In The Nestbox


May 25th, 2017

It looks like we may have figured out why litters haven’t been showing up so hopefully there will soon be a LOT of baby bunnies in the nest box.

Hillside Cheiri, a black doe, met up with a visiting buck, Hillside Gomez, a black buck, and she has the first new baby bunnies we’ve had here in over a year.  Now that they are on an organic feed, this will hopefully be the first of many litters this year.

Cheiri & Gomez' babies Day Four
Cheiri & Gomez’ babies Day Four

There’s one Ruby Eyed White and four solid blacks.  The REW and at least one of the blacks will be staying here.  At the moment, they are only two and a half weeks old, so we don’t even know their genders yet.

In nine more days, on June 3rd, we hope to see two more litters closely followed by two more several days after that.  The prospective parents for those upcoming litters are:

Hopefully Litter #1
Hillside Sydney, an agouti buck and Hillside Gayle, a black doe.

Gayle has started making a nest even though she is about a week early for that, so we are real hopeful that the litter will show up.

black doe with a mouth full of wool in her nest box
Gayle building a nest

As to what colors we can expect to see,  most likely half the babies will be agouti (that’s a color pattern where they have white around the eyes, in the ears and underneath – the basic ‘wild’ rabbit color).  We may see a few chocolate ones, both the parents carry the recessive for chocolate.  As far as I know Sydney does not have the recessive for white, so most likely no white ones.  We don’t know if Gayle has the recessives for dilute colors (blue, lilac) or tortoiseshells or fawns so we don’t know if they will be there or not.  So, about all we can expect to see are half agouti pattern and maybe a chocolate.

Hopefully Litter #2
The next prospective pair of parents is a chocolate agouti doe, Hillside Sirocco, with the visiting black buck, Hillside Gomez.

Hillside Sirocco, a chocolate agouti doe
Hillside Sirocco

Sirocco has not been building a nest, so we aren’t overly certain about this litter, but we are hopeful.  Because Sirocco is agouti we can hope for half the litter to have the agouti color pattern.   She has a recessive for chocolate, but we don’t know if Gomez does.  He has a recessive for white, but we don’t know if she does.  We don’t know if either of them have a recessive for dilute colors.  She has a recessive for fawns & tortoiseshells, but we don’t know if he does.  So basically, half agouti color pattern and half solid blacks is all we know we can expect from this litter.

Sirocco does molt cleanly and easily so we are hoping the babies will have this characteristic, too, since it makes for easier fiber harvesting.

Chocolate agouti doe

This is what Sirocco looked like the first week of April.  There is five weeks between this picture and the other picture of her.

Hopefully Litter #3
The next prospective pair of parents is a white doe, Hillside Suzie and the visiting black buck, Hillside Gomez.

Hillside Suzie 10 weeks old
Hillside Suzie 10 weeks old

All the babies from this litter will be ‘solid’ colors.  That means no agouti color patterns.  Suzie has recessives for chocolate, white (obviously), dilutes and tortoiseshells/fawns.  However, we don’t know if Gomez has the recessive for chocolate, dilutes or torts/fawns.  We do know that he does have the recessive for white (albino) so we expect half this litter to be white.  Providing, of course, that she has babies.  She hasn’t started making a nest, but it’s still a bit early.

Hopefully Litter #4
The next prospective pair of parents is Hillside Jessie, a black doe and Hillside Phineus Phogge, a lilac buck.

black angora bunny face
Hillside Jessie

We don’t know if Jessie has any recessives at all, she’s a black rabbit from two black parents.  However, we know Phineus has all of the recessives except for the one for tortoiseshell/fawns.  We don’t knot that he doesn’t have it, but do don’t know that he does, either.  So, from this litter, we may see all solid black babies.  If any other colors show up, we will know that Jessie then has the recessive genes for them.

Jessie was starting to build a nest, too, so we are hopeful about this litter showing up.

We will find out in another week and several days.