Register

When to provide pellets, water, and remove nest box?

Addressing the special needs of the breeding doe and her kits. Includes nutrition, gestation, nest boxes and materials, and tips to ensure survival of the young.
Posts: 20
Joined: November 21, 2017
Thanks: 22
Thanked: 1 in 1 post
BunnyBucks: 123.00

When to provide pellets, water, and remove nest box?

Post Number:#1  Unread postby jenniferlanes » Mon Nov 27, 2017 9:39 pm


My surprise litter is 2 weeks old today and I think they are going to be hopping out of the nest box soon. They are living indoors in a cage with the doe. When do I need to have water and pellets accessible to the kits? (Now they are too small to reach where mom eats/drinks from). When should I remove the nest box from the cage? Also, the buck was neutered 6 weeks ago, so I think it is safe for him to be around the doe, but I have been keeping him separate from the kits. Do I need to house them separately until the kits have found other homes?

Thanks for any advice!

1 year of membership
User avatar
Posts: 471
Joined: July 12, 2016
Location: houston. tx
United States of America
Thanks: 4
Thanked: 110 in 100 posts
BunnyBucks: 2,485.00

Re: When to provide pellets, water, and remove nest box?

Post Number:#2  Unread postby shazza » Tue Nov 28, 2017 1:11 am


generally by the time the eyes are open around 2 weeks, i can't keep them in the box anymore. i'll take the old nest out, which by now is all gross and full of pee, and replace it with fresh hay or aspen shavings. they'll hop out at will, but they seem to enjoy having the 'safe place' to hide or nap. i take the box out once i notice they're spending more time out than in, and they can easily walk on the wire without toes going through, usually around 3 weeks.

pretty much as soon as they leave the nest, they'll start to drink water and nibble on whatever mom is eating, so having it available to them now would be a good idea, i think. they won't really eat much, but it's good to get them used to it and will help mom wean them as well.
Image
mini lop, standard rex, meat mutts
tumblr: @babbits | facebook: @frithyeer.rabbits | ig: @frithyeerfarm

The following user would like to thank shazza for this post
jenniferlanes

7 years of membership7 years of membership7 years of membership7 years of membership7 years of membership7 years of membership7 years of membership
User avatar
Posts: 6782
Joined: July 17, 2010
Location: Iowa
Thanks: 1
Thanked: 945 in 843 posts
BunnyBucks: 34,975.00

Re: When to provide pellets, water, and remove nest box?

Post Number:#3  Unread postby akane » Tue Nov 28, 2017 4:56 am


Asap will adjust kits slower and easier than waiting to introduce normal foods. They'll nibble things in the nest box before they even open their eyes. Just lower the feeders and otherwise keep feeding the doe normal and the kits will slowly eat more and more. If you restrict them until older they will be able to eat more at once than they might be able to adjust to and you'll only increase your odds of digestive issues.

Some fully intact bucks make great baby sitters right off and some altered bucks and does can never be kept together or around kits. Altering just one instead of both increases the odds there will be problems since one will still have a drive to mate and does can get frustrated with bucks who won't oblige. I had a few does that would decide they need to show the buck what he should be doing and they weren't gentle about it. I had to rescue my laid back, tiny 1lb netherland buck a few times from being crushed and knocked around by does. Generally I'd spay a doe before neutering a buck if considering social interaction over cost and the fact neutering versus spaying is an easier surgery with less risks but there is a risk a spayed doe with a buck can go wrong too. Does have been known to purposefully target buck testicles in defense. I had to pry a doe off the buck's parts when both were intact and ready to breed. She didn't even consider the buck but went right for him without even making it fully in the cage. I slit my finger open forcing her teeth apart enough to not do more harm to my buck getting her off. It can lead to stress either way. It depends on the rabbits as well as the setup and many simply don't want to deal with the risk of ever putting any age of rabbit back together after separating the litter regardless of ability/desire to breed.
http://s1321.beta.photobucket.com/user/takakageri/library/
In order to save myself I must destroy first the me I was told to be -The Dreamer

The following user would like to thank akane for this post
jenniferlanes

Posts: 20
Joined: November 21, 2017
Thanks: 22
Thanked: 1 in 1 post
BunnyBucks: 123.00

Re: When to provide pellets, water, and remove nest box?

