3 moms, 25 babies

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May 24, 2024
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Previously 27. Two deceased runts. 5 runts standing. I am open to suggestions, but this is whats being done.

Four nesting boxes, three litters. The 5 largest or best fed take a 12 hour break. The runts were being rotated around. The runts were not getting fed for 2 days before we started moving things around. For another day and a half this worked. Two have died in the last 24 hours. My guess is from dehydration or starvation.

I think we are on the right track now. The lilac isn't doing a great job, so I think I might give her all the largest ones soon. She does have milk, but she doesn't seem to be getting the babies out to nurse.

The runts do not have a strong instinct to nurse. We have had to hold the doe and feed them that way. The best way I have found is to put the doe and nest box on the stand. Then I slowly push the nestbox towards the doe until she hops in.
Very slowly and carefully remove one by one and place under her. They do not come out on their own like most babies will. The runt box had 7 total, with some from each litter. Two have died in the past day.

I am wondering if there is something different I can try. Two have died trying to leave them alone. The doe doesn't enjoy me taking her out, but she doesn't flail or try to jump. If she wants to get out of the nest box I let her. She hasn't bit me but I get grunted at so I know she is unhappy.

The goal is to be able to put the runts back into gen pop. without them starving to death.

The other option for feeding them is to wrap her in a towel and hold her upside down. I'm not sure which I prefer but the towel method is a two person job. One person operation this week.

here are some photos. The wrinkled are from the runt box. These are from the same litter.



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All but one runt has been eating well since my post. I got it to eat from the red doe.

Currently scores are:

6 (runts) with creme doe
7 with red doe (Previously benched)
5 (bullies) with lilac doe
7 on the bench. (Previously with creme)

The creme d'argent seems to be the best mom, or at least seems to feed everyone evenly.

The red and lilac had multiple wrinkled starving little monsters each, but the creme only had one.

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