Lost them all.

Discussion in 'Rabbits' started by Sarah J, Mar 8, 2005.

  1. Sarah J

    Sarah J Well-Known Member

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    I didn't take the nest inside because it wasn't in a nesting box, but *next* to it...I was afraid to handle the babies much for fear of momma rejecting them. I knew I'd mess something up. And it got too cold last night and they all died.

    I'm pretty upset - it's my fault because I *knew* I was supposed to take them inside and bring them out once a day for Mom to nurse them. And yet I failed. :waa: I feel so bad...Came out this morning and found her licking at them, trying to revive them to nurse. She "helped" me move them out, one by one, licking each one as I set it down, hoping to find a live one for her. But no - they were all gone, poor things.

    Live and learn and kick myself HARD in the meantime...

    How long before I should try to re-breed her? I assume it should NOT be today! A couple of weeks? A month? And I won't mess it up a second time!!!

    Sarah
     
  2. Elizabeth

    Elizabeth Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Sarah, so very sorry to hear about the bunnies. I know exactly how you feel after losing our first litter as well. It is all part of the learning curve, unfortunately. I am still being conservative with our second litter- they are 10 days old and I still have them in the house. I am trying to hold off a bit longer, just not sure how long exactly, lol. Hoping it will warm up some in the next week or so.

    The advice I got regarding out first doe was to breed her back right away, that day. We actually waited till the next day, bred her, and she seems fine. There were a couple of days where she did not look too chipper, but she seems back to normal now.
     

  3. Tracy

    Tracy Well-Known Member

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    Breed back immediatley. It will not hurt the doe.

    As far as liter losses. I always handle kits right after birth. This way you can get an accurate count and remove any dead ones. I have yet to have a doe reject a ltter due to me handling them. I have had does get aggressive when I have went to check litters but those does will not stay in my barn. There is no need to keep a nasty rabbit.

    I have said it before but will say it again. There are many markets out there for rabbits. One is for snake food. Pinkie rabbits can be sold for snake food. So instead of looking at this as a loss look at it as a potential new market. My demand for pinkies is always very high. I will remove pinkies out of large litters [say a doe kindles 12, I will remove 4 and leave 8 for her to raise] and market the other 4 for snake food.

    As far as bringing nest boxes inside. I never do it. When you are doing a commercial opperation you do not have time to bring many nest boxes in and out. Save fur in a brown bag and add to nest boxes if you think the rabbit has not pulled enough. I have had does kindle at 0 degrees and raise up their young with out pulling nest boxes or having a heated barn
     
  4. Rosarybeads

    Rosarybeads Well-Known Member

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    Sorry about the bunnies. Go ahead and breed her right back, she's fine. Also, she shouldn't be having them on the cagewire. If she does again, put the whole nest in the box. An ideal mommy should have them in the box, not on the wire, that always leads to problems, makes it easy for the babies to get out of the nest & get cold, etc! Momma shouldn't be wierd about you touching them either, if you have a question whether she will or not, take some fur or pine and rub it on the pee area on the cage, and then rub it on the bunnies, or just rub some of her fur she pulled on the bunnies.
     
  5. Sarah J

    Sarah J Well-Known Member

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    I didn't know snakes ate dead rabbits...for some reason I was thinking they had to be alive and moving or the snakes wouldn't touch them...huh...new lines of thought running through my head...

    Thanks everyone for the help. I'll do it right next time!!! I'll just move the babies anyway, though hoping that she gets it through her little bunny head that they should be IN THE BOX this time!

    Sarah
    (still sulking, though...)
     
  6. Tiffann4k

    Tiffann4k Well-Known Member

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    Sorry to hear about your bunnies :(
     
  7. bethlaf

    bethlaf Homegrown Family

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    it happens , especially with maiden does, if this is her first time , i am assuming its yours too, give her another chance, you can breed her back today or tommorrow, keep an eye on her next time, by the time she kindles the next littler it will be warmer , i know i have a doe that kindled today , and im kind of thinking of bringing her box in , cause shes a maiden and its supposed to get cold out , like high 20's , but i know others who if the doe has them in winter just leaves them there .... its hard to decide
     
  8. Tracy

    Tracy Well-Known Member

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    Here is another tip.

    If you have a doe that insists on taking the hay out of the nest box and trying to make a nest on the wire, put a second box in the cage. This will increase the odds that she will kindle in 1 of the 2 boxes. After she kindles take out the unused box.

    Sarah, snakes do not need to eat live rabbits. Actually reputable snake owners prefer dead rabbits as it is more humane to both the rabbit and snake. A live rabbit can inflict serious damage to a snake. The term used is F/T which stands for frozen thawed.
     
