice big rabbit I am very excited to see her kits.  My neighbor came by to visit and couldn’t get over how soft she is.  Her biggest downfall as far as I’m concerned is that she just seems to potty wherever she pleases.  My other two have nice potty corner manners.  That might make a big difference on whose litter I chose to keep a doe from. ” If all goes well”, SUNNY will be chosen on Christmas!  (Or at least by New year’s day)  Wow that seems so far away but it really isn’t.  Time sure does fly.

Oct 2

I think I have changed my mind.  I want to keep the rabbits outside this winter.  I was going to bring them into the garage but I think the smell and the mess out weighs the pluses of me not walking through snow.  I am teatering back and forth on this.  I really want what is best for the rabbits and this is my first South Central Nebraska winter.  I really do not know what to expect.

Back and forth, back and forth….. I think I’ll wait and see what tomorrow brings….

October 1st

I am very excited about this month as I hope to have two litters due.  Hanna is due first on the 11th and Rainbow will be due a few weeks later on the 25th, as long as all goes well.  I might be keeping a doe out of one of these litters to hold back as a third breeding doe.  Either litter will be unrelated to my buck.  I know this really doesn’t matter but it keeps my husband happy.  I won’t have a problem breeding Stormy back to one on his daughters in the future as I keep telling my husband they are for meat and  if everyone is healthy I would rather have a closed herd than risk bringing in outside blood.  That could change, but for now I just want to get my first litters in the world and get them growing.

Hanna looks very pregnant.  She has a nice large belly and likes to lay down on her side so she can show it off, and she still has 10 days to go.  I wonder what Rainbow will look like.  I still have a few more days to find out if her breeding even took. 

The weather has been great and I hope it stays that way as long as it can!  I will be moving everyone into the garage this winter and I would like to make as short a stay inside as possible.

September 27

It is fall outside!  The weather has been clear dropping into the 40′s at night and by 9:00 it is still only 50!  How wonderful for my rabbits.  How wonderful for my AC bill. 

I am so happy with my little herd.  I love rabbits!  They are always right there when its feeding time, or any other time I go near them.  I should clarify that Stormy and Hanna are always right there.  Rainbow could care less if  she ever sees me, as long as she’s got food that is.

Back to feeding….  Stormy is still growing so he get unlimited feed.  To me this just means he still has a little left in the hopper every morning.  He only get limited hay.  Rainbow gets a set amount of feed and has access to all the hay she wants.  Her bowl is always empty in the morning when I feed her, but is still about half full in the evening when I check them.  Then we have Hanna.  She now always has hay as well but I portion her food up for a twice a day feeding.  If I give it all to her in the morning it will all be gone in the morning.  I am very worried that she could get fat very easily.  They also get a handful of greens during the day as well.

In about two weeks Hanna is due!!!!  So a month from now if all goes well I’ll have a bunch of sweet little bunny eyes looking at me whenever I go out to feed.  My biggest concern is how big is Hanna going to get when I have to leave feed in the pen for the little ones to wean….  She is not a first time mum so I know she’ll be fine but the way she attacks her food I just don’t know. 

I think this going to be a long two weeks!

Here’s Hanna

Hanna has settled in and she has become my little girls favorite.  We think she is a satin.  She has had a few litters in the past and has been a very good mom.  So we hope that the move won’t upset her to much and she’ll have a litter for us in a few weeks.

She is a fantastic eater!  My other two eat all their food but they really don’t ever seem hungry.  Hanna would eat as much as she’s fed right away.  So I break her feeding up for a morning and a evening feed.  I want her to enjoy her food but not get fat.

She is very black with some rust color around her hind end and belly, and so soft.   I just want to squish her up!

She has been bred to a Pal/Silver fox cross (who is black) so she will most likely have all black kits.  She has in the past from the same breeding.  If all goes well I will breed her to Stormy for her next litter and I think they will come out looking like Californians maybe satin.  I really don’t know.  (But it is fun to think about)

My little herd is almost complete.  All I want is one more doe.  I will keep one back from one of the litters but I don’t know which one yet.   At least now I have options.

Oh I gave stormy his first greens today!  Just a little plantain to start him out.  He was very happy to get something new.

