A Story to be told - Part 2
So I last left off with Cutie Pie losing her first kit from her first litter. We were prepared for the lose as we had been told that new mothers, not knowing what they are doing usually lose 60% of their kits. We did really good with only losing one. We moved them inside to give them space from Rainbow Dash.
That is where we made a fatal mistake. Rabbits being social creatures can make bonds with their pen partners which Rainbow Dash did with her Sister. We didn't realize it and didn't see the warning signs. We weren't putting her in the exercise pen in fear of squishing her and her babies and she had slowed down eating from what I was reading is supposedly normal as the babies take up more room. We couldn't tell she was losing weight because her belly was growing big and disguising the problem. A day or two before she was due we switched and moved her to the nursary and moved Cutie Pie and her babies back into the pen. seeing to Rainbow Dash to make sure she was comfortable I found she wasn't felling well to the touch. Certain spots seemed boney and she was lethargic. The next day she had a kit which we found unresponsive. I don't know if it was still born. Passed away from being stuck or what. You could see the other kits still moving in her belly. Talking to the Rabbitry we got her from they figured it was still a good sign. I went out that evening as I volunteered for a local event and got a call from my husband that she dead. We ended up losing Rainbow Dash and all her babies. She lost so much weight and muscle that she didn't have the strength to get her through delivery.
It was a very sad time to lose so much but the Rabbitry we got her from felt so bad for our lose they gifted us a lovely grey rabbit. Lady Grey was 16 weeks old and a mix of Californian, Giant Flemish and Netherland Dwarf. After our scare from Rainbow Dash we decided to hold off on any further litters that year and just focused on our current bunch as well as adopted another pure bred New Zealand buck from a homestead that was giving up on breeding rabbits. His name is Prince Charming.
Of Cutie Pies Litter we were able to sell the does and eventually the bucks became "freezer food". This was another hurdle. I wasn't sure I could even do it. We had kept a them much longer than 12 weeks. By the time we "dressed" them they were almost 6 months. Fully mature and smelly as all get out. I can now understand why meat rabbits are dressed younger.
In our first year our income was $40 but our expenses were closer to $400. We are into our second year now and our expenses are already at $400 as we adjust cages, bring in new lines and continue to feed. We are only 4 months into the year. I hope nobody thinks this is a get rich quick scheme as it is not. We probably won't event begin to break even till after our third year once our cages are done and acceptable for our little guys and we develop our own system of growing food, which will be a future blog topic down the line. This endeavour will never be a for profit adventure. It will be for pleasure, for food, for the benefits it provides to ones mental health and maybe one day for shows. I really hope to have developed my pedigree line and be able to show my bunnies in competitions. Maybe even coming up with a new breed one day.