January 23, 2016
2 adults are in their own 2 cages, with the mom cage with the 2 babies. 100% litter success this time around. Babies are growing well.
Nov 18, 2015
As discussed yesterday, we'll keep both bunnies here until your greenhouse is ready. In the mean time, here's some info about bunny care that I've been collecting:
- They should always have timothy hay available and eat as much of it as they want (Marcin is picking up a few bales). To that we only add half a cup of pellets per day. Vegetables and fruit only as a treat. Here's an article about feeding rabbits: http://www.crossroadsrabbitry.com/rabbit-feed-information/
- They drink a LOT of water. Having water available is even more important than food. I ordered a couple 64 oz bottles (as I've been refilling their bowl 4 to 5 times a day and that's not practical), but you should check it daily to make sure it's not clogged nor empty.
- There are also some preparations for kindling. Does typically give birth 31 days after mating. We're not sure, but odds are they mated around Nov. 7 - so that puts the kindling date around Dec 8.
At day 28 before kindling she'll need a nest box filled with hay - I'll try to make one out of what materials we have around: https://www.google.com/search?q=rabbit+nest+box&espv=2&biw=1440&bih=724&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0CAcQ_AUoAmoVChMIyZ3c746WyQIVQkomCh2ljgQU
You'll know she's ready to give birth when she starts pulling her own hair and putting it in the nest box.
Apparently, does will kill and eat their babies at the slightest provocation: if they don't have enough food and/or water, if it's cold, if they get scared. Here are a couple articles about how to prepare for kindling and take care of a new born litter:
They say to pick up and weigh the newborns, but that sounds a little overkill to me. It's totally up to you, but I think that just providing the doe with water, fresh hay, pellets, some veggies and letting her do her job is not a bad approach. If she doesn't nurse the babies or kills them... oh well, that's how it goes. How much work you put into it depends on how badly you want to have roasted rabbit this winter :)
It would be good if we could move her into your greenhouse before she gives birth - the stress of moving may cause her to eat the kits before you have a chance to :)
In general, I suggest we keep the two original bunnies we have and eat only their kits. The kits will be related to each other and not good for breeding.
Also, I think this the rabbit breed we have: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Zealand_white_rabbit
He told me they were Californians, but they don't look like it...
Quantity of pellets to feed them in bold (the NZW is a large breed):
Bucks: (Med Breed) = 3 to 6oz. (Large Breed) = 6 to 8oz.
Does: (Med) = 4 to 6oz. (Large) = 8 to 9oz.
Does (when bred and between 1-15 days): (Med) = 6oz. (Large) = 9oz.
Does (when bred and between 16-30 days): (Med) = 7 to 8oz. (Large) = 10 to 11oz.
Doe (with a litter of 6-8 kits / 1 week old): (Med) = 9 to 10oz. (Large) = 12 to 13oz.
Doe (with a litter of 6-8 kits / 1 month old): (Med) = 18oz. (Large) = 24 to 30oz.
Doe (with a litter of 6-8 kits / 6-8 weeks old): (Med) = 28oz. (Large) = 36oz to full feed.
Doe (after litter is weaned): (Med) = 4 to 6oz. (Large) = 8 to 9oz.
A young and weaned rabbit: (Med) = 3 to 6oz. (Large) = 6 to 9oz.