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Really Young Kits "Decomposing Alive"

Diagnosing and treating rabbit ailments. *Caution! These threads may contain graphic content.*
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Re: Really Young Kits "Decomposing Alive"

Post Number:#16  Unread postby Deer Heart » Fri Mar 02, 2018 6:39 pm


MaggieJ wrote: try tossing in an overripe banana, skin and all. Rats are very attracted to the smell they give off. Might be a good bait for a bucket-trap too.


.... I didn't know this. Before all the issues started, I had a bundle of well overripe bananas I gave to the chickens and ducks (same area as the buns) right before I left for work. They were gone, peels and all, by the time I got home. I just thought my chickens must've really liked the treat. That was less than a week before this started happening (like a couple days). Shoot. :/ Possible my dumb self just attracted every single nearby rat to the area (there's several abandoned properties nearby and the neighbor directly behind me thinks they run a small landfill of junk)
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Re: Really Young Kits "Decomposing Alive"

Post Number:#17  Unread postby MaggieJ » Fri Mar 02, 2018 7:32 pm


The bananas may have attracted the nearby rats and I would speculate that the rats got a lot more than your poultry, but it was a one-time thing and I doubt it made a lot of difference to the overall picture.

A variety of tactics, implemented consistently and persistently, should make a good dent in the rat population. As the numbers drop, the rats should become less aggressive because they can feed themselves without going to extremes.
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Re: Really Young Kits "Decomposing Alive"

Post Number:#18  Unread postby ladysown » Fri Mar 02, 2018 10:07 pm


having HAD a rat problem... find a farmer, friend whatever and get the red bait (depending on what the pesticide laws are where you live). red bait kills everything really quickly. The nonsense they sell in the stores is useless.

Kill them NOW.. as fast and as determinedly as you can. YOU DO NOT want to go through more heart break.
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Re: Really Young Kits "Decomposing Alive"

Post Number:#19  Unread postby akane » Sat Mar 03, 2018 5:06 am


Multiple times I stuck out every kind of trap from ordering online to making them and all sorts of home bait solutions. Note-rats are so attracted to sulfur they'll try to eat things they get little to no nutrition from like strips of wood or cardboard soaked in some concentrated sulfur compounds. I always end up putting out commercial poison and now just leave some out 365 days a year so they never get established. The plaster works eventually if you keep refreshing it and get on top of the population but once they multiply it's way too slow and you end up mixing plaster bait constantly. It's also annoying to have to keep refreshing it whether you see rodents or not because by the time you do see rodents it's too late and it won't remain edible for months like commercial baits. They do have a commercial non-toxic equivalent now that causes a similar dehydration issue in rodents by using natural food ingredients to stop only rodent species thirst sensors from working. Rat x is one brand.

I did order a more palatable bait sometimes used for populations that have become resistant to other baits that is also far less toxic up the food chain so it reduces the risk to predators but for reasons I don't know it's only available in the US to those licensed for pest control. It could be it was not an anticoagulant with no counter to ingestion so if someone (or a pet) did eat it directly there is little that can be done to stop the damage or the recent attempt to reduce the use of any bait not in block form being sold to consumers when that one is often used to coat food items as a liquid or powder in other countries for even greater chance of ingestion. After I received some it was pulled by the company from the US website so I can't even look up which product it was. Worked perfectly though. Having messed around for years at a time trying to kill off all the pest rodents without resorting to poison I've decided it's just not worth the effort and the damage that occurs in the meantime instead of just wiping them all out and being mostly done with it. It's probably better to have 2 blocks of commercial poison in 2 key locked stations on the property poisoning the odd rodent that returns than building up a population only to continually carry various compounds that may not be outright toxic to most animals but is still harmful to some species that are not bothering me. We are thinking of ripping all the cupboards out and redoing the kitchen rather than trying to clean them now that we finally have all the dang pest rodents dead. I haven't stored anything in a cupboard I could reach for 2+years because it risked getting rodent pee on it.
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Re: Really Young Kits "Decomposing Alive"

