Beatrix (the rabbit) and her litter

We’ve called off social services. It seems that Beatrix, our breeding doe, has reformed her ways and decided on a parenting style that doesn’t include neglecting her kits. She lost one set in October and miscarried in November, so we’re pretty excited to finally see the product of Rex’s (the buck) 5 seconds of hard work.

Beatrix kindled 10 kits; 2 stillborn, 2 runts (who only lasted a few days) and 6 strong, healthy ones. Seeing as Beatrix is a little difficult to work with and just a bag of nerves and misery all the time, I’ve been eyeing up one of her daughters to replace her. In rabbits you can breed father-daughter or mother-son but not siblings. Other fruitless combinations are mother-daughter and father-son.

All the kits are pure New Zealand REW’s (red eyed whites) and will be ready for the table at 8 weeks, and tanned into gloves and hats a few weeks after that.

In the meantime it’s great watching the 6 of them bounce around and constantly pester their mother for a moment with a teat. If I were her offspring, I’d be careful how far I push a doe like Beatrix. Be warned little bunnies!

Quick note: the little chocolates under the cage are turds and make great green manure. The rabbits product a few gallons per week and we’re running out of room. If you’re interested in some free fertilizer for your grass, veggies or flowers, come by and pick some up.

Rabbit Litter Photo

Edit: sadly we lost the litter to the cold last night. 30 more days for the next litter now.

When a doe has first kindled, you have to be careful she doesn’t spook. If she does, she may eat her young as a defence mechanism. I guess she thinks it’s safer for them in her belly rather than in the hands of a predator?

The above is the excuse I’m using for the poor quality photo of the kits. In a few days we’ll have a proper look and get some good photos of them. Until then, these little pink sausages will have to stay where they are, in their mother’s fur.