Monday, November 8, 2010

Bunny Bulletin

This last weekend was quite eventful here at the NitroZoo. For those of you not following on Facebook, we had two rabbits due to kindle last week. Since I still haven't received my Idiot's Guide (although I've almost earned the badge by now), it ended up being way harder than it needed to be, but that's par for the course for me.

According to my calculations, Little Bear was due on Friday and Violet was due on Sunday. However, I mixed up their dates and had them one day off (I was looking at the calendar from '09 at the time). That might not seem like a big deal, but it started a sequence of mistakes on my part. First, I gave Little Bear her nest box too early. She promptly kicked everything out of it and started using it as a toilet--which I took to mean that my nest building skills left much to be desired. I later learned that it usually means they aren't pregnant in the first place.

I didn't give Violet her nest box at all until I saw her desperately trying to build a nest from the few scraps of hay she could find in her cage. When the light bulb did finally go on, I gave her the box and she frantically started bundling newspaper and hay. All while I was hurrying to get baby saver wire in place on her cage (not done because I thought I had several more days). I ended up giving up on the wire and just sliding boards in place to keep kits from falling out. Violet delivered only a couple of hours later. She is a first time Mom and had some trouble. She ended up with only one that survived--a (possibly) chestnut (I think) buck, just like his Papa. He is currently designated as A11.

Right on (the correct) schedule, Little Bear started nesting and delivered two healthy (possibly) black otter (I think) bucks. They are A12 and B12

Papa Charlie, RIP 10/25/10 (No, I don't want to talk about it)

Most breeders have a way to organize ear numbers to include quite a bit of information in a very abbreviated way. We have finally figured out a system for ear tattoos here. Pay attention now. There is going to be a test.
Each sire and dam in the rabbitry has a number. At the moment, we're still in the single digits. Charlie was buck #1. Violet is doe #1, and Little Bear is doe #2. Each kit will receive a letter. Males go before females (It's a pedigree thing, not a chivalry thing). So a male kit would have an ear tattoo that is Letter/Sire's number/Dam's number and a female kit would have an ear tattoo that is Sire's number/Dam's number/Letter. Lost yet?
Violet's singleton is A11. A (in the front) because he is the first (and only) male in the litter born to buck #1 and doe #1.
Little Bear's are A12 and B12 because they are two males (A and B--in the front) born to buck #1 and doe #2.
With this system, we will be able to tell gender and pedigree at a glance. By adding the abbreviation for our rabbitry (the name for which is still being decided in committee), we'll have a complete picture of the rabbit and it's background.
Please don't make me 'splain this again.

Speaking of names for the rabbitry...Got any suggestions? And before you get all cutesy and punny on needs to at least hint at being a serious business venture.