September 13, 2012

They multiplied like rabbits!

We added twelve new female rabbits to our herd yesterday.  These are white and broken red New Zealands, a standardly used meat breed.  I handled all of them before bringing them home and all but one are very, very docile.  The one oddball is pretty skittish and I'm hoping she will calm down once she's been handled a lot and is used to her new environment.

In addition to the rabbits we purchased, we have our first 2nd generation of kits!  Rosebud gave us a gorgeous daughter named Silverado. Silverado just kindled her first litter two days ago.  So far, she's proving to be an excellent mother, a character trait we value immensely and will continue to breed into our herd.  Silverado is an American Chinchilla x New Zealand mix.  She was bred to one of our young Silver Fox bucks.

Nine good-sized kits. No still borns and no runts.
Breeding stock is important. But it's also important to improve upon your stock. Breed in the traits you value and breed out (cull) the traits you don't like.  Good mothering is one of our most valued traits. For mothering skills, we look for does who nurse their kits twice a day, keep them clean, pull enough fur and let us handle the kits.  This is what prompted us to keep at least one doe from every litter Rosebud produces. She is an excellent mother.  We have two more does from Rosebud's second litter and we have high hopes for them to do as well as Silverado has done.

1 comment:

  1. I enjoy hearing about your breeding program. We have goals for our cows (and I had one when I bred my Walking Horse mare), but our cycle is so much longer than yours!