After a month of anticipation, both of our selected does kindled on Monday the 13th. Sometimes, kindling goes smoothly and both mother and babies are fine…other times, it doesn’t go so well. Happily, we only have good news to share.
Our American Chinchilla doe, Siobhán, kindled first. She had one litter previously, and half of the litter didn’t survive; naturally, we were concerned that it might happen again. Fortunately, she exhibited behaviors this time that showed that she was preparing for the births (like haystaching) and she pulled fur prior to kindling. She had seven healthy, vigorous kits, and they were nestled into a nice bed of fur…on the cage floor. Silly girl! Despite our best efforts to get her to use the cushy nest box we put in her kindling cage, she did the same with her first litter. Our does only kindle indoors, though, so the kits weren’t at risk from the cold. We just scooped them and the fur up and settled them into the nest box and there they have remained, growing plump and wiggly. It will be interesting to see what color Vonnie’s kits become as they grow out – the sire is our excellent (and charming) agouti New Zealand breeding buck, Boyd. All of the kits except one (looks to have chinchilla coloring) appear to have a brownish color now.
This was the first litter for our black Silver Fox doe, Avril, and there’s always additional anxiety with first-timers: will they know what to do? Will they have trouble kindling? Will they nurse their kits? Avril had been haystaching for a couple of weeks, so we felt confident that she knew what was happening and would be ready.
While Siobhán had kindled overnight (probably in the wee hours of the morning), Avril kindled in late morning – the first time we checked, there were no kits; the next time we checked, the mound of fur in the nest box was moving ever so slightly. There were babies! We waited a few hours to ensure that all the kits had arrived, then checked to see how many there were. Avril had six kits, and they appear to be 4 black and 2 lilac. We were particularly excited to see that there were a couple of lilacs, a rare and beautiful color. Lilac rabbits have light gray fur with an almost lavender tint, and a pinkish cast to their eyes. The litter’s sire, Gandalf, is a stunning lilac buck with a sunny personality, so we’re confident that his progeny will be equally beautiful and friendly.
These babies will grow fast and will be ready for new homes around the end of March. We offer pedigrees for our Silver Fox rabbits and our American Chinchilla doe is pedigreed. If you’re looking for healthy, pasture-ready rabbits for pets or livestock, please contact us.