Post Number:#20  Unread postby Deer Heart » Sun Mar 04, 2018 9:14 pm


Welp, rat issue far worse than I initially thought. I got 2 kinds of poisons on Friday (One Bite II which are classic bars and the green stuff that is basically grain turned green from the poison. The one bite uses an anticoagulant called Bromadiolone, the grain stuff is a highly toxic poison called Bromethalin) I put out the One Bite that very night and not only was an entire bar missing from my kitchen, but every other placed bar had obvious activity (several outside out of dog, bird, and bunny reach and one in my bathroom). So I put out a fresh bar in my kitchen the following night - also gone by morning but so was the one in my bathroom. They are way more apparent in their activity too as I was able to hear several fighting over the bathroom bar as they drug it around my pipes and under the house. So yes, they made off with three whole bars now all while others still gnawed on the other locations. So tonight I put out more bars along with dishes of the green stuff (in the house only as there is no antidote for this stuff, if a non-target critter eats it they're as good as dead)
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Re: Really Young Kits "Decomposing Alive"

Post Number:#21  Unread postby MaggieJ » Sun Mar 04, 2018 9:47 pm


Glad you're taking care the dogs and critters other than rats cannot get at it. Because you are right that there is no antidote for those newer poisons.

If you are using them in the house as well as outbuildings, are you concerned about having to deal with the smell of decomposing rats? Please post the outcome when a little time has gone by, because I know a lot of people worry about that.
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Re: Really Young Kits "Decomposing Alive"

Post Number:#22  Unread postby Deer Heart » Fri Mar 09, 2018 11:12 pm


Update: The poison seems to have had a strong effect. Activity ramped up but now all seems quiet. No dead rat smells yet, though. Unfortunately the damage had been done still. Out of an initial 29 kits, I'm down to 6 now. They just constantly died every day since my initial post. Every morning I've been pulling dead kits from nest boxes. Even after the rats stopped coming. I think there was some disease that was transferred somehow because the kits all seemed healthy one day and dead the next.

Just this morning had to remove 3 more bodies between two separate nests. They didn't even look dead most of the time. I have to physically poke them for a reaction. Still extremely fast decomp on some of them despite colder conditions, but no visible bites on them since the older doe died.
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Re: Really Young Kits "Decomposing Alive"

Post Number:#23  Unread postby michaels4gardens » Sat Mar 10, 2018 3:24 pm


Deer Heart wrote:Update: The poison seems to have had a strong effect. Activity ramped up but now all seems quiet. No dead rat smells yet, though. Unfortunately the damage had been done still. Out of an initial 29 kits, I'm down to 6 now. They just constantly died every day since my initial post. Every morning I've been pulling dead kits from nest boxes. Even after the rats stopped coming. I think there was some disease that was transferred somehow because the kits all seemed healthy one day and dead the next.

Just this morning had to remove 3 more bodies between two separate nests. They didn't even look dead most of the time. I have to physically poke them for a reaction. Still extremely fast decomp on some of them despite colder conditions, but no visible bites on them since the older doe died.

a good cleaning of everything is in order-- then-- attempt to re breed..
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Re: Really Young Kits "Decomposing Alive"

Post Number:#24  Unread postby Deer Heart » Fri Mar 30, 2018 5:50 pm


Update; the rat and mouse population seems to have declined enough I'm no longer seeing signs of their presence. I did have 2-3 die in my walls but the smell was incredibly faint since our winters are dry here. I could maybe detect them for a week, but mainly in the bathroom wall so I just kept the door closed and just fabreezed before each use. It was only really bad if you were outside though. No fly issues.

I had more kits die and now only have 2 survivors out of the original 29. BUT. I have thoroughly cleaned and re-bred along the way and my angora had 8 yesterday and one of my rexs had 9 the day before.

I am using wood chips now to line the bottom of the nests and giving moms mounds of hay to use as they wish. Works notably better so far @ nest sanitation, fingers crossed we recovered from this tragedy.
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Re: Really Young Kits "Decomposing Alive"

Post Number:#25  Unread postby michaels4gardens » Sun Apr 01, 2018 8:17 am


be sure to check often to see if the bedding under the kits is getting damp- change as needed..
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Re: Really Young Kits "Decomposing Alive"

Post Number:#26  Unread postby Deer Heart » Fri Apr 13, 2018 3:57 pm


Well I have some good news and a caution for the few folks who use this style of nestbox; it turns out it was mostly the type of bedding I was using with this kind of nest box.

Yes, I had a rodent infestation and it wasn't helping the situation at all. But, upon review of the types of injuries and decomp I was seeing, not to mention continued losses even after most of the culprits were dead (I lost about 3-6 AFTER all signs of rat and mouse activity completely subsided). My conclusion was that something else was killing the kits and the rats were just taking advantage/being drawn in by the dead kits.

