Thursday, March 31, 2016

Rabbits R' Us

We began our adventures with rabbits last year on Charity's birthday.  I convinced Techno to allow me to get a 'free' rabbit and cage for Charity for her gift. She'd be thrilled to have a bunny AND it could become her 4H project.

The day she opened her 'gift'.

A short time later, the same people who gave us Orchid (Charity's birthday present) texted and asked if we'd be interested in ANOTHER free rabbit and cage as they had one returned that needed a home.  Since Trinity wanted to ALSO show rabbits for 4H, Techno once again agreed -- (I don't think it hurt that the rabbits were coming from the daughter of his childhood friend, either.)
Charlie joined our family.  A min-lop.
Don't let the name fool ya.
She's anything but 'mini'.

So, now we had 2 does.

Orchid - a white New Zealand and Charlie - a black Mini-Lop.
Charlie and Orchid before we built the rabbit hutch
around their cages.

Not long after, Orchid had ....................     babies.

11 of them.
The babies right after we gathered them all up
from around the cage.  We didn't have a nesting
box in her cage --
you know, b/c we didn't know
she was pregnant.


As we didn't know she was bred.

After bringing them in and warming them up a couple nights.
Orchid was feeding them, but wouldn't keep them covered.

We managed to keep several of them alive for a few days, but ultimately, Orchid wasn't a great mama and she kept uncovering them and eventually froze them to death as a cold spurt hit right after they were born.


The small amount of fur she pulled to warm them.

A short time later, ANOTHER 'free' rabbit came available.

We had realized that Orchid was not really a 'show rabbit' and therefore we were back to only 1 rabbit for 2 girls to use for 4H.

For those unfamiliar w/rules regarding showing animals -- that's not allowed.

So.... yes, he agreed to us getting yet another bunny.

This one was young.  Just 8 weeks old.  A male Holland Lop.

The night we picked him up.  So cute and tiny and calm.
She loves her little guy.

A buck.  Simba (according to his pedigree) or Lucas according to our family.  The name chosen before we even picked him up.  (As newbies to rabbits, we didn't know the breeder named the rabbit and put said name on his pedigree paperwork. Go figure.)

Just look at that precious little face.
He was a cutie pie.  Too small to put outside in the outdoor rabbit hutch with the other 2 rabbits, so his cage was placed on the back porch until he got older and the weather got warmer.

He's still there.  LOL!

As many may have read, we lost Orchid in late February/early March while Techno was out of town. We had a little 'bunny burial' in our side yard. We are once again down to 2 rabbits.  Which works for 4H fair, but not so much for our plan to raise meat rabbits.

Orchid's final resting place.
Lucas is also proving to be a bit more 'difficult' than we expected.  He's not demonstrating a very 'show worthy' personality.

Sweet?  Yes.

Feisty?  Beyond measure.

We are continuing to try to work with him, but he's a little scary when  he bites and digs.  Guess time will tell if he's going to do well at fair or not.

Lucas now - he's quite a bit bigger and a whole lot more spirited than he was initially.
(Don't mind the messy cage - it was due for a cleaning)
In the meantime, I've been searching for a Silver Fox trio to purchase to re-start our endeavors in meat rabbit breeding.

I found 1 doe rabbit, but the seller was near Denver.  It would then be months before we could potentially get an unrelated buck to breed with her.  We decided to wait and see.  I found another breeder in Fort Collins, but they had a wait list till mid summer at the earliest.  Not so useful for fair THIS year.  But... I thought that's what we were going to have to do..........WAIT!

I continued to check Craigslist and the other 'farm animal' pages for rabbits and goats.

I found another breeder of Silver Fox rabbits.  Again, near Denver.

She had a trio available.  2 unrelated does and an unrelated buck.  The buck and 1 doe are proven breeders (meaning they've had kits before successfully). This breeder had high standards.  The rabbits are handled regularly by small children.  (Translated:  They might be successful for showing at fair).  AND.... they'd be available right away making them good prospects for rabbit projects THIS year.

A. Perfect. Match!


Now.... to convince Techno we need THREE more rabbits to add to our growing mini-mountain-menagerie.

What are the odds I'll succeed?

Guess you'll have to come back and check future posts to see if we get this wonderful trio of Silver Fox Rabbits.

To Be Continued!

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