Colony does nesting togehter, different sizes

Rabbit Talk  Forum

Help Support Rabbit Talk Forum:

theMarjolein

Member
Joined
Dec 27, 2022
Messages
13
Reaction score
10
Location
Germany, NRW
Hi there!
So my red NZ has three kits, born 6th January. Her sister kindled yesterday. She build her nest in the same hutch as her sister did. For now, the NZ are on my balcony (the buck and other doe are in the garden, they all long for springtime- than we'll build a bigger colony)
The three bigger kits have found the four newborn kits and they lay all cuddled up now. Do not know if they would get double nursing... the doe of the older kits is very, very protective of them..
My biggest concern would be the cold. Nights go down to 5F° now. When the bigger kits move around a bit, some of the newborn are (shortly) exposed to the cold.
The newborn also squeak a whole lot of the time, maybe while the activity wakes them up while they sense they are getting nursed (but they're not, and does this not take extra calories from them)
What do think?
I appreciate your thoughts. I hope to introduce myself properly- still have not made time for this..

Love, Marjolein
 

Attachments

  • 16745374837525809795615602031649.jpg
    16745374837525809795615602031649.jpg
    2.4 MB · Views: 0
  • 16745375262672545092859778995616.jpg
    16745375262672545092859778995616.jpg
    2.5 MB · Views: 0
  • 16745375571475906194457821620207.jpg
    16745375571475906194457821620207.jpg
    2.3 MB · Views: 0
  • 16745376171308503498373801214515.jpg
    16745376171308503498373801214515.jpg
    2.6 MB · Views: 0
Joined
Jun 12, 2022
Messages
366
Reaction score
602
Location
Alaska
Hi there!
So my red NZ has three kits, born 6th January. Her sister kindled yesterday. She build her nest in the same hutch as her sister did. For now, the NZ are on my balcony (the buck and other doe are in the garden, they all long for springtime- than we'll build a bigger colony)
The three bigger kits have found the four newborn kits and they lay all cuddled up now. Do not know if they would get double nursing... the doe of the older kits is very, very protective of them..
My biggest concern would be the cold. Nights go down to 5F° now. When the bigger kits move around a bit, some of the newborn are (shortly) exposed to the cold.
The newborn also squeak a whole lot of the time, maybe while the activity wakes them up while they sense they are getting nursed (but they're not, and does this not take extra calories from them)
What do think?
I appreciate your thoughts. I hope to introduce myself properly- still have not made time for this..

Love, Marjolein
I think you're right to be concerned. I would be uncomfortable with the size/age difference in the two litters. The bigger kits are no doubt out-competing the little ones, probably with both does, although with only three at least some of the little ones might be getting enough.

Have you looked at the little ones? Their bellies should be round and full at least part of the day. You should not see hip bones or very wrinkled skin. Those would be clues that they're not getting enough to eat.

The other thing that would concern me is the squeaking, which tends to be an objection (ouch) or demand (extremely hungry). Kits do squeak, but should not be squeaking a lot of the time. It's possible that the other doe is stepping on them instead of nursing them.

So, keep an eye on the new kits to make sure they're getting well-fed. If they are, great, let things stay as they are (my motto: if it works, don't fix it!). But if you see any indication that they're not, if it was me, I'd move one of the litters to a new box. The little ones should keep each other plenty warm if they have enough nesting material+fur to burrow into. The only thing you'd need to do is make sure their mother feeds them; again, if it was me, I'd actually try to put up a partition in the hutch and keep does and litters separate.

By the way, that is an absolutely beautiful deep red color on your doe!!!
 

theMarjolein

Member
Joined
Dec 27, 2022
Messages
13
Reaction score
10
Location
Germany, NRW
Thanks for your quick reply. I checked. The newborns are almost 24h old. They do not look wrinkled now, but no full, round belly as well. I will make a divider and put the bigger kits in their own nests.
 
