Apr 4, 2014

Watching Birth

I was treated to something very uncommon, even among people who have been raising rabbits for decades.  I got to watch the end of a rabbit birth!  Remember:  I've been around breeding rabbits since the early 90s, and raising them, myself, since the late 90s.  This is only the second litter I've had the pleasure to watch, and the first where I actually had a good enough angle to actually watch the birth.  (The last one, all I saw was the doe's back twitching as she stood over her nest in the box, and then her eating some of the afterbirth before hopping out).  Sweetie gave birth about 4:15 in the afternoon.  (The previous litter I watched was about 6:30 in the afternoon, in early June).  Most rabbits give birth in the middle of the night, and seem to be able to purposefully postpone labor to avoid giving birth when people are around, which is why seeing a birth is so rare.

The video is fairly long, but most of it is just her cleaning the kits off, which is interesting in its own right. If you skip to the end, you can see the whole litter.  There are nine of them!

This happened the afternoon after discovering that Aster had had a litter of nine, herself, overnight. I say 18 babies in one day is quite good.

Unfortunately, it appears that Godiva and Princess are not going to have their litters.  I had high hopes for Godiva, since she actually built a nest and pulled some fur the day I gave her a box, but then she destroyed the nest, and shows no signs of producing kits.  She had presented well for Tron, same as Mena, who also failed to produce.  This may indicate that Tron is infertile, which upsets me terribly. I'll probably still try breeding Godiva back to Tron (I really want chocolate otters), but if Mena doesn't kindle from her latest breeding (I bred her back after she had passed 35 days without kindling), then I will probably rebreed both of them to another buck.

Princess is getting fairly old, and Ixis, who I bred her to, is about two years, himself, and hasn't sired a litter yet (my own fault for forgetting to plan does to breed to him--Princess was his first breeding).  I'm not really sure who may be at fault in their case.  I was hoping to get opals from them (both of them carry blue, and I suspect that Ixis is probably castor under his white coat), but I may resort to my regular pairing of Princess with Chip for otters and selfs.