  9. MikeD

    MikeD Well-Known Member

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    I don't want to hijack the thread at all but, Tracy, it was nice to see you explain "snake food" the way you did. Soooo many people (mainly reptile keepers believe it or not) simply do not understand the concept of F/T feeders. I have never been able to find any scientific evidence supporting the theory that CO2 euthanized feeders make a snake or lizard "sluggish" either due to injestion of CO2 or because the prey item is dead and therefore the animal being fed would lose muscle tone.

    It was never pretty when a snake came into our program with "feeder bites". Forgive me if I'm being entirely too graphic but it was even worse when the prey item decided it wanted out of a snake after it had already been eaten. F/T feeders solve these problems. Sounds like you've got a group of knowledgeable, responsible reptile owners for clients Tracy. Which means that you should have clients for a long time.....
     
  10. Tracy

    Tracy Well-Known Member

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    Hi Mike,

    Dont think you are highjacking the thread at all. As far as I am concerned this is exactly the type of discussiond we need on this board.

    The original poster lost a litter due to cold. Instead of cutting your loses with the litter. You look for how to maximize your profits. I charge over $1.00 each for pinkie rabbits and cant keep up with the demand.

    I personally will not sell live feeders. I believe it is inhumane to both the prey animal as well as the carnivore or reptile. As Mike stated you can see some nasty wounds from feeder bites. This is also what triggers things like the ARA [animal rights activists] to try to lobby for all kinds crap to put both breeders and animal owners out.

    Most people that contact me wanting live feeders are usually younger males that want to see the thrill of the kill. Sorry, find some else. This is also why I charge a much higher price for live rabbits [breeding stock] so this makes it not cost effective to buy live for feeding purposes.

    Co2 is the way all my rabbits are euthannized and I would not do it any other way. It is a clean kill, it is humane to the rabbit, they basically fall asleep and dont wake up. Feeder buyers do not want a bloody rabbit which will occur if dispatching by a blow to the head or breaking the neck. Both these methods will result in blood coming out the nose which is not want a F/T buyer wants.
     
  11. MikeD

    MikeD Well-Known Member

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    Tracy, is CO2 how you handle ALL of your rabbit slaughter or just the "feeder" department?

    I've been looking around and can't find any info on exactly why CO2 would/wouldn't be an option for other facets of animal feed OR the human consumption market. The only possibility I can think of is that there is a time constraint for bleeding a rabbit but if this were done within a minute of expiration I've always wondered if it would be feasible to use this method for animal/human meat markets. Thoughts? Pat? Anyone? Bueller?
     
  12. Sarah J

    Sarah J Well-Known Member

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    Okay - feeling stupid about causing a litter to die is one thing...but now I'm curious...perhaps morbidly, but still curious nonetheless. After all, this is a profit issue in the end...

    What exactly is the procedure for the CO2 euth? I've never really thought of dispatching a rabbit any other way than a blow to the head or snapping of the neck...now I'm intrigued and would love to know! (maybe this needs another thread with an appropriate subject line? Huh...)

    -Sarah
    (still feeling stupid, but am going to try again! Bred Thumper yesterday afternoon and she and the buck were quite willing)
     
  13. 2horses

    2horses I'm a silly filly!! Supporter

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    I seem to remember reading a thread on just this topic (CO2), and I think it was on this forum. I'll do a search and see if I can find it....

    Pam :cool: <----- has pets but supports the commercial and/or meat use of rabbits.
     
  14. 2horses

    2horses I'm a silly filly!! Supporter

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  15. MikeD

    MikeD Well-Known Member

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    I just read the thread that 2horses provided and about the only thing that I, as did Tracy in the thread, need to stress is that you use CO2 (carbon dioxide - soda etc) as opposed to CO (carbon MONoxide - automobile exhaust) After making some calls to suppliers regarding CO2 I found that there apparently is a both industrial grade and human consumption grade CO2. Whether someone was yanking my chain I don't know. How that's posible I also do not know. The only thing I can think of is the potential level of impurities in the gas.

    I haven't been able to find any USDA, FDA or other evidence of "scientific" or "governmental" origin but it sure would make my life easier if I can just box and gas three or four at a time for quick processing for human consumption. As much of a fountain of information as you are, Tracy, I've learned to double check with the people that can put my knickers in a twist if they so choose... ;) I've been using CO2 for snake feeders of both rabbit and mouse for a few years now. NOW Tracy has me wondering how I make my own dry ice and whether it would cut down on cost significantly...
     
  16. rabbitgal

    rabbitgal Ex-homesteader

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    My rabbitry is still small enough that we can still eat all the culls ourselves, but we do want to sell dressed rabbit eventually. My problem is, I can't get up the nerve to hit them on the head hard enough to kill them in one blow! :( .22 rifle at point blank range to the head just in front of the ears seems to work well. They're dead instantaneously, though there is some muscular contrations. Co2 sounds very appealing. I don't like killing things (don't think anyone does), but that's life and the the less stress for the animal the better. It's nice to be able to post where people aren't afraid to discuss stuff frankly!

    rabbitgal