Hazel's and Rosie's babies turned 2 weeks last Sunday! They are just so much fun! I shared a ton of pics on Facebook yesterday, but here's some that I didn't post there, some of my favorites.
Each baby is soooo unique. Their little personalities are shining through already. Typically I don't flip the box over until they are 2.5 weeks. But these little guys are truly adventurous. A day before their 2 week birthday they were settled on staying outside the box. Because their tiny feet fall through the wire still, I filled the cages with hay for the next week or so.
Next week, at three weeks old, I should know their genders for sure! I've already been checking and I'm pretty sure on a couple, but they are still so small that there's a lot of room for error at this point.
I know, I know....LOTS of pictures of Hazelnut's chestnuts. But they are SO photogenic! They cannot look bad in a picture (well, none of them can...)!
Show prep starts about 2 weeks before the show date. I pose, groom, and do health checks on all the rabbits I intend to show. I'm going to the May 2nd show in Monroe and I'm so excited! It's the first show of the year for Holly's Hollands Rabbitry. If you know what it's like to be at a rabbit show, you know it's been a looooong time since my last one (December), and I'm going crazy for another.
Jet and Saige will be shown this time. This is my first time showing a buck, and Jet's first show as well. I'm excited to see how he does!
I'll also be picking up 6 new cages in Monroe. I'm excited to have my rabbitry jump from being 6-9 holes to 12-15 holes. Of course I won't have enough room to put these cages into use until I get the shed. Oh boy, I need that shed soon!
The 7 babies are doing wonderfully! I already have my eye on a couple. Make that all of them, lol. They have such nice huge heads and wide bodies already! Obviously the little guy with one ear will be sold for sure, but I don't know who else. Our tiny black might be pinched in the hindquarter...and if so, I should know for sure in a few weeks, he or she will be sold as well. I'm hoping for some nice quality bucks and does for these summer shows and ARBA Convention.
Hopefully I'll be breeding Saige after this show, probably mid-May. Her babies will be Convention juniors (Lord willing). I'll rebreed Rosie after this current litter is weaned, but those babies would be too small to compete at Convention most likely. I planned this all out wrong, oh well...it's my first convention so I don't expect to place well anyway lol.
For the first time EVER, I have no idea how these kits got here. Their color is crazy. I was positive they were blue torts, because, well, that's all they could be, right?! Nope. Looks like I have my first sable points! Never thought I'd raise this color! LOVING them. They are smutty for sure though, sadly. Even though I'm not raising this color, if their type is nice I'll keep them, for at least a little while anyway. Only time will tell.
I knew Jet carried the sable gene, his dam is sable point, but I have NO IDEA where Rosie got her sable gene. Her pedigree has NO shaded rabbits on it (besides tort, which doesn't count). Guess it just got passed down the generations. So intriguing!
The rest of the babies are doing fantastic. Little one-ear is healing perfectly and so sweet and big. I love him (or her). Here he or she is with one of the foster siblings.
SOME OF THE FOLLOWING MAY BE TOO GRAPHIC FOR SOME AUDIENCES. PROCEED WITH CAUTION. SKIP TO THE PHOTOS BELOW IF YOU HAVE A WEAK STOMACH.
After church yesterday (about 1:00 PM), I noticed that Rosie had pulled more fur and there was blood in the cage. She had started labor. Only...there were no babies.
It's very uncommon for a doe to bleed before a baby has been born, unless she is miscarrying. Sadly, we found a baby that had fallen through the cage wire. We think a cat dragged it out of the rabbitry and played with it. Poor thing looked like it had been chewed.
Rosie's labor had stopped. If the babies were in the birth canal before her labor stopped, sadly that could mean that they would all be born dead.
About an hour later, Rosie started her labor again. Within fifteen minutes she had delivered 5 beautiful live babies. She has a solid black, broken black, a broken tort of some sort and two solid torts of some sort (don't know if it's a blue or black tort yet). They are all doing fantastic today.
Rosie has proven to be an amazing mama, just like her mama and her grandma! The pictures below were taken yesterday. Only a couple are posted.
Hazel didn't start labor until 10:00 PM Sunday night. I went to bed at 10:30, because I had to wake up early for work the next day (today). I checked on her again at 2:00 AM, and she had kindled (rabbit word for "give birth"), 4 babies.
She had one live baby nestled in the fur, warm and cozy. Two babies were dead sadly. One of the dead babies was a peanut.
Another baby, a big one, I almost threw away with the dead ones. But to my surprise, he moved! He was alive, but very, very cold. And he only had one ear.
Hazel has a tendency to eat her dead babies. I believe she thought that baby was dead, and ate part of him. Because he was cold, he came inside and spent the night in a makeshift box in a warm room in our house with a bunch of Rosie's fur, which is the only extra fur I have.
