Friday, February 27, 2015


If you share in any aspect the same lifestyle as we do, then you're constantly learning. At least I hope you are....

Homesteading is....

Hard work, determination, perseverance, humility, and open-mindedness....

And soooo many more things I am sure I'll figure out.... Did I say pain in the you know what?

Yes at times it can be, but the benefits make up for the cost ten fold!

Any opportunity to learn a new skill or refine an old one should be taken at the first chance.

My current learning curve involves our meat rabbit project. Like I've said before and will say again, I am a total amateur when it comes to these furry creatures. Most of what I do know I have learned from reading endless amounts of literature, and wingin' it, that is a technical term in the homestead case your didn't know! Ha... oh so true it is.

Well today when I arrived at work I learned one more thing about rabbits I did not know.... An experienced rabbit breeding coworker of mine, Megan, lent me her time, first asking me how I know for sure my does are in heat.... Wait... What???

Rabbits have a noticeable heat cycle........????

Wow duh Quincy, you really are a newb!!! ---- My inner dialogue talking smack....

Do your research Q, yeesh! Really though, I have done so much research and read for so many hours my eyes hurt, how could I have missed this?! Everything I have read says they don't necessarily go into heat, as ovulation does not occur until after the buck has stimulated the male. Does can however, reject a male for many reasons, they go into "heat" once everything 30 days but usually will only accept a buck 12-15 of those days.

Seriously, I had no idea. I was struck initially with surprise and as I began the natural response of embarrassment I realized, HEY! You don't need to know everything right away! You will learn, and this embarrassment to, will pass.

Alright then so how in the, where did I, when should they, blah blah blah. The questions are never ending now!

So here's a quote I found from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations that summed it up for me:

"The female rabbit, however, does not have an oestrus cycle with regular periods of heat during which ovulation will occur spontaneously. Does are considered to be in oestrus more or less permanently. Ovulation occurs only after mating. A female rabbit is therefore considered to be in heat when she accepts service and in dioestrus when she refuses. 
There are many observations which denote the alternating periods of oestrus during which the doe accepts mating and dioestrus in which she refuses (Figure 9). But the present state of knowledge does not make it possible to predict either the respective lengths of oestrus and dioestrus or the environmental or hormonal factors determining them.
It has been noted, however, that 90 percent of the time when a doe has a red vulva she will accept mating and ovulate, whereas when the vulva is not red the doe will accept service and become fertilized only 10 percent of the time. A red vulva is therefore a strong indication, though not a proof, of oestrus. A doe in heat assumes a characteristic pose, called lordosis, with the back arched downwards and hindquarters raised. A doe in dioestrus tends to crouch in a corner of the cage or exhibit aggression towards the buck."
( link)

So there ya go! 

You learn something new everyday!

Reading, reading, reading about breeding, and more reading....