Well-known memberRabbit Talk Supporter
- Mar 9, 2022
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First year with rabbits. Have a trio in a 4x10 revamped " tractor" has undergone many remodels. Den boxes inside a 4x4 insulated box (2" foam) all stuffed with hay. Rest is also roofed, 1/2" mesh wire on walls. Windows put over wire for winter. Small door is opened daily to allow free access to 20x30 yard with brush piles to chew on and play in. Closed in at night. They are 9 months old, silver fox. The breeder I bought from said start breeding at 4 months. I allow them to live together so don't control breeding. After expecting babies for months, wondered if he was infertile ( he sure tried)and was thinking new buck come spring. Then they had first litter during that last artic blast. Finding a cold, dead kit 5' from insulated box was the first I realized there were babies. Thought opening the insulated section in -15* would do more harm than good and decided to let nature take it's course and hoped for the best. When it warmed to 20* a week later opened and found 8 more kits frozen in a den box. The adults actually seem to like the cold and were out running even in that -15* I coax them in at night with a handful of sunflower seeds. I do not supplement light in rabbit hutch. But there is light in yard from quail aviary. Assumed they would take a break from breeding in cold. Didn't realize Bluebell was pregnant. Her first litter. 9 frozen kits. I feel terrible. Thought about putting a heat plate in box but worried that may cause other problems or make the adults shed or less cold hardy. How do you handle your winter colonies??