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Re: New Member - New mini-rabbitry

Post Number:#16  Unread postby Nymphadora » Thu Dec 22, 2016 12:35 pm


Ferra wrote:
A wizard is never late! Frodo Baggins. ... Nor is he early, he arrives precisely when he means to.

Right on time... Day 31
And I put my hand in it and felt warm, squirmy squeaky things!


What a lovely Winter Solstice present! Maybe (if you name them), they should get winter-y names... Jack Frost, Snowflake, Holly, Merry (extra bonus for being a Hobbit name, too), or the like? ;)

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Re: New Member - New mini-rabbitry

Post Number:#17  Unread postby Ferra » Fri Jan 20, 2017 10:39 pm


All they kits were alive and gaining weight at 48 hours. (Averaging 10g gained per kit). The littlest one is even catching up a bit. Mom also pulled even more fur for them. She's got this maternal routine down pat.

Which makes her (continued? I though we were over this!) agressive behavior that much more frustrating. I went out to feed her this morning and she defended her empty grain bowl from my attempts to refill it. Growling and full contact boxing. I have a few new claw gouges. Not exactly deadly wounds, but they sting like a sonnofagun.

Right now so am just really frustrated with this little girl. She runs up to the front of the cage for food! She loves taking raisins from my fingers! She tolerates head rubs and the occasional rub down the back. She's not very into being picked up, but for a rabbit raised in a pseudo-colony situation and not picked up much at all for he first two months of her life, that makes sense. But then she switched over to territorial snarling and gouging on a whim?

I said I'd forgive her if she delivered on the tiny-bunnies, but I WAS kinda expecting the behaviour to stop after kindling...

__________Wed Dec 28, 2016 11:49 am ___________

Grumpy mom has been better the past two days or so. I was about ready to say she was settling down, however...

She attacked me again this morning. However, I at least know a bit more about her "triggers" now. It's ALL about her grain bowl. She is defending her grain bowl from all comers.

I can reach in and take the kits, I can replace her water dish she tore off the cage wall, I can give her pets or feed her raisins, but once I move for that bowl, it's on with her. The metaphorical rabbit gloves are off.

Today, having a vague inkling about the common thread between the attacks, I was a bit more cautious. I moved the water bowl first, no reaction. I pet the grumpy-bunny, no reaction. Then I decided to refill the bowl by dropping her barley into it, with my hand 12" up and away from the grain bowl. STILL didn't save me, she lunged (and connected, because I thought 12" was safe) as soon as she heard the filling sound. (and I was so excited that my hand-scratches were HEALING over the past two days... It's a good thing my coworkers are aware I have a grumpy pet...)

So for now, no grain bowl for her. I stole it from her, and gave it to my buck, instead. (No way I was going to let her keep the ill gotten gains from her assault) Maybe I can come up with another way to feed her the extra pregnancy rations she needs, without giving her that bowl back to continue defending.

Later today will be weigh in day 7 for the kits. All five are still doing well. Two a little smaller than the others, but still gaining weight and getting fed. Just maybe not to the same extent as "Fatty, the chinchilla-agouti" - the litter's heavyweight kit. :)

__________Fri Jan 20, 2017 8:39 pm ___________

My smaller doe, Onyx, should hopefully kindle her first litter a week from now. I want to give her a fair shot, but I'm not super impressed with her: She's a picky eater, and seems to be holding around 5.5lbs at just shy of 5 months old. She's tentatively up for replacement.

Mithril, by comparison, was around 7lbs at that time, and 7.5lbs today. Here's mom and her most prodigiously sized kit in bad shed light.

4wk-motherdaugher.jpg
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Mithril's litter is just past 4 weeks old now, and is averaging 600g (1lb5oz) for each kit. And it looks like two of the kits that were born as ?black are, in fact, black. The total litter weight was 1667g at three weeks, which isn't comparing brilliantly with standards I read in "Rabbit Production" wherein commercial breeds typically hit 2000g. But this is a first litter, and it has been, figuratively speaking, cold as ballz around here in the past few months. I have two in the litter I'm considering keeping, and "testing" against Onyx. Loser would go to camp. Right now I'm assessing on growth rate and general personality, but I'm hoping I'll be able to suss out type characteristics as they get a little older. I haven't seen anything overtly wrong with either, but I *think* my chinchilla-colored kit is a little "meatier" looking overall.

Both the kits are not fond of camera flash, but were mostly okay for photos otherwise.

