Hopping over from goat thread with question

Discussion in 'Rabbits' started by Jcran, Nov 24, 2006.

  1. Jcran

    Jcran Well-Known Member

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    Howdy...we've got two satin does in our barn who kindled last week. One doe has 7 day old babies in the nest box; today, I touched them. It is her first litter. Have I doomed them? I figured that they'd be ok since they're this old, but now I am worrying. I know rabbits only feed once a day, and I want to leave them alone as she is a little nervous. Do I just wait and hope she feeds them?
     
  2. Danaus29

    Danaus29 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    You touch the does feed and everything before it goes into her cage, right? I would be really shocked if you touching the babies causes her to abandon them.
     

  3. MaineFarmMom

    MaineFarmMom Columnist, Feature Writer

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    You should be touching them. You need to be sure there aren't dead/decaying kits in the nest box. The sooner you handle them the better.
     
  4. PygmyLover

    PygmyLover nigerian & pygmy breeder

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    I don't have rabbits now but when we did, we were always touching them to see how many and that they were alive and well. I was young then (6-8 years old) so my mom did most of the checking for the first week.
     
  5. Bernadette

    Bernadette Enjoying Polish Rabbits

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    Joan, are you the primary caregiver? If you are, then you shouldn't have a problem as the doe should be used to your scent. I wouldn't let strangers or small children touch them though. When my does kindle I check the box twice a day for the first few days. I give Mom a treat while I'm doing it so she learns to associate the box coming out with a treat - good things. A couple of dandelion leaves, raspberry leaves or plantain in the summer, a slice of apple or a bit of carrot in the winter. Works for me.
     
  6. Jcran

    Jcran Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the info; I moved the nest boxes a tad last night so they'd be easier to see into; I ALMOST handled one box and then the next and then I thought, HOLY BUCKETS, what if one nest box's smell gets into the other nest box. THAT might set off mama rabbits. This morning all seems fine...we're going to do an official count tomorrow, washing hands and giving treats to mom's in between.
     
  7. DocM

    DocM Well-Known Member

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    How can you NOT handle them? Baby rabbits, even meat rabbits are so darn cute with that velvety hair coming in. I've handled literally hundreds of litters and never had a doe reject the kits after.
     
  8. Jcran

    Jcran Well-Known Member

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    Ahh, but you don't have my particular brand of luck...after admonishing my 7 year old daughter to keep her mitts off da rabbits, I WOULD be the one to cause the bunny slaughter (altho I WILL be the one to cause just that, won't I, down the road). Anyhoo, I am not quite so worried after hearing all y'all's advice.