Because he already smelled so much like Rosie, having been in her fur all night, I gave him to Rosie this morning. He's very warm and snuggled with siblings last time I checked. I was also worried that if I gave the baby with one ear back to Hazel, she would smell the blood on him and eat him some more. So far the one baby she has that is unharmed is completely fine. I'm not sure if I'll let her raise it completely yet or not. I may give it to Rosie if she has enough milk. We will see.
10 babies were born in all yesterday. I'm grateful and very blessed to be able to say that we have more live babies than casualties. We only lost 4 babies and gained 7 tiny new members of the herd.
HHR (Holly's Hollands Rabbitry), went from a rabbitry of 5 to a rabbitry of 12....literally overnight!
I will post more when I get the chance with updated pictures of the kits.
Alice bought Aurora (was Buffy), from me a couple months ago. She shared a super cute picture of her and her bunny friend playing in the yard. She also had this to say in the email:
"She is gotten bigger and is definitely a loyalist. She jumps out of peoples arms into mine when people are holding her that aren't me and is my little cuddle bug her ears are huge!! And her binkies are straight up in the air she has so much color thanks so much we just built a huge run box for em and they love it!!"
Alice also purchased Cinnamon recently, and Cinny is enjoying her new life. There are some pictures of Cinny as well. Alice is loving her. She keeps raving about how soft and beautiful she is :) "I love her already. Here is cinnamon in the playpen she is soo pretty and the softest thing ever! I absolutely adore her I can't wait for her to warm up to me." I'm so grateful that they both have such wonderful homes! Thank you for being an amazing pet owner, Alice! You're doing a great job with them :)
Hazel and Cinnamon are due tomorrow, the 12th! Please send some prayers their way for large litters and healthy deliveries. They need it!
Hazel and Rosie are due on Sunday, and they both have their nestboxes. Rosie started nesting on Wednesday so she got hers a day early. Hazelnut got her box on Thursday. She hasn't nested very much yet, which is typical with her pregnancies. She nests a ton in labor but hardly touches her box until then. Both of them have been lying around a lot, and their bellies are huge! You can really tell they have a lot of babies in there! When they lay down you can easily see kicks and wiggles from the kits. Aww!
In other news, Cinnamon is sold. She's living with Alice now, who has Aurora (fluffy Buffy), from Gracie's last litter! I'm excited she went to someone I have a lot of contact with!
In MORE other news, Bettie was dropped off today. I'm boarding her for a little over a week. She wasn't purchased from me but we're going to have a ton of fun together. And she is just gorgeous and a beautiful, luscious shade of gray, which is called blue!
This post is a little different than most of the posts I post. Lol. Say that ten times fast. There are some fun, exciting events coming up around here. So I'm going to rant a little bit about that.
Hopefully this month or next, we'll get my shed. I'm so excited. It's absolutely necessary that I get it in May at the latest, to continue my project. I'm hoping to pick up a new buck and doe from a breeder in Montana, at a June show. And since Hazel's and Rosie's babies (Lord willing), will need to be weaned and keepers will need to be separated, I'll be all out of cage space. I'm buying 6 new cages (2 new stacks of 3 cages per stack), but I won't have any room for them at all until I get the shed.
This week I'm boarding a Holland Lop that isn't from my litters. The rabbit's name is Betty, and she was purchased from Dragonfly Farms (www.dfmicropigs.com). But since Kristen, the owner of DF, is away for a week or two, she's unable to board rabbits. So Kristen recommended me. I'm excited to meet Betty and board her from April 10th to April 18th!
Speaking of boarding, my friend Talia and her family are moving overseas to teach at an international school, so for the fall through winter I will be potentially boarding her two Netherland Dwarfs. I would get them in August and then Talia would get them back during the summer. I would have them for one more fall/winter after that as well.
I'm still thinking all that through and deciding what I want to do. I need to get the shed up and running first to make sure I'll have enough room. Talia will be giving me her stackers to use, which is nice because I won't have to give up cage space I need so badly. My boarding area (a hutch and random wire cages I have), is going to be behind the shed (still working out kinks and thinking this through), but because the Nethies will be here for so long they'll go inside the rabbitry with the rest of the rabbits after their done being quarantined (all rabbits coming from outside the rabbitry get quarantined before entering!).
Cinnamon is back up for sale. Talia has her right now, but since she is moving overseas for a while, they can't keep her anymore. And since she can't benefit my herd any further, it wouldn't be best to have her back. So if you're interested in her, shoot me an email and I will let Talia know!
Well that's all for now. I'll try to update in a few days with pics once Hazel & Rosemary get their boxes.
I had this blog all written out perfectly and lovely and was finishing it up and adding the pictures, and somehow deleted all my text. Gahh! So frustrating. Here's everything I remember writing from the original.
