Saturday, January 29, 2011

Baby Bunnies are Growing Up

Blink and they're all grown up...
Baby bunnies do alot of growing in their first month, they go from blind, hairless little monsters to adorable hopping, nibbling balls of fuzz.
Tomorrow Sage's litter will be 1 week old and Tibs' litter will reach their 1 week birthdays on Monday. They're doing well so far, I did end up losing one of Sage's marked kits but on the bright side so far it looks like the 3 remaining will be showable, their spine markings have filled in as have their orange spots.
Tibs' litter isn't so lucky with markings, while there are 5 marked it looks like only 2 will be showable which is too bad. The unshowable marked could be used as brood animals in my breeding program or another exhibitor's program if they have the type. The sports and charlies from Sage and Theo should all be good choices in a breeding program based on their previous litters' type, but only time will tell for certain.
Here are some photos:

Tibs' litter - 5 marked
The two showable kits from Tibs' litter, of course my dogs keep a watchful eye in the background
Sage's 3 marked kits, they look good so far!
Reuben on babysitting duty, he is a wonderful bunny mom.
Up close of one of Sage's charlies resting near Reuben's paw.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

More Snow Photos

We ended up with about 7 inches from last night's snow storm. I lost power for a few hours but survived with candles and heavy blankets.
The snow started metling straight away this morning and I anticipate by the time I have to drive to work tonight the roads will be cleared and I'll only have a few inches left thanks to the rapid rate of melting. (Thank you Mister Sun!)
In litter news it looks like we're going to lose one of Sage's marked kits, it has all the signs of being a fader. So far the others look okay as do Tibs' kits.
Here are a bunch of photos from the snow fun this morning, the dogs had a blast!

Wrestle mania

Bounce bounce

Catch me if you can!

Too fast for you

Reuben enticing Lady into another round of chase

Off they go

Pepper pauses with Pumba, the pig hates the snow

Reuben and Lady on alert, they're great farm guards

And off they go again

My driveway looks like it could use some shoveling...

The goat paddock looks pretty, the cluster on the mid-left are the goats chowing down on hay

Another view of the paddock

Goats munching on hay

My house from the paddock, it looks like a frosted cup cake

Seriously angry hens, they hate the snow more than the pig!

Oh those two goofs again..

Pumba furiously made his way to the barn for breakfast and has been in the house asleep under a blanket since.. he is not amused by the fact that the snow touches his belly

Joy begging for some attention

Goaties

The always handsome and photogenic Fiddle

Dude checking things out

Banjo, I have almost the exact same photo of him from last year's blizzard in 2010. He is such a sweetie.
Athena, she's smiling!! :)

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Snow again

Seems like its snowed a few times this season, I'll take a few inches of snow over the 2 feet we got at one time last year...
While the farm animals detest it, and I'm not a huge fan the dogs sure love to play in it. I wish I had a better camera for taking action shots, these guys zip around way too fast for my camera to get any good shots!



And heading back into the house after a long romp in the snow!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Challenge of Markings

The excitement of seeing a new litter of bunnies is always a wonderful feeling but when you raise a marked breed like Rhinelanders within the first week that excitement can turn into an ounce or more of frustration...
Markings, showable, correct markings are not easy to breed for. Cross 2 beautifully marked rabbits together and you can end up with a whole litter of splotchy, congested or sparsely marked unshowable babies. Every new cross conducted is a completely unknown potential in terms of markings..
Sure enough my most recent litters are in the stage where I'm not sure who is going to have markings to show although I can make some educated guesses based on genetic history and former litters. Sage's 4 marked do look like they could all be showable IF and only if their spine markings fill in with more orange and aren't too long to be a break from the ear base to the shoulder..
Tibs' litter looks like only 2 of the 5 so far could be showable, they are sparsely marked in black on their side spots so if orange spots don't show up as their fur comes in they won't have enough markings to show.. This was a first time crossing though so I couldn't have known that this outcome was possible.
Churro and Nutmeg both kindled stillborn litters so they will be re-bred. I'll be watching the current 9 marked babies closely and will be crossing my fingers that their markings come in and most of them end up showable!

Tibs' 5 marked kits - 1 day old

Tibs litter, she is raising 2 of Sage's sports for a total of 7 babies.

