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Doe building second nest?

Discussion in 'Birthing, Weaning and Raising Young Rabbits' started by BunBon, Apr 15, 2019.

  1. Apr 15, 2019
    BunBon

    BunBon Chillin' with the herd

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    Hi there, new here :)
    I'm wondering if anyone can help?

    Our doe has just hat 7 kits yesterday, she did all the right things, pulling fur and moving around lots of hay making a nest just before the birth. She seemed calm and happy for the rest of the day.
    However this morning, I decided to take the nesting box out to have a proper look at the kits, they're all warm and healthy from what I can tell.
    But when I put the nest box back in, she started obsessively pulling fur again and picking up more hay, now it looks like she's trying to build a second nest on the other side of the nest box.
    I'm just a bit worried because she's pulling so much fur that there's little patches of blood and baldness.
    I wonder if I scared her by taking out the nest box.

    Is this behaviour normal? We don't have any experience with pregnant/baby rabbits.
    Thank you
     
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  2. Apr 15, 2019
    B&B Happy goats

    B&B Happy goats Herd Master Golden Herd Member

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    She may of been frightened by the move of the box...just let her be, she should be fine. Just check that no kits are out of the nest. Congratulations on your kits :love
     
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  3. Apr 16, 2019
    GypsyG

    GypsyG Loving the herd life

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    I had a litter that I had to shelve indoors for a few nights this winter because of extreme temperatures. Every morning when I'd bring the nest box back their mother had pulled a ton of hair into the corner of her hutch. I just added it in with the rest of the fur in the nest box each time. By the end of the three days of icy weather the poor doe looked pretty mangy and pitiful... But all 14 of the babies survived and she took care of them like a champ. I wouldn't worry to much about it. Just keep an eye on her for a couple of days.
     
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  4. Apr 16, 2019
    AmberLops

    AmberLops Loving the herd life

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    Welcome to BYH!
    It probably was the box being moved around that confused her. She'll be okay.
    Maybe wait a few days before you take the box out of her cage again, until she gets used to you handling her kits :)
    When I have a nervous mom I always take her out of the cage and then I will look at her babies while she's gone. That way she won't get stressed. That's usually new moms more than anything and once they have another litter you'll be just fine to handle the babies all you want. The experience won't be so new to the doe :)
     
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  5. Apr 16, 2019
    Bunnylady

    Bunnylady True BYH Addict

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    When the weather is cool, a lot of my does have continued to add fur for up to a week after the kits are born. Unless this gal starts digging in the nest (which is an obvious danger to the kits), I wouldn't worry about it.
     
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  6. Apr 16, 2019
    B&B Happy goats

    B&B Happy goats Herd Master Golden Herd Member

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    Sorry I didn't realize you had just joined us...welcome :welcome from Florida, lots of information and helpful people here....enjoy yourself looking around the site......and your new kits :bunny:bunny:bunny:celebrate
     
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  7. Apr 16, 2019
    BunBon

    BunBon Chillin' with the herd

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    Hi everyone :love Thanks for the advice! (and for the welcome!)

    Yeah it seems like a great forum!
    To update on the mum, she was building a second nest. She's moved 2 of the kits into it and has used all of that fur she was pulling for them. So she has five in one nest and 2 in the other. I witnessed her (I think) feeding both lots of kits - She would sit over one nest for a while, and then move over to the next one. I'll check they're all okay regularly. She has always been a nervous bunny so I think I might have just confused her by taking the nest away.
    GypsyG & Bunnylady, It's comforting to hear that other people have had buns pulling that much fur. She has stopped now, just a bit bald on her chest . It is nearly Winter here (in Southern Australia) so that might be why.
    Amberlops, great advice on taking the mum out first, I will try that next time!
    & Thanks for the welcome B&B Happy Goats :bunny:bunny:bunny:bunny:bunny:bunny:bunny:bunny:weee

    Thanks everyone!
     
  8. Apr 16, 2019
    AmberLops

    AmberLops Loving the herd life

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    You should put the 2 babies back in the nest box, they probably won't get enough milk and they'll move around and get separated and could die from exposure to the cold...I would put them back in the box to be safe :) They should all stay together!
     
  9. Apr 18, 2019 at 6:36 PM
    BunBon

    BunBon Chillin' with the herd

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    Thank you, yeah yesterday morning I had a proper look at the two kits, and it looks like they hadn't been fed, so I put them back in the nest with the others (hoping mum hadn't fed any of them yet).
    They were still really warm as she had given them a lot of her fur. But I don't think she was feeding them.
    Both of the kits were a lot smaller and their tummies weren't bulging out like the others.
    Last night we decided to take mum out and the two kits for them to have a feed. The smallest kit seemed very keen to suckle, but seemed to be getting frustrated and was desperately trying each teat after a few seconds.
    The second kit is a little bit bigger and didn't seem too interested - seemed to be sleepy.

    I'm thinking mum may have just fed the other kits and she didn't have much milk left?

    Today we are going out to buy some kitten milk replacer, divetelact or something similar (Wombaroo does a specific rabbit milk replacer). I'm not liking our luck, given that it's good Friday today and not much is open!

    Any other Ideas on an emergency milk replacement for the two kits?
    I've read Goats milk, anything else?

    Thank you
     
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  10. Apr 19, 2019 at 8:26 AM
    AmberLops

    AmberLops Loving the herd life

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    The kits should definitely all be together...it's better for them and mom :)
    If they're all together they should all be getting milk and mom should have more than enough. How skinny are they?
    You could give milk replacer just for one day then give them back to mom.
    Here's the recipe I always use....

    1 pint skim milk
    2 egg yolks
    2 tablespoons Karo syrup
    1 tablespoon bonemeal (you can get this at feed stores or garden supply stores)

    Feed until they stop eating (usually 1/4 ounce) with small-nipple bottle, a straw, eyedropper or small syringe.
    You can also use Esbilac :)