I got my first successiful litter- I hope

Discussion in 'Rabbits' started by rickd203, Dec 26, 2005.

  1. rickd203

    rickd203 Well-Known Member

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    The babies are ten days old and the doe seems to be taking good care of her babies. Her mother stopped caring for her babies a few days after they were born. I tried feeding them myself but none survived.

    I want to give her one more try before I take her to the pet store. She is a very mild tempered doe with good coloring and other characteristics that I like. I would really like to see her have successiful litters. Since I have only had rabbits for a few months, I suspect that the problem may be more due to my inexperience than hers. I will try mating her again in the next few days.

    Does anyone have any tips for breeding successiful litters?
     
  2. nehimama

    nehimama An Ozark Engineer Supporter

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    Congratulations! As the babies are 10 days old now, I'd relax a little. Apparently she's taking good care of them, or they wouldn't have made it to even 10 days. So, I'd continue letting her do her thing. What she's doing certainly seems to be working!

    The one that stopped taking care of the kits when they were a few days old - perhaps a predator upset her?

    The current mother. If you plan on rebreeding her in the next few days, I assume you're going to wean this litter at around, what? Five weeks?

    Sounds like you have things on the right track.

    NeHi Mama
     

  3. rickd203

    rickd203 Well-Known Member

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    The doe that lost her litter kindled them outside the nest box. They were on the straw and she had them covered with fur but I thought it would be better for them to be in the box. I think the next time I will put the box in the cage but if she doesn't want to use it then I'm not going to move them. As long as they aren't on the bare wire, I'll let her do it her way.
     
  4. nehimama

    nehimama An Ozark Engineer Supporter

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    I see. If you have a doe who doesn't like to use a nest box, you COULD put a whole flake of hay in the cage near kindling time, and let her make her nest in that. I've done it that way before, but this was a LARGE cage, and actually had a private "room" that had wood floor & sides.

    You may be able to successfully move a litter into the nest box IF: the doe is used to your scent (handle the nesting materials BEFORE the doe kindles). I normally stuff hay into the nest box and handle it with my bare hands for several days before the doe's due date. This way, mama is used to my scent, and if I have to check the babies for a headcount, or move them, it doesn't disturb her.

    Anyway, hope this helps. And good luck next time with her.

    NeHi Mama
     
  5. rickd203

    rickd203 Well-Known Member

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    She had enough hay to make a nest outside the box about one square foot and an inch of hay below the babies. I keep them in the basement and their wall thermometer is always around 45 degrees.

    The cages for my does are 24"x36"x24". I like the extra height to have a second level shelf along the back wall. I made the shelves from rebar rods and 1/2" hardware mesh. They seem to enjoy hopping up and down from the second level. They are medium sized rabbits so I think this size cage with the extra level is enough to keep them happy. The man I got my rabbits from had a few cages with the wooden enclosure for nesting. When he opened the back door the urine smell was so bad it made my eyes water. :eek:

    Before I handle any babies, I always pet the mother so I get her scent all over my hands. It also helps the mother recognize my smell and helps her to feel less threatened when I have my hands in her cage. I want to sell my rabbits mainly for pets so I try to handle all of them as much as possible.

    :cowboy:
     
  6. CountryDreams

    CountryDreams Well-Known Member

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    It sounds like you are doing everything right from what I am reading. I have found that sometimes, when you are dealing with animals, it doesn't matter if you do everything right or not. Nature has a way of taking care of it's own.

    I really like the idea of the second level that you built in your cages. How high up is the second level from the floor of the cage? My hubby has already started talking about building me some more cages to get ready for spring breeding season.
     
  7. rickd203

    rickd203 Well-Known Member

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    :cowboy:

    Thanks, I really like the way my cages are coming along. Of course, as a beginner, I'm sure there are other people on this site that have really impressive setups. I will be making a post with pictures showing my steup in the next couple days.

    Rick