Erynn and I were brainstorming the other day after the arrival of two surprise litters of lionhead baby rabbits (also known as “kits”) and decided we must do some official “newborn” photographs of these tiny little creatures.
A bit of background: If you have followed this blog, you know we began Anomaly Rabbitry this year. Erynn will be completing a capstone on genetics for her Animal Science/Agricultural magnet program at her high school. We decided to breed BEWs (blue-eyed whites) while she studies the VM (Vienna-Marked) gene which creates white markings and blue eyes. While we have a controlled breeding schedule, only breeding a couple times per year, we had our first breeding and didn’t think that it took, but it did – with two does (and possibly a third). We are keeping a few, and the rest will be available this December – if you are interested, let me know, and I will put you on a list! Also, follow Anomaly Rabbitry for up to date information.
I do feel the need to make a disclaimer. Every single baby rabbit was treated with the utmost care. I was a professional newborn photographer for 12 years full time and worked with human newborns continuously. I used a lot of the same techniques – heat at all times – every bunny stayed toasty warm. I carefully held and observed the way each moved and what positions they were most comfortable in.
If you think the position was unsafe, think again. The “hanging” shot was a composite of images in PhotoShop – the kit was never left to hang in this contraption. We absolutely make sure that every newborn – human or animal – is comfortable and safe. Between shots, each kit was returned to its nesting box sitting just out of frame. Erynn assisted and kept them nice and warm and safe (she took the above picture). Everything was done with simple window light.
And a little note – it is a myth that mother rabbits abandon their young if you touch them. While I do not recommend playing with wild baby rabbits, we handle our domesticated rabbits as early as possible so that they will make great pets.
So Erynn and I invented the “bunny cup” made out of the cut off top of a sock – perfect to keep bunnies feeling secure. We are both super excited about the colors that were produced. Erynn is “mapping” the genetics – I’m just so thrilled that we have a dilution gene in our sable…. chocolate vienna-marked was what I was so excited to see. We haven’t been able to identify some of the colors yet. These little ones will have their eyes open within the next week. I’ll be adding more images like this to the collection as they develop the typical lionhead fuzzy face and we can see all the blue eyes from the VM gene.