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I picked up my first pair of rabbits yesterday...

Discussion in 'Birthing, Weaning and Raising Young Rabbits' started by Pyxis, May 21, 2017.

  1. May 21, 2017
    Pyxis

    Pyxis Overrun with beasties

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    ...and come to find out that the previous owner has had them living together for the last three weeks :th She's also pretty positive the doe is pregnant, and I don't see why she wouldn't be. So she's probably due in a week. Talk about jumping in with both feet!

    So I'm in a scramble to get everything ready and build a nice hutch for the doe to kindle in. I have her in a hutch but I'm not wild about it for having babies in. So I'm going to build a new hutch this week, put the doe in that, and upgrade the buck to the female's hutch from the cage he's currently living in.

    Hopefully there's enough time! Does anyone have any tips or advice for me on my first litter? I have done a lot of reading but I thought I'd have more time to read up some more, and it looks like I don't. These are a pair of Netherland Dwarfs, by the way, and it's the female's first litter. Both the buck and doe are about a year old.
     
  2. May 21, 2017
    Marie28

    Marie28 Loving the herd life

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    I have only had one litter so far (it was a accident)
    They have more experience :]]
    @Pastor Dave @Bunnylady @DutchBunny03

    Best advice i personally can give is follow your does lead and try to relax. Get a kindling box give her some hay and see what happens. If she wants her nest in a different area move the box to the area she wants. If she is snarky with you than back off and give her space (some does get cranky when pregnant) you don't want to stress her out. Does tend to jump in the nest if they get spooked. You can trick a doe to leave her nest alone if you give her something tasty at the other end of the hutch.

    Rabbits only fed there young a couple times day and do not hang out with them like other mammals do, they also do not move their kits so if you see one away from the others or out of the nest box than you need to move it.
    (skip to 0.57) she is only a couple days old as you can see very mobile.
     
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  3. May 21, 2017
    Pastor Dave

    Pastor Dave True BYH Addict

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    First time does are learning as they go. It may or may not be a success, but they generally do better with the next, etc.
    There can be a high infant mortality rate, and there's almost always some stillbirths.
    Check the nest box once a day for any kits that didn't make it, and remove them. The nest box gets nasty quick sometimes.

    Take the bunnies out of the nest box no later than Day# 18. They can get eye infections staying in longer. In the warm months, they tend to vacate on their own. If you need to use 2 liter bottles of frozen water to keep your buns cool, I use a 1 liter in the nest box. If it's too hot, they can suffocate in there.

    Once the kits are out, they learn to eat and drink by watching mama. They will try to nurse, but she will only let them when she's ready. It usually only takes a week or two for them to catch on. Most breeders wean at 6 weeks up to abt 8 weeks. As a meat breeder, I wean at 5. I have caught my does nursing the litter the night before I have taken them out the next day, so they still get her highly nutritious milk, but know how to eat and drink on their own.

    Depending on their purpose and your intentions, sex em and separate around 10 weeks. They begin to get sexual mature around 10+ weeks.

    Hope this helps some.
     
  4. May 21, 2017
    Pyxis

    Pyxis Overrun with beasties

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    Thank you both! So, my first goal is going to be to get the new hutch built ASAP. I'm working tomorrow but Tuesday I will devote the day to it. I'll also make sure to put a nest box in with the doe now, since I don't know her actual due date, just in case.

    I've also seen mention on threads around here of giving Calf-Manna to nursing mothers. Is that something I should pick up and have on hand?

    I forgot in my first post, but here are some pictures of the little guys:

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  5. May 22, 2017
    Hopalong Causually

    Hopalong Causually Loving the herd life

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    I've never used Calf Manna and never noticed that my rabbits were deficient in any way.
     
  6. May 22, 2017
    Marie28

    Marie28 Loving the herd life

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    Calf Manna is great for nursing mom's especialy if she has a large litter. With that said we never gave ours any and she was just fine. She really really likes black oil sunflower seed and they are great for growing kits and nursing mothers,
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2017
  7. May 23, 2017
    Pastor Dave

    Pastor Dave True BYH Addict

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    Your alfalfa pellet feed should have enough nutrients. I just boost ours by giving the lactating does a Tb.
    My breeders get 1 tsp with their 1 tsp BOSS. My grow-outs get a couple Tb apiece with their 1 tsp BOSS. It's mainly preference and not something you must do. It is pretty expensive in a 50lb sack, but lasts a while giving small quantities.
     
  8. May 23, 2017
    Pyxis

    Pyxis Overrun with beasties

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    Bad news and good news today. Bad news first - my rabbits got out. My young cousin decided that the hutches needed to be moved so they could have new grass. And so she moved them - but not the wire dig barriers they were on. So they got out.

    The buck I haven't seen. I'm hoping he shows back up. I left the door to his hutch open and will set a live trap. The doe I found laying near the hutch. One of her eyes was crusted shut. I cleaned it and she was able to open it again. I'm not sure what happened. Is it safe to use Terramycin on her?

    Better news, I knocked out most of the new hutch today. Here are some in progress pictures.

    IMG_20170523_171205750.jpg IMG_20170523_175110766.jpg
    IMG_20170523_192524188.jpg IMG_20170523_195756194.jpg

    Of course I forgot to get a picture of the whole thing at the end! But it just needs a roof and some trim to make it look better. I'm hoping to bang that out Thursday.
     
  9. May 23, 2017
    Pastor Dave

    Pastor Dave True BYH Addict

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    I like vetrimycin jel spray. Maybe it's similar? Mine is ok if ingested and in eyes, so I use it on almost everything including eyes.
     
  10. May 24, 2017
    Pyxis

    Pyxis Overrun with beasties

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    Thank you, I'll be on the lookout for that when I stop by Tractor Supply. In other news, I have a line on another buck. I wanted to get another one anyway since breeding BEW is a one way street and my buck wasn't pedigreed. So at least I might be able to buy a pedigreed buck in another color. Still hoping the other buck turns up though.