Wednesday, February 23, 2011

rabbit babies ~ just born today

We had 2 of our Mini Rex does give birth (kindling) last night and today, during one of our worst winter storms, it's been snowing for 2 days, and is around 25 degrees.  As you can see they are all snuggled into a warm nest of downy fur.  The mother rabbit pulls fur from her chest and sides to line the nest, and covers them, so they're all snug.  I pulled it the fur back to take this picture, then covered them quickly to keep in the warmth, there's another one in this litter tucked in underneath these three.  One of the rabbits had 4 kits, and the other one had 3 kits.

When rabbit kits are born, they are almost bald, with their eyes closed, their fur will grow quickly though, and before too long their flat ears will begin to prick up.  I'll take pictures once a week so you can see how cute they are, and how fast they grow.  Our rabbits have been some of the most enjoyable of our farm animals, we've had several that have became so tame, they would run up to us and sit in our laps to be pet. 
Today I gave the mothers special treats of apple peelings this morning, and leftovers from our dinner salad, we always give special treats to pregnant does, and extra special goodies to new mothers, especially while they're nursing.  I also brought both does inside for a nail trim and file, this needs to be done, so when they crawl in the nest box to feed they don't poke them with a sharp toe nail.  Usually we don't pick them up for several days, so they can bond with their mother.  I did reach out and gently pick up this one for the picture, the mom knows me and trusts me.   We'll probably keep a couple of these rabbits, and will sell the rest to our local feed store for pets, they've been buying them from us now for the last 2 years, and always sell out quickly.

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