Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Silver Fox Breeding Trio

I succeeded.

I convinced Techno to allow us to expand our rabbitry by purchasing a breeding trio of Silver Fox Rabbits.

Two does and a buck.

We picked them up near Denver yesterday after doctor appointments for Elijah.  Two birds, one stone sort of thing.  Since we were already going to be in Colorado, we just drove a little further to pick up the adorable bundles of fur.

Once we decided to go forward with our venture in meat rabbits, I had to come up with at least 2 more rabbit cages.

We had Orchid's empty cage, but we were getting THREE rabbits.

A conundrum.

The three could NOT stay in one cage unless we wanted perpetual pregnant does and the possibility of the does harming - even killing - the buck.

No good, no good.

Fortunately, Techno's friend -- whom we had gotten Orchid and Charlie from -- had offered us their leftover rabbit supplies (including cages) as their daughter's last rabbit had died of old age about the same time as Orchid.

What a blessing for us.  Sad, I'm sure for them.

Fixing the sides/tops/bottom of one of the
'new to us' rabbit cages.
I think we may invest in wire to make our
own in the future.  Fixing this one
showed me just how easy it really is to make.
Just put the little 'clamp' on and pinch.
Easy as that.
We picked up the cages Saturday afternoon and realized one needed a little repair.  Nothing major.  Just some 're-attaching' of the pieces to make it secure.  Once that was done, we arranged the hutch to house not 2, but 5 rabbits and their cages.  (Since Lucas will be joining the outside living quarters now that the weather is improving).

Of course, I was gone all day Saturday and Sunday with 4H projects and picking up said cages, so I did NOT get to fix them in the nice balmy sunshine, instead I had to fix them after it snowed.  LOL!  Murphy's law, right?

The new configuration for all the bunnies to live outside.  Lucas will go on top of that single cage in the very near future.
In addition, I made plans for expanding our hutch by using shipping crates to make the space bigger; more spacious; more functional for more rabbits.  (Or course, I need to GET said crates, but I know where some are located, just need to pick them up.)  The girls will be able to house ALL the rabbit cages along the back wall; the food along one side; and 'work stations' along the other where they can train, groom, and practice with their rabbits.  Plus it'll be more 'snow proof' and make it easier to clean cages in the dead of winter when drifts can get close to 5 ft near and around the rabbit hutch.  (I'll do another blog post once we get THAT endeavor underway.)

As the rabbits begin breeding, I realized we'd need cages for the babies once they get big enough to be removed from mama, but prior to being processed for our freezer; sold at fair; or to other rabbit owners.

I remember laying awake one night trying to figure out what I was going to do for cages.  The cost of a multi-teir cage set up is close to or over $200. I wasn't sure I wanted to invest that yet -- just in case we weren't very successful with this whole rabbit breeding venture.

Then.... it hit me.

We still have our 'small' chicken coop that I use as a 'brooder box' that I could convert into 4-6 rabbit cages with a  little 'repurposing'.  (I'll be sure to share that project once it's in progress as well.  The coop was buried under a snow drift and suffered a little damage as a result.  But... all in a days work, right?  Some nails, wood, new wire - it'll be right as rain.)


Of course, that does mean I need to come up with an alternative plan for a brooder box, but that's for another time.  Another 4H project?  Sure, why not.

The rabbits all seem content.

We managed to obtain ownership prior to the April 15th cut off for fair guidelines.  We also are in the process of determining if we will breed them now as the kits need to be no less than 6 weeks old by 4H fair time.  One is too young, so she will have to wait till after fair to be bred.  The other had a litter recently that she lost (mothering instincts kicked in a little too late and all her kits died.  Not an uncommon occurrence for a first time rabbit mama - so I'm told.)  So, we are debating whether or not to re-breed her or wait.  Decisions, decisions.

Let the fun begin!

Here's our new trio of Silver Fox rabbits.

Scarlet - the young doe -- just 4.5 months old.  Not as much silver in her fur, but evenly distributed, which is what you want.  Even Steven.  She's a bit shy still - having just moved to a new place many hours from her old home.

Look at that sweet face.

The silvering is faint in the picture.
It's more prominent than this photo shows, but still much
more subtle than the other two.

Trixiebelle - the older doe.  She's 10 months and has a good amount of silvering that is also nice and evenly distributed.  She had 12 kits with her first litter.  A good mix of blacks and blues.  I'm excited for the blues even though they are not yet acknowledged as an acceptable color of Silver Fox rabbits. I believe they will be in the coming years AND they are just beautiful.
Feeling shy and nervous in her new home.

Nice silvering.  A little sparce in her face.

Finally, our buck.  Shortstop.  He's heavily silvered, again with nice even distribution.  He's a big guy and a sweet guy.  His brother has won many championships.  Hoping the same for him.  He was going to be one of the breeders kept rabbits to continue his wonderful line of champion blood, but the rabbit she had in mind for us, hurt his eye and she didn't want to sell us an injured rabbit.  Here's hoping his champion bloodlines continue in our little rabbitry.

He's been a little more curious.  Hopping around,
sniffing everything.  Adapting well.

Just look at all that silver.  Trinity says 'he looks like an old man'
since he's so 'silver' all over.

No comments:

Post a Comment

I only check comments for spam.