Joined
Jun 12, 2022
Messages
366
Reaction score
602
Location
Alaska
Thanks for your quick reply. I checked. The newborns are almost 24h old. They do not look wrinkled now, but no full, round belly as well. I will make a divider and put the bigger kits in their own nests.
Before making the move, I'd check again in the morning to see if they've eaten. If not, then I'd definitely separate them and their mothers. I think you'll need to separate the does because rabbits really don't seem to be able to tell which kits are their own.

Kudos to you for getting on it quickly. Kits are usually born with enough reserves to make it for 24 hrs or so, but after that if they're not well-fed they can go downhill quickly. Hopefully the does will accept being separated from each other and things will go well from here on.

A side note... Once females have their own space, they can become very aggressively territorial, both to the other doe and to her young ones. So if in a week or so you see that the does are doing a good job with feeding their own litters, you may try to remove the divider and reunite them; that may work, but it is not out of the question that one or both will defend their territory and litter against the other, so keep a very close eye on how things go. Even though they're getting along now, once you separate the does, you may have to keep them separated until you move them all into your colony.

God bless ~
 

theMarjolein

Member
Joined
Dec 27, 2022
Messages
13
Reaction score
10
Location
Germany, NRW
Thank you so much!

I will see how this is working. Since their nestingbox is a carbon box, I put it in a slightly bigger box and cut out a spare so the doe can enter but the bigger kits cannot. My preference is to keep them togehter as I already have another doe seperate who became very territorial when being held separate. So I'll try this first and check on the young kits later, probably tonight wenn I hope Ruby (their mum) has feed them.

Another question. Mothers milk change when their baby's grow.
I assume that this is the same for animals. Will it not upset the stomachs of the newborn IF the other doe fed them? Any thoughts there?

God bless you too! :)
 
Joined
Jun 12, 2022
Messages
366
Reaction score
602
Location
Alaska
Thank you so much!
You're very welcome - I really hope it helps!
Another question. Mothers milk change when their baby's grow.
I assume that this is the same for animals. Will it not upset the stomachs of the newborn IF the other doe fed them? Any thoughts there?
Does produce colostrum in the first couple of days post-kindling. It is important that the kits get some of this to prime their immune systems. Beyond that, as far as I know there's not any problem with them getting the milk of the other doe as well.
God bless you too! :)
Thank you! He has, abundantly! :love:
 

Rabbit Warren Man

Active member
Joined
Dec 17, 2022
Messages
29
Reaction score
26
Location
Manitoba
Hi there!
So my red NZ has three kits, born 6th January. Her sister kindled yesterday. She build her nest in the same hutch as her sister did. For now, the NZ are on my balcony (the buck and other doe are in the garden, they all long for springtime- than we'll build a bigger colony)
The three bigger kits have found the four newborn kits and they lay all cuddled up now. Do not know if they would get double nursing... the doe of the older kits is very, very protective of them..
My biggest concern would be the cold. Nights go down to 5F° now. When the bigger kits move around a bit, some of the newborn are (shortly) exposed to the cold.
The newborn also squeak a whole lot of the time, maybe while the activity wakes them up while they sense they are getting nursed (but they're not, and does this not take extra calories from them)
What do think?
I appreciate your thoughts. I hope to introduce myself properly- still have not made time for this..

Love, Marjolein
My colony is housed on the ground in a 3000 square foot pen. My does have communal nest and nurse the kits together, this is instinct and cooperation in the colony for the greater success of the colony. I would not be concerned, people who have only caged raised rabbits tend to mess with the rabbits to much and don’t have the experience with colony raising rabbits.
 

theMarjolein

Member
Joined
Dec 27, 2022
Messages
13
Reaction score
10
Location
Germany, NRW
My colony is housed on the ground in a 3000 square foot pen. My does have communal nest and nurse the kits together, this is instinct and cooperation in the colony for the greater success of the colony. I would not be concerned, people who have only caged raised rabbits tend to mess with the rabbits to much and don’t have the experience with colony raising rabbits.
Although I seperated them yesterday morning, I saw that the older kits did found their way back with the newborn in the evening. I did not seperate again, went to bed a bit concerned because they had not been fed and wrinkles were showing on those newborns. I decided to wait till the next morning. When I checked on them I did notice round belly's. So yeah, it did work out until now for them/me. 😀🤗
 

