Baby Rabbits (x 26!)

We have 26 baby rabbits right now. 26!

There are seven in a tractor, eating grass. They are 7 1/2 weeks old. They are doing very well on a total-grass diet.

In the garage, we have nineteen.

We have eight with our top right rabbit (so named because she is in the top right cage); they are 2 1/2 weeks old.

We have five with our bottom left rabbit (ditto the name); they were 2 weeks old yesterday.

Lastly, we have seven two-day old babies with our bottom right rabbit. This is her first litter that she’s actually made a nest and pulled fur for, so we have high hopes for survival! (They are one day old in the picture.)

We aren’t expected more babies until the middle of next month. Until then, we have to figure out what to do with the rabbits that aren’t in a tractor. That’s a lot of rabbits to rotate through the yard!

Does Kindle Kits?

Rabbit does kindle when they give birth to kits.  Why these confusing terms?  Probably the same reason as a bunch of cows is a herd and a bunch of sheep is a flock.  A group of geese is a flock but several crows form a murder.  More than one goose are geese, but multiple moose are still moose.  In other words, I have no idea.

I was hoping to take daily pictures of Octomom’s kits, but it turns out she’s 10 pounds of fur and fury, so you might have to settle for weekly pictures.  Think of the vicious rabbit on Monty Python and the Holy Grail.  That’s Octomom.

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Octomom

We found out a while back that rabbits are generally horrible mothers the first time around.  Horrible to the point that the entire first litter usually dies.  The second litter is usually a little better, but 100% survival of the kits doesn’t usually happen until at least the third litter.  It’s a little disturbing to walk into the garage in the morning and find dead baby rabbits spread around the cage, usually in varying stages of being eaten.  For their reputation as breeders, you’d think they’d be better parents.  The people selling cute little rabbits don’t tell you what to expect, and surprisingly, most of the informational books don’t mention it either.

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Raising Meat Rabbits

I started thinking quite some time before I first bought rabbits about raising them for food for both us and the dogs.  Since that time we’ve come to realize that we should be keeping the Old Testament dietary laws which forbid eating rabbit, but we still decided to raise them as an inexpensive raw meat source for Tank and Dee-Oh-Jee.

None of the commercially produced rabbit cages quite fit my needs, and most seemed overpriced so I ended up building my own.  I bought J clips, J clip pliers, wire, feeders, and an automatic watering system.  They can all be bought at Tractor Supply, most feed stores, and online.  Once I had everything at home and added the costs, I realized it cost me almost as much as buying ready-made cages.  But by building my own I was able to build a higher quality cage to my own specifications.

Each cage is 24 inches square and 18 inches tall with 1 x 2 inch welded wire on the top and sides and 1/2 x 1 on the bottom.  This allows the byproducts (more about that later) to drop through so the cages only have to be cleaned occasionally.  The doors are hinged at the top and swing in.  It’s a little inconvenient, but keeps rabbits from escaping if you forget to latch the door, or if you have a savant that opens it himself like one of our old rabbits did.

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