We lost Elizabeth, James, Hodor, Speckles, Lorelei, Willy, Machu, and Um, and one of the guineas too. I don't even know what to do now. Tonight is supposed to be the same. There's nothing more that I can do, but keep the barn and coop closed up for the night and hope for the best. It's been several years since we had -40, and we lost rabbits then too. But back then they were in a lean-to with nothing but tarps for walls. I had hoped the enclosed buildings would provide more insulation for them.
Today, #4 cried because Elizabeth was her rabbit. She had plans to breed her to Sushi in the spring to see if he carried the Rex gene and could produce Rex coated kits. Now she's asking if she can pick one of the other rabbits to be hers. I told her to wait until spring to see who is still here. We don't usually get this cold until February. I really hope this is it, and that we won't have another round in February.
We have the rabbits on winter rations (full feed bins), and the three in the cages outside seem to be doing alight at this point. I'm not sure why the ones in the barn and coop are dying. They have no wind, enclosed spaces, and bedding.
Knowing that tonight will also be bitterly cold, I made the decision to bring Wisp in the house. We fought hard to get her to survive when she was tiny, and I couldn't leave her outside to potentially freeze. She is the smallest bunny out there. Today she is in the house, where she will remain until she finds a home or until the spring weather outside allows her to go back out.
The future is looking bleak for the two kits in the nest box right now. Their momma was among the losses this morning. #3 tried to foster them on to MoR (who is supposed to have babies any day now), and Lady Mo (who lost her single kit just a few days ago). Despite having time with both moms twice today, it doesn't look like either kit actually got a meal.
For now I'm reluctantly hoping that MoR delivers her kits tonight and has milk soon enough to save the two inside. Unfortunately, with temps like this, if she delivers out there, there's no way those kits will survive. It's just too cold. It's going to be losses both ways at this point I'm afraid.
What a hard way to end the year.
Refusing to end the year on a sour note, I am determined to remain positive. When #3 came in with Wisp, I had to snap a photo. She's got a full mohawk between her ears!
Now that she is in the house, she can no longer be sold as an outdoor pet, which is great because I really want her to be someone's indoor pet. She's fantastic, well socialized, and so incredibly soft. If I wasn't allergic to rabbits, I'd strongly consider keeping her as our own indoor pet.
I even took a photo of Wisp and Moose together.
In 2018 I am looking forward to our first official garden on the homestead (may it get bigger and better every year). I am looking forward to learning to can our harvests so they can last us through the winter and beyond. I am looking forward to finding new ways to make some money to help pay the bills. I will be making some major changes to the rabbits we're breeding this next year, and I hope the tweaks and fixes correct some issues on my part. I'm hoping the new year brings our family even closer, that we enjoy time together, make memories, share fun experiences, and learn along the way. And in 2018, I hope you will join us on our adventures in homesteading, raising kids, and finding our own way to do things. I'm hoping to make videos a part of 2018, but I've got to figure out video editing first.
Happy New Year!