Handling kits

Discussion in 'Rabbits' started by thegriffiths, Jul 14, 2004.

  1. thegriffiths

    thegriffiths Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    186
    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2004
    Location:
    Charleston, WV
    We have had our first kindling...11 kits and then 2 days later we have had our second kindling of only 3 kits. I want to foster 3 of the one does kits to the other doe. My wife is afraid if I handle them the does will kill them or just leave them. Is there a secret to handling them so the does accept them. Or is it even bad to handle them at all? Should I use gloves? I have used vicks on some animals to confuse their senses is that a good trick with rabbits too?

    If its ok to handle the kits how much is too much? Id like to make some changes to the nest box hay and such.

    thanks in advance.

    Matt
     
  2. LizinNH

    LizinNH Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    103
    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2003
    Location:
    Wolfeboro, New Hampshire
    It shouldn't be a problem to move the kits. I would distract the does with their favorite treat. While they are munching away, transfer the kits. The fostered kits should have time to pick up the scent of their new littermates before the next feeding. The does should do just fine.
    I hope this helps. Liz in NH
     

  3. thegriffiths

    thegriffiths Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    186
    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2004
    Location:
    Charleston, WV
    That also reminds me of another question. How often do the rabbits feed the kits? I have only once seen one of my 2 does in the box and she wasnt in there long at all.
     
  4. Robin Pundzak

    Robin Pundzak Active Member

    Messages:
    44
    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2002
    Location:
    Western Pennsylvania
    Does only nurse once or twice a day, usually at night when you aren't around. It's common practice to foster kits in order to balance the litters and increase the survival rates. I just place the kits in with the foster doe, and have never had a problem with rejection or agression. I do sometimes distract a nervous doe with a treat while I move the kits in, as Liz suggested.
     
  5. CJ

    CJ Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    5,202
    Joined:
    May 10, 2002
    Location:
    The Ozarks
    Nah, they shouldn't mind at all. My hubby loves to go in and pick up the baby rabbits, and we always pull the nest boxes right after they're born to check how many and if any are dead, and then check it daily.

    If you ever do have a rabbit refuse a kit, just put a dab of VetRX on her nose, she won't be able to smell a thing :)