The Chinchilla kit.
4wk-chilchilla.jpg
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The Black Silver Martin Kit.
4wk-gandalf.jpg
4wk-gandalf.jpg (67.57 KiB) Viewed 73 times

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Re: New Member - New mini-rabbitry

Post Number:#18  Unread postby karenl » Mon Jan 23, 2017 3:20 am


Thanks for posting it has been fun reading about your rabbitary so far hope its all still progressing well

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Re: New Member - New mini-rabbitry

Post Number:#19  Unread postby SarniaTricia » Mon Jan 23, 2017 9:47 am


:yeahthat:

Gota love that chinchilla colour!
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Re: New Member - New mini-rabbitry

Post Number:#20  Unread postby Ferra » Tue Jan 24, 2017 10:11 am


SarniaTricia wrote::yeahthat:

Gota love that chinchilla colour!


Totally an accident, too. At the time I was picking my does, my colour genetics knowledge was weak. She was chosen not as a blue silver Martin but as a "fluffy grey bunny!". Only later did I discover her ability to throw these fantastic chinchillas, and maybe someday, with more 'e' in my herd, frostiest! (I keep dreaming of a herd of arctic frosties.)

---

Huh. Saw a new behavior this morning, unfortunately.

Mithril started boxing and mounting her kits! No injuries for the moment, and she curled up with them after. I guess maybe she just got annoyed at them hogging the feeders and the treats I brought?

The kits are nearly 5 weeks, almost 2 lbs, and can be a handful... but I do not approve of this behavior.

She's been really good with them this far. I'm wondering if she's getting hormonal and wants to be re-bred already? It is a little early. 1.5 weeks from now would be reasonable. But with the kits being fed rolled oats and her getting in on that her condition has been really good since about week 3.5 to 4. Or maybe she's just annoyed at her offspring.


Hrm. A puzzle...

--- Edit again.

A puzzle a search has shed some light on. A post from 2014 by Zass suggests that some does attack their kits to wean them. This might be part of what's going on. Although if she force-weans them at 5 weeks, I'm wondering if there remains any advantage of leaving them with her... (I was always under the impression that rabbits tend to do better when left with mom for 8.)

My tentative plan is to seperate Mithril in my quarantine/travel cage if I see any injuries, but apart from that to leave it for now and watch.

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Re: New Member - New mini-rabbitry

Post Number:#21  Unread postby Nymphadora » Tue Jan 24, 2017 12:58 pm


*disclaimer* I have zero actual experience to offer.

Depending on how many kits are in the cage with her, maybe try weaning just two at a time over an extended period to give mama more space? So take out two this week, then another 2 next week, and so on and so forth...

My thinking would be that it gives her more room and fewer little ankle biters underfoot. Maybe it'll calm her down enough to stop boxing them, at least. (I keep imagining my mom when I was waaay too old for piggy back rides and she would just give me this look or say "get OFF" with such an exasperated tone... good times!)
:oops:

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Re: New Member - New mini-rabbitry

Post Number:#22  Unread postby Ferra » Tue Jan 24, 2017 3:03 pm


She's got 5 youngsters with her in a 36"x30" cage. Not horribly cramped, but I could understand her getting stressed anyways: They are all rather active. Also, they were totally stealing her treat raisins this morning too! Tiny jerks... :lol:

My plan was to start the "progressive weaning" around week 7 or 8, as I'd read about does occasionally getting mastitis from having the whole litter removed at once. But I could start earlier if need be. They all seem to be plowing through solid foods: oats, barley, wheat fodder, hay, pellets and dogwood/rosebush have all been taken with gusto and no GI issues. I suspect they'd do fine if I took them away, in so long as I was careful and kept them on their current oats/hay/pellets style diet. Though it seems more reasonable maybe for me to remove their mother. My "grow out" cage is a 20"x30" until I get a shipment I've ordered in. Might be kinder to give that to Mithril alone and let the litter have the big cage.).

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Re: New Member - New mini-rabbitry

Post Number:#23  Unread postby Nymphadora » Tue Jan 24, 2017 3:24 pm


Ferra wrote:She's got 5 youngsters with her in a 36"x30" cage. Not horribly cramped, but I could understand her getting stressed anyways: They are all rather active. Also, they were totally stealing her treat raisins this morning too! Tiny jerks... :lol:


Oh my, what little terrors she has made! :lol:
Yeah, that definitely doesn't sound cramped, but I guess if they're active (and actively being little jerks), mama might just need a break! :P

Good luck! :popcorn:

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Re: New Member - New mini-rabbitry

Post Number:#24  Unread postby Ferra » Fri Jan 27, 2017 9:49 am


My second litter (from another doe) arrived right on time today.

I don't have much time to count thoroughly, weigh or photograph before work, but it LOOKS like there are at least eight little kits in that nest, in various whites and blacks.

This is from the doe I was thinking about replacing due to her overall stunted/runty growth pattern (5.6lbs at 6 months) despite being on full feed with the other doe... But if I'm going to be fair to her, she DID deliver a large litter of healthy looking bunnies, and she did it WITHOUT losing her mind and clawing me to death.

