Um new kits what to do?

Discussion in 'Rabbits' started by insanity, Dec 19, 2006.

  1. insanity

    insanity Well-Known Member

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    Well we got a pleasant surprise at my grandmother's house yesterday.
    The two rabbits i gave her, just had a litter. Looks like 4 with out digging around in the nest.(age? There colored but eyes still closed.? guessing 2 to 3 days?) The doe is extremely friendly and doesn't care if i look or not. But I'm scared to touch them since Ive heard of them not feeding after doing so.
    Also i removed the buck today after hearing they sometimes kill the babies.
    Should i keep him out or put him back in? I'm scared to keep him separate for two long.
    Completely Clueless to rabbits please help! Any info about raising kits is welcome! I no the basics about grown rabbits but nothing about kits! This was a total surprise!
    Ive searched and read some but i have to go to bed tonight.
    Should the doe have any special diet to help her with the kits? She on commercial food as of now.
    There cage is 4x8ft and i built them a new nest box today. But i was scared to move the babies into it. So i filled it with leaves and cotton fiber, hoping she would move them in. They are nested into a corner of the cage as of now. So i'm worried if the temps drop in the next week or so they are not so well protected. Can i touch them or is it best not to?
     
  2. LisaBug

    LisaBug Well-Known Member

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    Keep the buck out. Carefully lift the babies in the nest and put them in the box. Tuck them in well and mama will take care of them. Wash your hands before you move them so you don't have other creature smell, just to be on the safe side.

    Commercial diets, fed free choice, will suffice for the doe. You can add treats (small amounts) and good hay if you like.

    If the babies are already 2-3 days old you probably have another litter coming. Always keep them seperated unless you want babies.
     

  3. Somerhill

    Somerhill Well-Known Member

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    Most rabbit breeders handle the litters and nest from day one - that not touching the litter is an old wive's tail. :)
    If mama is feeding them (you should be able to see that they are plump, not shrivelled, and often can see the milk in the stomach through the skin of the belly for the first day or so.) There is not much else you need to do. Watch to be sure that if a baby comes out of the nestbox after she feeds them, that you put it back in right away. Keep cats/dogs excess noise away from the nest area so mama does not get scared and stomp the babies.
    You should be able to lift her little nest and put it into your next box. Just put the nestbox in the same spot her nest was in.
    I check the nesting material to see that it is not getting wet. Some does are very, very clean, and others are messy housekeepers. A few bunny poops in the nest are not a bad thing - it helps the babies get the right "bugs" in their digestive tracts. The kits can stay with mom for up to three months before you wean them. They can be weaned as early as 4 weeks, but most people wait until they are 8-9 weeks of age. If its a big litter, I start weaning the biggest ones first, and leave the littler ones with mama for a few more days.
    I agree with Lisabug. Keep the buck out! I've not raised rabbits in a colony, but from what I have read, people normally pen the bucks separate from the does. AND DEFINITELY plan for another litter in about 30 days. Rabbits can rebreed immediately after giving birth. So mark your calendar from the day you took out the buck, and keep watch for another litter for at least 35 days after that.
    Keep in mind - those babies can breed at 3-4 months of age, so you'll want to get the baby bucks away from mom, and separate brothers and sisters into groups or you'll have this happen again soon. Young does are often poor mothers, and you may end up with a very sad ending.
    With the large size of your cages, you should not have trouble with does fighting if you keep the mother and sisters together.
    Enjoy! :)

    Lisa at Somerhill
    www.somerhillfarm.com
     
  4. insanity

    insanity Well-Known Member

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  5. Dian

    Dian Well-Known Member

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    It is my understanding that rabbits cannot pick their babies up and move them. If you want the babies in the nest box, you will have to move them. I always handle the babies from day 1 and have never had a problem because of it. Good luck with the rabbits! Dian
     
  6. insanity

    insanity Well-Known Member

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    Well ill be. I just figured they could pick them up by the scruff of the neck like cats do.
    I went over there to check on them today. Found six this time. And she hadn't moved them. I was going to put her nest and them into the box but couldn't reach that far back in the cage comfortably (not enough support for my weight on the wire floor).. Since i could feel the heat coming from her nest when i uncovered it, i figured they where fine for another night. The low shouldn't be below 42 anyway.
    The doe seemed really concerned about me checking on her little ones and actually intimidated me a bit i must confess. :p Kept having flash backs of when i was 8 and had crawled under the house to see one of our Beagles litter of pups she had, had under there. That normally bouncy fun loving pooch tried to eat me alive. Or the cat that was under the wheel barrel, all i got to see was big ball of fur and claws coming at me, (scratching and clawing all the way up my body!) accompanied by hissing and screams of the undead. Oh and then there was the momma raccoon a friend had, which made the cat look like a real wimp. So I'm a bit gun shy of new mothers of any kind i guess. LOL

    Tomorrow I'll carry a couple of 2x4's to lay over the bottom frame work of there cage, so i can (gulp) crawl inside with the new mother. :D
     
  7. Somerhill

    Somerhill Well-Known Member

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    LOL - be brave! How much damage can one tiny rabbit do? :help:
    I like a doe that is protective of her young - they seem to be better mothers overall. I don't let mine intimidate me, but some do like to growl and slap my hands the first few days. And the funny part is watching them check the nest afterwards - almost like they are counting to see if everyone is still in there.

    Lisa at Somerhill
    www.somerhillfarm.com