Moonstone’s three babies are achieving maximum cuteness at one month of age. The angora rabbit fawns are little bundles of fluff that fit neatly in your hand. Two are white albinos with red eyes and one is a chocolate point with blue eyes. I believe the chocolate point and one white are female and there is one boy. They are still so young that I can be fooled when sexing babies. I’ll check again in a month. At that age their sex will be fairly obvious.
By copying what mother does, the little ones have learned to eat pelleted feed, drink from a waterer and bowl and nibble grass, hay, fruit wood twigs and apples. Young rabbits have big appetites. We go through a lot of pellets when there is a litter of rabbits to raise. Happily, there are only three this time so the feed bill won’t be as big as when there are six or eight to grow.
I talk to the babies and handle them frequently so they will be gentle and accustomed to humans. As they enter four to five weeks of age, the fawns develop a natural curiosity and are moving away from the protection of their mom. This is a great time to socialize them with humans.
Mom still nurses her fawns and allows them milk once per day. Whenever anyone tries to get a little extra drink, she hops smartly away. At two months she will wean them and the little ones will be ready to go to new homes. If the chocolate point turns out to be a doe, I may keep her for my rabbitry. She is adorable!
Moonstone, the new angora rabbit doe I acquired last month, gave birth on 10/13 to a litter of three babies. They are healthy, well fed little guys. Mama bunny made a nice warm nest for her fawns with hay and fiber she pulled from her tummy. I supplemented the nest with fiber from a supply I keep just for the purpose.
Here is mama bunny Moonstone, shortly after she arrived at the farm. And below is a shot of the proud father, Marble, my albino angora buck. I’m not sure why this litter is so small. Rabbits usually have 5-9 babies at a time. The doe was maiden and not too thrilled by the mating process. The pair only mated a few times that I observed, so perhaps that’s why she had only a few fawns. I’m very happy with what I got! At least one of the babies is showing signs of developing darker hair than white, so fingers crossed I get a nice sable or chocolate doe to keep.
Proud daddy Marble
In other news, the September hatch of Ameraucana chicks is now four weeks old. The chicks are well feathered. The oldest chicks (one day ahead of the youngest) are starting to sprout feathers on their heads. These babies are very active. They spend the day alternating between filling up at their feeder and running off to free range in the hedges and over the lawns. I think they will be well ready to face the cold weather once winter arrives. To date we have had less than ten frosty nights. The temperature has not gone below about 30F. The days and nights continue unseasonably mild. That’s fine with me and my barn full of babies!
We’ve had some gorgeous, warm, sunny days lately and now that the little angora rabbits are a month old, a few days ago it was time for them to get to know the great outdoors. The fawns and their mother came out to the large outside rabbit run. The area is approximately 8 ft by 16 ft, plenty of space for little bunnies to race around.
The babies kicked up their heels, tasted fresh grass, clover, dandelion and plantain from the lawn and stretched out in the shade to enjoy the balmy air and gentle breeze. Mama rabbit is very happy for the break from close quarters with her infants. There are three fawns: two female albinos and one male color point. The color point can be told by the smudge of brown on his nose. As he grows, his ears, feet and maybe even tail will turn a soft brown shade. His coat will be cream and his eyes are blue.
He is an adorable baby and I plan to keep him. To enlarge my herd I also will keep one of his little sisters. My rabbit population dropped to just two before these were born. Rabbits do not live terribly long, seven years on average. I had several about the same age who passed away this last winter and spring. Now, thanks to rabbits doing what they do best, I have new members of the rabbitry to produce fiber.
After a good romp and feed, mom and babies settle down to doze away the warm afternoon.
They finally did it! Mom and Dad angora rabbit are pleased to announce the birth of their three babies on 9/15/16. After several mis-starts and fails, these three are healthy and doing well. Mama bunny has provided them with a thick bed of the finest fiber in the world to keep them warm and comfy.
Proud daddy Marble
Relieved mom Jade
Born hairless and with their ears and eyes sealed, by the time they can see and hear, the babies will be nearly two weeks old. They are already able to pop themselves around with powerful hind legs. If their naps are disturbed, the nest bounces and funny little grunting sounds ensue as the babies involuntarily kick their hind legs and call for their mother.
Mom will feed and clean them once per day. Rabbit milk is so nutritious that only one feeding is required. The babies grow quickly. One little rabbit is larger than the other two. It gave the mother some trouble coming out. Such a small litter can lead to the oldest fetus growing too large to easily pass. When this happens, the entire litter can be lost, even the mother is at risk.
