We have kits :)

Discussion in 'Rabbits' started by turtlehead, Oct 31, 2006.

  1. turtlehead

    turtlehead Well-Known Member

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    I haven't seen them yet, but I'm 98% certain we have kits.

    We are new to rabbits; we have three does and a buck in a colony setting. Two of the does had kits about six weeks ago, and they shared a burrow. I wasn't sure when those kits were born, as I didn't really know what to look for. :shrug:

    Well the third doe just had her kits and this time it was so obvious to me. She dug like a crazy thing for the last week or so. Then a couple of days ago she was gathering straw and leaves in her mouth and running into the burrow, messing around, coming out and getting some more... she did this for the better part of two days.

    Yesterday there was a little fur around her burrow and a little where she'd been gathering straw and leaves.

    This morning her burrow is all closed up. Yay! Halloween babies! I can't wait to see them. :dance:
     
  2. KSALguy

    KSALguy Lost in the Wiregrass Supporter

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    that is sooo awsome, i cant wait till i will be set up again to have rabbits and let them live in a colony,
    keep us posted on everyones progress,

    how are the new kits from the first two litters doing? how many made it above ground?
     

  3. holleegee

    holleegee Well-Known Member

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    It sounds like she made a nice nest! How big were the other litters?
     
  4. MaggieJ

    MaggieJ Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Wow, Turtlehead, that is wonderful! I have to admit I had my doubts about the colony method of raising rabbits, but it seems to be working out well for you.

    Be sure to post updates as your venture progresses.
     
  5. turtlehead

    turtlehead Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for all the comments. To answer some questions:

    The first litters were combined and there were eleven kits in one burrow. I'm pretty sure the two does even shared the nursing of all the kits and didn't differentiate between them.

    Of eleven kits we have lost five. We can take action to improve some of that.

    Two kits died very early on but were not born dead. I found them at the entrance to the burrow when the doe opened it back up. They had fur and weren't real wrinkly so I know they lived for a few days. I suspect they either got chilled or perhaps they suffocated in the crowded burrow. We didn't have lots of hay available, and the leaves hadn't yet fallen when these kits were born, so the does probably did not have enough nesting material. Now we have lots of hay and leaves around, and I piled some hay beside the new burrow when the doe was building her nest, and I think chilling won't be such a problem. If those two early deaths were due to suffocation or one of the does lying on the kits, well, there's not much I can do about that. Hopefully having just one litter in this burrow will help.

    The third kit we lost because it came out of the burrow either in very cold (below freezing) weather or in the horrific rain storm that followed. I found it far from the burrow, dead and soaked. I can't think of any way I could have prevented this death.

    The fourth loss was a very small kit I found dragged to the mouth of the burrow. I think this one had a birth defect or something as it was much smaller than the others when it died. I don't think it was meant to live.

    The fifth and last (so far) loss is due to a kit getting outside the colony. We have it fenced with 4 foot high 2x4 welded wire and chicken wire on the bottom foot of that, but those little buggers wriggle through like it's not even there. I've gone out to the colony to see 4 kits rambling around outside the colony. I am going to put hardware cloth on the bottom foot or so of the fence, to keep them contained. Actually, I'm not positive we've lost a fifth kit; it's just that the most I've seen at one time in the last few days is six. We may still have seven, I can't be positive.

    I wrote about the first batch of kits on my blog this morning. Here's a picture of two kits, two does, and the buck's butt (gray tail). We have three NZW does and one Californian buck.
    [​IMG]

    There are a couple of other pics on the blog and you can click any of them for a larger view. http://byteshuffler.com/rospo/blog
     
  6. Hilda

    Hilda Well-Known Member

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    What a great picture! This, in my mind, is how rabbits should be raised. You're providing real quality of life for them, Turtlehead.

    Congrats on the new litter.
     
  7. GoatLove

    GoatLove Well-Known Member

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    They are sooo adorable! Congrats and thanks for sharing. I also love your blogs and your pictures :)