What explains it though, was mostly my fault. I changed the bedding. Yup, something so simple and dumb cost me almost every last kit. I have been using a thick shredded paper base for years (would shred my junk mail and use it for padding and then offer the moms copious amounts of hay to top off the nests). This became predictably labor intensive the more mother buns I got and it was difficult to compost, plus as complained about earlier - it had a tendency to become papier mache when moistened by urine and was entrapping babies. So this season, I decided to switch to a thick hay base and offer moms more hay for building. Bad idea. Apparently, aside from the fact pure hay by itself does not handle any moisture well, it kicks out of this style of nestbox very easily, and - worst of all - the main reason almost every baby died; it does not CUSHION the babies when the mother rabbit descends into the nest to feed (this kind of nest box is down below the main cage, moms don't crawl in like most kinds of nestboxes, they jump down to the babies and then jump up to the main cage). The only thing that explains the types of injuries I was seeing, is they were being crushed - repeatedly - any time the mother would try to feed them and there was nothing the mother could do to avoid it as there wasn't proper padding.

Unfortunately, I didn't figure it out until I switched the bedding again.

Once I was sure the rodents were still under control, I cleaned everything and re-bred a pair of does (ones that lost all their kits at the very start within a few days of having them). This time I changed to a thick layer of fine pine shavings because it was more absorbent and had a smell that might deter rodents (plus they created a surface that would be easier for me to locate deceased babies immediately for removal, it was very hard to find them in the hay).

This time there has been no early losses like before. The babies are even opening their eyes now and I'm noticing the pine shavings not only held up better than anything else (most of the original nesting hay is gone now, even. I need to give more, but wanted to get these pictures first showing what I'm talking about), it is being compacted down. From the mothers. /smh. They're also still bone dry and very clean. :)

Conclusion: Type of bedding makes a huge difference in rabbits.


Photographic evidence of this:

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Re: Really Young Kits "Decomposing Alive"

Post Number:#27  Unread postby alforddm » Fri Apr 13, 2018 4:31 pm


I use these types of nest boxes with only hay. I do put a liner (either cardboard or a type of thin belting that allows drainage) in the bottom during the summer and line the sides during the winter. I've never experienced these types of problems even with 10lbs does. I've never seen any sign of rat activity in my cages. I'd still be inclined to believe it was the rats, even if just as a vector for bacteria.

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Re: Really Young Kits "Decomposing Alive"

Post Number:#28  Unread postby Deer Heart » Fri Apr 13, 2018 6:11 pm


Could be the cardboard on the bottom was part of why you haven't had the problem? It blocks hay being shoved out and kits digging to the wire bottom - I don't have any cardboard though, except on extremely rare occasions, so never used any for this purpose. Just paper bedding in the bottom for the last few years, only hay this last time, but now wood shavings. Never had deaths like this before doing nothing but hay and apparently no deaths after. Never gets cold enough here to cover the sides of the nest box. The concern most of the year here is overheating them, which is why I chose this nestbox style in the first place. Anything to cool my kits down and allow for better circulation.

I'm not saying rats didn't contribute btw, I just think this may have started it.
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Re: Really Young Kits "Decomposing Alive"

Post Number:#29  Unread postby alforddm » Fri Apr 13, 2018 8:40 pm


Maybe? The one time I tried to use them without a liner, I accidentally got a kits leg stuck between the bottom and the cage. Thankfully, it screamed and I moved it and then got a liner. They do end up digging down to the cardboard especially when it is warm out. It doesn't have to be cardboard, anything that is sturdy and slightly porous would work. I've used paper feed sacks before, they don't work quite as well as the cardboard because the does can shred it more easily (they shred the cardboard as well) but it does work. What about denim fabric or fleece? I've never used it but might work to let moisture out but hold the hay in. I don't know if those would hold moisture to much or not? Liquor stores and some other stores often have boxes they will let you have. I've used those before if I was running low.

I'm glad your getting kits again whatever the cause.

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Re: Really Young Kits "Decomposing Alive"

Post Number:#30  Unread postby michaels4gardens » Sun Apr 15, 2018 7:27 pm


I dont make the hole in the cage bottom as big as the nest box, i make it half as big, and on one end, I have not had any of these kind of problems
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