Sept 1st

There are no bunnies in there. Or out here either. I don’t know if she was even really bred or if the stress and the heat made he reabsorb them but we are not haveing kits.

I still have a few days to wait to be very sure, but her tummy is trim and she is not nesting. 

She is just an ornery doe!

On a good note I have met a very  nice lady who has a crossed buck to breed to her while I wait for Stormy to grow up.  I might also be adding another bred doe, satin/Havana just to get some production started while I wait for Stormy to mature. 

I still plan on keeping a doe out of Rainbows first litter, although it looks like it will be a Silver Fox/ Palomino X Cailfornian cross  I can’t wait to see what that turns out to look like. 

So now I’m back to waiting.  It might be a few weeks before anyone get bred again.

Sept 24th

It has been quite awhile.  Well Rainbow didn’t have kits and Stormy finally weighs over 5 pounds.  I was dissappointed but life goes on.

We have been very busy with company and whatnot but now things are back to normal.

Today I finally got to meet a very nice lady that I have been talking to for quite some time about rabbits and she brought me a pregnant black doe who looks to be the same size as Rainbow.  She also brought he Pal/SFox cross buck to breed with Rainbow so I’ll get a head start on my rabbit operation.  Rainbow got a few good covers and I felt “Hanna’s” kits. I’m very hopeful to get a few nice kits this October.

I’ll pop some pictures up tomorrow of our newest girl.

So I hope to have a litter about Oct 11th and another one about Oct 25th.  If we have kits from these breeding’s I will most likely keep back a doe.  (Sunny)???  Either way Stormy should be able to breed by the time the kits wean.

I am switching their feed and getting ready to add another cage for grow out and for my futre doe.  Yes that is 2 more cages….  They best start taking care of us soon too.

Sept 5

It is another beautiful day.

My husband said I should leave the nest box in until we are past dates just to be on the safe side.  So the nest box went back in.  I think Rainbow likes it as a bed.  It does have a nice nest inside minus the hair. 

When she lays on her sides you can see her nipples, is this normal?  I just don’t know anymore.  I figure we will leave the box in until the 10th  that would be the very last day she could kindle from the day we picked her up.

Stormy is still gaining weight and looking good.  And Rainbow has calmed down some more.  She still doesn’t want to be petted but she knows I have good things for her to eat so she is getting more tolerant.

Sept 2nd

The rabbits are both very happy!  It has only been in the low 70′s today and is suposed to stay below 80 tomorrow as well.

I don’t know if it was the weather or what but I have heard no sneezes out of Stormy over the last few days.  I have started giving him a show supplement that has the yucca and stuff in it as his food doesn’t.  I also bought a can of oatmeal that is less dusty….

He hasput on about 5oz since I weighed him last.  I am now giving alfalfa cubes for him to chew on as well.  Trying to up his protein as well.

I’m taking the nest box out tomorrow.  I feel Rainbow would rather have the room to hop around and since she only uses it only as a place to put her toys it should come out.  I’m very disappointed not to have kits now, but I know I’ll have them eventually.

AUG 30

One day to go!!!! Or maybe a few more…. Or maybe not at all.  I wish I knew what to expect! 

Rainbow is still her persnickity self.  That might be a sign or maybe that is just her personality.  She wants to move the nest box around just to annoy me.  She likes to go behind it.  When I go out to check on her again it is back!  When I put the box  in to start with, I put newspaper on the bottom of it and a bunch of grass has.  She has started shredding the newspaper but she might do that anyway,  When I give her extra hay which she does have a rack all she did was move it into her food bowl!  I know a lot of rabbits wait till the last minute but I was hoping she would have “let me know” what was going on by now.

Stormy is the same as ever.  I weighed him today and he is still only 4 pounds.  He is 10 weeks old and according to the “breeder” that I got him from he should have been over  5lbs by now.  He feels good and not skinny and he eats well.  I guess time will tell.

I know the heat can be a factor, moving him out and away from his litter can also be a problem.  He is on a 16 % grain based diet with a clover prairie hay mix.  He also still gets his BOSS and oats.  I think I shall head off to the feed store and see if they have any alfalfa cubes or at least some show finisher.