Register

Summer litters

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.
2 years of membership2 years of membership
User avatar
Posts: 810
Joined: May 2, 2016
Location: California, US
United States of America
Thanks: 386
Thanked: 189 in 158 posts
BunnyBucks: 3,998.00

Summer litters

Post Number:#1  Unread postby Nymphadora » Mon Jun 25, 2018 2:01 pm


I finally snapped some pictures of our mamas and their babies on Friday, but due to a busy weekend I haven't had time to post.

A little background:

We didn’t initially plan on breeding past April. However, we had a doe that was finally old enough to breed and I was admittedly a bit impatient and didn’t want to wait until after the warm season (could be October-November before I get another chance to breed). It was also cooler than usual this spring, and I was hoping it would last. Next year I don’t intend to breed later than early April, regardless. Not that it was the worst thing in the world, but my nerves probably didn’t appreciate my fussing about the weather any time it got up to or over 80 degrees. We bred two does, in case the first timer had trouble. The doe we chose as the “potential foster” was Jane, our opal girl who does better when she’s bred relatively consistently anyway. Both got bred to Odin, our castor buck (it was his first time, too… again, I was excited). Due date was the Wednesday after Father’s Day, June 20.

20180619_172249.jpg
Jane pre-kindling
20180619_172249.jpg (1.95 MiB) Viewed 313 times

Jane was very clearly pregnant by week 3… the week of her due date, I could have sworn she swallowed a mini watermelon. She kindled more or less right on time, the morning of June 21. This is Jane's 3rd litter with us... first litter was two, second was eight (and lost one, so seven?), and this time... she had ten kits! Unfortunately we lost one early on, and there's one more that's not doing great and absolutely refusing to eat when I put it next to mama’s teat. I’m bracing myself for the eventual probability that it will not survive. We’ve decided to not interfere (beyond holding mama and letting the smallest ones have extra time without competition) so that we do not keep any potentially weaker rabbits for breeding. It still sucks seeing a fader.

20180621_181418.jpg
Juvia
20180621_181418.jpg (2.3 MiB) Viewed 313 times

And then there was Juvia. She kindled on Saturday, 3 days past the due date. When I first checked the nest I thought she’d only had one… upon closer inspection, she had a total of three. Two were DOA, and one looked a bit stretched, so I’m thinking it may have gotten stuck and the other one was probably after it. Poor Juvia, she pulled so much fur and made a lovely nest… my heart was a bit heavy that morning. Since I think Jane does better with slightly smaller litters, I added three of her kits to Juvia’s nest, to keep the little singleton warm. And Juvia’s been feeding them insanely well, they’ve always got big milk bellies when I check on them! Even the runt of Jane’s litter, who I initially didn’t think would make it. He’s catching up a bit now, thanks to Juvia’s enthusiasm with the babies.

20180621_182237.jpg
Jane's litter 6.21.2018
20180621_182237.jpg (2.58 MiB) Viewed 313 times


I’ll keep y’all updated on the little ones, our summer babies are certainly well-loved. I missed having itty bitty kits to snuggle. And I’m crossing my fingers that Juvia has a better second litter… I think she’d be a great mom if she had more babies, she’s tending the extras we gave her so well!

The following user would like to thank Nymphadora for this post
Zass

Site Supporter
2 years of membership2 years of membership
User avatar
Posts: 493
Joined: August 28, 2016
Location: Southern Arizona
United States of America Female
Thanks: 85
Thanked: 96 in 83 posts
BunnyBucks: 2,551.00

Re: Summer litters

Post Number:#2  Unread postby SixGun » Mon Jun 25, 2018 2:52 pm


Congrats and they all look lovely. I hate breeding in the summer too, but sometimes I just dont have the patience, like you said.

The following user would like to thank SixGun for this post
Nymphadora

2 years of membership2 years of membership
User avatar
Posts: 810
Joined: May 2, 2016
Location: California, US
United States of America
Thanks: 386
Thanked: 189 in 158 posts
BunnyBucks: 3,998.00

Re: Summer litters

Post Number:#3  Unread postby Nymphadora » Wed Jun 27, 2018 11:09 am


Update for the popples:

We did lose one more kit from Jane's litter, as expected. And just because you know it's coming doesn't seem to make it any easier, but at least the rest are all looking very healthy and plump. Actually, when I check them in the mornings they look positively roly poly, so both mamas seem to be feeding just before I head out to work. Even the runt has a fat little belly when I check it! :oops:

20180626_191833.jpg
Juvia's castor baby
20180626_191833.jpg (1.33 MiB) Viewed 284 times

Juvia is taking excellent care of her singleton and the half-siblings, I'm really glad her mothering instincts seem to be strong, even if her own litter had troubles. Her singleton is also HUGE, so there's that... as the only representative of this cross, I'm really curious how it turns out.

IMG_20180626_210823_013.jpg
Jane's litter
IMG_20180626_210823_013.jpg (752.62 KiB) Viewed 284 times

And Jane's litter is getting fuzzy enough to distinguish the colors better now, as well. Odin carries self, and I knew the Jane carried otter, so the otter babies shouldn't have been such a suprise... I just wasn't expecting them (two agouti parents each carrying a different recessive, I guess I was just expecting more agoutis). The dilute also surprised me a bit, although again not impossible to foresee. He's out of a black buck and broken castor doe. I knew his grand-dam carried otter and dilute (our Judy), but I didn't know if his mom carried dilute. Welp, more colors for our nestboxes then, can't say I'm not pleased! :D

Site Supporter
2 years of membership2 years of membership
User avatar
Posts: 717
Joined: August 18, 2016
Location: Amherstburg, Ontario
Canada Female
Thanks: 142
Thanked: 152 in 138 posts
BunnyBucks: 3,919.00

Re: Summer litters

Post Number:#4  Unread postby SarniaTricia » Wed Jun 27, 2018 1:45 pm


I was really going to try not to breed after May .... the litters due 19June was a bit of a disaster!!

