Can a kit come early?

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We finally woke up to a kit from our silver fox doe (she is a first-timer!), and sadly, the kit was either stillborn or it was just too cold in the nest box. There's fresh hay in there and a TON of fur, so I'm not sure what happened, but this one didn't make it! My question is... is it possible that a kit can come early and for more to come at a later time?

I saw that labor usually lasts 15 minutes to 3 hours, but our doe is still licking and pulling fur many, many hours into the day now since the kit from this morning. I also cannot see any afterbirth materials/blood whatsoever, and felt some bumps still when palpating! Would it be normal for kindling from a first-timer to go this way?? Wondering if there's anything I need to do for the doe as well - the only thing behavior wise that's different is she almost squatted like a female dog going pee when I pet her lol... I might be overthinking it, but I've never seen her do that!

Thank you so, so much for any help on this one!
 
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We finally woke up to a kit from our silver fox doe (she is a first-timer!), and sadly, the kit was either stillborn or it was just too cold in the nest box. There's fresh hay in there and a TON of fur, so I'm not sure what happened, but this one didn't make it! My question is... is it possible that a kit can come early and for more to come at a later time?

I saw that labor usually lasts 15 minutes to 3 hours, but our doe is still licking and pulling fur many, many hours into the day now since the kit from this morning. I also cannot see any afterbirth materials/blood whatsoever, and felt some bumps still when palpating! Would it be normal for kindling from a first-timer to go this way??
First-timers can really be a mixed bag. It sounds like your doe's got great instincts as far as nest building, which is great. It's good that you see no afterbirth or blood; good does usually clean all of that up (unless there are lots of bunnies and the doe just can't manage to eat all the bloody hay). Most of my does will continue pulling fur and building the nest all day or even for 2-3 more days after kindling.

But YES! It is pretty unusual, but over the years I have had several does have one, two or even three kits (either dead or alive) and then have more, hours or even a day later. Once I lost an entire litter of 8, which had crawled all over the wire looking for a nest, when I removed the box after a single dead kit was born. :( I've also had a doe deliver one or two kits at a time every few hours over the course of a couple of days. After I had this happen, I changed my practices. Now when I have a doe of any age deliver a very small litter, I always leave the nest box in with her (I take out any dead kits). It has saved later-delivered kits quite a few times.

Honestly, whenever I have *anything* go wrong or weird, I leave the nest box in with doe for at least a week after her due date. I do clean out any dead bunnies (they will chill living newborns) and any soiled and/or bloody nesting material.

A first-timer's system can have a bumpy road getting going at first, so they can have some strange episodes. But I suspect that 2-part-kindling might also happen because a doe has two horns in her uterus, so it's possible that she could give birth to the kits from one, then from the other at a later time. This is especially likely if the doe has been in with the buck for an extended period, say a few days or more, so you don't know exactly when, how many times, over how long a period she was bred. It's even possible for a doe to be pregnant in one uterine horn by one buck and in the other by a different buck.

So, yes, you may still feel kits inside her.

The dangerous part of leaving a doe with a buck for long, or breeding her over a period of too many days, is that it's possible for her to conceive in one uterine horn at one time, then later in the the other. This sets up several possibilities, none of which are ideal. She may deliver the first set, leaving the other immature ones to die and possibly mummify inside her :( which of course can make the doe very sick and/or kill her. Or she may deliver them all, in which case you get some live bunnies and some immature ones that are dead or dying at birth.

It's also possible that she's done. The baby might have died because a newborn kit can't usually keep itself warm, even in a good nest - as you know, they need shared body warmth in the first days. In my Satins, their first few litters tend to be gigantic (12-16) but many people I know tell me their first-timers can have unusually small litters.
Wondering if there's anything I need to do for the doe as well - the only thing behavior wise that's different is she almost squatted like a female dog going pee when I pet her lol... I might be overthinking it, but I've never seen her do that!
As far as the squatting, it sounds like she might be "lifting," in other words wanting to be bred. This is really common in post-kindling does. In fact it's another good reason not to have the buck-doe pair living together - she will let him re-breed her as soon as she kindles. It seems that at the time of kindling, many does' hormones are raging and they are really "in the mood," sometimes days before kindling, and certainly for days afterward.

It sounds like your doe is healthy and primed to have some great mothering skills. I'd just wait for a week or so (especially if she was in with the buck for more than a day), and if there are no more bunnies, re-breed her.
 
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This was *the* most incredible response. Wow, thank you so, so much for the help. I've watched a thousand YouTube videos and don't get nearly as much quality information as you just provided! We'll keep the nestbox in there and keep a close eye on her!🤞@Alaska Satin
 

Buknee

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Did the kit seem quite large?
I just lost a doe due to oversized kits. She was a first time kindle and the buck was a first time also. She went past her due day and I assumed she wasn't pregnant. (I couldn't feel any kits) She built a beautiful nest and kept jumping in her box. I finally put her back with the buck on day 34. (She was squatting like she wanted to be bred.) On day 35 I came home to find an extremely large kit dead on the wire and Bella in her box. End story, she could not birth the remaining two kits and she died on my lap. She was already so weak by the time that I found her, there was nothing I could do.
 
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Ya know, my husband and I were both talking about how big the kit looked, and we do have a first time doe and buck situation, as well. @Buknee I've attached a picture of the kit - while I think it looks big, I have had no other kits to compare it to!
 

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Buknee

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Ya know, my husband and I were both talking about how big the kit looked, and we do have a first time doe and buck situation, as well. @Buknee I've attached a picture of the kit - while I think it looks big, I have had no other kits to compare it to!
It looks pretty big by the photo.
How is your doe doing?
Anymore kits?
 

ladysown

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I"ve had does kindle over three days. It was a large litter and all kits made it to my surprise. I've also had does get stuck kits and kindle over 48 hours with all kits lost. Do keep a good eye on her.
 

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