Having lost Biscuit back in July, our other old pet bun died today. She was a year older than Biscuit, both well into middle age at 7 and 8 years respectively, and I don’t think she had the heart to go on without her old pal. Tigger has been keeping her company for a couple of days but she’d lost her appetite and her zest for life, and I wasn’t surprised to find her dead in the cage this evening.
So, I now have a spare cage (and a good big one, too – 6 foot long, 3 foot tall and nearly 3 feet deep!) which has been cleaned and furbished up ready for the next litter of bunnies to take up residence. That will be Jezebel’s 9, now all sturdy-looking little tykes bouncing around the cage eating hay, pellets and grass, though I haven’t seen them raiding the water-bottle yet. They’re doing well, 3 weeks old tomorrow, so they still have a bit of time before I rescue Jezebel from their pestering! She has been studying the jump down to the floor and up onto the top of other cages whenever I open the cage door recently; I think the novelty value of babies wears off for does about the time the youngsters learn how to leave the nest and chase mum round the cage trying to steal another meal from her!
The chickens have been laying nicely and today we pickled another dozen eggs and froze another dozen, just to keep the egg-boxes in the cupboard from overflowing.
It’s tipping down with rain outside at the moment – thank you, ex-hurricane Bertha – so tomorrow may be a day for finding indoor tasks to do; I now have my humane stunner so I’ll make sure one of those tasks is writing a post about it with pix.
Another thing I need to do is sit down with a calendar and a scratch pad and work out when I want to mate the does again. I think I’ll put Jezebel back to Samson when Delilah has her litter – that way I’ll have one litter in the nest, one growing on but weaned, and one unborn between the two does. The question is, do I want to add Trudy into that rotation and have each doe kindling once in 3 months, or do I keep Trudy separate (the rex youngsters need to grow on for longer anyway, since the skin and fur takes longer to reach prime slaughter age than meat kits do) and settle the NZWs into a 2-month rotation? I have also been offered another NZW doe by Samson’s breeder, though from a different bloodline, so perhaps 3 NZW does producing 1 litter each per 3 months, and the Rexes on their own separate timeline….
I have to mull this over and do some calculations of cage space and time, I think.