Sage's 4 marked kits, good side spots but the spine markings could be a problem.. Sage is raising these 4 marked plus her 3 charlies for a total of 7 kits.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

9 New Rhinelanders & PaSRBA bound

As long as we don't get 2 feet of snow like we did last year I will be at PaSRBA showing on Sunday this year with a handful of Belgian Hares and possibly a Rhinelander or two. :)

Sage kindled a day early, 9 little bits, 4 marked - so so on showable at this point, need to see the orange come in, they all have late starts to their spine markings, hopefully it will fill in with orange and 3 charlies, 2 sports. Photos to come when they're not so new to the world!

Now its waiting time on the other does.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Brrrrr

Wow its bitterly cold outside...
In honor of the frigid cold I brought my 4 does due to kindle on Monday in the house. I'm not going to be home for most of Monday due to a test I have to take so I wanted to make sure the babies have the best chance to not freeze. 2 of the does are experienced moms and 2 are first timers but come from excellent mothers so I'm not too worried about them kindling if I'm not there.
The babies will stay in the house til they're furred and can tolerate the cooler temperatures in the bunny barn.

Churro in her roomy maternity cage

Churro on the left, Tibs, Sage and Nutmeg on the right. My kitchen is full of bunnies...


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Goat Fun

One of my favorite things about living literally in the middle of no-where surrounded by thousands of acres of woods and rural farm land is the fact that I can let my goats meander and browse my land without too much worry.
There isn't much left for them to munch on at this time of year, the pine trees are a favorite since they're still green and of course any fallen acorns from my thousands of oak trees are also enjoyed.
Dude my new goat buck is doing great since his UC issue. He is absolutely recovered and has a great interest in my lady goats, with some luck we should have cute kids on the ground in June.
Here are some photos from the goats wandering about:
Tambourine is on a mission to reach the last of the charlie brown X-mas tree not far from the house.

Oreo also wants to take down this tree, but he is alot shorter.. Oreo is having his horns removed by bands at the moment. A local anesthetic block was applied at the base of the horn (lidocaine) and a castration band was applied. In the next 4-6 weeks his horns along with Chime and Patches should fall off.

Here's my little buddy Banjo munching on some pine needles

My herd of goats wandering near the front of the house at dusk

Dude says, "I feel great!"

Dude and Athena browsing

Almond Joy and the rest of the gang

Eyeball ;) (Banjo's)

Banjo is the little goat that could, I'm hopeful he will celebrate his 2nd birthday in April with his twin brother Fiddle. Everyday is a challenge for him with his worsening congestive heart failure but he has such a will to live.

And here's most of the herd with a pine they knocked over working hard to strip it clean.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Nesting!

Sage is nesting! :)

Monday, January 17, 2011

Pregnant Faces

There's a week to go til my first rabbit litters of 2011 are born. Its been a LONG time since there were baby bunnies born on the farm, my last litter of bunnies are now almost 6 months old!
I'm excited for the 4 does who are due, 2 are first time moms and the other 2 are old pros. These litters are all Rhinelanders, one of my goals this year is to produce better Rhinelanders and really get things rolling with them, some of the babies I've produced in the past have done well for fellow exhibitors, I'm hoping that these upcoming litters will be the foundation for a bright future in the breed.
Here are the pregnant faces in the bunny barn at the moment. They are all confirmed pregnant and I'm very excited!

This is Tibs, she is named for the tips of her ears which are missing due to frostbite as a baby. She is a charlie and was bred to my sport buck Tiger. Tibs really likes to eat and in this photo she is quite annoyed that I'm interrupting her dinner. Please excuse her full litterbox in the background, I was in the process of barn cleaning - it has since been dumped and refilled. (I love litterboxes, they make cleaning a breeze!)

This is Sage, she's an old pro with raising babies. She is an excellent mom and retains such a nice figure after her litters. I'm hoping this litter which is a repeat breding to Theo will not produce anymore oddities like Popeye from her last litter.

Here is Nutmeg another charlie doe bred to Tiger. Nutmeg is a feisty gal, she likes to make piles of hay and straw to sleep on/in. This is her first litter and I'm hoping she does well.

And finally, Churro another old pro. Churro is a wonderful, gentle mother who just adores her babies. She also is a food enthusiast like Tibs so she wasn't thrilled to have her photo taken during dinner time.
Hopefully next week I'll have good news about baby bunnies to share. :)