Friday, June 3, 2011

Baby Bunnies

My son has 3 mini-rex rabbits.  A doe named Cotton and two bucks, Chocolate and Thumper.  This spring he decided to try and breed his doe.  The first breed she got huge. She ended up having 5 gigantic still born babies.  My son was upset but took it a lot better than I thought he would.  We found out that my son loves his bunnies too much and was over feeding them.  So we cut back on the feed and bred her again.  The second time everything went well.  On day 27 we put in the nest box.  On day 30 she started building a nest in her next box.  On day 31 she started pulling her fur.  And on the 32nd day after she was bred she kindled 4 kits.  These are the technical terms.  Kindling is the term for a rabbit giving birth.  Baby rabbits are called kits. 

The blessed event happened on Monday May 23rd in the morning.  I checked in on her a couple hours after she kindled her kits.  She was not very happy with me.  I kept an eye on her while I checked the box to make sure that they were all alive.  They were alive and well so I put the fur back over them and touched her water dish, feeder, and her so she could smell my scent. Rabbits will sometimes reject their kits if there is a strange scent on them.  She is used to my scent and my sons, but I was not going to take any chances. 
 I took a quick picture of them the next day.  She still wasn't happy with me but at least she wasn't making funky noises at me.

The kits 1 day old.  See the little foot sticking out. 
She pulled a lot of fur to insure their warmth. 
They are born naked and blind.  So the need to be kept warm. 

The kits at 5 days old.  Their ears are getting longer and some fur is starting to grow.
They lay lined up like this a lot the first several days.  Notice there is less fur in the box now.
They are starting to move around and crawl around in the box.

The kits at 10 days old.  Their eyes opened up on this day.  Although every time I took a picture they were sleeping and did not open their eyes.  They are really moving around now.  They burrow themselves down in the wood chips and fur.  Their ears are getting even longer and more fur has grown in.  Their color is really starting to show up now.

Later in the day they had their eyes a little more open.  Isn't it cute how they
just sleep in weird positions.  Rabbits tend to act like cats.  They groom
 themselves and sleep sometimes in the weirdest positions.

Here is the proud mom, Cotton.  She is still not happy with me.  She is a really good mother.  Just look at the fat bellies on her kits!!  She is also very protective. 

Cotton peeking in on the kits.  She is making sure I am not doing anything to
 her kits!!  We still have to be aware of where she is and make sure we pet her first
before we look in on the kits.  Some rabbits are so protective that they will attack and
bite anyone trying to look in on the nest box.  Thankfully she has not tried to bite us.
  She is very aware of us and we stay aware of her too.

The proud papa, Thumper.  My son bought him at the fair last year to breed with his doe.  His other buck has the same father as the doe.  So we can not breed him with her.  Thumper is very friendly and constantly wants to be petted and held.  He gets so excited when he sees people and runs around in circles in his cage. 

Here is the proud Uncle, Chocolate.  He was not being very cooperative when I was trying to take pictures.  He was very curious at what the camera was.  Chocolate is super soft and a very calm rabbit.  My son has joined the 4-H Pet PALS program and will be using Chocolate for that.  It is a great program.  The kids are trained and they train their animals so that they can take them into nursing homes and share their animals with the residents.  My son is very excited about this and has already bought the harness for Chocolate.  The animals have to pass a test to be certified.  This ensures the safety of the animals and the people he visits. 

My son is very eager to hold the kits.  He keeps asking.  I told him he could pet them but not to take them out of the box yet.  By two weeks old they will start to venture out of the box on their own.  Once they start getting out of the box and mother is a little less upset with us he can start to hold them.  He will be selling all of the kits to either use as show rabbits or pets.  He is not very happy with this. But we told him that he had 3 cages and 3 rabbits.  So he can enjoy them while he has them and then he needs to sell them.  This is a part of the 4-H Breeding Rabbit project.  To learn to breed the rabbits, raise them, sell them and how to use them.  It has been quite educational so far.  Now that our county is offering the Pet PALS program he has one more thing he can do with his rabbits!!!

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Dr. Momi said...

Totally enjoyed your pictures of the bunnies!

dogsmom said...

A great series of pictures. It is fun to watch the progression. They change so much very quickly.

edenhills said...

They are so adorable! I must say, rabbits are something I know nothing about, so this was very interesting.


ELP said...

Those bunnies are so cute, wish I wasn't allergic to them

Amanda said...

What beautiful bunnies, and I loved the progression of the bunnies growing up! That's really neat, as I've never seen baby bunnies growing up from birth! Thanks for sharing.

Creations by Dina said...

I will have to share some more photos soon. They are now 2 weeks old. They are already jumping in and out of the nesting box. Yesterday in the 93 degree heat the babies were jumping in and playing in the water dish!!