Friday, May 6, 2011

Feed Thoughts

I was on the phone for awhile yesterday with a good ML breeder/friend. We talked about all kinds of things, but one thing we talked about was feed. I asked her if she had PenPals out in her area and she said that's what she's used for 15 years!

She has been using 18% though instead of the 16%. I use 16% just because that is what I've always used in a feed and had good success with it. PenPals is such an amazing feed and the rabbits fur & condition is *always* super.

Through talking with this breeder, she said with the 18% she always gets large litters and their condition is firm. Now, my does tend to have larger litters as well (Krissie just had her second litter of 10 today actually!). But, I do get my fair share of  "smaller" litters (6 babies or so). When this breeder mentioned that she had a smaller litter born the other day....and that litter size was made me think.

I also asked her how her does do in the winter. I have always bred year round and winter has normally been the time when I have more litters. But, since I moved to Oklahoma, it has been so hard to get winter litters. From November to late January-February I get maybe 2-3 litters. Which is *not* normal for me and what I'm used to in California. This breeder I was talking to has an even less insulated barn than I do (and doesn't heat it) and lives in a climate that gets very cold (-20 to -30 below) in the winter months. And she has large litters year round with no drop in conception or production. That was very encouraging to hear.

I definitely respect this breeder (she is also an ARBA judge) and her thoughts on it. And I'm going to try out the 18% PenPals with the rabbits. It's the same price as the 16% that I buy anyways, so it won't hurt them at all. I could even do half the barn on 16% and half on 18%, but we'll see. To be able to have litters year round out here in Oklahoma would be so nice!

So, this was very fascinating for me to hear. I've always heard that if you feed the higher protein to a "smaller" or medium-sized breed that you will have reproductive problems, as in does not being able to take. But, this breeder who has studied feed on her rabbits since the '70's has never seen this.

I thought I would share this information I learned....maybe it'll help someone else :).

On other news...Krissie kindled to 10 babies between yesterday and today. She had 1 baby yesterday (not sure why), but had the rest today. She has 6 or 7 chocolates out of all of them! Yay, praise the Lord. Kahlua is raising Krissie's baby that was born yesterday. Krissie should be able to handle the rest.

New pictures of Kayla's babies will be up soon also!



April said...

Thank you for sharing the feed info. I was able to try PenPals feed for about a month and it was really great. When I went back to buy more, the feed store said it wasn't a regularly stocked item. :\