Moving pregnant does- any ideas

Discussion in 'Rabbits' started by BearCreekFarm, Oct 18, 2005.

  1. BearCreekFarm

    BearCreekFarm Well-Known Member

    Jun 23, 2005
    I have always read that the does can be pretty skittish when pregnant and the less disruption the better, but I have 2 dilemmas.

    1. We have been trying to move our rabbitry from one barn to another. I have now moved all does except one who is due this Thursday. I have to get her out of her present location because I need the space for chickens. So, is it better to just go ahead and move her to the new barn now (I would leave her in her present cage, just move cage and all), before she kindles, and hope she is ok (she was a good mother before- she has had one litter)? Or, alternatively, I can move her cage about 8' along the wall it is on now and rehang it- I can push the new chicken coop wall back a few feet to accomodate the doe's cage. That way she is at least in almost the same environment, though she would then be the only rabbit in that barn.

    2. If our real estate deal doesn't fall through in the next few weeks we will be moving to a new farm approx 5 miles away, probably sometime in Nov-Dec. I have about a dozen pregnant does now who are due to kindle in the next few weeks. If we don't move before we wean any bunnies, then more does will be bred back after they wean their litters. Any ideas on how to handle this? I can leave them all in their own cages and just move them to the new place a few cages at a time- I am guessing this would be the best idea. Or, if I absolutely had to, I could just leave them all here (this place isn't sold yet), and drive over every day to tend them and move them as they wean their litters.

    I would appreciate any suggestions as I don't want to risk losing any litters- having a hard time right now producing enough to meet the demand now that we have found a fryer market.

    Thanks in advance.
  2. Michael Leferink

    Michael Leferink Well-Known Member

    Jul 12, 2003
    IMO, moving your doe now would be less traumatic for her than waiting until after kindling. My worry is that moving after kindling might cause the doe to trample her kits. As to moving to a new farm, my opinion is - you gotta do what you gotta do and hope for the best. We too are going to try and relocate within the next year and I've given this a lot of thought. I plan on leaving the does with less than a week to kindle and those does with kits less than three weeks old for the second trip. However if I can't, then they will all be move at the same time and we will hope for the best. I have read about large herds being moved all at once across many miles with very few losses. I myself have moved does with only two or three days to kindle into a fresh cage and had no problem.

    Good luck,

  3. dlwelch

    dlwelch Well-Known Member

    Aug 25, 2002
    Central Texas
    I've moved pregnant does and I've moved does with new litters.

    If I had a choice, I would move the doe after kindling. I've had more
    problems with relocating prior to than after kindling.

    I have a friend with a very large herd of NZ does. At weaning, he moves
    his pregnant does into a freshly cleaned cage. They do well.
  4. JayinCT

    JayinCT Well-Known Member

    Jan 30, 2003
    I use holding cages for all my breeding does. When they hit 25 days, I move them to birthing cages all set up with nesting boxes ect. I have never had a problem doing this. The other thing I might suggest is if you have to move your does, and you're still worried, take them out of the cage, put them in a carrier type box, move the empty cage, and put her right back in it. Doing this at night will help a great deal too. As for moving the rabbitry to a new location, I would move kits to a small cardboard box, marked carefully which doe they came from, then the doe into a carry cage, move the kits, does and cages to the new barn quickly, set the nest back up with the kits, mothers pulled fur ect, and reintroduce the doe to her litter. You should make out just fine. A few years back I had a wonderful woman give me her rabbitry. Her town gave her troubles, so she asked me if I wanted her rabbits and if so, to just come get them. When I got there, it was an active rabbitry. All stages of growth. From breeders down to 3 day olds. I moved them all home without loosing a single rabbit or kit. I had to go significantly farther than you are going, I had to go right around 50 miles. I'm sure with some common sense, you'll make out just fine.