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Not nesting soon enough

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Not nesting soon enough

Post Number:#1  Unread postby golden rabbitry » Sun Nov 04, 2018 10:39 pm


Hi, my doe sapphire always prepares the nest box a few days before birth, yet never lines it with fur in time. I know shell have babies in 5 or so hours if i find her pulling fur, but sometimes she holds back to long. The last litter was ok but the three before always had an early baby that popped out a few hours before the others cause her litters are big for her size. The issue is there is no complete nest to put it in and I have to put together one for it. My other doe always is ready, never stressed about putting her nest together to late, she even took the extra mile and put her carpet square in to ensure comfy babies. How do I get sapphire to prepare ahead of time and stop risking the little orphan?? An y advise? I already have a emergency nest with her fur from shedding in it but is there a way to make her prepare sooner? Feedback would be great!

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Re: Not nesting soon enough

Post Number:#2  Unread postby akane » Sun Nov 04, 2018 10:45 pm


You can't make a doe nest. Some don't pull fur until after the kits are born but if they are born in the box and then get a nest piled on or around them it usually works fine. Aside from cold weather and slow labor. Otherwise all you can do is put in enough clean fur from past nests to keep the kits warm until she pulls more.
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Re: Not nesting soon enough

Post Number:#3  Unread postby golden rabbitry » Sun Nov 04, 2018 10:54 pm


the thing is, she tends to pop a kit out before hand on the wire, i get it, keep it warm and feed it in the house, a few hours later she gives birth to the rest. I don't get why this happened and we think she holds them in till the nest is done and one or two can't stay in or something.

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Re: Not nesting soon enough

Post Number:#4  Unread postby Nymphadora » Mon Nov 05, 2018 12:09 pm


golden rabbitry, I just responded to your question in the chat box, before I noticed you started a thread.

Like Akane said, there's really no way to make the does build a nest in advance. And I'll repeat what I said in chat... our does generally don't pull fur until they're in the middle of kindling. As long as the kits end up in the nest, it doesn't worry me. They'll warm up once they're all tucked in.

golden rabbitry wrote:the thing is, she tends to pop a kit out before hand on the wire, i get it, keep it warm and feed it in the house, a few hours later she gives birth to the rest. I don't get why this happened and we think she holds them in till the nest is done and one or two can't stay in or something.


This sounds like you're very involved when she's kindling... kits don't necessarily need to be fed right away (some does don't have milk supplies until 24 hours after giving birth), and she may be trying to hold them in, as you say, because she's nervous and trying to wait until you're not around. Do you generally watch when she's kindling? Maybe see if there's a place you can peek around the corner from once in a while without actually intruding... and let the rabbits do what they do in peace. This will also help determine if maybe she's just not a very good mother... in which case I'd reconsider if I'd keep her in my breeding program.

Best of luck! :)

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Re: Not nesting soon enough

Post Number:#5  Unread postby akane » Tue Nov 06, 2018 4:09 pm


You definitely don't need to feed it and it may be harmful to do so. There is not a great substitute for rabbit milk so best to rely on actual rabbit milk when possible.

If it's not excessively cold you should also just be able to put the kit in the box and let her finish if she doesn't mind or won't end up accidentally hurting it while arranging the rest of the nest. The kit is even fine on the wire in warm weather for awhile if the doe isn't moving around the cage enough to trample it and the cage does not have any wide bar spacing it might wiggle out. Then you can leave the doe alone until finished and put any stray kits in the finished nest with the rest. Rabbits didn't evolve to pay a lot of attention to their kits so they survive being ignored for a surprisingly long time and usually more than a day between meals if they aren't under other stress such as low temps. You have to act more if you really want to save kits in temp extremes but it's better to just not breed those does in cooler weather.

Some does get quite upset at being disturbed and others have less obvious negative reactions such as not getting a nest built properly. Most do not attempt to do anything with the kits or cage until the doe is done unless it's a real emergency. It may cause more problems and loss of kits. It can be better to do nothing sometimes. Even when you have to accept the loss of a single kit in order for the doe to properly care for the rest and hopefully improve the next time once they understand what is going on. Many does get better at building nests and delivering kits in them if left to figure it out without any stress added to the event.
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Re: Not nesting soon enough

Post Number:#6  Unread postby golden rabbitry » Tue Nov 06, 2018 6:30 pm


I will tell you guys know how her kindle goes, she already dug a small place in the box for them so I have alittle more hope!!1

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