Post Number:#4  Unread postby jenniferlanes » Tue Nov 28, 2017 11:13 pm


Thanks for the tips! I didn't realize they would be ready to eat regular food so soon, I'll put it within reach. I've been changing the bedding in the nest so it's not too gross. I'll take the box out when I notice all of them leaving it. Right now there is just one or two brave enough to hop out.

My buck and doe seem to love each other. They are always grooming each other, even through the cage. I planned on getting them both fixed, I separated them at 3 months of age and scheduled the surgeries, but it was too late because she had a stillborn litter the day before the surgery. I took him in still, and the vet said it was best to bring her too for "moral support" but wanted to reschedule her spay due to the circumstances. A vet tech ended up placing them in the same enclosure right after his neuter, resulting in this litter. The vet has offered to do her spay for free to make up for the mistake, but I am waiting for her to wean the kits first. Anyway, your story has convinced me to go through with the spay, I wasn't sure if it was necessary since he is now fixed, but these are pets and I want them to enjoy each other's companionship. What an awful thing to have to pry her off! I hope your finger is okay!

User avatar
Posts: 175
Joined: July 4, 2017
Location: Iowa
United States of America
Thanks: 5
Thanked: 11 in 11 posts
BunnyBucks: 1,072.00

Re: When to provide pellets, water, and remove nest box?

Post Number:#5  Unread postby Maleficent » Wed Dec 06, 2017 8:23 pm


You could also sprinkle some pellets in the nest, if anything I would introduce a second bottle. It helps for when the kits are older and drinking more water. Using the largest bottle available in my area I still have to refill it at least once a day and that is with a Netherland doe and her four kits. I would also pick up some kind of probiotic for when the kits are around 3-4 weeks and starting to wean. Giving them a small pea sized amount once a day (normally they willingly lick it off your finger but if they are reluctant smearing it on their mouth shows them it is yummy and they consume it anyway when cleaning up) can also help to prevent weaning/digestive issues.

The following user would like to thank Maleficent for this post
jenniferlanes

5 years of membership5 years of membership5 years of membership5 years of membership5 years of membership
User avatar
Posts: 4100
Joined: October 27, 2012
Location: Virginia
United States of America Female
Thanks: 182
Thanked: 920 in 766 posts
BunnyBucks: 20,747.00

Re: When to provide pellets, water, and remove nest box?

Post Number:#6  Unread postby Marinea » Wed Dec 06, 2017 9:55 pm


If your weather is turning cold, you can also turn the nest box on it's side rather than take it out. That gives the kits a warm spot to snuggle in.
Bird House Farm
Organic heirloom farming on a small scale

3 years of membership3 years of membership3 years of membership
User avatar
Posts: 129
Joined: April 4, 2014
Location: Southeastern Oklahoma
United States of America Female
Thanks: 28
Thanked: 14 in 14 posts
BunnyBucks: 848.00

Re: When to provide pellets, water, and remove nest box?

Post Number:#7  Unread postby ozemba » Wed Dec 06, 2017 11:07 pm


My kits will be 3 weeks tonight and I'm leaving the nest box in for a few more days since it will be freezing the next few nights.

Right now I've got a bowl with water for them until they learn to use the nipple, which I have seen a few use so far. My cages are all hooked up for automatic water. The food situation has been such that whenever I put pellets out for Mom I put some in the nest box, but now that I'm going to be pulling that out, I'll make sure the kits can reach into the feeder.

The following user would like to thank ozemba for this post
jenniferlanes

Posts: 20
Joined: November 21, 2017
Thanks: 22
Thanked: 1 in 1 post
BunnyBucks: 123.00

Re: When to provide pellets, water, and remove nest box?

Post Number:#8  Unread postby jenniferlanes » Thu Dec 07, 2017 10:04 pm


Marinea wrote:If your weather is turning cold, you can also turn the nest box on it's side rather than take it out. That gives the kits a warm spot to snuggle in.


These guys are living in my house. I ended up giving them a small dog bed and taking the box out since it was getting gross. I can't believe how quickly they grew and started eating on their own!

-- Thu Dec 07, 2017 8:04 pm --

ozemba wrote:My kits will be 3 weeks tonight and I'm leaving the nest box in for a few more days since it will be freezing the next few nights.

