In Case of Emergency ~ Rabbit

AmberLops

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Okay, thanks for the reply. I had ended up deciding to go ahead and at least foster out the two kits that had lost weight between the 31st and 1st. Foster mom went in and nursed them right after I moved them and I was able to coax the doe that seems to be having supply issues into her nest to do a feeding for the 4 still there. I think I may go ahead today and move the other 4 and try to rebreed her again. I have another doe that was just bred on the 29th so she would have a potential foster partner if she had issues again.
Sounds like a great plan :)
 

Pastor Dave

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New moms are really a gamble, especially in buns. Will she get bred, have a live litter, have a good sized litter, come into milk in time, actually nurse her litter, etc,etc.?
When those variables don't all come together, how many chances does she get to get it all right before culling?
I've had does that took a while to hit on all the cylinders. Some have had large litters that wouldn't take care of them, and some didn't come into milk until too late or not until the next time bred.

Two things I haven't done since having rabbits in the mid-80's is palpate to determine pregnancy. Trying to guess what feels like a grape in the window of time between 10 days and 14 days, and having my girls sit still and allow is more than I prefer. I'm going to find out in a couple more weeks anyway.
The other is weighing kits. If a doe doesn't get right to the litter until the evening after kindling, it's normal. If I don't see her seem to get in the box often, that's ok. If the kits don't have a sunken belly and wrinkly skin, they're probably getting enough nutrition. I check the kits once a day. The mortality rate before 2 weeks is high enough that I try not to be upset or surprised if a litter of 10 ends up a litter of 7 or 6.

I always try to partner my does together on rotations to help foster one another's kits. If a doe has 8 and her partner has 6, I will split up the difference. This past winter I had a doe I really wanted to kindle have 1 kit on her second breeding. I borrowed 2 kits from her partner leaving her with 4, so the 1 kit would stay warm, and all 7 made it to processing. I could have taken the 1 kit and placed it with the other's 6, but I wanted the doe in question to have experience with a litter. Then we found out we were moving and no breeding for a while until we get adjusted.
 

AmberLops

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I don't weigh kits either, I just go by what they look like....fat round bellies are always a good sign :)
I do palpate my does at 10 days...the only ones I can't ever really tell is the Lionheads! But my Hollands are easy...Netherlands not so much. I like to partner does too like @Pastor Dave mentioned...and to me the breed doesn't matter. An angora can raise a netherland dwarf for all I care...as long as the kit gets milk :lol:
If a first-time doe has a litter that looks hungry after 2-3 days, I will put them all in with other does right away.
 

Edge of the Wilderness

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I try to get a first weight around 2-3days and then usually once a week or so until just after weaning. I don't usually track a litter so closely, but the lower weights of this particular litter made me take notice and I reweighed a second litter to have data from a point of reference. I probably won't track growth weights on my litters at some point in the future, but for now I'm doing it to have more data to help with upcoming decisions about which animals I'd like to keep for breeding. We live in a pretty remote area and had limited options for meat rabbits that we could find in a justifiable distance so last fall we ended up buying 2 unsexed meat mutt litters from 2 different families. Now we're just working on sorting who are the best breeders. :)
 

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