New Flemish Giant Bunny Mom - Question on coloring

Rabbits Online Forum

Help Support Rabbits Online Forum:

FlemishFloridians

Active Member
Joined
Sep 25, 2022
Messages
37
Reaction score
47
Location
Jacksonville, FL
Our youngest has kept Flemish Giant buns for a while now, and my husband and I immediately fell in love with the breed when we brought home the first bun. Velvet, who is now approximately 18 months old has had her first litter with an unrelated buck, Pinto. Both bunnies live outside (North Florida,) with a completely covered pen, have a high powered fan in their pen they can choose to sit by or not, along with tiles for flooring (keeps them cooler). They have continuous access to Timothy Hay, a water bowl (no bottles - I can't do that to them, knowing how much water they love to drink). We live on 40 acres of woods and have many animals - chickens, dogs, cats, and of course, Flemish Giants. Just sharing for background.

Velvet is 18 months (F) and Pinto is 8 months (M). Both are gorgeous - Velvet is pushing 14 pounds and Pinto is just about the same.

We checked on the buns this morning as we always do, pressured washed their pen out, refreshed water, changed litter boxes, etc. When we went back out to check on them about 45 minutes later, we noticed some blood in Velvet's pen (not a lot to be concerned with but obvious enough to see).

Our kiddo checked their attached kennel and found 10 gorgeous baby bunnies - all breathing and seemingly healthy. We are first-time rabbit "grandparents" and followed all of the recommendations regarding pregnancy diet, post-partum pregnancy diet, etc. Velvet has unlimited access to pellets, timothy hay, and fresh alfalfa hay.

We separated Pinto into the adjacent pen about a week ago, knowing she was close and they've got face-time through the bars and can even do some reasonable grooming. He misses her, even though they're close by and he's always been a super gentleman with his lady. We never actually saw them breed. Velvet was very regimented about only wanting snuggles most of the time whenever we were out in the pen with them, and we were shocked to actually discover she was pregnant.

Mom and Dad's parents were both grey, so I was surprised to see that we have sandy colored Flemish buns on our hands. We saw the parents on sight and they were all beautifully cared for, along with innately beautiful themselves.

The biggest concern my husband and I have is the North Florida heat. Today, we cracked the external kennel enough to put a small fan blowing OUT, not into the kennel, to allow for some air circulation. Not talking whirlwind or breeze, just to allow hot air to escape. We had a temperature probe inside the kennel with an external reader and temps were right around 82-85 degrees inside the kennel. We also put a lean-to type tarp off the outside of the kennel to offer shade to the kennel in addition to the kennel itself being vented. My biggest fear is they might get too warm over the next 24 hours, where heat is supposed to be around 88-90 during the peak.

Now that you have my bunny life story, hoping you can help fill in some blanks :)

1) My first and foremost question is: What are the guesses of eventual colors for these little guys?
2) My husband, kid, and I have studied as much material available as possible on pregnancy, birthing, etc. on buns (but again, first time here)....
Would it be detrimental to bring the babies into a different location where the temperatures range 75-78 degrees, knowing that Velvet "should" only feed them 1-2 times daily?
She has checked on them a few times that we've seen but not fed them yet (and also know that that is normal). This pair (Velvet and Pinto,) have lived outside in their pen and never inside with air conditioning, so I do believe they are very much conditioned, in conjunction with their fan option.

Appreciate the help in advance!
 

Attachments

  • Buns2.JPG
    Buns2.JPG
    722.2 KB · Views: 0
  • Parent Bunnies.jpg
    Parent Bunnies.jpg
    50.7 KB · Views: 0
  • Bunnies.jpg
    Bunnies.jpg
    81.8 KB · Views: 0

FlemishFloridians

Active Member
Joined
Sep 25, 2022
Messages
37
Reaction score
47
Location
Jacksonville, FL
Update on the little ones. Velvet pulled hair and covered the nest last night, good sign. 3 babies have not made it so far. The rest (7 total) seem quite active and appear to be fed. Velvet is definitely producing milk - we confirmed that this morning.
 

