Doe giving birth (PICS!)

Discussion in 'Rabbits' started by rabbitgal, Oct 1, 2006.

  1. rabbitgal

    rabbitgal Ex-homesteader

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    A few months ago, I caught our Creme d'Argent doe Tulip giving birth. It was such an amazing experience. Usually, they deliver at night or when no one's around. All in all, delivery took probably 20 minutes. (And no, she didn't really seem to mind me sticking my face in there.) If I remember, she had around six kits...nice litter. She did great, especially since this was her first litter. :D We kept one, a little doe named Dahlia. Two others are living with a lady about an hour away.

    [​IMG]
    Tulip is probably delivering a kit right now. You can see the rest of the litter right in front of her head.

    ...sorry, there's more pics, but they came out huge...fixing
     
  2. rabbitgal

    rabbitgal Ex-homesteader

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  3. BellsBunnies

    BellsBunnies Well-Known Member

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    It is really neat to get to see them being born. We had a litter of Blue-Eyed whites night before last in the laundry room instead of the barn just so I could watch and make sure everything went ok.
     
  4. rabbitgal

    rabbitgal Ex-homesteader

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    There's more, LOL. Tulip is taking a breather from labor!
    [​IMG]
     
  5. Hilda

    Hilda Well-Known Member

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    I'm so glad you posted this! The pictures are amazing. I am a very new meat rabbit owner - 3 Creme D'argent and 1 Palomino (doe). One of my cremes should be kindling around Oct 14. It was great to see your pictures. May I ask the dimensions of your nesting box? I'm going to be making my nesting box this week for Thyme and was thinking of doing it this way:
    http://www.thenaturetrail.com/BuildingNestBoxes.htm

    Tulip looks so comfortable and relaxed in the nesting box you provided for her now I'm wondering if that is a better way to go.

    Thanks again for sharing the photos,
    Hilda
    PS I'm new to the board, this is my first post and intro :)
     
  6. rabbitgal

    rabbitgal Ex-homesteader

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    Hi Hilda, welcome to HT! Wow, Cremes and Palominos! May I ask who you got your Cremes from? They sure can be hard to find in some areas!

    I've used both wooden nestboxes and the wire box shown in the pic...for me it's more of an issue of convencience than anything else. (We build our own cages, so we already have all the supplies and tools needed to built wire nestboxes too.) The nestbox shown is 18" long, 10" wide and 8" high, constructed of 1" x 1/2" galvanized floor wire.

    The nice thing about the wire nestboxes is that they're really easy to clean and disinfect. But a wooden nest provides more protection during the winter, plus once the litter is a bit older, the doe can hop up on top of the box to get away from the annoying kits. I do use wire boxes in the winter though cause I'm cheap ;) ...make sure to use a lot of bedding if you go that route.

    By the way, the Nature Trail has some great info on breeding...Laurie Stroupe and I are both involved in a new club in the area. ;)
     
  7. Hilda

    Hilda Well-Known Member

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    Hi Rabbitgal,

    Thank you for the welcome. I hope to round out my learning here. Only so much I can learn from books. My rabbits, thankfully, are patient teachers, too.

    I got my rabbits from Marshedge Rabbitry. They show them. The rabbits I have are "pet quality", not real show potential, which is what I want.

    Yes, they are rare around here. But the does are reputed to be great moms and that's what I need - it would be nice if somebody knew what they were doing - I don't, LOL.

    Breeding was an adventure in itself. I tried to be helpful by pointing out the obvious "Uh, wrong end there, bucky-boy." But they figured it out all by themselves. The little bunny dance they do before "the deed" is quite interesting (and actually lasts longer than the deed itself!) I never read or been told about it. Like I said, you can get only so much from books and websites. I really value the opinions of experienced rabbit people

    I think I'll go for the wooden nest box, thanks for all the info and suggestions. I think the fact that the doe can get on top of the wooden box was the deciding factor for me, so thanks for being so clear about the differences.

    Again, thanks for the great insights and support. I appreciate it and my rabbits shall benefit from it, I'm sure.

    Hilda
     
  8. rabbitgal

    rabbitgal Ex-homesteader

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    Oh yes, those bunnies are valuable teachers. I "did my research", but it only took a few weeks to realize how much I still had to learn (and still do!). :p

    Marshedge Rabbitry...I'm not familiar with them, but there's a LOT of Creme breeders I haven't heard of, LOL. But yeah, getting from a show rabbitry is a good idea with these rare breeds...at least then you know the breeder is working toward a tangible goal. Actually, I don't know if very many people besides fanciers have Cremes at this point...they've been attracting attention since the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy put them on the rare breeds list, but it hasn't been long enough to see how they'll take off.

    "Bunny dance"?
     
  9. Hilda

    Hilda Well-Known Member

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    Well, that's what we call it. I suppose there is a much more technical and scientific name for it, probably something like "The ritualistic mating copulation program of the Lagomorphs". We just call it the Bunny Hokey Pokey - pun intended :) Or it could be I have crazy rabbits - in either case, this is what happens to the best of my descriptive powers.

    The two buns are side by side, each nose to the other's tail. In one quick movement, they do a 180 so they are in the same position but now reversed. This is done in a smooth, one step movement. They continue do this for a bit. You can hear their feet move rhymically - one thump per move. It's very fast and it's impossible to tell who's leading. Then after a bit, our buck made the move but the doe didn't hence the buck ends up where he is supposed to and after a few seconds does a squeal/grunt/groan thing and falls off. Then the doe won't have anything to do with him. And that's the "dance".

    Anyone here have rabbits that do this? I guess I should mention, that this breeding didn't happen in the buck's cage, it was in their play area. We let them out there, one by one, while doing our rabbit chores. One of our does was acting "ready". I'm useless at this vent examining thing but I have a daughter who is very intuitive with the rabbits and she felt the way the doe was acting meant she was looking for action (the doe, not the daughter). So we let the buck out and witnessed the bunny equivalent of the Friday night bar-scene.

    H
     
  10. rabbitgal

    rabbitgal Ex-homesteader

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    Cool, I've seen that happen a couple of times also. Usually I just put the doe in the buck's cage, but when they've had more space, they do the bunny dance like you described. Did you catch the faint little grunts the buck makes when he's trying to impress the doe? You have to listen carefully, otherwise you miss it...

    Speaking of weirdness, I have a doe who dreams. She apparently is a very heavy sleeper, so you'll walk by her cage sometimes and see a paw twitching...or she'll lick her lips and wiggle her nose. It's hilarious. Her offspring do the same thing.

     
  11. Hilda

    Hilda Well-Known Member

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    I've never heard him grunt...the first time we put a doe with him in his cage, I doubt he even thought of trying to impress her...he really had no finesse or manners at all. I think that's why I like the open area mating better, it seems like there's a more natural or relaxed interaction. I was worried about doing it that way because I had always heard take the doe to the buck because she's territorial in her own cage. I hoped that the play area would seem like a neutral area and be ok, so far there hasn't been any issues. I think it might be easier to seperate two buns in open area than trying to grab one out of a cage. I don't know, though, I'm so new at all of this. Anyhow, I'll keep my ears open for the grunting next time.

    I haven't caught any of my rabbits sleeping yet, they're always bright-eyed and puffy-tailed when I'm around, so I don't know if I have dreamers. I do have one that talks to herself though. Kind of makes clicking noise and sounds like teeth grinding. We had her checked out because I heard that teeth grinding could be a sign of pain or teeth problems but she was fine. I've been told that some rabbits do make contented noises.

    H