I've been thinking a lot about these upcoming litters (surprise, surprise, lol). Hazel and Rosie are due in a week, on Sunday. I'm so excited for these babies and praying hard we get live litters with easy and quick deliveries! My mamas need it.
Things are going to be a little different this time around, if everything goes well. I'm not sure how many, if any, babies will be available at 8 weeks (beginning of June). I have a full notification list of people wanting babies. I get new inquiries daily. Often I don't hear back from the inquirer after I send my initial reply email asking a few questions. I need to know what they're looking for so I can help them find the rabbit of their dreams. I guess they don't have time to answer 5 short questions, lol. Oh well.
I'm planning on keeping several of these babies until I'm sure which ones will be joining my herd. I hope to add one really nice buck to the herd, as well as 2-3 new does. We shall see. I haven't kept a buck thus far in my hobby because there's no point to me if the bucks don't outshine their littermate sisters by 8ish weeks. Hopefully this time around we'll get some quality bucks! I need more does too, so honestly I'll take whatever the Lord decides to give.
I don't really care what colors I add to my herd, they just need to be quality.
I wanted to take a minute and show you what colors we can expect from these litters. Because it's fun, so why not?! lol.
JET X ROSIE
Colors expecting: black, blue, blue tort, black tort in solid and broken.
JET X HAZEL
Expecting: Solid chestnut
Still not quite sure what to call this post...guess I'll just call it "Stuff". lol!
Elsie, who is 4 now, was my first Holland Lop, and my first rabbit. When I first wanted a rabbit, I wasn't sure which breed I loved. I knew I needed a small breed, since I was only 10 or 11 at the time, and I was in love with the lops.
I searched online for rabbit breeders who were nearby. I found a breeder's website that I fell in love with - Dragonfly Hollands. You can visit Kristen's site at www.dfmicropigs.com (her site has been updated and changed since I bought Elsie).
Her Hollands were adorable. I knew instantly that was the breed I wanted to raise.
After finding her webpage, I did daily googling to other pages to find out everything I possibly could on Holland Lops.
Once I got Elsie, and became interested in breeding rabbits, I knew I couldn't have another breed. I needed more Hollands.
Since I got Elsie, I have purchased Gracie and Jet from Kristen. We've become great friends and she has taught me so much about rabbits and continually helps my herd with additions like Jet.
Another reason I chose Holland Lops. How can you not fall deeply in love with that FACE?!?! I swear baby Hollands are the CUTEST EVER. I can't wait until I have some Jet babies in the nestbox!
Only 9 days until babies! Hazelnut and Rosemary are due April 12. I could've planned that better and had them due on Easter, but Jet needed a week to settle in before he met the girls. ;) Mostly I just needed to make sure he was healthy before breeding. It's a precaution I do with every new rabbit I bring in, no matter who I buy it from.
Rosie is definitely pregnant. She has gained 4oz or so in this pregnancy alone. I believe she didn't gain much more than that when the 4 huge guys she delivered last time. I'm hoping for a huge litter of small babies, with no peanuts. Please pray for no peanuts! I think she has at least 4 kits in there, from where I can feel them kick.
Hazel is another story. She has never gained anything more than an ounce or two in her pregnancies, and although she does seem big in her belly, I'm not completely positive she's pregnant. I do think I felt some kicks though so hopefully we get good results. Praying hard for live babies, and no peanuts, this time around! I remember Hazel's first (and so far, only) surviving delivery baby, Jane, who passed away at almost 4 weeks. I'm still so sure Janie was the best baby I have produced. She was gorgeous. Hazel has had so many stuck kits with Lance that I couldn't put her through that again. Even for the hope of getting a copy of Jane. But maybe Jet and Hazel will pair the same way. I'm hoping they pair the same way!
Lance is so upset with me. He's not the only buck in the barn anymore, and because of that he's been acting differently. He's still as sweet and loving as always, but he's definitely jealous. SO jealous! I don't think I'm going to breed him to any of my smaller does anymore, at the moment I'm not quite sure what I'm doing with him, but I know I can't sell him yet. He's my little brothers favorite. And he makes such adorable babies, and nice showy babies too, when the doe doesn't almost die during birth. He'll hang around for a while - but I doubt he'll get another go with any of the three does that had stuck babies with him (that means no Rosie, no Saige, and no Hazelnut).
I've had lots of people ask me, how do you know it was Lance's fault for the stuck kits? Apparently stuck kits are pretty usual in most rabbitries, when a smaller doe is bred. But here's my top 3 reasons how I know it's Lance's bigness that caused all that trauma:
Just a little thing I've noticed in my herd as well....all babies (from these most recent litters from Lance), were born DOA on day 31. My does NEVER deliver live babies passed day 30. I don't know why. But for some reason, each doe that has gone over to day 31, it has been because they had a stuck baby.
My name is Holly.
I'm glad you're here! Don't be a ghost; leave a comment every once and a while! Let's talk ;)