CrazyChickenGirl

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 4, 2021
Messages
1,057
Reaction score
690
Location
Chautauqua County, NY
Awesome! I wouldn’t be surprised if quite a few of the kits end up being chestnut like their parents. Especially since both parents are chestnut.

This a picture of a baby chestnut Holland Lop from one of my old litters. I know it’s not the best picture, but you can see that the markings are similar. I could easily be wrong about the color though. It’s hard to tell at that age.
1664225590479.png
 

JBun

Jenny - Health & Wellness Mod
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
Joined
Sep 10, 2012
Messages
12,400
Reaction score
8,390
Location
Utah, , USA
Some breeders do bring in the kits nest box, and only bring the kits out to the mom twice a day(morning and evening) for the doe to nurse them. I was always bringing my does nest in, but mostly just to spend time with the kits. It didn't bother my doe at all, but she was pretty comfortable with me too.

I would say most does won't be fazed by this, but if you notice it upsets your doe, then you'll have to reevaluate. But whichever you decide on, you do need to make sure your doe is nursing them well. By 36 hours they should have been fed and shouldn't be looking wrinkly and dehydrated or you'll need to intervene right away.

 

FlemishFloridians

Active Member
Joined
Sep 25, 2022
Messages
37
Reaction score
47
Location
Jacksonville, FL
Some breeders do bring in the kits nest box, and only bring the kits out to the mom twice a day(morning and evening) for the doe to nurse them. I was always bringing my does nest in, but mostly just to spend time with the kits. It didn't bother my doe at all, but she was pretty comfortable with me too.

I would say most does won't be fazed by this, but if you notice it upsets your doe, then you'll have to reevaluate. But whichever you decide on, you do need to make sure your doe is nursing them well. By 36 hours they should have been fed and shouldn't be looking wrinkly and dehydrated or you'll need to intervene right away.

Thank you for that insight! We're down to 7 kits now, and the others are very, very active when touched. They seem like they are eating / defecating / urinating because we've found evidence of it in the box. Today isn't very hot, only 78 and the kennel where the kits are nesting is about the same temperature (we have a temp probe in it and a reader on the outside).

She's pulled more fur and covered the kits more; I think she's figuring out the whole motherhood thing. She's also very comfortable with us and doesn't seem to mind us checking on the babies or anything. Unfortunately, we are about to get pounded by hurricane Ian....so we are going to have to bring the kits inside with Velvet and Pinto. We're projected to get between 6-20 inches of rain, which would make their pen a swimming pool most likely.

We have a very high sided bath tub we plan to put Pinto in (it's a huge tub) and have Velvet run in the bathroom with the kits in a temp nesting box. We turned off the A/C to the room as they are accustomed to higher temps and we keep the house much cooler. It'll probably be around 70 degrees in that room once the air stabilizes from being off for a few hours.
 

JBun

Jenny - Health & Wellness Mod
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
Joined
Sep 10, 2012
Messages
12,400
Reaction score
8,390
Location
Utah, , USA
Thank you for that insight! We're down to 7 kits now, and the others are very, very active when touched. They seem like they are eating / defecating / urinating because we've found evidence of it in the box. Today isn't very hot, only 78 and the kennel where the kits are nesting is about the same temperature (we have a temp probe in it and a reader on the outside).

She's pulled more fur and covered the kits more; I think she's figuring out the whole motherhood thing. She's also very comfortable with us and doesn't seem to mind us checking on the babies or anything. Unfortunately, we are about to get pounded by hurricane Ian....so we are going to have to bring the kits inside with Velvet and Pinto. We're projected to get between 6-20 inches of rain, which would make their pen a swimming pool most likely.

We have a very high sided bath tub we plan to put Pinto in (it's a huge tub) and have Velvet run in the bathroom with the kits in a temp nesting box. We turned off the A/C to the room as they are accustomed to higher temps and we keep the house much cooler. It'll probably be around 70 degrees in that room once the air stabilizes from being off for a few hours.

