I've had experience keeping chickens over the past few years, but here at Seven Arrows, I'm learning goats, ducks, bunnies, and guard dogs alongside Meg and Neil. Getting the hang of things feels good, especially now that when it's my turn to do morning chores and critter feeding/watering/check-ups/milking I feel plenty capable on my own. And mastering new lingos is part of the fun.
When a female rabbit (doe) gives birth to a litter of baby buns (kits), it's called kindling. Not "laying", as I like to indiscriminately apply to any animal birth.
For Christmas, our girls didn't give us any old kindle... it's like the Amazon Kindle Fire HD of kindling up in here.
A few weeks ago, Artie, one of our male rabbits (bucks) snuck over the divider to lady-land and had a field day. We weren't sure which of the does received his affection, but it turns out that all of them did. And that Artie's got some gold-medal swimmers.
Watching Hazel scurry around collecting straw to build her nest yesterday (like she were gathering kindling to start a fire?), we knew some kits were on the way. Hazel, Salad, and Jonna dropped record litters, leaving us a total of 28 kits, as far as we could count. Hazel and Salad built a nest together and are sharing it, and Jonna's receiving the penthouse treatment in a comfy cage complete with nesting box.
So far, three of the babes haven't made it, but we're crossing our fingers that the rest hold on. According to one of the couple rabbit books I'm burning through currently, an appropriate litter size for any doe is eight, since that's how many nipples mama's got. So we'll see what happens.
In a matter of weeks we'll be overrun with thumpers, so if anyone out there is looking for pet buns, we're happy to supply.
Sure are some cute little pipsqueaks.