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Breeding season is under way again!

Addressing the special needs of the breeding doe and her kits. Includes nutrition, gestation, nest boxes and materials, and tips to ensure survival of the young.
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Breeding season is under way again!

Post Number:#1  Unread postby Nymphadora » Wed Oct 17, 2018 11:08 am


Woohoo! We have 2 (maybe 3? :?) does due at the end of the week, and we're breeding 3 more this week! I'm really glad we didn't breed all through the summer here, it was just too hot... but I missed the little popples! :oops:

DH just got 2 more stackers of 3 cages each for me (6 total holes), so we'll have plenty of room for grow outs. And one of the last grow outs from Jane's litter is looking pretty good, so I might keep her around for the winter shows. She's blue otter, so I probably won't keep her myself, but she's got good type and is friendly, so we might offer her and her sister (opal) as breeders. They're 4 months now, so by the time winter shows are over they'll be ready to breed, anyway.

Blue Otter Doe.jpg
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Opal Doe II.jpg
Opal Doe II.jpg (1.92 MiB) Viewed 1459 times


The opal girl keeps tucking her back legs waaay forward, but even so, she's not quite as nice and full to the table as her sister when posed correctly. And the blue otter doe has pretty good shoulders, which has been something I've been trying to improve. But I think they'd be great for someone starting out. I do hope they'll shed out their fur in time for the next show, though... their old coat got a little crinkly from the misters over the summer. :oops:

And on to the mamas-to-be:

Lisanna III.jpg
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First is Lisanna (daughter of Jane Doe), one of our new mamas this season. This litter will be her first, but she looks just like her mama did when pregnant... huge! :P We have a lot to look forward to with this litter; since Lisanna is white, she could be carrying quite a bit genetically (mom was agouti, dilute, carried otter; dad was white but genetically broken and carrying dilute). And she's been such a doll... I really wish we still had Jane and Mira, but I'm so grateful Lisanna's still around.

Laki III.jpg
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Her sister, Laki, was bred to the same buck this week, and should be due next month. Her opal coloring is a bit darker than her mom's was, but she is otherwise the spitting image of Jane. :in_love:

Valley.jpg
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And our dear Valley girl is due this weekend as well, and dutifully put together her little nest as soon as we put the box in! She even pulled a little fur, just to show me she remembered what to do! :oops:

Juvia was bred again this week as well, so hopefully we get some cute broken babies in her litter next month. I don't have any cute photos of her at the moment, but I'm sure I'll update as the time goes by. :roll:

And Juvia's mama, our founding herd doe, the OG: Judy the Beauty. She's our wild card at the moment. She didn't want to lift for our sweet little buckaroo last month, but I stuck a nextbox in anyway, just in case she has kits this week. I may try to rebreed her this evening as well, so that if she doesn't have kits this time around she'll hopefully have a litter when the next round is due. :roll: She's still not the friendliest doe, but I want to give her every chance to stay with us. :oops:

One last pic of Lisanna, taking a nap because being pregnant is hard work:

Lisanna I.jpg
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Thank you for reading to the end, if you did... or just checking out the pictures! :P

Hope you're all doing well! :D

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Re: Breeding season is under way again!

Post Number:#2  Unread postby WyoBunnies » Wed Oct 17, 2018 1:57 pm


Your buns are gorgeous! What breed are they? I have rabbit envy. hahaha

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Re: Breeding season is under way again!

Post Number:#3  Unread postby Nymphadora » Wed Oct 17, 2018 4:41 pm


WyoBunnies wrote:Your buns are gorgeous! What breed are they? I have rabbit envy. hahaha

Thank you! We raise Rex rabbits (and not the Minis). :D

I originally chose this breed because they are a dual-purpose breed (meat and fur). While I do love them for both of those purposes, they are also terrific in terms of temperament (for the most part; I have two bunnies that are a bit shy, but none are truly aggressive). :in_love:

And they are just sooo soft. :oops:

This is the little opal girl (sister to the blue otter) right after I trimmed her claws last weekend:
20181014_131425.jpg
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Re: Breeding season is under way again!

Post Number:#4  Unread postby a7736100 » Wed Oct 17, 2018 11:21 pm


Nice pics.

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Re: Breeding season is under way again!