She tolerated my removing the kits, and giving her head pats, and handling/filling her food bowl without complaint. Hrm. Maybe I'm thinking about replacing the wrong doe here... Onyx is definitely an undersized and shy rabbit, but if she can raise 8 kits despite being a lightweight and without being a murder machine, she might be my "winner" out of my starter stock...

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Re: New Member - New mini-rabbitry

Post Number:#25  Unread postby MaggieJ » Fri Jan 27, 2017 10:06 am


Ferra, I'd certainly reserve my decision of which doe to keep until you see how her kits grow out. One of our best does, Alice, never got bigger than 6.5 pounds. But she produced kits that grew well and she had a nice nature and great mothering skills. She made us realize that there's more to choosing keepers than just size.

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Re: New Member - New mini-rabbitry

Post Number:#26  Unread postby SarniaTricia » Fri Jan 27, 2017 12:39 pm


Congrats Ferra!

Your cage space is fine....
Regarding moving kits out at 6 weeks: I know breeders that leave the kits with mom for 8-10 weeks.
(you would need a slower re-breeding schedule)

I know does that LOVE to have kits climbing all over them and seem a bit sad when the clowns are gone and are eager to rebreed and fill the cage again.

I usually just take mom to a smaller cage to live and leave bunnies to the larger cage to grow as a group until 10 -12 weeks... sometimes separating by sex at 10 weeks to separate grow out cages.
It has also been recommended to leave your potential keepers or a smaller bunny with mom for an additional week to help with mastitis.

(attitude goes a long way in my barn.... I have a doe that I may keep forever... she loves pets and head kisses... not as spaztic on being picked up... long lovely dark eye lashes.... I don't have one good picture of this beauty as she will investigate me for attention as soon as I open the cage, so all I get are extreme close-ups)
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Re: New Member - New mini-rabbitry

Post Number:#27  Unread postby SixGun » Fri Jan 27, 2017 1:34 pm


Congratulations on the new ones!!
Are you replacing a doe to keep your herd size down? SIlly, no one does that... they just build more cages. :)
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Re: New Member - New mini-rabbitry

Post Number:#28  Unread postby Ferra » Fri Jan 27, 2017 9:17 pm


SixGun wrote:Congratulations on the new ones!!
Are you replacing a doe to keep your herd size down? SIlly, no one does that... they just build more cages. :)


Mostly to keep myself to the "trio" size and still improve the overall characteristics, but partly because I was convinced that Onyx was too runty to ever be a good producer. I may yet have to eat my words on that.

For what it's worth, I placed an order for new cages, trays, etc that would allow me to expand from 3 holes to 9 holes. But I do not know when that gear will arrive: Grandview is still hashing out shipping. The idea was to have 6 holes in use, and keep 3 extra in reserve for a few years down the line, or for emergencies.

But I can't stuff the 3 extra holes I am bringing online this year either... Because then where would I put the future Angoras?!

__________________________
EDIT: Later that evening:
__________________________

I've counted and weighed the new litter! I have EXACTLY 8 new kits. They're looking healthy, if not fed yet. Onyx may get to that in the next day or two, I'll keep an eye on it.

But they are WEIRD kits, color wise. I seem to have gotten BRINDLED/SPECKLED rabbits somehow? Out of a Black Otter and a REW who appears to be A_ B_ cc D_ E_ (I haven't sussed out his recessives, I suspect he's DD for instance, but would need more "data points" aka kits from Mithril who is dilute to be sure.).

Here is a photo of what I mean:

B1OD1-1.jpg
B1OD1-1.jpg (47.21 KiB) Viewed 22 times


It's a ... speckled?! kit?!

I think I may go ask for help in the color genetics thread... I'm sure someone in there has probably seen kits that look a little like this, and might be able to point me in the direction of what on earth just happened here...

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Re: New Member - New mini-rabbitry

Post Number:#29  Unread postby shazza » Fri Jan 27, 2017 10:40 pm


ooh, those look like harlequins to me! lucky lucky! i tried for magpie (the harlequin patter that is white and a colour,) rexes this past couple months then turned out my buck was sterile :( so jealous!
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Re: New Member - New mini-rabbitry

Post Number:#30  Unread postby Ferra » Fri Jan 27, 2017 10:51 pm


Dood just said the same thing...

... color me shocked! Little Onyx is a harlequin carrier?!! :P And given the proportions of harlequins (>~ 50%), apparently my buck is an "ee" (which would make Mithril EE, based on her past litter)

I have started making mass punnet squares about what happens when I breed my (?probably RED, ee) buck, my chinchilla doe (Mithril) and my harlequin carrier doe (Onxy) into homogeneity...

... and that seems to be either frosties or magpies.


(I am freaking excited right now. My poor husband is playing Pokemon and listening to me excitedly squeak about my very surprising rabbits.)

Best. Mutts. EVER!

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