Finally, after several months of trying, one litter of stillborn babies and two false pregnancies, Mama bunny has given birth! Here are Marble, the father and Jade, the mother. They are both angora rabbits. Marble is albino and Jade is sable color. They are a mix of French and English angora and Marble has a little German angora thrown in. They both produce wonderful fiber up to 7″ long!
After the last false pregnancy I decided to try leaving the pair together for a full night and two days. Maybe they needed more time to do their mating thing. I guess it worked.
When I went to the barn this morning I found a nest mounded over with freshly pulled sable angora fiber.
I patted their mother well to make my hands smell like her, then examined each baby for any signs of long strands of fiber wrapping around their limbs or neck. I set them to the side in a small bundle of fur while I clipped the rest of the fiber into short lengths. If left long, the fiber will spin itself into tough strands that can kill or maim babies who get tangled in it. When this happened twice in the past I was very lucky to catch the problem before serious trouble started. After the fiber was chopped short, I rebuilt the nest and put the babies back. Mama came to inspect my handiwork and seemed to approve. She washed the little ones to make sure they were clean, then went back to munching her greens.
She will nurse them once a day and keep them clean and safe in the nest. If all goes well the babies will grow some short fur and their eyes will open in about ten days. I am anxious to see what colors the newborn babies will be. My fingers are crossed for a chocolate doe, but that would be almost too much to ask.