Post Number:#5  Unread postby WyoBunnies » Thu Oct 18, 2018 10:38 am


Nymphadora wrote:
WyoBunnies wrote:Your buns are gorgeous! What breed are they? I have rabbit envy. hahaha

Thank you! We raise Rex rabbits (and not the Minis). :D

I originally chose this breed because they are a dual-purpose breed (meat and fur). While I do love them for both of those purposes, they are also terrific in terms of temperament (for the most part; I have two bunnies that are a bit shy, but none are truly aggressive). :in_love:

And they are just sooo soft. :oops:

This is the little opal girl (sister to the blue otter) right after I trimmed her claws last weekend:
20181014_131425.jpg


She is Gorgeous!! I love her coloring!! She looks very comfy. hahahaaaa

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Re: Breeding season is under way again!

Post Number:#6  Unread postby Nymphadora » Thu Oct 18, 2018 12:37 pm


Thank you guys!

We do love our herd, they mean a lot to us. The wait for babies is tough, but at least I can snuggle the older ones in the meantime. :in_love:

Update on the breedings: Juvia and Laki were successfully bred this week, so more babies hopefully due next month.

Lisanna looks like she swallowed a melon, but hopefully she delivers her kits happy and healthy tomorrow or Saturday. :popcorn:

Valley has made a beautiful little nest, and looks very relaxed and zen... this is her mama-mode. :oops:

And Judy is sitting in her nest box. Like a hen. Because nest boxes make her happy, even if there's a strong chance she's not actually pregnant. (I actually feel badly for our buck, who must have had feelings of inadequacy when our queen refused to lift for him and just sat there looking grumpy... poor guy tried his heart out). :P :lol: :roll:

So... the wait is on.
:popcorn:

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Re: Breeding season is under way again!

Post Number:#7  Unread postby michaels4gardens » Fri Oct 19, 2018 5:51 am


I have enjoyed seeing pictures of your beautiful rabbits... thank you...
Do you keep the kind of records that tell you "growth rate" ? I am curious about how long the "modern" Rex, take for fryers to reach 4 or 5 lbs. When I raised rabbits for fur [long ago] - My Rex rabbits were rather slow growing ,in comparison to some other fur breeds. They grew too slowly - to raise them strictly for meat... When raising them "primarily" for the fur market, and selling meat as a secondary market, they were good "money-makers" .....
meat-mutt rabbits, a few laying hens.

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Re: Breeding season is under way again!

Post Number:#8  Unread postby Nymphadora » Mon Oct 22, 2018 11:50 am


michaels4gardens wrote:I have enjoyed seeing pictures of your beautiful rabbits... thank you...
Do you keep the kind of records that tell you "growth rate" ? I am curious about how long the "modern" Rex, take for fryers to reach 4 or 5 lbs.

Thank you, Michael!

To answer your question... I've been a bit lax on keeping track. :oops:

In fairness, Rex do grow more slowly, and I certainly don't hit 5 lbs at 8 weeks. But since I wait longer so I can keep the pelts as well, by the time I butcher at ~12 weeks they weigh roughly 5-6 lbs. I don't always keep excellent records unfortunately (most of the time I'd weigh them just to see, and never wrote it down), but their growth seems to be steady until about week 8, and then it slows down a bit. But we have some large breeders, and they give us good-sized grow-outs. :)

-- Fri Oct 19, 2018 1:23 pm --

Quick update:

I'm at work right now, but DH got home around 11am today and found our first-timer had just given birth. 9 total kits, 3 stillborn... he's working on warming the 3 up, but he says one looks a bit stretched. So it might have gotten stuck and resulted in the other two not making it. I won't hold it against the doe, obviously, but I feel a little badly that I wasn't able to do more than coach him on how to check the nest and try to revive cold kits. Still, one down one to go!

I'll update again when I can.

