Friday, October 24, 2014

October Rabbitry Update

The rabbits are all together under one roof at last.

The New Zealand Reds passed quarantine, and have finally come of age.

Here's the breakdown:

Ichigo: broken New Zealand Red buck

Star View Turn: Creme d'Argent buck

Star View Colbert: Creme d'Argent buck
This picture does NOT do him justice. He is one handsome dude. 

Cardamom: broken chestnut New Zealand doe

Acer: New Zealand Red doe

Just for the record, I made no attempt to actually "pose" the rabbits, so no critiques please.

They were all anticipating their ear mite treatment. Not something they enjoy too much.

And that orange towel is atrocious. But as you can see by the waiting hubby in the background, I was in a hurry to complete my photo shoot before he had to go on duty.

I suppose the orange sort of works for Halloween......

Three bucks and two does is an odd ratio, but I'm still waiting on my replacement Creme d'Argent does. The breeder is over 300 miles away, and as far as I know is still having trouble getting her Cremes bred back. (Oh, and in case you're wondering what happened to my Creme does, you can read about it here.)

I went ahead and got a trio of New Zealand Reds so I could have some purebreds, as well as experiment with a cross I don't think has been attempted before. Cremes are a rare breed to begin with, and the people who raise them are more concerned with breeding pure lines (which is a good thing).

From what limited information I've found, even though the silvering gene is recessive, it tends to behave dominantly when crossed with other colors. So I'm eager to see the results.

Here is a closer look at the coat of the Creme d'Argent so you can see what I mean by "silvering." The base of the hair shaft is an orange cream color, changing to silver at the end. Oh, and notice the scratches? Yeah. You'd think I was raising rabid ocelots. You should see the rest of my arms.

My plan was to breed Cardamom to Ichigo, and Acer to Colbert....

= broken reds and chestnuts (theoretically)

+= ???

I'm pretty sure Acer and Ichigo are siblings, and Cardamom is a half-sibling to Ichigo.

Breeding rabbits from the same litter (inbreeding) isn't really recommended. But half-siblings or parent/offspring crossings (although horrific from a human standpoint) are usually fine. This is known as linebreeding.

My ultimate goal with my rabbits, however, is to make more of them so we can eat some. Healthy, home-grown lapin . So I kept my plan flexible. I'm tired of feeding rabbits without getting anything to eat in return.

Since Ichigo and Cardamom were both first-timers, he wasn't able to get the job done. She is of a dominant personality, and really needed an experienced buck to show her what's what. She was unwilling to boot, running circles and plastering her butt to the floor.

Check out this venomous expression. She used to be so friendly. Ugh, teenagers.

So I ended up putting her with my older Creme buck Turn, who's had lots of breeding experience. He appeared to be successful, even though she wasn't exactly hot to trot. I tried a second breeding the following morning, but she wasn't having it. I decided I would just wait and see.

I think part of her problem, besides her hateful personality, is she is too fat. Because she and Acer have been housed together since day one, Cardamom has apparently been hogging the food. She may have to slim down before she can get bred.

The other pairing worked out great. Acer was definitely in the mood, and lifted for the inexperienced Colbert several times. There was no question that their breeding was successful.

I think they like each other

So I should be getting kits out of at least her by November 23rd. Hopefully Cardamom got bred too.

I could try again this evening, I suppose, but I think Turn is tired.

At 3 years he is the old man around here, after all.

If she didn't get bred, I'll try her with Ichigo again in a few weeks.

We still have to hang one more cage, but we'll have to hang it below the rest, since the top row is full. I need to get the does separated before they kindle.

And get Cardamom on a diet.

I'm planning to use the large 36x32 cages as grow out pens, in addition to brooding cages. So we need to get two more 30x30 cages for each doe.

The 24x24 size cages are really too small for rabbits of this size, but we're just working with what we have right now. I may try to combine two of them to make a larger cage, or just go ahead and buy several 30x30 cages.

I'm still working on getting my barley fodder system up and running. I just haven't found the right sized trays for my rack, or a plastic bin for it to sit in (to catch the rinse water). I did find a feed store in Sparta that can order whole barley, but I need to call and double check if it is heat treated or not.


I'm the kind of person that likes to make things happen RIGHT NOW.

Oh wait, I think they call that "impatient." Yeah, I'm impatient.

Trying to work on that, by the way. But I think I have just the thing to help me out.....

Just have to take baby steps. We'll get there.

Baby steps ...


  1. Honestly, I think all rabbits should pose on orange towels.

    1. Hmm.... except maybe orange rabbits. Might clash a bit. :)

      Thanks for stopping in!