New Life In Autumn
Everyone thinks about new life in spring, and that autumn brings the last harvests, and rest. And while that is primarily true, not so much for rabbits. At least not on my little farm in NE Oklahoma.
The summer was harsh this year. And it can be something that rabbits struggle with. I lost a very nice up and coming buck, and a whole litter that was nearly two weeks old. And since I don’t have a temperature controlled barn, breeding stopped. Some people do keep going/trying. But my last litter was in late May, and that’s the one I lost.
But now that things have cooled off, I’m back to breeding rabbits. Yesterday I had 3 litters born, a Rex doe named Blondie had 9, a Silver Fox named Anna also had 9, and my second Silver Fox doe who has no name, had 11. I might have a couple more have their kits today or the next, but it doesn’t seem likely. In the next two weeks I’ll breed another set. I try to breed several on the same day, in case I need to foster any kits out, they are all the same age.
The best of the litters that I do have will be offered as breeding stock. The rest will be harvested for their meat and fur. Which is the main reason I have and raise these rabbits in the first place. They can be processed anywhere between 8 and 16 weeks. 16-20 weeks is the prime age for garment worthy fur. In the past I’ve kept as many as I could for fur, but recently I’ve grown more select, and that has worked out well.
We also had a hen that went broody on a half hidden clutch, and hatch out 7 healthy chicks! While it does take a little effort to raise chicks in the fall, and pullets will start laying early next year. And I could use a few new layers. But that’s a story for another day.