Weaning

We’ve begun weaning the baby bunnies at this point and they’re doing well. Weaning is a tricky affair. In the wild mom would simply abandon her young. However, she would then be nursing a new litter in less than a week. In a domestic setting, rabbits are allowed a little more time with mom to grow as large as they can off of her milk. As a result mom also gets to go completely dry and get a break before having her next litter. But this can lead to problems like mastitis. This is an infection of the teats that results from a buildup of milk and bacteria. If mom constantly has litters she can barely produce enough milk for her kits to eat. In a comfy life they produce plenty of milk and fewer litters which makes for more complications but also more live young. So to wean baby rabbits it can be better to take them away slowly instead of take the mom away from all of them at once. This is just what we’ve been doing. So far four of the seven babies are seperated.

Red and orange, keeping close now that they’re seperated

We had to take Blue out of the group because she had a bit of a nose injury. I picked her up one day recently and she had a large scab under one nostril. It was big enough that it concerned me that the rest of the litter might have caused her an injury or would pick on her for having an injury. I’m not actually sure where it came from so I cleaned it and seperated her first with Black, the calmest male so that the pair of them could be weaned and Blue could recover without being all alone. I gave her a water bowl instead of a bottle so that she would rinse her nose off a little every time she took a drink. She’s recovered nicely and has a tiny bald spot under her nose where the scab was but otherwise is completely well.

Next came the two boys, Orange and Red. They’ve been put into the cage that Tasty lived in. Tasty has been moved outside and the hutch is officially completely finished (sans painting). All four cages are completely finished with locks over them and I put in the last hooks for the tarps. They hold very well and I’m really happy with it. Tasty has been doing well outdors and seems cheerful and curious.

Soon the remaining three rabbits will be seperated away from mom, who will move outside as well. At that point our rabbit operation will be fully operational! I am looking forward to warmer weather, though.

Lastly I will be building a spare cage for my rabbits and cleaning up my garage. I have a lot of spare material and it’ll be pretty easy to plan and build. It’ll be very similar to the building of the grow cage, but with a door and mesh roof instead of a detachable roof. I would like one of these to raise some of my rabbits for furs and dog meat. Adult rabbits are best for stewing and not cooking in any way you feel like, like a chicken and young rabbits have poor furs. So raising a few rabbits to 6-8 months will let me get some quality furs. I have a friend who runs his own business selling rapier equipment, archery equipment, and accesories as a merchant in medevial societies and ren faires. Fur pouches and accessories from humanely raised rabbits should go over very well. It’s my hope that having a few strong hides will help my bottom line for making a profit off of the rabbits (which is the ultimate goal). I hope that it goes well.

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2 thoughts on “Weaning

    • Well, weaning is also the act of removing the kits from the mom. Unless you have mom in like a quarter acre pen they’ll never escape each other and the kits may continue nursing long after it’s healthy. 😛 Technically all my babies are eating mostly solids. But they’re not all OK with being away from mom yet.

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