combining litters

Discussion in 'Rabbits' started by woodsmokeinherhair, Jul 19, 2006.

  1. woodsmokeinherhair

    woodsmokeinherhair it's bout quality of life

    Messages:
    815
    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2006
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    Well, in the heat, I have lost 4 kits (NZW) and 1 doe (black dutch) .... Both the Dutch and the NZW kindled on the same date. So I put the two baby dutches in with the mama NZW and her four remaining kits. Mama NZW doesn't seem to mind. I check them every little bit to make sure it is ok. I needed to get the rabbits closer together because I am putting the sprinkler on top of their hutch and keeping it turned it on at intervals to try to keep them cooler. Has anyone had problems combining kits like this? They are saying 107 today ..... and I really don't wanna lose any more rabbits. :flame:

    Woodsmokeinherhair!
     
  2. MaggieJ

    MaggieJ Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    11,280
    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2006
    Location:
    Prince Edward County, Ontario, Canada
    I have never had occasion to do this - I've only had rabbits for a year - but I know many other people have done it successfully. If the momma rabbit accepts them - and it sounds as though she has - I think it is an excellent idea. Hand-raising kits is difficult at best, so fostering is the best choice in these circumstances. Are the Dutch kits a great deal smaller than the NZWs? With only six to care for in total they should all be able to get enough milk, but you will want to check for nice full tummies until you are sure they can hold their own.

    Good luck with them... Hope it all goes smoothly.
     

  3. nehimama

    nehimama An Ozark Engineer Supporter

    Messages:
    9,912
    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2005
    Location:
    Powhatan, AR
    I've fostered kits to other does many times. It works well as long as they are close in age (as yours are) and the foster mom isn't overloaded with kits to care for.

    I hope the sprinkler works for you. Is there a lot of fur in the nest box? You might try removing some. Isn't this heat AWFUL? Good Luck.

    NeHi Mama
     
  4. woodsmokeinherhair

    woodsmokeinherhair it's bout quality of life

    Messages:
    815
    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2006
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    thank you Maggie and NeHi for your comments. The rabbits are all still alive. When this last message came through I looked at my Weatherbug and it said 105! It has been sitting on 104 all day. So I ran outside to check. I used another piece of plywood to make another bit of shade since the sun had moved some more, and I turned the water up a bit more. I have my sprinkler on top of a single 3-hole hutch. It has a backward sloping roof. The sprinkler is set for half circle, going uphill, over the front of the cage. So the water sprays up and about a foot off the front of the roof, but the excess that lands on the roof runs backwards off the top. So they are pretty well surrounded by sprinkling water. I put my hand up under the watered in part, and it felt about 10 degrees cooler to me. I guess I am going to have to put these rabbits in my garage for the next several days. Otherwise, my water bill is gonna be horrendous! lol

    oh yes, and I took the nest boxes out of the hutches when the babies were about 3 weeks old. They were just hopping out and about there was no need for the boxes. I kept hay in there for them to snuggle up in, and they have done quite well so far. Right now, there is nothing in the hutches but a little bit of hay, because I know they like to nibble on it. Sure wish I could find a mister at my local WalMart ...... cause I think if I had a couple of those that this would work better.

    Woodsmokeinherhair!
     
  5. Honorine

    Honorine Carpe Vinum Supporter

    Messages:
    1,735
    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2006
    Location:
    PA
    I do it all the time, first time mothers I don't expect them to care for the kits properly, so I always breed two experienced mothers at the same time and foster the babies out.
     
  6. BellsBunnies

    BellsBunnies Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    428
    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2004
    Location:
    Georgia
    We foster without any problems. You may want to freeze some 2-liter bottles to help keep them cool.
     
  7. Patt

    Patt Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    6,049
    Joined:
    May 18, 2003
    Location:
    Ouachitas, AR
    We put out 2 liter frozen bottles too it really helps!
     
  8. woodsmokeinherhair

    woodsmokeinherhair it's bout quality of life

    Messages:
    815
    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2006
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    Thank you everyone. My babies are doing fine, and I have not lost another rabbit! (although I will have another litter in about 29 days now, lol). I really didn't want to breed my dutch doe with the NWZ buck, but in order to get her out of the heat, I had to put them together. They seem to be getting along fine, hopefully, I'll get her back in her cage within the next 2 weeks.

    I finally found some plastic containers, just something I bought at the local auction for my cub scouts to make small atriums out of. They are like peanut butter containers, kinda squarish though. And I was able to fit 4 of them full of water into my small freezer. An extra freezer is on my *to do* list! Anyhow, yesterday, at noon, I put one of those containers into each rabbit cage (2 in the cage with the babies), and then I took another 4 containers, and filled them with ice and water, and put those into the freezer, so that I can replace the first ones at about 5 p.m., when the worst heat of the day hits. That and about every hour, I turn on my sprinkler for 15 minutes (it's on a timer) and I sprinkle water over the top of the rabbit cages and one end of the chicken tractor, that contains 14 buff orps and 4 guineas, so they are all doing pretty good!

    It all seems to be working out. And they are predicting 108 today! :flame:

    I probably wouldn't have kept searching for something to freeze water in, because of my small amount of freezer space, if you guys (ladies? lol) hadn't encouraged that as the best solution. Thank you! <I love this formum>

    Woodsmokeinherhair!