-- Mon Oct 22, 2018 8:50 am --

Alright, it was a long weekend of chores for me, so I didn't get to update the thread as early as I had hoped. But hey, I didn't forget you guys, and I even took some pictures (what do ya say, Homer, am I forgiven?). :)

As I mentioned earlier, Lisanna (white Rex doe) had 6 healthy babies, and 3 didn't make it. I'm still very happy with her, and she's been feeding them very well. Huge milk bellies every morning, even the runt of the litter (not super runty, but on the small side). And the colors were a surprise as well! Since this was her first litter, and she's white, I really had no idea what she might be carrying... but we got some adorable castors, opals, and two self-colored kits (one blue, one black). Also a mix of solid and booted brokens. The biggest kit of the litter is a booted opal... really interested to see that one grow out. And hopefully some of the solids have good type, I'd love to take some to the early spring shows. :oops: And now, the pictures of our Lisanna x Odin litter:
Lisanna 10.19.18.jpg
Lisanna's little fluffle of kits
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Lisanna 10.19.18 (2).jpg
That blaze!
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Lisanna broken opal.jpg
Chunky broken opal kit
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Lisanna castor.jpg
Smallest in the litter
Lisanna castor.jpg (1.47 MiB) Viewed 1398 times


And then Valley had her babies sometime early Sunday morning (before I went out to feed)! I wasn't as worried with her because she's had a litter before and she did really well. We had bred her to our booted castor buck, Elfman, and after Lisanna's litter had only booted brokens, I was actually expecting kind of the same from this litter. But surprise, surprise! We had two flashy brokens, two booted brokens, and three solid kits! I know Valley carries self, and I'm not sure if Elf might carry otter, so we'll find out as the kits color up, but there was a mix of dilutes as well. So a very colorful litter. Super fun! :in_love: And of course, here are some pictures of the cuties:
Valley 10.21.18.jpg
Just like dad
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Valley 10.21.18 (3).jpg
So much variety!
Valley 10.21.18 (3).jpg (3.63 MiB) Viewed 1398 times


Hope you're having a great day! :D

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Re: Breeding season is under way again!

Post Number:#9  Unread postby Homer » Mon Oct 22, 2018 10:21 pm


Nymphadora wrote: I didn't get to update the thread as early as I had hoped. But hey, I didn't forget you guys, and I even took some pictures (what do ya say, Homer, am I forgiven?).

Well OK Nymph, we'll let it slide this time. :P I know how it is though. This thing called "life" gets in the way every now and then.

Good grief. I don't think I've ever seen a rabbit SMILE like that in all my years!

Image

That is one content bunny! :clap2:
Previous owner of the elusive and much sought after "Get Away With It" card.

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Re: Breeding season is under way again!

Post Number:#10  Unread postby michaels4gardens » Sat Nov 03, 2018 6:38 am


thank you-- wonderful pictures..
meat-mutt rabbits, a few laying hens.

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Re: Breeding season is under way again!

Post Number:#11  Unread postby Nymphadora » Mon Nov 05, 2018 12:42 pm


Update time! :D
(Gosh, I meant to update more frequently... my bad!)

Lisanna litter 11.2.18.jpg
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Lisanna black kit.jpg
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Lisanna castor kit.jpg
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So the kits are all doing well, more or less. Lisanna’s litter is definitely larger, even though the litters were only born 2 days apart. A good sign for Lisanna, for sure!

Everyone’s much more active now, as well… by 2 weeks, all eyes were open and they weren’t sitting still for pictures at all. Not that they were particularly still before, but I swear I’m taking 200 pictures to get 10 good ones. But they’re cute, and worth it. :P

Valley litter 11.2.18.jpg
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Valley broken castor.jpg
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Valley booted opal.jpg
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The broken babies in Valley’s litter are super cute and obviously stand out quite a bit… and I think the booted castor is a dead ringer for the sire. They look almost identical at 2 weeks! But there’s one little solid castor kit that has me a bit worried. I’ve noticed it’s keeping one of its back legs up, as though it is injured, although there’s no cuts/signs of injury, and it doesn’t feel broken anywhere. I gently ran my fingers over the leg, and it kicks it out on occasion, so it’s not paralysed… so I’m hoping it heals up in time and starts using the leg more. The kit’s still squirming and scooting around with its siblings, so it can’t be too handicapped with the bum leg. :?

And I wanted to give a little updated shot of the junior blue otter doe I plan on taking to the next few shows before offering her and her sister for sale. She’s a solid girl, and has shoulders like her sire. I’m happy with her, in any case, and I think she’ll make a great addition or start to someone’s herd.

Junior Blue Otter III.jpg
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Junior Blue Otter IV.jpg
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Hope you all had a great weekend and have a great Monday! :D

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Re: Breeding season is under way again!

