Thursday, April 09, 2009

Rabbit Learning Curve

Though I've had a fair bit of experience with larger animals over the span of my life, I've got quite a learning curve with the chickens and the rabbits around here.

I've never really raised either of them, and there aren't a lot of resources available, especially on rabbits, ANGORA rabbits at that. I must say that I've had my fair share of losses. I lost a few meat chickens last year, 2 of my laying hens and 3 rabbits so far (all within 2 weeks of each other). The losses seem high and devastating, but you can bet your bottom dollar that I've learned from every one of them, and I'm a better mama because of it.

Sometimes I go out to feed and check on animals and come back in with a big sigh. Jared always knows these days by the comment I make when I walk in the door. Yesterday was such a day. You see, I bred my rabbit, Daisy to a new buck that I got last month. The gestation of a rabbit is 28-35 days, with the VAST majority of bunnies kindling on the 30th day. I put a nesting box in for Daisy on the 28th day and as she tore it apart, I realized she must not be bred. I left it in for her until day 37 when I took it out. That's pretty normal and standard.

So I was completely taken by surprise when I walked out to feed again last night and saw that she had in fact kindled. The problem is that there was only one kit, and the kit had a serious deformation, and it clearly deceased.

The problem is that the medium breed rabbits usually have around 8 kits, so where were the rest of them? She was happily eating and drinking showing no signs that anything negative had happened.

I tried palpating her belly to see if I could feel anything else, but it didn't seem like there was anything else in there, and she was happy.

After a LOT of research, I decided to bring her inside to watch over her. If there were any fetuses stuck inside, the could be expelled by rebreeding, so I took her out and put her with the buck last night and this morning. She still hasn't had any more kits, but she seems happy.

I also gave her a very high dose of calcium to help. It's a fantastic rabbit remedy to use.

I feel like I'm walking on pins and needles. If there are any stuck babies, they will surely kill my very favorite prized rabbit. At least I was able to act quickly and try to sort out the problem. I've done all I can do, and as many farmers will tell you sh#@ happens.

Until then, she looks lovely and happy, and I've marked the date for another kindling in 29 days.

1 comment:

Melissa said...

Wow... good luck, Daisy. I hope you get some babies soon. :)