Monday, December 3, 2012

Baby Angora Bunnies Are Born

Five days ago I noticed that one of the angora rabbits was pulling hair off herself and any other rabbit that got close enough to her.  She ran around frantically with mouthfuls of hay.  I told my husband, "she's going to give birth."  I don't have a kindling box (kindling is what its called when a rabbit gives birth), so I found a wicker basket that fit the bill.  A few hours later we looked inside the rabbit's hutch and there lay eight tiny babies.  Not in the basket I provided, of course.  

"They'll freeze to death if we leave them out here," my husband said.  The temperature hovered near thirty degrees and it was rainy/snowy.  So we decided to bring them and mom inside.  I tucked the eight babies into the basket and put them and the mother into a small dog carrier to bring them up to the house.  I was fearful that the mother rabbit wouldn't accept the babies if I touched them, but I didn't have any other options.  Now I have eight adorable baby bunnies and a momma bunny living in a great big dog carrier in my den.  By the way, bunnies poop and pee a LOT and I'm cleaning the cage twice a day!   

Each day I distract momma rabbit with a carrot and check all eight babies to make sure they're alive and getting enough to eat.  There are six blacks and two grays.  The momma doesn't seem to mind me taking them out of their basket and giving them a quick check.    

A pile of baby angora bunnies.
  
Last night, I heard the momma get in the box with her little ones for a nursing session.  Rabbits aren't like cats.  They don't lie around in the crate with the babies.  They get in once a day for about five minutes and that's all the nursing the little ones get.  Its a survival tactic.  The mother rabbit doesn't want predators to know where her babies are hidden so she stays away from them.  

All of these babies will be for sale in about seven weeks.  I can take a picture of one particular bunny if someone would like to give one as a Christmas present.  Then you can put the picture in a card and then they'll get the baby when its ready to leave the mother.  In a week or so, when I take the pictures, they'll look much more like adorable little fuzz balls (vs. the naked mouse look they're sporting now!)  

Angora rabbits are more work than regular bunnies because they require more brushing to keep their hair clean and tangle free.  But you can harvest their fur about four times a year and the angora rabbits have a wonderfully calm temperament!  Many people keep them indoors.  I'm not fond of having rabbits in the house and my rabbits have an outdoor pen.  I've found with mine that they seem to be calmer as outdoor pets.  We put the pen in a shady area in the summer (to help the bunnies stay cool) and we put it in one of the high tunnels for the winter.  They are doing very well.   

“Once upon a time there were four little Rabbits, and their names were--Flopsy, Mopsy, Cottontail, and Peter. ” 
― Beatrix Potter

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8 comments:

  1. Love the pic of your pile of baby bunnies :-)

    I love black baby bunny yarn - so pretty .... and two blue's...lucky you!

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  2. I'm loving the shades of blue. Particularly the one at the bottom of the picture.

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  3. Can't wait to see the pictures.

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  4. One of your little blues looks very much like a lilac that my doe gave birth to a few days ago. Congrats on a beautiful litter :)

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  5. They are soooo stinkin' cute!! :)

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  6. AmyJo, I was inspired by the name of your bunny in your blog and have decided to name my new mom bunny in a similar vein. Please welcome Madame Poops A Lot!

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  7. With your kits being outside, they should be just fine, provided momma pulled enough fur for the nest. We live in Berks County PA.

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