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!
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.
And when I carefully pulled away the top, five pink little babies were nestled contentedly in the warm hair of their mother.
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.