Thursday, January 5, 2012

NZ and Harlequin Litter Updates

It has been an interesting week with the kits. As many of you have experienced yourselves, the temperatures plummeted here as well and we had a cold index in the single digits with howling winds. Even though the rabbits were not outside, it was still very chilly and I was concerned since the babies are so young and vulnerable at this age.

So, I brought the nestboxes into the guest restroom each evening (where the central heat seems especially effective for some reason) and for part of the day as well to try to keep environmental losses to a minimum. Even with that, we still lost 3 kits from Pearl right off the bat. It was a large litter though and I know at least a couple of them were the smallest and weakest. Then yesterday we lost a baby from each nestbox. Its never easy to lose kits, but this time was particularly dissapointing because I think the does stepped on them by accident. Kind of weird that both did it on the same day, but these kits looked lively and healthy before nursing and were already gone when I went to remove the nestbox a few minutes later. :(

That said, I am still very thankful for the 7 and 7 we have remaining in each nestbox. Here are a few pictures at day 6 before we lost the kit from each. The New Zealand litter:

And the Harlequin litter:

 The New Zealands are little chunky monkeys moreso than the Harlies. I am curious to see the difference in growth and will try to get some comparison pictures later on. Here is one of the little munchkins:

Hope everyone is staying warm!


  1. SO precious! Are these babies full blood NZs? Beautiful colors, I don't think I've ever seen a chestnut or castor NZ, they are beautiful!

  2. Thanks! From what I've seen with other breeders, the most common colors produced from NZW X NZR are black, agouti, and steel.

    These kits are from generations of pure NZ breeding, but they won't be pedigreed unfortunately. The veterinarian that produced Pearl stopped bothering with paperwork at some point apparently as he raised them for meat.

  3. Those babies are so sweet! Sorry you lost some though, that is always hard. :( And I enjoyed your post on culling, it was very informative, thanks! :)

  4. Thank you so much for the kind words! :)