Update - more popples!

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.
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Update - more popples!

Post Number:#1  Unread postby bunny love » Mon Aug 06, 2018 11:18 pm

My French lop kindled her second litter today exactly 31 days after her 1st litter :oops: . I sectioned off half of her enclosure put her first litter on one side, and her on the other side. funny thing is she spends most of her time on the kits side :roll: . She can jump on her hide/nest box and onto their side. I believe the first litter is weaned though, because they no longer try to nurse. She had 12 her first litter and at weaning she had 9. 3 died in the first couple of weeks. This time she had 14 :shock: . One dead, 13 live, but 1 doesn't look good. They are really small. I'm guessing because there are so many. Looks like they are the same colors as her first litter, chins, chestnut, opal, and white, all look agouti. No self blues :(. I'm thinking I'll have to split the litter to give all 13 a chance to nurse. But for now I'm just going to keep an eye on them. I weighed the 4 week old kits and they all weigh 1 pound. I'm hoping that's a good weight. They feel nice and solid. I was really hoping she would only have 8 or less this time. Does anyone know if the kits are born small, if they will be small as adults? I'll try to post some pics.

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Re: Update - more popples!

Post Number:#2  Unread postby michaels4gardens » Tue Aug 07, 2018 5:27 am

although birth weight is an important factor in weaning weights, the most important factor is the milking ability of the doe, and the number of times she nurses the kits each day. It is normal for big litters to have lower individual birth weights, it is also normal for does that do not get a rest period between litters to give less milk.
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Re: Update - more popples!

Post Number:#3  Unread postby Nymphadora » Tue Aug 07, 2018 1:56 pm

I think Michael's advice is solid on this, I've noticed with bigger litters the kits have generally started out a little smaller, but they can catch up with enough of the doe's milk... that said in such a big litter it's not uncommon to lose a few because they don't always compete well for food. Splitting the litter works, if she's producing enough milk. If it seems the kits aren't getting quite enough, maybe try supplementing with Homer's DIY recipe:

I would also point out that even though you don't see the 4-week old kits nursing, they very well still may be. Of course they'll be eating solid foods at this point as well, but they still use mom's milk and her cecotropes to grow their gut flora and gain some extra fat in their diet. They're growing rapidly and need some of those extra calories, after all. ;)

Heck, I have 6-week olds right now that I caught at the milk bar last night, even though they hardly fit under mom anymore! :P

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Re: Update - more popples!

Post Number:#4  Unread postby hotzcatz » Mon Sep 03, 2018 9:08 pm

you can supplement their feeding with a bit of hand feeding, too, as they get bigger. Around three weeks old is probably the hardest on the doe since that's when the kits are still not weaned and they are large and drinking the most. The University of Florida has a nice baby rabbit milk recipe you can make out of regular kitchen ingredients. Feed it with an eye dropper and with supplements, the whole litter will probably survive.

There's a link to the milk recipe on this blog page: I'd look it up directly but don't have time at this moment.
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