Expecting two more litters which will be Collins x Domino (velveteen lops) and Penny x Mr. Cleo (english lops). Both of these ladies had litters that they lost so they were rebred. Penny had hers this morning and they didn’t make it, for a new mom this is typical. She had 6 total with a mix of broken and solid opals. I just missed the window of opportunity to save them unfortunately Pokerface (pictured making her nest below) is a good momma once again, and kindled 7 babies but lost 1. There is a mix of solids and brokens of torts, oranges and possibly cream or frost. The other English Lop babies are at another local breeder, Barnes’ Bunny Barn, as it was a co-breeding between their doe and our buck, Mr. Cleo. Tiger’s little guys are doing well still and their cuteness kills me everyday. We got quite a bit of snow the other day but it is all gone now! Been warming hope lately…we’re all ready for spring here!
- Tiger’s Last Litter (bellasbunnies.com)
Rolled oats mixed with warm water and topped with raisins and apples.
Two weeks ago we had a short spell of really cold weather (about 25 degrees!) So that frosty morning I prepared some rolled oats in warm water with raisins and apples for the bunnies to warm their tums. It’s an occasional treat I prepare for them on really cold days or for something like Christmas I officially named the baby velveteen lops and although I think I have them all sexed right there may still be some name changes! I named them all after people born in the month of September right around the 25th (the day they were born). The babies are very active now and are starting to munch on food. Unfortunately, we did lose one of the babies (#2). I believe he got sick from being handled by some visitors. Even with antibiotics he didn’t make it. This is common in rabbits, especially in babies as they have very delicate systems. It is very important to wash your hands before handling young animals as their immune systems are still developing. Even with this precaution sometimes they can still get sick. Due to this, I’m not allowing anyone (visitor) around the rabbits when I have babies under 6 weeks. There are only 2 velveteen lop babies available for sale after the waiting list is fulfilled. In other news Fred (black/white velveteen lop) is off to his new pet home in Pennsylvania tomorrow. He was neutered this week and he will be missed. He is such a sweetheart but I know Melanie is looking forward to spoiling him!
‘Mr. Waffles’ enjoying his warm oats!
Aldin enjoying them too!
Babies enjoying their hot meal.
Difference between a dark agouti and a lighter one.
The Velveteen Lop For Sale page has been updated! I’m still waiting to name them since some of their sexes are still iffy. Make sure to check out the cute video of the babies having a grooming session. The family had fun tonight playing with the babies during their photoshoot. It’s going to be below freezing tonight so everyone got bedded down very heavily. Other good news is I’ll be going to New Hampshire this weekend to pick up a tri-color buck! Can’t wait for springtime to see a some very colorful babies! A special thanks to Olive Tree Lops and Regal Rabbitry for letting me have this guy (and hopefully I won’t come home with more than 1!!!).
Apple and branches
A rabbits teeth are continuously growing. While hay is very important to prohibiting teeth overgrowth, chewing sticks of wood can help as well. Even better is that they are free (most likely) and rabbits find them very delicious. If you don’t have one of the trees below in your backyard then you could also look up a local landscaper. Ask them if they will be trimming any of the following trees in your area and if you could meet them at the house to take the trimmings of their hands. These treats can be given fresh or dried so feel free to stock up! If you are picking some on your own (or getting them from someone else), find a tree that has not been treated with any pesticides, herbicides or fungicides and is away from a busy road. Pick the ‘runners’ off of the trunk (you will see what I mean in the video) as it will benefit the tree the most. Runners ‘zap’ energy from the main trunk and decrease tree growth (especially in young trees). They are usually as well tender and thin in diameter making a tasty snack for a rabbit. Breaking off branches may damage your tree so be careful of over-doing it. Find a few trees to use so you can rotate between them. I try to give the rabbits a tree branch once a week. They love them! See the video below for further detail.
Trees that are safe for rabbit chewables:
-Citrus such as orange or lemon
*Single seed trees such as plum, pear, peach and cherries are poisonous to rabbits and should be avoided
Does anybody else have pictures or videos of their rabbits enjoying these treats (or even another recommended tree)?
p.s. Happy 4th of July!
- Rabbits Save the Planet (bellasbunnies.com)
- What Bugs a Bunny? (therabbithouse.com)
All the babies are growing so fast. The English Lop babies are just as inquisitive as ever. I had them out tonight and they were absolutely adorable bouncing across the lawn. They are no more than 5-6″ long at this age. I’ve included a bunch of pictures of all the cuteness. I took individual pictures of all the English babies and they are officially named. That will be posted tomorrow For some reason this litter was super easy to sex, unlike the last litter. As it is I’m still on the fence about Mr. Cleo/Cleopatra (even at 5 months). He/she may be a hermaphrodite which can pop up every now and again in rabbits.
Mr. Cleo or Cleopatra?!
They’re getting so big! This is Caesar.