It sounds like the remaining kits are doing well and she's taking good care of them ♥️

When I used to live in Florida, we had that hurricane a few years ago that was supposed to be really bad,, but luckily it shifted direction and lost intensity, so wasn't more than a severe storm when it did hit. I was in Central FL, so that helped. Hopefully this will be the same for you, being on the other coast away from the direct impact of the storm. You and your 🐇 stay safe 🙏
 

FlemishFloridians

Active Member
Joined
Sep 25, 2022
Messages
37
Reaction score
47
Location
Jacksonville, FL
All 7 kits are doing well, along with both parents. All have rounded bellies and are definitely growing. Temps are starting to fall here, so going to keep an eye on that now. First - - extremely hot - - now we're looking at upper 50s this weekend.
 

Blue eyes

Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Mar 20, 2012
Messages
9,317
Reaction score
6,955
Location
Arizona, USA
All 7 kits are doing well, along with both parents. All have rounded bellies and are definitely growing. Temps are starting to fall here, so going to keep an eye on that now. First - - extremely hot - - now we're looking at upper 50s this weekend.
How is Hurricane Ian where you are? Hope all are safe.
 

FlemishFloridians

Active Member
Joined
Sep 25, 2022
Messages
37
Reaction score
47
Location
Jacksonville, FL
Update on the babies - all 7 remaining kits are doing very well. Checked on them several times today, along with the proud parents. Pinto is not happy being separated from his lady and seems sad, but he'll be alright. The nest pics the babies do look wrinkly but I promise you they aren't. When we pick them up and inspect them, their little bellies are round and cute; they've also been eliminating as well.

I'm glad we upgraded their kennel and house. The kennel the babies are in have a wind panel on the inside that blocks wind from the doorway - so glad that was included in the kit. Can't wait for these little cuties eyes to open - will post another update soon.
 

Attachments

  • image3 (8).jpeg
    image3 (8).jpeg
    816.4 KB · Views: 0
  • image2 (9).jpeg
    image2 (9).jpeg
    313 KB · Views: 0
  • image1 (13).jpeg
    image1 (13).jpeg
    370.4 KB · Views: 0
  • image0 (19).jpeg
    image0 (19).jpeg
    687.7 KB · Views: 0

FlemishFloridians

Active Member
Joined
Sep 25, 2022
Messages
37
Reaction score
47
Location
Jacksonville, FL
Update on the kits. We have 6 now, and these do appear to be growing. As a first-time mom and number of kits as a first-time mom, we knew there would likely be losses. As sad as it is, it has still been a good experience. I've read many different topics and discussions about supplementing or hand feeding, and my husband and I agreed we would let Velvet raise her babies, with the assumption not all will make it (and knowing the major risks of aspiration/failure to thrive because there is no perfect replacement for rabbit milk).

We check the babies multiple times a day, and we had/have not found any indication they're not eating, so hopefully we're going down the right track (even those that passed away). When our daughter gets up and checks on them in the morning, Velvet actually has chosen that specific time to go into the nest box and feed them when she's there with her, which is kind of neat.

Babies 7 days old pic. Thankfully the weather is cooling off - we're now in the low 80s / high 70s during the day and 60s at night. Their kennel has built in exhaust fans (not blowing on them, but blows hot air out only) that we have on during the day - they're solar, and a wind shield that we were so thankful for during Hurricane Ian that swept through.

Don't mind the cuddle puddle separation - we were looking them over, so they were popcorning around.
 

Attachments

  • image0 (21).jpeg
    image0 (21).jpeg
    3.3 MB · Views: 0

JBun

Jenny - Health & Wellness Mod
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
Joined
Sep 10, 2012
Messages
12,400
Reaction score
8,390
Location
Utah, , USA
Sorry you lost another kit 😢 You're right though, about the risks of handfeeding. I would only ever do it or suggest it to anyone, if there was no other option.

Baby bunnies are the best! So cute ♥️
 

FlemishFloridians

Active Member
Joined
Sep 25, 2022
Messages
37
Reaction score
47
Location
Jacksonville, FL
Sorry you lost another kit 😢 You're right though, about the risks of handfeeding. I would only ever do it or suggest it to anyone, if there was no other option.

Baby bunnies are the best! So cute ♥️
Thank you! That was probably what has helped the most is the experience of others on this forum to guide and correct where things are unknowns. The immediate gut human instinct is to help, when sadly, we could be doing more harm than if we let things be.
 

Latest posts

Top