Tonight is another short update.
In the last week we finally had RAIN!! Much needed for these parts. Our part of the country has been ridiculously dry, so the rain comes with great sighs of relief. Until the night it flooded our chicks. Our lovely little Cochin chicks, two surviving turkey poults, keets and random silkies got flooded in their outdoor pen. We had a few unfortunate losses, and ended up bringing the whole lot of them BACK into the living room to dry off, warm up, and hang out until we had a better shelter set-up for a few days. I had a few weeks of barn-free living at least. While I don't mind the occasional inhabitant from the farm staying with us briefly to nurse wounds or as wee little babies, I really do enjoy when they can join the general population again outside. It also reminds me of how dusty chickens can be when they are in an enclosed space. It makes me sneeze just to think about it!
I also made a very stupid mistake this week. We had received a bunny (Holland? It is black with a white stripe) as a companion for Claire's rabbit. We were told it was another female. I didn't even THINK to check said bunny's anatomy to be certain. If it had been a castrated male, a male partner for a female bunny would be fine as long as they got along well together. A female companion for a female rabbit is fine too, as long as they like each others company. However, a MALE rabbit in the company of a female rabbit tends to produce baby rabbits. For some reason I didn't even think to turn this new rabbit over to check for dangly bits. I trusted this woman, who seemed to have more experience than I did, that it was a female. I am sure that by now you can guess what gender said new rabbit is.
As soon as I put him in the same cage, he jumped on top of our female rabbit and, well, did what boy bunnies do. I took him out after about ten minutes, as soon as my brain had enough time to process his actions and realize that it probably wasn't your usual domination efforts by a female rabbit. When I turned him over and saw the tell-tale testicles (after feeling like doing an immediate rabbit castration and thumping my own head against a wall for my ignorance!), I put him back in seclusion and did some frantic searching on the interwebs for information regarding what to do if your bun has a bun in the oven.
So, a brief lesson in rabbit gestation here, to fill in everyone so we are all a little more knowledgeable. Rabbits breed quite quickly and readily (hence the term, breeding like rabbits). A rabbits gestation lasts 28-31 days. Yikes! That means little Bunny-Foo-Foo can multiply a ridiculous number of times in a year. Ovulation actually starts about 10 hours AFTER the mating act occurs, as rabbits are induced ovulators. This means our little girl bunny is probably already pregnant. In a week or two I can probably palpate her abdomen to see if I can feel any babies in there. Usually folks will breed their rabbits around 9 months of age. Since she is not spayed, and already several years old, I am HOPING she does OK and survives this whole mess. Bugger all. I really didn't want baby bunnies until we had some large breed meat rabbits and were set up for them. Silly me. I will definitely be checking next time and NOT be taking anyone's work for it on a rabbits gender.
So much for a short update. Night all!