Have a chuckle...

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Have a chuckle at my expense:

Last summer we moved from a barn with cages system to an open air rabbit colony. 23 does are in the colony, 4 bucks in the barn. We have Californians and Silver Foxes. I netted a Cali doe I wanted to breed, ear tattoo E1, and put her in a cage with our lovely, friendly, top performing Cali buck Fatso, tattoo number F1. Fatso lives up to his name. He is big. He has a bit of a dewlap. We named him because he was a sole survivor in a small litter and we had to rescue him from being overfed. When I pulled him from the hutch as a kit, he was almost a perfect square and his feet wouldn’t touch the floor. Miraculously, and with advice found on this forum, he lived.

Anyway, I put E1 in Fatso’s cage at about 2pm, and put her back in the colony at dusk when we feed. I checked the ear tattoo and put E1 back in with the does. Then I went on to my chores. About a week later, I dumped a wheelbarrow load of weeds harvested from around the property in the colony. The does all formed a circle around the pile and started chowing down. Except one. This one was circling around behind the other rabbits trying to mount them and getting shaken off. I went back in the barn and checked the rabbit in Fatso’s cage. In my defense, E1 and F1 look a lot alike in the twilight.

Fatso wasn’t fat. He looked lean and healthy. His dewlap was gone. He was all buck. I’d made a HUGE mistake.

It’s been 31 days now and I put lots of covered nest boxes and bucket burrows in the colony to give the bunnies lots of choices for birthing kits. They chose…..none of the above. They have dug a deep and curving hole that I cannot reach nor see the end of. They cover the entrance with sticks and dirt and there is always one rabbit sitting on top of it. There is a trail of pulled hair going the length of the tunnel. I have no idea how many kits there are. I have no idea if they’re alive or dead. I know the temperature inside the tunnel is in the mid 50’sF when it’s 34degF at night, so it was probably a good choice. I know does are going in and out of the tunnel, covering the entrance back up each time. I know they can cooperate in a digging line and dig long tunnels wicked quick. Fortunately, one of our functions aside from pet and show rabbits is that we are a meat operation and colony is big enough to hold LOTS of rabbits.

I’ve learned that rabbits might be smarter than I am. They are certainly more organized. I will post an update and pictures when I find out if there are kits and how many. In the meantime, I watch and I wait.
 

Preitler

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Oh gosh, that's so adorable, they teamed up against you :D.
"Watership Down" comes to mind, sure, just fiction, but it made receptive for the thought that there might be more going on in that little heads than what meets the eye :)

Thinking about me having had 6 litters instead of the planned 2 last year I sure had a chuckle :D
 
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Fatso is a Californian buck and the colony has Callies and Silver Foxes. We have 12 half callie, half SF bunnies who are jet black. There's no sign of callie at all. Maybe it will show up later or their coats won't silver. They stayed underground for about 5 weeks and are now running around in the snow. The does were BRILLIANT about covering the hole! I had suspicions that they were feeding kits, and they would hang around where I thought the hole might be, but there was always a solid cap over the hole with detritus over it. They were so cautious I couldn't even watch them from a distance; I had to put a camera (an old iPhone) in the colony to see them uncover the hole.

So, just 12 kits. It's kind of an anticlimactic end to this tale, but there it is. :cool:
 
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eco2pia

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the Californian color is recessive to the full color SF. If you breed these back to the buck or to each other you will get some callies again. I think the silvering gene is recessive to the non silvering gene of the Californian, so in all likelihood the offspring will stay black in this case.
 
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the Californian color is recessive to the full color SF. If you breed these back to the buck or to each other you will get some callies again. I think the silvering gene is recessive to the non silvering gene of the Californian, so in all likelihood the offspring will stay black in this case.
Interesting! All those genes and their order of magnitude is the reason I stick to purebred commercial or 6-class rabbits. Except when I just release a buck into the colony, of course. Other than that. :)
 
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