Homesteading Forum banner
1 - 8 of 8 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
213 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We recently (like 2 days ago) moved our first-time mom out of her babies' pen-- the kits are almost 5 weeks old, and they were all eating on their own and seemed to be leaving mom alone, so we figured we'd move mom out to give the kits more space.

Everyone seems to be doing fine, but I noticed that the doe's teats (is that the right word for rabbit nipples?) seem to be rather firm and pronounced-- each one feels like a squashed, fleshy bit about the size of a quarter. I wouldn't say they're HARD, but they're definitely noticeable.

Is this normal? She seems fine otherwise-- is eating and drinking well and seems to be behaving normally. Should I be concerned?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
11,103 Posts
Not sure. A certain amount of engorgement might be normal, but if it is significant it could lead to mastitis. Mint is supposed to dry up the milk supply. Another thing that occurs to me to try is to put momma back with the kits for short lengths of time and see if they nurse. It could be she was still in the process of natural weaning but still letting them nurse a bit, enough to draw off the excess milk. This is just my thinking, never having encountered this. I usually leave the kits, or at least some of them, with momma far past this point.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
213 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hmm. Well it's been a couple of days; I wonder if it's too late to put a couple of the kits back in with her for a bit? Guess it couldn't hurt to try, at least under supervision.

In the meantime, I think I have some fresh mint in the house (leftover from when we made mojitos last weekend, mmmm), I can give her that.
 

·
Pacific Northwest
Joined
·
219 Posts
At 5 weeks the Kits are definitely still nursing, surprisingly enough. We've even seen 10 week old fryers nurse- now that's quite a sight! (the universe collided to prevent us from weaning at our usual time of 8 weeks!) So at weaning it is completely normal for her to still be producing milk. This is one of the times a Doe is most susceptible to mastitis and caked breast. Giving mint, fresh or dried, is a tried and true remedy to help her dry up and prevent any complications. :)

I by chance she does develop any soreness or irritation, applying Campho-Phenique will soothe and heal.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
213 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Well, I gave mama a bunch of mint, which she gobbled right up. Her teats seem to be less firm than they were yesterday, so hopefully that's a good sign.

So when do you all normally wean the kits from their mom?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,427 Posts
I butchered a doe once when her kits were 5 weeks old and the milk poured out when I pulled the skin off. So now I wait till about 48 days till I start taking them away. And I do it starting with a couple at a time.
The doe is ussually bred at 42 days, unless like right now I have to many does and have to spread the breedings out.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
11,103 Posts
If all is going well, I usually leave them until about eight weeks. If momma is being overly harassed by the little thugs, especially if the litter is large, I will wean some of the larger ones earlier to give her a break. A lot depends on the doe too. Some does love having their babies around them and others are pretty much fed up by the time they are six weeks old.
 

·
Pacific Northwest
Joined
·
219 Posts
Eight weeks for us, too, and rebreed at seven weeks. We wean all at once, taking mama off to a new cage. Never any health, weaning-related issues in mom or youngsters.

Also, I was just reading in the ARBA magazine this afternoon that lack of gastrointestinal problems in weanlings can be attributed to hay being the first food of Kits, as opposed to pellets.
 
1 - 8 of 8 Posts
Top