Lately I’ve been asked a lot how to care for orphaned baby rabbits… seems like everyone is digging up their nests lately! A girlfriend of mine in NY has been successfully fostering a litter of wild rabbits by feeding them kitten milk replacement with a dropper.
Look how cute they are! About 3 weeks in this picture
There are many differing opinions on how to take care of a baby wild rabbit you may find. Success rate is variable and what works for one may not work for another. Rabbits are very environmentally sensitive creatures. Since Collins is having another bad success rate with her second litter I’ve taken the last baby away from her (honestly I don’t know if it’s the heat, her not feeding it or she has dried up already since she lost 4 others). This morning I found the little one with a empty belly so I rushed to the grocery store and bought a can of evaporated goats milk. This should be diluted 50:50 if you are using it and I only use it temporarily for an emergency. You can also use the kitten milk replacer. If a baby is severely dehydrated I usually just feed it Gatorade or sugar-water to help revive them quickly.
For long-term fostering it is a little more complex. As with any species nothing compares to their mother’s milk. When possible keep the babies with the mother or foster them with another nursing doe if you have one (which is why it’s always good to have 2 does bred at the same time). Not only will it make your life easier but the babies will have a better chance of survival. I’m not going to reinvent the wheel here. If you are in a situation where you need to know more about how and what to feed please visit this site as it has a great break-down of what to do!
So back to my little one. He will be feed a diet of raw goat’s milk 2-3 times per day (or more depending on how his belly looks). I try to avoid using the kitten milk replacer as rabbits and cats are very nutritionally different animals (carnivore vs. herbivore). You have to remember as well when feeding baby rabbits you must stimulate their bowels and bladder if their eyes are still shut or else they can die from constipation or full bladder. Momma rabbits lick their babies as they nurse to do this so use slightly warm, wet washcloth. Needless to say even while holding him out in front of me he successfully hosed my shirt this morning with a nice stream of rabbit pee. You’ve been warned.
Sleepy time after feeding.
If he survives for these first weeks, he will then have to be fed cecotropes. Rabbits have 2 different kinds of poop. The round, pelleted type that we are all familiar with and a soft, light brown type which are called cecotropes. These droppings are full of beneficial bacteria and essential nutrients that the rabbits eat (yes this is gross) to help maintain proper digestion and health. Babies get these from their mother as they get older to establish a healthy gut flora and increase their immune system. This means at some point I will have to ‘harvest’ some cecotropes from Collins to feed him before I start him on solid foods…so around 3-4 weeks. Rabbit poo slushie anyone?! Those who don’t have a rabbit to chase around trying to collect its poo can use probiotics to supplement instead (Bene-Bac is a good substitution). Once they are around 4-5 weeks they can usually be successfully weaned on to hay and quality rabbit pellets. If I successfully get him to this point it will be the first rabbit I’ve fostered this way that’s survived!
Check out Bella’s Bunnies Facebook page for the announcement of the lucky subscriber who won a free copy of the bunny massage DVD! Hopefully more good news to post tomorrow morning about Collins (and babies!).
Pokerface had a litter of 7 on Sunday and lost them all by Monday. Sad day. I will rebreed her tomorrow to Lincoln again for one last chance at a litter before the hot summer really hits. A litter of velvets should be coming this Monday on the 7th hopefully. On a happier note only a week until the drawing of the DVD!
Right on schedule Collins had her babies. There are 5, 3 black, 1 broken and 1 REW (ruby-eyed white)! I’m guessing its a REW and not a BEW (blue-eyed white) and I’m pretty certain that’s a whole other bag of genetics. Wasn’t expecting the REW (black is usually very dominant especially if both parents have it) and I will have to have my more knowledgeable rabbit friends about the color genetics behind that guy popping up. REW’s are great to have in your breeding program though as they bring out great colors in the other parent’s background. I thought maybe it was a Charlie (term for a minimally marked broken rabbit) but you only see those with 2 broken rabbits as parents so I knew that wasn’t possible.
Anyway, so it seems the velvets like to have their babies at about 9-9:30am. I went out to feed and I saw hair pulled (insert squeal here). I immediately saw 2 blacks and the REW and then off to the (cold) corner were another black and the broken. They were still wriggling slightly when I touched them which gave me relief. They were very wet still and I brought them inside, washed them off and warmed a towel that they could lay in while they dried. I also gave them a small feeding of a sugar/salt solution to help with any possible electrolyte loss going through a stressful birth. They were squirming happily in no time. I reformed Collins nest, cleaned out the afterbirth and everyone seems to be doing fine. Collins doesn’t seem overly stressed but she has this ‘what the…?’ look on her face and seems tired. She got a nice slice of apple (and so did everyone else) for being such a good girl.
The second reason to celebrate is the rabbitry is officially a year old! To celebrate I’m going to raffle off the bunny massage video I’ve mentioned before to one lucky winner! More details later as I figure out how to set up the raffle and drawing
Also, what do you think of the new headliner? Yah or Nah?