Thursday, January 24, 2008

REW 8 weeks

Here are a few pics of a REW at 8 weeks, doe.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Less than 24 hours old and doing well despite freezing temperatures. You can't beat angora for warmth
when you are born naked, blind, and deaf.

I brought the nest boxes in the house to make a through check. The ermine had a total of 10 with 9 surviving and the red doe had 6, all survived. As you can see from the pics the ermine litter is all white and light while the red had 3 red/fawn, 1 tort, 2 black. This is just initial thoughts on color, all subject to change.

While I had them in I cut up the fur, in the nest, into small pieces. This to prevent any long strands from wrapping around a limb and cutting off the blood supply. It can happen quicker than you realize so this is a "must" do with any angora breeding program.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Winter Birth

Two births in one day. Both does started actively to build their nest this morning. When I checked them this evening both had plucked wool and given birth. What a surprise. I expected either early tomorrow morning or the next day since they just started to make nests this morning. I am just glad they gave birth in the nest boxes.

I peaked in on both nests and all the looked fine. One of the kits from the ermine doe had crawled out of the nest and was chilled and seemingly dead. I took it in and tried to revive it by putting it into a plastic bag and submerging that into warm water. That has worked very well for me in the past, but this time it didn't. I put it into my pocket and carried it around with me in the house for a while, but I was not able to revive it.

I didn't fuss too much with them since it is so cold. A quick peak shows the ermine with more white kits while the red doe produced red and black kits. Both nests have at least 4 kits each. I will get a true head count tomorrow. Both does seem fine.

The red doe is on probation since her first litter was not successful. She is redeemed for now.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Ink Day

The kits are growing like weeds. Last week it was like looking at cotton balls. Now they are becoming clouds.

Today was "ink" day. I tattooed everyone in prep of going to new homes soon. I use a tattoo pen. The first time I used it, I was traumatized far more than the rabbits. The rabbits seem to find it "tickling". None have every jumped away in pain. Afterward they seem unaware of what was done to them.

The weather is very crisp, cold and clear. The slight, occasional breeze really puts a snap into it. The rabbits are loving it.

I haven't seen nesting activity in the two does who are due within days. I will keep watch and keep them supplied in hay for the time they do feel ready to build.

Monday, January 7, 2008


The weather has shifted dramatically here in north Texas. On Friday it was 25 degrees at night and by Sunday it was 70 degrees (F) during the day.

During freezing weather I protect my rabbits from the elements. Tarps are placed on the north and west walls to break the wind. I use water bottles, so to keep the metal spouts from freezing I string Christmas lights directly next to the spout. The older, large style bulbs generate just enough heat keep the water from freezing in the spout. The water in the container may become slushy at the top of the container, but the rabbits always have fresh water flowing.
Note: you MUST make sure no wires are accessible to the rabbits or they will reach for them, chew them, and electrocute themselves!
This years first litter are now 5 weeks. They are currently sexed at 5 doe and 2 buck. Of course, the sex change fairy has been known to visit. REW doe, fawn buck, 4 ermine doe, ermine buck. All the ermine have varying shades of blue/gray in their eyes.