Right now I've got a bowl with water for them until they learn to use the nipple, which I have seen a few use so far. My cages are all hooked up for automatic water. The food situation has been such that whenever I put pellets out for Mom I put some in the nest box, but now that I'm going to be pulling that out, I'll make sure the kits can reach into the feeder.


Mine are indoors, so I ended up removing it last week. They have all found the water and the pellets already. I give the doe greens, and they have started eating those too. Is ok that they are eating greens at 3 weeks old?

5 years of membership5 years of membership5 years of membership5 years of membership5 years of membership
User avatar
Posts: 4100
Joined: October 27, 2012
Location: Virginia
United States of America Female
Thanks: 182
Thanked: 920 in 766 posts
BunnyBucks: 20,747.00

Re: When to provide pellets, water, and remove nest box?

Post Number:#9  Unread postby Marinea » Fri Dec 08, 2017 8:33 am


They should be fine eating greens if the doe has been eating them all along. I have found rolled oats to be another good starter food for kits as well.
Bird House Farm
Organic heirloom farming on a small scale

The following user would like to thank Marinea for this post
jenniferlanes

7 years of membership7 years of membership7 years of membership7 years of membership7 years of membership7 years of membership7 years of membership
User avatar
Posts: 6782
Joined: July 17, 2010
Location: Iowa
Thanks: 1
Thanked: 945 in 843 posts
BunnyBucks: 34,975.00

Re: When to provide pellets, water, and remove nest box?

Post Number:#10  Unread postby akane » Fri Dec 08, 2017 12:19 pm


If they start nibbling things right away then any food you feed the doe is fine. They will start slow while still partially nursing and so self regulate unlike withholding a food type until they are older. It's when they didn't get started on something right away that you have problems feeding greens or any new foods to younger rabbits and to varying degrees all ages of rabbits. You have to regulate their intake yourself and avoid doing it when under too much stress already. Right after weaning or when they go to a new home is the worst time to try to adjust them to things like greens and leads to the frequent cautions for beginners buying young rabbits.
http://s1321.beta.photobucket.com/user/takakageri/library/
In order to save myself I must destroy first the me I was told to be -The Dreamer

The following user would like to thank akane for this post
jenniferlanes

Site Supporter
3 years of membership3 years of membership3 years of membership
User avatar
Posts: 1133
Joined: October 30, 2014
Location: Cleveland, Ohio
United States of America Female
Thanks: 665
Thanked: 215 in 199 posts
BunnyBucks: 6,328.00

Re: When to provide pellets, water, and remove nest box?

Post Number:#11  Unread postby EnglishSpot » Fri Dec 08, 2017 5:37 pm


Not that you may have any future litters, but what I'll do is since my nest boxes are home made, I'll unscrew the front panel of the box off so the kits can come and go, Mom can still hop on top, and yet everyone has a place to huddle at the end of the day.
"Not doing anything is still making a choice."

Check out my rabbitry! http://www.facebook.com/SoaringGooseRabbits/

New Blog: https://soaringgooserabbits.wordpress.com/

The following user would like to thank EnglishSpot for this post
jenniferlanes

Posts: 20
Joined: November 21, 2017
Thanks: 22
Thanked: 1 in 1 post
BunnyBucks: 123.00

Re: When to provide pellets, water, and remove nest box?

Post Number:#12  Unread postby jenniferlanes » Fri Dec 08, 2017 8:03 pm


EnglishSpot wrote:Not that you may have any future litters, but what I'll do is since my nest boxes are home made, I'll unscrew the front panel of the box off so the kits can come and go, Mom can still hop on top, and yet everyone has a place to huddle at the end of the day.


I hope I don't have any more surprises, although this has been one of the best accidents I've experienced. I like that idea, because the cage as it is now doesn't have a good place for mom to escape from them. She does get time outside of her cage, but I keep her in the cage with the kits at night and while I am at work.

-- Fri Dec 08, 2017 5:57 pm --

Marinea wrote:They should be fine eating greens if the doe has been eating them all along. I have found rolled oats to be another good starter food for kits as well.


Are quick oats okay? The mom has been getting greens daily, and a little extra since she's been nursing since she seems ravenous.