5 does due
Wendy died with a belly full of kits (I'm guessing heat stroke)
Sweet pea had a large litter, all in the nest box, all cleaned and dead
Tiger Lily had 3 (that I found) all over the wire, One survived
Little Bird didn't take at all!
Simba had a beautiful litter of 7...

I hate that it will go from 70 and comfortable to 90+ high humidity overnight then back again..... but, it really is survival of the fittest.... if the rabbits can't handle it they really aren't the rabbits for me.

They are in an open barn with a breeze going through the barn and clay floors that tend to keep the barn 10 degrees cooler in the summer.

Simba's litter 19June2018.png
Simba's litter 19June2018.png (151.62 KiB) Viewed 278 times
Breeding Czech Frosty & Magpie Harlequin Rabbits for Showing, Meat and Pelts...
Working towards a farm to raise animals with respect and care.
Amherstburg, Ontario, Canada

https://www.facebook.com/BABRabbits/
https://www.facebook.com/Growing-Urban- ... 749253819/
https://www.facebook.com/AmherstburgFarmersMarket/

Site Supporter
2 years of membership2 years of membership
User avatar
Posts: 493
Joined: August 28, 2016
Location: Southern Arizona
United States of America Female
Thanks: 85
Thanked: 96 in 83 posts
BunnyBucks: 2,551.00

Re: Summer litters

Post Number:#5  Unread postby SixGun » Wed Jun 27, 2018 3:58 pm


I love those harlis. So gorgeous... I think if I ever added another breed, it would have to be Harlequins.

2 years of membership2 years of membership
User avatar
Posts: 810
Joined: May 2, 2016
Location: California, US
United States of America
Thanks: 386
Thanked: 189 in 158 posts
BunnyBucks: 3,998.00

Re: Summer litters

Post Number:#6  Unread postby Nymphadora » Thu Jun 28, 2018 10:03 am


SarniaTricia wrote:I was really going to try not to breed after May .... the litters due 19June was a bit of a disaster!!

5 does due
Wendy died with a belly full of kits (I'm guessing heat stroke)
Sweet pea had a large litter, all in the nest box, all cleaned and dead
Tiger Lily had 3 (that I found) all over the wire, One survived
Little Bird didn't take at all!
Simba had a beautiful litter of 7...

Ouch, that sounds really rough... sorry you went through that. Simba's litter really is beautiful though, SixGun is right! :oops:

We've got a misting system to keep our rabbitry cool when it gets hot (it's hooked up to a thermostat), and we've got shade cloth covering the rabbitry to keep the sun off. Between those two fixes, our rabbit area doesn't get much over 85 degrees and our rabbits can handle that temperature alright. Thankfully we don't have humidity issues, so the misters are lovely and pleasant in our dry heat. :)

That said, I think I've learned my lesson... I don't like the stress of summer litters. From now on April is my cut-off month, unless there is a really pressing need to breed (unlikely, but I'm of the school of thought that absolutes are the surest way to break a commitment). :D

Site Supporter
2 years of membership2 years of membership
User avatar
Posts: 717
Joined: August 18, 2016
Location: Amherstburg, Ontario
Canada Female
Thanks: 142
Thanked: 152 in 138 posts
BunnyBucks: 3,919.00

Re: Summer litters

Post Number:#7  Unread postby SarniaTricia » Thu Jun 28, 2018 10:56 am


SixGun wrote:I love those harlis. So gorgeous... I think if I ever added another breed, it would have to be Harlequins.


They really are a beautiful Rabbit!! But sooooo addictive!! I always seem to need more!.... But seriously, have to cull down my herd to the "best" and get lean for Convention! :D

-- Thu Jun 28, 2018 10:56 am --

Nymphadora wrote:
SarniaTricia wrote:I was really going to try not to breed after May .... the litters due 19June was a bit of a disaster!!

5 does due
Wendy died with a belly full of kits (I'm guessing heat stroke)
Sweet pea had a large litter, all in the nest box, all cleaned and dead
Tiger Lily had 3 (that I found) all over the wire, One survived
Little Bird didn't take at all!
Simba had a beautiful litter of 7...

Ouch, that sounds really rough... sorry you went through that. Simba's litter really is beautiful though, SixGun is right! :oops:

We've got a misting system to keep our rabbitry cool when it gets hot (it's hooked up to a thermostat), and we've got shade cloth covering the rabbitry to keep the sun off. Between those two fixes, our rabbit area doesn't get much over 85 degrees and our rabbits can handle that temperature alright. Thankfully we don't have humidity issues, so the misters are lovely and pleasant in our dry heat. :)

That said, I think I've learned my lesson... I don't like the stress of summer litters. From now on April is my cut-off month, unless there is a really pressing need to breed (unlikely, but I'm of the school of thought that absolutes are the surest way to break a commitment). :D


Thank you Nymphadora .... Yes, summer does bring on the stressors... and I'm a big believer that there are no absolutes... well, likely not... lol .. :lol:
Breeding Czech Frosty & Magpie Harlequin Rabbits for Showing, Meat and Pelts...
Working towards a farm to raise animals with respect and care.
Amherstburg, Ontario, Canada

https://www.facebook.com/BABRabbits/
https://www.facebook.com/Growing-Urban- ... 749253819/
https://www.facebook.com/AmherstburgFarmersMarket/

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests