Thanks again Tracy, and sorry I make you cringe Deniseâ¦ If you wade through to the end, youâll understand me better than most of my family does. Yaâll wanted my credentials and (assuming) the reasons I post what I do. Hereâs the rest of it. Delivering on the wire - there are as many reasons as rabbits, but the most common for me have been my or DD being too nosy, they being too crowded/hot, or a non-viable kit. I never said they were the ONLY reasons, I said that it was more than likely. (Most probably??) I have had does both remove dead kits from a nest box and push live ones out. I have also had them put back in. Sorry if thatâs never happened to anyone on this board. Good management weâll get back to. I have very different, and strange opinions on that... Removing healthy kits - I owe everyone an apology hereâ¦ I know better than to use the word never!! (doesnât mean Iâll stop, just means I know betterâ¦.) However, I would have to be very strongly compelled. I think even I would have to do this if the doe died during birthingâ¦ Thatâs never happened to me, though. Guess Iâll get caught off guard the first time, then. Also would consider if mamaâs condition could not be maintained, but that would not be evident within just a couple days. I probably need more info on this than many of you - just for my own personal comfort. First, Iâd need to know that the kit was healthy. Second, that the foster doe would be willing to do her job - and capable of such. Third that the âmotherâ was NOT capable of doing it herself. Kindlings of 11+ have been incredibly rare for me (maybe two?? - I'd have to look...), mine have averaged 8 - 9. Iâd be hard pressed to keep a doe that averaged much less than 6 - 8, and would have a hard time giving her another from a doe that had 12 if she'd had 8 of her own. So - thatâs my reasoning. I certainly would not hand raise it unless there was absolutely no alternative. Also - when Iâm running a business in rabbits, I have most of this information handy. I hope most of you do, and it seems most do, but Iâve met very few people in person who do, and so, have risked ASSUMING again. I might also consider culling her if these over-sized litters were the standard for her - unless she could successfully do it herself. As to brothers and sisters housed together, I covered that - everyone Iâve ever worked directly with has done it that way. So - to me this IS the norm. After 20+ years, I just ASSUMED (I know!!!!). Like I said in my âhistoryâ - I learn a lot here, too. And yes, - Iâve done MORE than my fair share of butchering. Been eating rabbit as long as Iâve been eating meat and started butchering in grade school. Iâve also never had a customer complain of my selling them a pregnant doe for the pot. And yes, I do know that it is occasionally the practice to purposely breed siblings (and have done so myself). But, I have never had a successful (or even pleasant) attempt until theyâve been separated for more than three weeks from each other. I have had females hump each other, and hump kits, mostly older kits. Iâve always seen it as a dominance thing, mainly because its never broken into a fight. Iâve never seen an adult doe actually attack a kit - UNLESS - her nipples were injured/infected, or that kit was trying to nurse after she started to dry. Iâve never housed adult bucks with kits under 10 - 12 weeks of age, and never had a problem with fightsâ¦ Iâve had two adult bucks together in a double cage and they never had a problem. I donât do that as a rule, though. I often house them in cages next to each other. I HAVE had a problem between an adult buck and doe, but only onceâ¦ My very first breeding experience was putting a buck into a doeâs cage. Never againâ¦ This, by the way, brings the question of warrens into a whole new light! Iâd still like info on overcoming some of my personal concerns with those - HINT!!!! So far as lactation - every rabbit will be different every time she kindles. There are certain general guidelines, and the ones I am familiar with are not those for the tiniest breeds - I probably should have kept my mouth shut on that one, but I didn't. Dutch is considered a small breed, and minis are smaller still. However, it is still possible - especially if they (kits) are eating. Neither of us are in that cage, and general guidelines are just that. Some of you must believe that I think Iâm some kind of God, but I offer suggestions and warnings based on my personal experience, just like you. I just donât have the gift/virtue of tact. I say what I know to be true, and donât generally bother to put in disclaimers - I figure the folks here will take what they wish to and leave the rest. I donât post to some things because I simply donât have any answers that I can stand by. Sometimes I make a mistake, like with the lops (I completely missed the breed - don't know why!) Sorry if I forget the words âsometimesâ âmaybeâ and âpossiblyâ. As to management, I think we have a very different idea as to what good management isâ¦ Both sides have their merits and demerits. Here is where I am coming from: Commercial producers want the same things, whether they raise rabbits for meat or pets: Get as many of the HIGHEST possible quality bodies to the buyers as fast, and for the least cost possible. No??? Granted - meat producers need pounds, and I need cute cuddly faces, but the basics are still the same. As a pet producer, I deal in single numbers. If I have 8 kits to sell, the difference is 7 kits or 8. To a meat producer, the difference is in pounds per animal - so averages are the numbers of the day. When you are in business, you have one major goal, to which all others are subsequent. You must have enough business income to provide for ALL of your costs, and produce enough profit to expand. In about 80 % of normal businesses, profit is calculated in single numbers. Not only does your profit not pay for your operating costs, but your wage or salary is a cost, and therefore does NOT come out of the profit. You must produce the best possible product for the lowest possible cost. In order to increase your business you must seek to produce a continually better product at a continually lower price. There is a point from which you can go no farther, and then you increase your scope - either by adding products or by selling more of what you are already producing. (Ideally both are happening at the same time throughout!!) Expansion is where the profit comes inâ¦ That said - if you would not be willing to pay someone the going wage to go out to that hutch to do something, I would question doing it yourself. Now consider that wage at overtime or a night differential and you get my thinking here. (Though I have to admit thereâs probably a ready market for jobs on the graveyard shift that only pay minimum wage.)Your time is money, whether thatâs comforting or not. (Every emplyee's time is your money, too!!) Your time is also your life. Choose how you are going to use it!! Donât waste it. I understand I could be talking about someone with thousands of rabbits, who already has hired help. But then it would be a moot point because a single kit (even if rabbit went for $10 a pound) wouldnât be worth taking that employee away fromâ¦ sayâ¦ feeding, cleaning, disinfecting, records, or myriad other things which would be more beneficial to the bottom line. If weâre talking about the feed-lot concept, I have nothing at all favorable to say. I am nothing if not a hedonistâ¦ I am selfish, I am greedy, I am lazy. My family, my personal comfort, my health, my sanity, my time and my money are all very precious to me. So is each and every single animal I have care of. The resources I have I have worked blessed hard to get, and respect them as tools, not âgimmesâ. I choose to TRY not to waste ANY of them. As a matter of fact, Iâm rather anal about ALWAYS looking to conserve just about everythingâ¦. Another vice, Iâm sure. Youâll probably be hard pressed to ever catch me out there in the middle of the night to check if a doe is nursing - Iâll know in the morning, or at least in a day or so when the kits are weighed. If I am less productive tomorrow because I chose to be working through the night, that is a COST (not to mention the added electric, the bother to family, and a dozen other âpossibleâ negatives). If I get sick because I do that too often, that, too, is a COST - and a HUGE one... Rabbits have been doing this as long if not longer than weâve even been around. My policy is hands off unless thereâs a REALLY great reason. Works for me, and works pretty well. Perhaps not so for someone else. Rabbits will never make me rich, but they bought my last car and paid for a 2000 mile move from Idaho City, ID to Wonder Lake, IL - and that was in less than 10 months. NO ONE ever said that mine was the only way, that I am always right or that I have Godâs voice in my ear. Iâve not been subject to any Divine Revelations on the art of raising rabbits. I have strong opinions, they are based on a lot of years of experience, and three separate profitable businesses with rabbits. I am about the least tactful person youâll ever probably run across (if you are lucky!!) I have a sharp edge, a big mouth, and a lack of command of the finer points of communication. For these things I will gladly and humbly apologize - but NOT for what I post. If this makes me âjust plain wrongâ - thatâs ok too.