February 28, 2017 (UPDATED (for the final time) March 31 @ 2:40pm (updates below original post)
In light of April the Giraffe gaining so much popularity as she approaches the birth of her baby, I thought I’d do a little baby watch myself.
We bred our two female rabbits 30 days ago, which means they are due to kindle (have their babies) today or tomorrow. Rabbits are quick like that (whereas giraffes are pregnant for 15 months!)
April (yes, same name as the giraffe) is our oldest rabbit at almost 6 years old. We bred her to our white and black male, Ollie, in the hopes of producing a solid white bunny or two. We weren’t expecting much, since she’s so ancient (in rabbit breeding years), but she seems to be preparing for birth by lining her nest box with fur.
Rabbits do this since the kits (baby rabbits) are born hairless. Mamma’s fur insulates them and keeps them warm. Mamma rabbits do not set on the nest to keep the kits warm as chickens do, so it is essential that there is plenty of fur in the box. April is an experienced mamma, so I’m hoping this means that her kits are going to make an appearance today or tomorrow.
Switch is our other, younger, doe (female rabbit). We bred her to our solid black male, Vader, in the hopes of getting a solid black bunny or two. She has not stripped her fur yet, but some rabbits don’t prepare for birth until just before it happens, so we’re still hopeful that she is indeed pregnant.
Some of our regular followers might remember that we were expecting bunnies at Christmas since the boys and girls got to play together for several days. I put in the nest boxes a couple days before their due date, but nothing ever happened. Not even any fur lining. It’s disappointing when you are so eager for something like the birth of baby bunnies only to find out it’s not gonna happen.
And as a homesteader, who wants to depend on the breeding program for food as part of our ever increasing sustaniable lifestyle, it can also be downright frustrating. And hard to wait a full month just to know if it even worked or not.
On the other hand, at least they are not cows or sheep or giraffe who all take nearly a year or more to have a baby! I guess waiting 30 days is not all that bad in the grand scheme of things.
I will keep you updated over the next day or two. Hopefully we’ll have some good news to tell soon!
9:45PM – Heading toward bed and shutting down the animals for the night and still nothing. Actually there is something.
That’s what there is.
I have never known a mamma to foul up her nest box and then have babies in it. Usually they keep it very clean if they are going to kindle in it. I’m beginning to think we have two non-pregnant rabbits on our hands. Grrrr…
March 1, 5:15pm – Still nothing…. really beginning to doubt… 😦
Much later update: March 31, 2:40pm – much like April the Giraffe, our rabbits never did have babies. UNLIKE the giraffe, who may still give birth at any moment, once a rabbit passes about day 34 gestation, you can be assured that she will not give birth (either never was pregnant or miscarried). So, once we were sure they were not indeed pregnant, we had the girls visit their boyfriends again. “April” and “Switch” are due in a couple days, so if you want to follow along, here’s Baby Bunny Watch, April 2017