Post Number:#12  Unread postby michaels4gardens » Mon Nov 05, 2018 7:43 pm


Beautiful rabbits, thank you for sharing these pictures with us.-- I may be looking for some standard Rex breedstock- next year-- My sister wants to start making some "products" from furs...
meat-mutt rabbits, a few laying hens.

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Re: Breeding season is under way again!

Post Number:#13  Unread postby Nymphadora » Mon Nov 05, 2018 11:22 pm


michaels4gardens wrote:Beautiful rabbits, thank you for sharing these pictures with us.-- I may be looking for some standard Rex breedstock- next year-- My sister wants to start making some "products" from furs...

Too bad we're not closer... I don't know if it would be worth it to ship buns, since they're adjusted to our climates and needs. But there's some good Rex breeders on the east coast! PM me anytime, and I do hope you add some lovely plush Rex to your herd... nothing beats that fur! :P

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Re: Breeding season is under way again!

Post Number:#14  Unread postby michaels4gardens » Tue Nov 06, 2018 6:13 am


Nymphadora wrote:
michaels4gardens wrote:Beautiful rabbits, thank you for sharing these pictures with us.-- I may be looking for some standard Rex breedstock- next year-- My sister wants to start making some "products" from furs...

Too bad we're not closer... I don't know if it would be worth it to ship buns, since they're adjusted to our climates and needs. But there's some good Rex breeders on the east coast! PM me anytime, and I do hope you add some lovely plush Rex to your herd... nothing beats that fur! :P


I agree, Rex fur is in a class all of its own.
When I raised rabbits for fur [years ago] I got premium prices for both white, and black ,Rex fur, [that is what I will be looking for again, if everything works out well.
Although I raised and marketed some other fur breeds, and some other colors of Rex- those were the most sought after .
The dark brown, and light brown, and gray[silver] Rex furs, were the next best [as far as price]

I have no plans to maintain any other colors, or fur breeds [than white and black Rex] - it was such a lot of work maintaining all of those seperate lines...
I plan to raise root crops to maintain the "grow-out rabbits" until harvest time. Commercial feed prices are so prohibitive these days.
meat-mutt rabbits, a few laying hens.

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Re: Breeding season is under way again!

Post Number:#15  Unread postby Nymphadora » Wed Nov 21, 2018 6:33 pm


We had two more litters born over the weekend, as I mentioned in chat a few days ago. I haven't been able to take any decent pictures, unfortunately, because I don't get home until well after dark... but I have what I hope will be enough for the photo-hungry RT-er's among you to serve as proof! :P

Laki's litter came Saturday (Nov. 17) evening, right about the time I feed the bunnies. I noticed she had pulled fur, finished feeding and watering everyone, and then went back inside to wait patiently (she didn't seem finished, and I didn't want to disturb our first-time mama). She got all 5 wiggly little babies into the nest she made and pulled plenty of fur to keep them covered and warm. Colors are going to be castor and opal for this litter. :oops:
Laki 11.17.18.jpg
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Juvia had her babies sometime between the time I checked Laki's nest late Saturday night and feeding time Sunday morning. I was a little nervous because her first litter was not ideal (2 DOA, 1 live kit), but I pulled the nestbox out and found a little fur pulled... until I started digging and realized she had dug a tunnel in the hay and stuffed waaay more fur in there than I'd expected. Along with 5 beautiful, healthy kits . :in_love:
Juvia 11.18.18.jpg
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There's a solid white kit, 3 really pretty broken castors, and a charlie (this was a broken-to-broken breeding, I knew my chances, but my solid buck is a behemoth and I didn't want her kits to get stuck again). The whole litter is doing really well, and they've already surpassed Laki's in size... Juvia's babies are going to be quick growers, just as I'd hoped! :oops:

So that's what's been happening with us! Lisanna and Valley's babies are about 4 weeks old now, and bouncing around (and on) their mamas as happy as could be. They really are so stinking cute!
Lisanna kits 4 wks.jpg
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Valley kits 4 wks.jpg
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Valley kits.jpg
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And because DH and I seem to like having really stressful deadlines, we decided to build a new TV/media console for the living room... the week before Thanksgiving. Which we are hosting. In our home. :shock: :roll:
TV console table.jpg
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Gotta get painting tonight!

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