Friday, 10 January 2014

in which I am Vivien Leigh

Rabbit mating appears to have been acheived. Repeat, rabbit mating has happened. And no jumper washing was required.

Mating success in rabbits is measured by whether the boy rabbit falls off the top of the girl rabbit on to his side and squeaks. Insert your own joke about ex-boyfriends here. Believe me, I did*. Henry gets a second go at perfecting his technique tomorrow, when Mrs Rabbit The Second gets popped in with him. This should mean that we have baby rabbits in a month, spaced a couple of days apart - they will be close enough in age to foster each others kits if that is necessary.

I am hoping that if I wean them at five weeks I will be able to get another litter in that will be ready to kill at the Downsizer Skillshare at the end of August**. It will be a tight-run thing, as the does really need a bit of a rest after weaning to get their condition back, but I am already planning on how to keep condition on them a bit better this time as they are feeding, so I will just have to play it by ear.

I have chosen to breed a cross between Californian and New Zealand White. Picture the Mad Killer Rabbit from Monty Python and The Holy Grail and you'll be on the right track - and therefore the babies grow quite quickly. I prefer the look of the Californians, with the black ears and noses; but the NZs seem to fill out more quickly. The cross is supposed to give you the best of both worlds - the long back of one breed and the broad frame of the other; but I haven't yet butchered any, so I am waiting to see what happens. My first litter should be ready to go in another couple of weeks.

Today's child-related trauma was a phone call with Frenchay talking about referring Nenna to either Guys or Great Ormond Street. I am so frantic that I can't begin to even process the information, so I'm not going to say any more about it. I've got a 'Beginners Chicken Keeping' course tomorrow morning, so I need to keep my game-face on until after lunch and I will think about it then. I realise that makes me Scarlett O'Hara and therefore Arvo is Rhett Butler.  Allegedly, Clarke Gable hated Vivien Leigh so much that he chewed raw onion before each of their kissing scenes.

I have no idea where I'm going with this, so best just leave it there.




* if you are one of my ex-boyfriends reading this, I didn't mean you.
** We are having a Rabbit-Themed Weekend at the end of August, exchanging practical skills like how to prepare them for food and tan the skins, if anyone reading this isn't a member of the forum and fancies coming along. All welcome. Bring your own tent and a cake.

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