We bred an unusually high number of does in early February...six! There are a few indications that there are some babies on board. We know better than to count our chickens before they hatch, but we wanted to share the different behaviors that each of the girls is presenting, so you can learn more about the breeding process, if you are interested.
Mango (bred to Luigi) is normally a very tidy, laid back lady, always ready to play and be picked up for snuggles. The past few days Miss Mango has been incredibly untidy, even knocking her litter box over and scattering the litter pellets all over the floor of her cage. This, combined with the fact that she does not want to be scooped up for her usual snuggles (perhaps due to her noticeably expanding waistline) lead us to believe there may be some kits in Mango's nest box around March 9th. She was several days overdue with her first litter, so expecting her kits to arrive exactly on her due date may be wishful thinking.
Marilla (bred to Wee Walter) loves to come flying out of her cage when we open the door for her playtime. In the past week, she has not wanted to come out, even for a few minutes, and has been seen digging in the corner of her cage and carrying hay in her mouth, as though preparing to build a nest. If she is expecting, this will be Marilla's first litter.
Cookie (bred to Coconut Cream...who sprayed me in the face again yesterday...naughty boy!) is exhibiting the messy, leave-me-alone behavior that she shows during her pregnancies. We are hopeful that she will have two or three healthy kits in about 10 days.
Cake Pop (bred to Matthew) is still a bit of a mystery, as this would be her first litter. She is normally very sweet and cuddly, giving us copious kisses when we snuggle with her. She is still friendly, but seems to be very distracted, as though she has something else on her mind. She is also not as tidy as normal. Babies on the way? We shall have to wait and see!
Apple Jane (bred to Winston for the first time) is typically a very energetic, scatter-brained little girl with a heart of gold. She is not quite as energetic as normal, and seems to have an expanding waistline. She has been diving into her food bowl at feeding time, which is another good indicator that Apple may have some little dumplings on the way.
Last but not least is...Gladys. Right after I listed Gladys on our Available Bunnies page, I saw her hopping around with a hay-stache in her mouth. This usually indicates a doe is beginning to nest, is thinking about nesting in the very near future, or is wanting to have a reason to build a nest. I bred her to Little Boy Blue on a whim and we are now in the waiting period. Gladys has only been pregnant twice before and kindled stillborn babies both times. My heart aches for this little girl to finally have some sweet babies to dote upon. Gladys started making a nest in the corner of her cage, behind a barricade of her own devising. She shoved her litter box, igloo toy (that she normally sits on), her towel, and resting mats all into as high of a fortress as she could devise. She climbs over all of it for nose rubs and to say hello whenever we pass her cage, but she is definitely behaving very oddly. I so hope that this is her time to shine. :)
After the difficult week we had in the rabbitry, it's nice to have some optimistic signs that there could be some happy days ahead of us.
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.