Thursday, November 2, 2017


Raising meat rabbits has become one of our journeys in 'homesteading'.

We have a very limited rabbitry compared to many..... maybe even most.

We have 16 rabbits now -- after selling 4 Silver Fox rabbits this past weekend: 11 of which are our meat rabbit stock.  Many rabbitries we know of have well over 100 rabbits.  I'm sure large meat rabbit productions have significantly more than even that.


Part of the reason we have a smaller number is the cost, but also the limited amount of space we have to successfully keep rabbits.

This lack of space may have resulted in an 'OOPS' in our rabbit raising.

From research, we have chosen to start breeding our rabbits once they are around 8 months old.  Granted, some rabbit breeders choose a younger age - 5-6 months - but the limited research I did indicated that the doe will have bigger litters and will grow to a bigger size if you wait until she's closer to 8 months.

That said... we do allow our rabbits to 'grow out' together in larger cages until they get a bit older.  We had our rabbits mixed together:  does and bucks happily co-habitating in their little grow-out pens.

A couple weeks before selling our 4 meat rabbits, I separated the does and bucks -- placing several bucks together, 2 different cages of does together, and a single buck in a smaller cage.  (Rabbits not used to living together may fight and harm one another, so the single buck that had been with several does, ended up in his own little bachelor pad.)  Lucky him.  The others have to share their space.

Recently, the girls noted one of the cages where 2 does are rooming together, looked as though fur was being pulled.

See those tufts of hair?  There was quite a bit of that in/around this particular cage of 2 does.
Hmmmm.... that's a sign of kindling occurring soon.

Initially I thought maybe they were just 'molting' or pulling each others fur a bit since they are roommates.

However, the fur clumps were getting bigger.  More prevalent.  Not just a tuft or two.

JUST IN CASE - I went out and the girls and I separated the two does and put nesting boxes into their cages filled with a bit of straw.

This young doe appears to like her nesting box -- pregnant or not.  I imagine it's nice and cozy if nothing else.

As I moved one of the does, her tummy area did feel a bit 'full and lumpy' - both signs of kits growing within her womb.  The other one less so.

This is the one I THINK seemed 'more pregnant' but.... who really knows.
Time will tell now.

I hope that moving the mamas didn't cause too much stress if either of them ARE in fact pregnant.  I'd hate to be the cause of losing a litter (or two) of kits -- even if said litter was unplanned.

Another lesson learned in the trenches.

When separating kits from mama rabbit - put bucks in one cage and does in another.  Even with the best intentions - you may not get around to separating them later before 'accidents' can happen.

Stay tuned to see if one or more of these potential little mama's have baby bunnies in the next few days.

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