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Kits not leaving the nest

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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Kits not leaving the nest

Post Number:#1  Unread postby MeadowView » Sat Nov 18, 2017 8:16 pm


Bear with me - this is my first litter in years so I might need some help remembering. :lol:

I have a litter of six Himalayans in the nestbox right now. They are about two and a half weeks old now. Everything I remember says they should have been leaving the nest as soon as their eyes opened, and that I should have been able to remove it or at the very least turn it on it's side by two weeks. I've done a little digging and sources say to remove the nest at three weeks when it's cold, but they're indoors. It's never colder than 64.

Not one kit has even tried to leave the nest, near as I can tell. One pops its head over to look at me when I feed. That's... it. Now I know this isn't exactly a critical issue... but I wish they weren't so lazy. :lol:

My question is this: Given that these little ones are all agoraphobic, when should I pull the plug and take the nest out?

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Re: Kits not leaving the nest

Post Number:#2  Unread postby SableSteel » Sat Nov 18, 2017 8:48 pm


Some are lazy little things lol
If I have room in the cage, I flip the nestbox on its side around that age. So they can get in and out, and it doesnt get as messy, but they can still sleep in there. Usually mine at first sleep in the nextbox and spend some time playing outside it, and gradually moving to sleeping outside and then I take it out. More gradual than fully taking out the box, especially if the kits are lazy and stubborn
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Re: Kits not leaving the nest

Post Number:#3  Unread postby MaggieJ » Sat Nov 18, 2017 10:39 pm


One thing you may need to take into consideration is the mothering style of the doe. Certain does believe that kits belong in the box and ought to stay there. They get quite annoyed when the kits venture out. I had one like that once: her kits lined up on the top of the nest box while their same age cousins were all over their cage. The mommas were sisters, but very different in temperament.

You might want to try testing this by taking a couple of kits out and putting them on the floor of the cage, and then watching momma's reaction.
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Re: Kits not leaving the nest

Post Number:#4  Unread postby Ozarkansas » Sun Nov 19, 2017 9:25 am


My very first kits didn't leave until 3 weeks. I like it when they wait personally, when they get out younger I worry something will happen to them. When it is hot out I have babies out at 9 days in the winter it can take until 3 1/2 weeks. My rule is no babies out of the box until I've seen them get back in with no difficulty. Around 2 1/2 to 3 weeks I will take them all out of the nest when I check them, and then go back about 20 minutes later and put them all back in the nest. That has worked every time for me, in a few minutes they are hopping in and out of the box. I guess sometimes they just don't realize that's an option. :bunnyhop:
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Re: Kits not leaving the nest

Post Number:#5  Unread postby Homer » Sun Nov 19, 2017 10:07 am


:yeahthat:

Mine are usually in and out about 3 weeks old too. At 4 weeks they're like little piranha hunting their next meal as mom is slowing down feeding them. :lol:
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