-- Fri Dec 08, 2017 6:03 pm --

akane wrote:If they start nibbling things right away then any food you feed the doe is fine. They will start slow while still partially nursing and so self regulate unlike withholding a food type until they are older. It's when they didn't get started on something right away that you have problems feeding greens or any new foods to younger rabbits and to varying degrees all ages of rabbits. You have to regulate their intake yourself and avoid doing it when under too much stress already. Right after weaning or when they go to a new home is the worst time to try to adjust them to things like greens and leads to the frequent cautions for beginners buying young rabbits.


Thank you for the explanation! When I had purchased my rabbits I was told to slowly introduce greens and wait until they were older, which is why I was concerned to see the kits eating them already. I had been giving them a little bit every night before the litter, and I increased the doe's portion of greens when I realized she was pregnant and also started giving her some parsley in addition to the usual assortment. I think I read somewhere it was good for nursing does but I am clearly no expert.

3 years of membership3 years of membership3 years of membership
User avatar
Posts: 129
Joined: April 4, 2014
Location: Southeastern Oklahoma
United States of America Female
Thanks: 28
Thanked: 14 in 14 posts
BunnyBucks: 848.00

Re: When to provide pellets, water, and remove nest box?

Post Number:#13  Unread postby ozemba » Fri Dec 08, 2017 9:10 pm


jenniferlanes wrote:
Thank you for the explanation! When I had purchased my rabbits I was told to slowly introduce greens and wait until they were older, which is why I was concerned to see the kits eating them already. I had been giving them a little bit every night before the litter, and I increased the doe's portion of greens when I realized she was pregnant and also started giving her some parsley in addition to the usual assortment. I think I read somewhere it was good for nursing does but I am clearly no expert.


I feed my buns fodder and since they've been in there the whole time, they got to nibble on mom's fodder and now they literally RUN from the box whenever I put the fodder in there to be first to nibble on it. They love it. I think our litters are the same age? Mine were born Nov. 16th.

They'll also run up to my hand to make sure I don't have any goodies there. They crack me up. They've been running through the water bowl like it's nothing, even though it's 40 degrees or so.

Posts: 20
Joined: November 21, 2017
Thanks: 22
Thanked: 1 in 1 post
BunnyBucks: 123.00

Re: When to provide pellets, water, and remove nest box?

Post Number:#14  Unread postby jenniferlanes » Fri Dec 08, 2017 10:22 pm


ozemba wrote:I feed my buns fodder and since they've been in there the whole time, they got to nibble on mom's fodder and now they literally RUN from the box whenever I put the fodder in there to be first to nibble on it. They love it. I think our litters are the same age? Mine were born Nov. 16th.

They'll also run up to my hand to make sure I don't have any goodies there. They crack me up. They've been running through the water bowl like it's nothing, even though it's 40 degrees or so.


Mine were born the 13th, so yes, same age! They are so adorable! Mine rush to eat the greens, too. They are starting to run away if I try to pick them up. (Maybe too much torture taking bunny Santa pictures?) A couple don't seem to mind being scooped up and snuggled at all. They figured out how to hop out of the cage this week too, so I have to close the door when I let mom out for exercise. The first time it took me over 30 minutes to locate and extract them all from underneath my furniture.

As for the water bowl, I think I'm going to remove it because it gets filthy quickly and they seem to have figured out the bottle in the last couple of days.

7 years of membership7 years of membership7 years of membership7 years of membership7 years of membership7 years of membership7 years of membership
User avatar
Posts: 6782
Joined: July 17, 2010
Location: Iowa
Thanks: 1
Thanked: 945 in 843 posts
BunnyBucks: 34,975.00

Re: When to provide pellets, water, and remove nest box?

Post Number:#15  Unread postby akane » Sat Dec 09, 2017 4:39 am


I have pics of little netherland dwarf fluffballs eating grape leaves bigger than them. Sadly photobucket went to hell and even to recover my own pictures I'm going to have to pay to remove ads long enough I can download each one to my own permanent storage. It's just not worth digging through the ads to find anything even with them fairly well organized and memorized.
http://s1321.beta.photobucket.com/user/takakageri/library/
In order to save myself I must destroy first the me I was told to be -The Dreamer

The following user would like to thank akane for this post
jenniferlanes

Next

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest