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First litter!

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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First litter!

Post Number:#1  Unread postby Ferra » Wed Dec 21, 2016 8:51 pm


Well, my grumpy little doe pulled through for me, and delivered her babies right on time. She also pulled a TONNE of fur. Our weather is warmer , but I'm sure the little buns will appreciate all that insulation on the weekend when it gets a little nippier than it has been today.

I have a batch of 5 little rabbits. They have not been fed yet, but they may well be 2 hours old or less. Mom was interested in them, but had yet to climb back into the next box to give them a feeding. I've weighed them, and they range from 49 to 66g, (Weights, 66, 54, 54, 49, and 57, in the same order as the photos below).

As an aside, if anyone haunting the genetics forum wants to help me out with these little guys, I WOULD appreciate it. I'm still learning how to ID some of the colors and am hoping to get a better idea what the color genetics on my breeders are.

Dam: Blue Silver Martin Doe, Mithril (Presumed at _, B _, Cchd _, dd, E _.)

Sire: REW New Zealand, Dolomite (obviously _ _, _ _, c c , _ _, _ _ for now) I am going to try and fill things in as they go.

Here are the five babies. Sorry for the blurry photo on #1...

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Little (? black?) kit, with white ears and a light spot on the nape of the neck. Perhaps an otter like mom? Didn't see a "blaze" on this one, the other two pseudo black buns seem to have one, though.

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Little white kit. Probably a REW, but a small chance that he/she will grow up to be a Himi if mom carries that as her recessive.

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Another little white kit!

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A little (?black) kit, but this one has darker ears... I'm wondering if maybe this little one has steel... but he does have the light neck mark of kit 1, as well as a blaze on his forehead. Not sure what to consider it as. Will have to see what it does as it grows!

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Fifth kit has the neck patch and blaze, but with lighter ears. :)
Last edited by Ferra on Mon Dec 26, 2016 2:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: First litter!

Post Number:#2  Unread postby SixGun » Wed Dec 21, 2016 9:00 pm


Congratulations!

How wonderful. They're looking more blue than black.... You are going to have some great colors.
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Re: First litter!

Post Number:#3  Unread postby SableSteel » Wed Dec 21, 2016 9:30 pm


Tan patterns can't hide the steel gene, so it would be E_

I'd wait a bit before trying to determine colors. NZW can have the agouti & steel genes, so the one with light ears might be either a silver marten or a chinchilla (probably chinchilla), while the one with dark ears might either be a self chin or a silver tipped black steel.
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Re: First litter!

Post Number:#4  Unread postby Princess3849 » Wed Dec 21, 2016 11:30 pm


CONGRATS!!!! I'm just having a successful litter with one of my does too. Please keep the pics coming!

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Re: First litter!

Post Number:#5  Unread postby bigfoot_158 » Thu Dec 22, 2016 1:11 am


Nice and good luck with them. :)
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Re: First litter!

Post Number:#6  Unread postby SarniaTricia » Thu Dec 22, 2016 10:19 am


Beautiful!

I love all the variety!

(I agree... keep the photos coming)
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Re: First litter!

Post Number:#7  Unread postby Ferra » Wed Dec 28, 2016 3:29 pm


Day five bunnies.

The "big" one appears to be agouti-based, at least to me. The other two dark ones appear to have fur coming in as solid grey for now. :) And one of them kept the blaze! I think that's super-neat, personally. (Photos should be in the same order. I'm trying to keep tabs on them as individuals, partially because I'm tracking weights and such)

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Edit: As an aside, the temperatures are plummeting here again, at least temporarily, back down to -20c. So far, they all seem to be doing okay, but mom is definitely in the box with them most of the time, too. She seems to find it more comfy in there, as opposed to in her cage proper, when it's cold. I enjoy that: She serves as a large bunny-heater. :) I took them inside for the photos, but figured if I want to rear cold-hardy rabbits, perhaps coddling them by keeping them inside isn't the best plan.

-- Wed Dec 28, 2016 1:29 pm --

Seven days old - All bunnies appear to be doing fairly well! (Notably, none froze to death during our -25c spell. Which is excellent!)

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Bunny #1, nicknamed "fatty" is the biggest bun in the litter, and has always been so. S/he is clocking in today at 133g, and appears to be a chinchilla agouti. Also appears to be a real snuggle-bun: likes to curl up and stay places, rather than "popping".

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Bunny #2 doesn't have a nickname. S/he is a bit slower growing, as is the other white bun in the litter, but not the smallest, clocking in at 109g.

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Bunny #3 is the runt, and got nicknamed "TBI" (traumatic brain injury) due to it's tendency to always be popping out of bowls, out of grips, etc. One particular pop nearly ended in a 4 foot fall: bunny was caught in midair. Poor little thing is likely to hurt itself! Due to that tendancy, it has a blury photo, but looks pretty much identical to #2. TBI is the lightweight at 102g.

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Bunny #4 is nicknamed "blaze" due to the notable head mark. "Blaze" was disinterested in sitting still for the photo. However, it has the same fur color and longer length as #5, but has darker ears/belly etc. I'm still not sure if it's a self or a steel or what. Blaze weighs 120g.

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Bunny #5 has no nickname. Has longer, silky fur than #1-3, white ears and belly, and no sign so far of agouti-patern fur. I'm thinking #5 is a blue otter like mom. #5 weighs 125g.


I'm looking forward to days 10-14 when I can start to see eye colors, especially for the two white kits. :D

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Re: First litter!

Post Number:#8  Unread postby SixGun » Wed Dec 28, 2016 6:26 pm


They are all so beautiful. LOVE their colors coming in!
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Re: First litter!

Post Number:#9  Unread postby Princess3849 » Wed Dec 28, 2016 11:52 pm


Keep those photos coming!!

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Re: First litter!

Post Number:#10  Unread postby SarniaTricia » Thu Dec 29, 2016 9:21 am


Thank you for the update

First litters are an amazing experience!
I weighted and kept track of my first litter too.... not so much any more....lol

I agree with Princess... keep those photos coming so we can share this exciting experience with you!
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Re: First litter!

Post Number:#11  Unread postby Ferra » Sat Dec 31, 2016 4:46 pm


SarniaTricia wrote:I weighted and kept track of my first litter too.... not so much any more....lol


Heheh... Well PART of it is not my choice.

My husband has a bit of a bee in his bonnet about getting weight numbers through the various life-stages, and developing a growth model... He's hoping my rabbits will remain within 3 standard deviations, and thus, remain in control. ;) My rabbits are being "engineered"

Personally, I just want to get a feel for what the "right" size seems to be at a given age, with this stock in particular. Once I have a baseline idea, I feel like I'll have a better chance of recognizing the really stellar fast growers, and the really underweight runts a little more objectively.

Also, I'm kinda enjoying the excuse to handle them every 3-5 days or so. They're growing so fast! And while I probably shouldn't be forming any serious emotional bonds with these kits given they're not sticking around, I'm totally enjoying tiny-bunny-cuddles as a guilty pleasure. Especially that agouti. S/he's a CHAMPION palm napper.

Though I'm considering making an exception. If I re-do my caging like I want to (to eliminate my issues with ergonomics), then I have 4 holes and 2 grow outs... that's totally space for another doe, right?! (Friggin' rabbitosis seems to have gotten me early.) Although it's possible, and vaguely Murphy's Law-ish, that maybe all five of these are little bucks... :P

EDIT: Part of this exception is how exceedingly curious I am to investigate that little head blaze... After joking with my spouse about "Blue Eyes White Rabbit" (terrible joke re: an old cartoon), it would be HILLARIOUS to me to find out my starter stock carries Vienna!

-- Sat Dec 31, 2016 2:46 pm --

Bunny day 10.

