Growing Up Agrarian

We are four Christian, homechurched, homeschooled, homesteading, agrarian children growing up in Central Texas on a Ranch. We are Tracy,(15) Jennifer,(10) Robert,(9) and Sarah(5) Bunker. We also have one more brother, Thomas Shepard Bunker, who is in the courts of glory. We like to read books, raise animals, and play on the land. Tracy will be writing about the stuff we do. We hope you enjoy our Adventures!

1.20.2009

Long Time no.... blog!

Hello yall

Wow. It has been a long time since I have updated my blog. Sorry guys, kinda busy lately. Anyway, I'm back.

Well, I have been doing some butchering lately, but not as much as before. We ( Jonathan, Dad and I) did a pig this morning. So did Mrs. and Mr. Marcic and Mr. Plumley. I mean, they did another one. And one got away. It didn't take too kindly to being shot, and scaled the fence. It ran by the butcher area ( where I commenced to pursing it ) and then straight south through the fence. Stupid pig. But Sugar the Cur was ready to rip it into shreds, if we'da let her off of the chain sooner she would have caught it, no doubt. Anyway, all's well that ends well, and we canned the first half of our pig today. We will do another one tomorrow, Lord Willin'.

The rabbits are doing well, only not producing. And for the life of me I dont know why. I worked for the Sustaire family in exchange for the use of their male, San Diego. And so I bred all of my females, and 50 days later I have bo sign they were ever prego. I mean, this is about the thirs time I have tried it and, no bunnies. Any tips, blogger land?

Well, I will write more updates later, for now it's to bed so I can butcher without droopy eyes in the murnin'.

Tracy M. B.

2 Comments:

Blogger Kathi said...

I just looked this topic up in the Encyclopedia of Country Living by Carla Emery for you. Never had rabbits myself. She mentioned that rabbits ovulate during intercourse. So, some people let the rabbits mate, and then mate them again after six hours to make sure all the eggs are covered.
Also I tried searching online for an answer. Some suggest that you keep the buck near for a while so the smell will get the females ready. Gosh, hope that might help. Sounds frustrating what you are going through.

1:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tracy,

Though I've not bred rabbits, I had just read a long article in the anthology of Backwoods home magazine (Nov. 1991, by Darlene Campbell) about raising rabbits, and now after reading your blog, looked a few other articles up on the Backwoods site.

One thing all of them say is to put the female in with the male, not vice versa; as the female is too focused on protecting her former and future nesting area to relax to breed. This same article says that although females can be bred most anytime; their signs of "heat" are restlessness, nervousness, rubbing their chin on the feeding and watering containers or they may attempt to join other rabbits in nearby cages. Then it says though, that they have no regular heat cycle, so can be bred most anytime; and will ovulate 6-8 hours after the first mating with the buck. It says the doe is always taken to the buck and that mating should occur almost immediately, and then the doe returned to her cage. Restraining an aggressive or fearful doe can be done, but scratching/biting can occur.

This same article says bucks should not be used for service until 6 months of age; and at that age can service one doe a week until fully mature. A mature buck can satisfactorily service one doe a day, or preferably every two days and remain in condition.

Another area of the article says protein is vital for growth, maintenance and reproduction. Some does, due to lack of protein, will develop cannibalism. Fright can cause this, but more often poor nutrition. Calf manna was suggested in this article as a supplement to pregnant does. A teaspoon or two of this supplement started a few days before kindling and continued for the first week after kindling, reduces cannibalism tendencies and aids breeding does in lactation. Then it says that lactation puts a greater strain nutritionally on a doe than does reproduction. So it is essential that a doe have sufficient protein to raise a healthy litter. Litters without sufficiant nutrition can't develop to their full potential thereby causing possible future problems like stunted growth or reproduction problems.

Re: knowing pregnancy: put doe back with buck periodically. Usually a pregnant doe will refuse service; but it says also that this isn't a 100% method. The only accurate method to determine pregnancy is quick and easy and can be learned with practice. It's palpating between the 12th and 14th days after the mating. (Tracy~You undoubtedly know this and alot of the other stuff I've quoted here, but I'll just finish this anyway)...To Palpate, place the doe on a flat firm surface. Take the ears and skin over the shoulders in your right hand and place your left hand slightly in front of the pelvis between the hind legs. Now use the thumb and fingers on the left hand to gently apply pressure to the abdomen. Move your fingers and thumb backward and forward. Handle the doe gently, using only the slighest pressure. If the rabbit is pregnant you should feel the embryos as small hard forms as they slip between your thumb and fingers. If unsure of the diagnoses the doe can be palpated again in a week.

Hope some of this is of some help.

Beth

9:24 PM  

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