Urban Basics

Getting back to basics in an urban setting

We have babies!!

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One day last month I let Willow out to hop around the garage. I try to let my rabbits out a lot so they can get some exercise. So Willow is hopping happily around the garage. I went inside for a little while to make the kids some lunch. I was in the kitchen when all of a sudden, I hear all kinds of racket coming from the garage. I go out to investigate, and I see Charlie out of his hutch, chasing Willow around the garage! I still have no idea how he managed to get out or how long he had been out. So I put him back into his hutch and then put Willow back into her hutch then took note of the date…. just incase… they ARE rabbits after all….
The day was November 13th. Rabbits are only pregnant for 30-31 days. I wrote down December 13th as a possible delivery date. I had Chris make me a nest box and we put that, along with a hand full a hay into the hutch on the 29th day after the little rascal escaped. Most of the time, you can not tell if a Doe is pregnant but putting hay into her hutch usually is a pretty good indication. If she starts gathering the hay into her mouth and putting it into the nest box, more then likely there will be babies soon. So when she started gathering hay into her mouth on the 29th day, I knew there was a pretty good bet we would have babies sometime in the next 24 to 36 hours. I went outside and got a few more handfuls of hay for her. Its been cold, down to 25 at night. They live in my garage and it may not be as cold as being outside in a hutch, but it still gets pretty cold. The extra hay will help keep the nest box warm.
On December 13th, I noticed Willow pulling out her belly fur and lining the nest with it. It must be close to delivery time! This is my first litter of rabbits so this is very new to me!
About 5 pm on December 13th I went to check on her, she was happily munching on her rabbit pellets. I looked into the nest but couldn’t see anything. Then all of a sudden, I see the fur and hay moving a little. We have babies!
Late that same night, I gave willow some apple slices and carrots and took out the nest box to have a look. I don’t want to disturb it too much for fear that she will not take care of her babies with my scent in the nest. But I have been reading a lot and most sources say that I need to make sure they are all alive. From what I can tell, there are 5 kits in the nest and they were all moving around nicely. They look like hairless little rats… hehehe
I cant wait till they start getting their fur. Willow and Charlie are purebred Harlequins and I cant wait to see the fur pattern on the babies. I am hoping there will be one that has the right markings so that I can show him or her. Harlequin rabbits are hard to show because they have very distinct color marking requirements. They have to have two colors that alternate on either side of their bodies. On their face, they have to have each color come together right down the middle of the nose. Willow is a Magpie Harlequin. She has white and grey color markings. Charlie is a Japanese Harlequin so he has tan and black markings. In Charlie’s offspring, we would look for tan on one side of his face and black on the other. The front feet need to be the opposite color. If the rabbits left side of his face was tan, then we would want the left front foot to be black… and the same for the other side of the face. If the right side was black, then we want the right foot to be tan. This color alteration needs to continue all the way down the rabbits back, making a checker pattern affect. Since mom and dad are both Magpie and Japanese, I’m hoping for both types in the offspring. There are many other things that would disqualify a rabbit from a show, but that is as good as I can think of to explain in my very limited knowledge! I have never showed a rabbit so I am learning. I need to have a rabbit that meets guidelines first. I may sell Willow at some point and keep one of her babies. We shall see! I think I am going to like having babies to play with!

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Author: stephdt3

My 3 children and I live on 14 acres in Savannah Ga. I have worked hard at turning the property into a thriving, self sufficient homestead. It has been a learning experience and a lot of hard work but its so worth it. I don't understand how our country became so consumer driven. We have lost so much of our production way of life. It is my goal to get back to basics any way that I can. My three children used be so hooked on TV, video games, computers, iphones and ipads. And while they still like those things, they now spend just as much time outside as they do inside. I hope by learning to raise chickens and rabbits, growing gardens, raising goats and riding horses and spending more time outdoors in general, my children will learn to love and appreciate a simpler way of life. I knew nothing about homesteading when I started this journey but I have learned so much and love every minute of it.

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