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Anyhow, I weighted and photographed the buns today. Also tried my hand at sexing them. I am currently guessing that I have 3 bucks and 2 does, with the Agouti and the Blaze-face buns being the two does. That, however, could change. I have no experience with this!

Also, somebody was peeking at me today! First eye open.

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The board software is mad at me about the number of attachments, so my usual photo spam probably won't happen today. Winking bunlet was too cute not to include, though. I have 10 photos - one of the top of each bunny, and one documenting the clues I used to wildly guess their sexes. That is too many photos, it would seem.

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Re: First litter!

Post Number:#12  Unread postby SixGun » Sun Jan 01, 2017 2:13 pm


I'm not usually more than 90% sure on sexes until they're about 4 weeks. Before that it's educated guesses at best..
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"Governments, if they endure, always tend increasingly toward aristocratic forms. No government in history has been known to evade this pattern. And as the aristocracy develops, government tends more and more to act exclusively in the interests of the ruling class -- whether that class be hereditary royalty, oligarchs of financial empires, or entrenched bureaucracy."
Frank Herbert, Children of Dune (Dune Chronicles #3)

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Re: First litter!

Post Number:#13  Unread postby Ferra » Sun Jan 01, 2017 2:47 pm


Yeah, 10 days is a little early for this, but I figured there wasn't too much harm in practicing.

I'm probably showing a fair bit of bias, too. I really WANT the blaze-marked bunny to be a doe! That probably influences my guesses a fair bit, too.

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Re: First litter!

Post Number:#14  Unread postby SixGun » Sun Jan 01, 2017 4:44 pm


I usually start about 2 weeks. Gives me a lot of time to think what I'd really like them to be. LOL. My current litter is killing me... 7 bucks out of 9. Ugh....
~~Six Gun French Angoras~~

"Governments, if they endure, always tend increasingly toward aristocratic forms. No government in history has been known to evade this pattern. And as the aristocracy develops, government tends more and more to act exclusively in the interests of the ruling class -- whether that class be hereditary royalty, oligarchs of financial empires, or entrenched bureaucracy."
Frank Herbert, Children of Dune (Dune Chronicles #3)

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Re: First litter!

Post Number:#15  Unread postby Ferra » Mon Jan 02, 2017 3:12 pm


Went out today on Day 12 to check the litter.

Excellent news: All eyes are open, and there are no signs of any looming infections. The box is still fairly clean, though the bedding I put at the bottom is finally starting to seem a bit damp. I may want to swap that in a bit, methinks.

The biggest bun has been re-nicknamed to "Chill-chilla". Still a champion at nestling into hands. I got a good petting session in with the little ?girl today, who mostly seemed happy to snuggle up with something warm. (it dropped down to -22c again, today. *sigh*) So we did a five minute pet-the-bunny session until the little ?girl started chirping. (Was kinda surprised: Did not know tiny rabbits COULD chirp... learned something new. Don't yet know what that sound means, but assumed it was something like, "I'm hungry, where is my mom?")

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The other ones were not so interested in sitting still. They got about two minutes of handling, before being put back into the comparative safety of the nest. Everyone's looking really healthy though, and even TBI, though still the smallest, is filling out well.

That may be because mom is chowing down like a fiend. Yesterday's menu for her was 1.5 cups, (?250g) of pellets, a 190g brick of sprouted wheat fodder, 3 raisins for NOT clawing me to death, and a large handful of hay. She seems to be doing pretty well: Being bred young doesn't seem to have hurt her. In the six weeks since then she's gone from 5.5lbs up to 7.3lbs, and is keeping pace with my buck's growth at that age. (He's about three months older than her, but she's matching his weights at those ages.) I'm pretty pleased with that. He's a NZW, and she's a fluffy mutt with Lionhead in her background, so if she ended up being a bit smaller than him, I wouldn't have thought it unreasonable.

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