Today was a bit of a milestone for us. Our baby bunnies are now six weeks old, which is the recommended minimum age they can be separated from mom (at least that’s what I’ve read). The ideal time is 8 weeks, but as you can see in the picture below, things were getting a bit cramped in there.
The huge amount of pellets and hay they consume in a day tells us that they are pretty much weaned already. If they are still getting milk, it isn’t much.
If the litter had been smaller, I think we would have been able to keep them with mom longer. But ten rabbits in one cage make A LOT of poop and pee, and it overflows and gets everywhere if you don’t scoop it out daily. Actually, Chip gets pee everywhere anyway. We’ve learned that urine guards are a joke, especially with bucks. Chip didn’t like being splashed with his own pee, so he would aim it over the urine guard and just pee straight onto the garage floor (and the spare cages behind him). We plan on setting up a shelter and moving our rabbits outside so we don’t have to worry about pee getting all over the garage anymore.
Cleaning The Cages
Before we separated Rosie from her babies, we needed to sanitize our extra cages. Ryan did that pretty quickly with a blowtorch. It was fun to watch!
Separating The Bunnies
Once we got everything all cleaned up, we played some musical cages with the rabbits. We decided bucks need to be in the bottom cages so their pee doesn’t splash as far, and we removed all the urine guards. Two of our cages have “baby saver” wire (smaller wire on the lower couple inches of cage to keep newborns from accidentally falling out), so that’s where our pregnant does will stay. The rest of the cages were split up amongst the babies.
I left the three smallest ones with Rosie to help them get a couple more weeks of nourishment from mom. The others we split up two to a cage, and that’s where they’ll stay for a few weeks. The next step is to determine the sex of the babies, and separate the bucks from the does before they fully mature. I’m not looking forward to that part… Bunny anatomy is not as straightforward as human anatomy. They look identical to me until they fully mature, but by then it’s too late and everyone will be pregnant.
After we determine the sex, we will pick out a doe (and possibly a buck) to keep. Everyone else gets processed. I still can’t believe we are going to have our first taste of rabbit next month! I’m not sure how to feel… Excited, nervous, and a little sad I suppose. 🤷♀️