May 5/6 is hopefully going to bring some lively wiggling in the nest boxes at Hot Cross Buns.
Sweet Tart is expecting her first litter, sired by Coconut. She has grown considerably over the past couple months, and has some characteristics that point to her being a false dwarf, which may make her a nice brood doe. If she is a false dwarf, she should have a much easier time kindling and there would not be a genetic possibility of peanuts (those tiny babies that carry the double dwarf gene and have no chance of long-term survival.) Statistically speaking, she could have 50% true dwarf kits and 50% false dwarf kits. Color-wise, we would expect to see sables and possibly some red eyed whites.
Our hopes for this litter are that she kindles live kits successfully, proves to be an attentive mother, and that by breeding a broken patterned buck to a broken patterned doe, there may be a Charlie baby or two in the litter. A Charlie is a rabbit that carries less than 10% of color on his body and, when bred to a solid colored doe, the breeding will always produce broken patterned kits. We would love to have a typey, true dwarf Charlie buck in our rabbitry to breed back to Plum Bun, who is a false dwarf brood doe. The pairing would always produce broken patterned kits.
Abby (Natalie) has been bred to Wee Walter. This is her first litter with us, but we were told by her previous owner that she tends to have 4-6 kits in each litter, which would point to her also being a false dwarf brood doe. We would expect to see 50% brokens and 50% solids in predominantly opal and squirrel coloring.
Rounding out our May 5/6 mothers-to-be, Plum Bun was bred to Hook's Luigi, with the hope of ascertaining whether Luigi is a Charlie or a broken patterned buck, and possibly, whether or not he carries dilute. As mentioned above, if Luigi is a Charlie, every kit in the litter will be broken patterned. If he is a broken, there will be a mixture of solid and broken kits. We know Plum Bun carries dilute, as she produced a blue kit in her last litter, and if Luigi also carries dilute, there is the possibility of a dilute color (blue, chocolate, lilac) popping up again. Bunny genetics is absolutely fascinating and the number of possibilities is astounding! Thank you so much to Hook's Hollands for their generosity in allowing us to work with that handsome hunk of a buck, Luigi. :)
Due on May 16/17
We have tried breeding Charlotte to Joshua once more. This is our third try in four months. The first month she had no kits. Last month she had two stillborn kits, possibly peanuts. We are hoping, with a change of food for our pregnant does, that Charlotte may have a successful litter this month. She is halfway through this pregnancy and seems to be doing well.
Gladys has been bred to Wee Walter in the hopes of a live litter this month. Her story is identical to Charlotte's, except she had four stillborn kits. If she is not successful this month, we will take a break from further attempts at breeding. Our eldest daughter would like to work with her for her 4-H pet rabbit project, so Gladys will be going through the rigors of flip training, grooming, and bunny exams in preparation for the fair.
Keep checking back for updates!
Amy is the Big Bunny at the Hot Cross Buns Holland Lop Rabbitry. She manages the furry bunnies as well as her own brood of five kits, with the help of her incredibly patient husband of nineteen years. Hot Cross Hoppenings will be a journal of our adventures in Holland Lop life.