Not sure why this doe has such a hard time carrying babies. She is only four years old, prime reproduction age. When I got her she was pregnant and kindled ten healthy fawns. Since then getting pregnant and carrying to term has proved difficult for her. I am so grateful to have gotten these three and am hoping for a pretty little colored female to add to the herd.
The baby angora rabbits are nearly old enough to go to their new homes. They will be weaned in one week and can then leave their mother. Rabbit breeders must be able to tell the sex of the babies they produce. Over the years I have shown several people how to sex a baby rabbit.
Telling the gender of a young rabbit can be difficult. I do not bother trying until they are at least a month old. Even then I can be fooled into thinking males are females. By the time they are two months old (at weaning) it is much easier to determine the sex.
The following photos and diagram are provided to help illustrate the differences in anatomy between the sexes of the baby rabbits in the above photo. I have distinguished three females and two males in this litter. It is nice to have more females, there is a greater demand for girls than boys. It only takes one buck to service several females. It is very important to prospective customers that they receive the proper gender rabbit. It is also important to separate the sexes when the babies are eight weeks old to prevent any unwanted, very premature, pregnancies.
To determine the sex of a baby rabbit, first hold the bunny on its back, supporting it with one arm and using the hand of that arm to gently push the tail down and away from the genital area. With the thumb of the other hand very gently press down at the front of the genitals and pull away from the tail area. This will open up the genitals and expose the shape. A little girl has a line, a straight opening, that starts near the anal area and runs up to the end of the genitals. A boy has a little cone that is expressed and presses upward from the genitals. The following rough diagram I made demonstrates the differences.
female 7 week old rabbit
female 7 week old rabbit
Here are photos of the genitals of baby female and male bunnies from the litter. Note the position of the thumb that gently depresses and extends the area to expose the anatomy. The babies are not at all perturbed by this procedure. Bunnies enjoy being held resting on their backs and stroking their bellies puts them to sleep.
I hope this has been helpful for anyone who finds sexing baby rabbits to be confusing.
Yesterday evening the five baby angora rabbits had their first adventure in the outdoors. They went with their mother to the rabbit run. The area is about three feet by eight feet, plenty of room for five tiny bunnies to explore. At first they were shy and stayed near mom.
Soon, the fawns were ready to try running, jumping and nibbling greens. Before long they were sniffing at the rabbits on the other side of the fence and even wriggling through the small holes in the chicken wire. After three had squirmed through, I put up some boards to keep them from escaping.
Baby bunnies have lots of energy. One will throw its head back and start bouncing around as though its hind legs have a will of their own. Soon the others join in. They dart in random directions, sometimes bumping into walls or each other as they learn to control those strong hind legs.
Then it’s time for a rest and a quick snack. Rabbits love to chew up grass, clover, dandelion, and tender plantain leaves. It is advisable to make sure no toxic plants such as burdock, milkweed or nightshade are available because rabbits like to taste almost anything. Little bunnies are especially adventuresome about trying to eat whatever is around.
As the fawns mature, the one colored baby begins to stand out. Four are albinos with pink eyes. The other is a male with color points, meaning the nose, ears and possibly tail and feet contrast with the rest of the coat color. This baby gets darker all the time. The coat is very light beige with the points currently looking pale gray-brown. I would call him a lilac point. His eyes are blue. As he grows, the colors may deepen.
This is the first color point angora I have produced in about twenty years of breeding rabbits. He is very cute and loves to cuddle. It is hard to resist keeping him, but I have no does for him to mate. I’m trying to reduce the herd to one buck and three does. Holding on to him because he is cute and unusual would be very silly. Next spring we will try again for a chocolate doe.
The baby angora rabbits are twelve days old today. Their eyes started opening two days ago. The process is slow to give them time to adjust to the new sensation of seeing. The little ears are up and away from their heads. I’m sure they can hear well now. Their sense of smell is acute. When I am around the fawns lift their heads, pink noses wiggling as they sniff at the air to smell me.
The babies now sit up like rabbits rather than lying on their sides as helpless newborns. It is adorable the way they drape themselves over each other when they sleep in the nest.
Looks like all five are albinos, no chocolate doe for me. Maybe next time, if I can get the persnickety rabbits to mate again.
Mama bunny is busy cleaning one of the babies in the photo at the top. In the smaller picture above left, the fawn in the background is the runt of the litter. It is half the size of the largest baby. The tiny one is growing fast and will one day be nearly the size of the others.