Yesterday, we sexed the February kits and separated them by gender. They’re a little over ten weeks old now, and they’re starting to have skirmishes.
Sexing rabbits isn’t exactly a fun job – you need to position them on their backs and take a close look at their privates. They don’t like it. They have very sharp claws (like cats) and powerful back legs, and they can scratch the heck out of you.
So imagine trying to hold a squirming, kicking rabbit and looking down there to try to figure out if it’s a boy or girl you’re holding…and it’s not as obvious as you think. We have a pretty good accuracy rate so far, with just one kit in the first group from last year misidentified.
It seems we (at least at this point) have eight bucks and twelve does. They’re generally pretty friendly, but one white doe had a toe injury – basically, she lost the tip of one toe, possibly from a bite, and also had a spot on the same leg where it looked like fur had been scraped off – and an agouti buck had a laceration across one of his feet, so these two went into individual tractor compartments until they’ve healed. The wounds are healing well, and we’ve been spraying them regularly with the same non-toxic wound spray we used on Astrid.
The grass is lush and plentiful, and all the rabbits are doing their parts to mow it. It’s gratifying to watch them attack it as soon as their tractors are moved to fresh ground. Even Siobhán, a ten week old American Chinchilla and a new addition to the rabbitry, is an enthusiastic grass eater – just as we’d hoped. We chose to add American Chinchillas to the bloodline because they’re reputed to grow well on pasture…and she’s lovely, with her silvery coloring and gray eyes. She has several months of growth until she can be bred, but we’re confident she’ll have equally beautiful kits that will take right to pasture.