Handling Kits

Discussion in 'Rabbits' started by Sinenian, Jun 23, 2006.

  1. Sinenian

    Sinenian Well-Known Member

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    Hi.
    My litter is still alive after 9 days.
    My question is can I handle them once they open their eyes and come out of the nestbox? Like take them out for awhile and hold them or let them on the grass and play?

    Thanks.
     
  2. x_xbirdie

    x_xbirdie Well-Known Member

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    you can start to handle from day one.
     

  3. MaineFarmMom

    MaineFarmMom Columnist, Feature Writer

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    You should handle them. You need to be able to look for dead kits so that they don't decompose, attract flies and cause flystrike. You also want the kits to be accustomed to being handled from the time they're small.

    Their eyes will start opening in a day or two, then they'll start moving around a lot more. They're about to get to their cute stage.
     
  4. Sinenian

    Sinenian Well-Known Member

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    I have been checking it everday, just not taking them out of the box.
     
  5. TerriA

    TerriA Well-Known Member

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    I handle mine even immediately after they are born.,. I check the nestbox for any dead ones, be sure there is clean hay, etc.. bring the nestbox inside and take it out only 1-2x a day to be nursed until their eyes are opened and they are hopping out of the box.. then I lay the nestbox on it's side for a week before taking it out altogether.

    I handle mine all the time.. the moms don't mind me doing this... of course I handle all my rabbits regularly due to grooming, etc anyway so they are quite use to me. (I raise angoras).

    I also change the hay on day 10 or so before the eyes open to be sure there isn't any dirty hay, etc to pass on bacteria. Since they are inside, I can check on the babies daily and if any have died, take the dead ones out right away so they don't spread germs, etc.

    I have a friend who leaves the nestbox alone.. totally.. for up to 3 weeks. She has lost LOTS of babies simply because they get overheated in the summer, too cold in the winter, kits die and infect the others, etc.. bad management in my book!!! The kits are wilder than I would tolerate, too... eyes are matted, nestboxes filthy, etc.

    If you have a "touchy" doe, give her a bit of a treat (bit of alfalfa, papaya tablet, etc) while you take the nestbox out and check on the kits... even if you don't take it inside, you should be sure the kits don't have TOO MUCH wool on them in the summer!!

    Terri
     
  6. rabbitgal

    rabbitgal Ex-homesteader

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    Yes, you shouldn't have any problems handling them. I check my nestboxes as soon as the litter is born, and every day for about the first ten days. It's really important to remove dead kits or birthing material promptly, especially in the summer. In addition, you need to check and make sure the kits are staying dry and the bedding isn't soiled with urine or poop.

    Some does are a little nervous about their litters being handled, so what many people do is distract the doe with a treat and remove the nestbox to look at the litter out of site. My does usually have no problem with me messing with their babies though.
     
  7. twohunnyz

    twohunnyz Pacific Northwest

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    We start nest box checks as soon as they are born, also. I highly recommend at day 10 checking each ones eyes and if by day 12 they are not all open, to gently open and clean them yourself with a dampened 100% cotton ball. Then keep checking them daily to make sure eyes don't close back up and to clean the crusty stuff off.

    Also, their little bottoms need to be checked to make sure they aren't getting feces caked up, if this happens and isn't detected, it can cause death.

    Watch out, they can't really squirm and 'jump'! Talk about wriggle worms! This really is an adorable age. Have fun!