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Worried my kits arnt being fed!

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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Worried my kits arnt being fed!

Post Number:#1  Unread postby Daze » Sun Nov 12, 2017 5:49 am


3 day old kits, there’s 7 of them and I’m worried they arnt being fed, they don’t look sunken in to me but they don’t look full either. They’re are slightly wrinkled too, I did take photos but I can’t seem to post them!

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Re: Worried my kits arnt being fed!

Post Number:#2  Unread postby Random Rabbit » Sun Nov 12, 2017 8:27 am


Newborn kits do look a bit"rough" it takes a few days to begin plumping up.
I judge by IF i feel heat when i put my hand near them... they are doing ok.
A doe will not stay with the young like dogs and cats do. Being prey animals they try to stay away except for feeding times (once or twice a day) to avoid bringing attention to the nest.
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Re: Worried my kits arnt being fed!

Post Number:#3  Unread postby MaggieJ » Sun Nov 12, 2017 8:45 am


At three days old, I think you'd be aware if they were getting nothing -- they'd be on the point of starving out. And Random Rabbit is right that they can take a few days to start looking prosperous.

I'll post two links for you and for others who may be facing this question. The first has pictures of fed and unfed kits (my own from years ago) and the second has Homer's excellent recipe for hand-feeding kits. I doubt you'll need it this time, but it's good to be aware of it all the same.

fed-vs-unfed-kit-pictures-t3052.html
updated-hand-feeding-formula-t27372.html

Sometimes, with a clueless first-time momma, it is worth giving momma a hand so she learns what she is supposed to do. Some people hold the doe in the nestbox so that the kits have a chance to latch on. It can be a bit tricky if the doe resists. Another way is to sit on a chair with your legs a little apart and spread a towel over them, so there is a little pouch to hold the kits. Once they are in there, place the doe on your lap and stroke her to reassure her. This helps to prevent injury to the kits if she kicks.

Good luck! :good-luck: And please post an update so others can learn from your experience.
Last edited by MaggieJ on Sun Nov 12, 2017 8:45 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Added links

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Re: Worried my kits arnt being fed!

Post Number:#4  Unread postby SoDak Thriver » Sun Nov 12, 2017 6:58 pm


My first few times, I would withhold the nest box and only put it out early in the morning and at dusk for about 15 minutes each time, checking the kits before and after. If any kits looked unfed, I would take the smallest ones and use one of Maggie's methods to get them fed. Best of luck!
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