Today was the due date for Esther, Samphire and Tuna; but when I went out to the barn for chores this evening, only one nest was furry and that was Sam’s. She kindled ten pink and healthy purebred Californian kits. Here they are next to my purple and orange cauliflower starts that need to get put in the ground ASAP.
As for Tuna, nothing. She just wanted her grass and treats and that’s that. I was a little surprised because I remember the breeding going very well. She hasn’t used her nestbox as a toilet yet though, so I’m still hopeful. Maybe tomorrow.
Esther sometimes kindles on day 32, so it’s not that unusual that her box was still empty. Once I had just about finished my barn chores, around dusk, I noticed her going into birthing mode. She was acting restless and breathing very rapidly and heavily. Then she started pulling fur. I sat down and watched her for awhile since it’s not something I usually see. She pulled it rhythmically from her dewlap and also from down both her sides. Then she gathered it all up and put it into the nest box. It’s nice that my rabbits have become comfortable enough with me that I get to witness these private moments more and more.
Resting in between fur-pulling sessions
It’s been a few hours since then so I’ll bet she has a litter out there right now. I’m very excited to see what she’ll throw since this is my first Standard Rex/Creme d’Argent litter. I don’t think we’ll have any Rex-furred kits this generation, but I’m hoping for some interesting colors. I’m also interested in finding out how this hybrid combo compares to the others as far as grow out is concerned.
Here’s an idea of the amount of greens the bunnies get fed every day during this time of year. The grass is growing so fast they can scarcely keep up. I have one tractor of four bunnies who have a low roof and a huge bundle of grass placed on top for them every day where they can pull it down and eat it. These particular bunnies have eaten almost no pellets and have only made it through one quarter of a 32 oz water bottle in ONE WHOLE WEEK. I will be constructing more low-roof tractors so that I can capitalize on this. I love the more natural diet, the fact that it’s free, and the added health benefits both for the rabbits and for the eventual consumer of the rabbits. Me.
Of course while I was shooting the Rexes, I had to get some shots of the fluffy white puffball, three week old Cal kits. These bunnies are just so tiny and sweet. I’m going back on the barley fodder system now, and I think that will make for even healthier and happier rabbits. I’d say the new nesting material is a big winner, based on how fat, healthy and issue-free both these litters of kits turned out.
For at least the past week, these kits have refused to go into the nestbox at all, instead mom uses it to escape from them when required. I’ll be taking it out soon.
Californian X Creme d’Argent agouti kit
The kits are a little over a week old, and I’m happy to say that my new DIY nest bedding method is working very well. Everyone has been warm and happy with no issues at all. I’m so pleased to have finally figured out the nest box situation here.
Californian X Creme d’Argent black steel kit
Tuna my Standard Rex is due to kindle tomorrow morning. Her nest is well trampled and she hasn’t pooped in it, so I fully expect a nice little litter when I wake up on Saturday. Her daughter Bluefin is due on the 23rd. It will be Blue’s first litter so anything could happen. It will be nice to have some more Rex litters in the barn, they’re so soft and exotic even though they often have a lot of attitude.
Californian kit, 1 week
Californian kits in the nest
I actually also really like that the shredded paper adds great color! So cute.