Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Bunny breeding booster

Who knew bunnies didn't always reproduce like... well... bunnies?

With a track record of only 1 kindle of babies to 5 attempts at breeding, it was time to turn to the all-knowing internet for research.  There were all kinds of suggestions from diets to artificial lighting and heat.  Most seemed more costly and involved than we wanted to take on.  With only one breeding pair, it didn't seem worth it to put that much effort into getting them to breed.  Even without intervention, we figured it'd happen again eventually.  So we took the easier suggestions and ran with them.

First, about a week before the planned pairing, we started adding raw apple cider vinegar to the water given to both male and female.  We used Bragg Organic Apple Cider Vinegar (Raw and "with the mother") which you can probably find at your local grocery store.

For reference, we have these waterers (32oz, click picture for Amazon link), and added the ACV at the rate of about a tablespoon every other day as we filled the water, which wasn't always completely empty at the time of refill:

The day before we put the rabbits together, I brewed up a cup of Celestial Seasonings Raspberry Leaf tea.  We filled the female's waterer with fresh, new water (no vinegar) and added about 1/2 cup of the brewed tea to the 28 or so ounces of water.

The next day, we let the rabbits have a little "date" out in the yard on fresh grass.  Generally, we put the male in a collapsible pen, let him get oriented for a few minutes, and then introduce the female to the pen.  Things seemed to go well, and both bunnies were more mellow about the whole affair than in past meetings.

After that, we waited.... for about 3 weeks.
And two days ago, we noticed that our female is definitely nesting!  She's pulling out hair and piling it with pine shavings and hay in her box!

The kits are officially due this Saturday, so we'll be sure to post updates and let you know if our rabbit fertility treatments were truly successful!

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