Thursday, December 27, 2007

The Beginnings

Thanksgiving, 2007, marks the start of Spinning Straw into Gold Blog. My focus is the Satin Angora Rabbit breed. A wonderful, gentle and even tempered animal. They are my livestock for wool & meat.

This breeding season, my first litter was born Dec. 1st. The doe presented 8 kits and 7 survived the 1st night. It was her first birth and she has been an exceptional mother. She is an ermine, white with blue eyes.

Ermines show color on the top of the tail, ear lacing, and at the nose. Guard hairs may or maynot show color. In summer, the color practically disappears from the points and then colors up in cold weather. This color is a disqualification in Angoras. But, many people like the blue/brown eyes and white fur over a REW or albino angora with red/pink eyes.

Here is her litter at 3 weeks. 1 red, 1 REW, 5 ermines or pearls. That will be determined once the are a little older.

My next litter was born 15 days later, also to a 1st timer. She delivered them all out of the nest on the wire.

I found them shortly after she had them; very cold and not breathing. With outside temperatures at freezing I put them all into a plastic bag (7) and submerged it in very warm water. Shortly, all revived. The doe rejected them and I was unable to establish a successful bottle feed with them. None survived.

She has been re-bred and will have one more chance at a successful birth. In her favor, she did clean them up properly, but did not seem to know what to do after that. It is not unknown for this to happen, which is why they are given second chances.