Captaincatholic

Lord of the Rabbits
Joined
Dec 17, 2022
Messages
83
Reaction score
65
Location
Maryland
Hi there!
So my red NZ has three kits, born 6th January. Her sister kindled yesterday. She build her nest in the same hutch as her sister did. For now, the NZ are on my balcony (the buck and other doe are in the garden, they all long for springtime- than we'll build a bigger colony)
The three bigger kits have found the four newborn kits and they lay all cuddled up now. Do not know if they would get double nursing... the doe of the older kits is very, very protective of them..
My biggest concern would be the cold. Nights go down to 5F° now. When the bigger kits move around a bit, some of the newborn are (shortly) exposed to the cold.
The newborn also squeak a whole lot of the time, maybe while the activity wakes them up while they sense they are getting nursed (but they're not, and does this not take extra calories from them)
What do think?
I appreciate your thoughts. I hope to introduce myself properly- still have not made time for this..

Love, Marjolein
Hi! I have a similar thing going in my colony, but the kits were kindled the same day. Thanks to some great advice from members here (AlaskaSatin) I took out some of thr bigger kits to allow the smaller kits to have a chance at eating for part of each day. It definitely helped and now all the kits are hopping in and out of their nest except for the poor runt who passed, but I think there was another problem with it. At any rate, taking rhe bigger kits inside for 12or 18 hours at a time worked well, and gave us time to admire those cuties while they lived on my diningroom table.
 

Rabbit Warren Man

Active member
Joined
Dec 17, 2022
Messages
29
Reaction score
26
Location
Manitoba
Although I seperated them yesterday morning, I saw that the older kits did found their way back with the newborn in the evening. I did not seperate again, went to bed a bit concerned because they had not been fed and wrinkles were showing on those newborns. I decided to wait till the next morning. When I checked on them I did notice round belly's. So yeah, it did work out until now for them/me. 😀🤗
Fantastic to hear
 

theMarjolein

Member
Joined
Dec 27, 2022
Messages
13
Reaction score
10
Location
Germany, NRW
Hi! I have a similar thing going in my colony, but the kits were kindled the same day. Thanks to some great advice from members here (AlaskaSatin) I took out some of thr bigger kits to allow the smaller kits to have a chance at eating for part of each day. It definitely helped and now all the kits are hopping in and out of their nest except for the poor runt who passed, but I think there was another problem with it. At any rate, taking rhe bigger kits inside for 12or 18 hours at a time worked well, and gave us time to admire those cuties while they lived on my diningroom table.
Hi, lovely to hear from you! Yes, I found your post about that and I've marked it in my mind!
My belgium blue doe has 11 kits and all get feeding, but two or three are a bit smaller. All look very healthy, full and warm so I will not interfere. But is they do stay behind- I will follow this advice! 😀👍🙌
 

Rosey1

Active member
Joined
Jul 6, 2022
Messages
42
Reaction score
30
Location
Alexander ar
Hi! I have a similar thing going in my colony, but the kits were kindled the same day. Thanks to some great advice from members here (AlaskaSatin) I took out some of thr bigger kits to allow the smaller kits to have a chance at eating for part of each day. It definitely helped and now all the kits are hopping in and out of their nest except for the poor runt who passed, but I think there was another problem with it. At any rate, taking rhe bigger kits inside for 12or 18 hours at a time worked well, and gave us time to admire those cuties while they lived on my diningroom table.
I was going to say the same thing. I have a colony setting but I like to cage mine for birth so I can keep my kits tame. However I like to cage girls together whenever possible. So I’ll will put 2 in a regular cage or 4 in my huge pen. eve if I give them plenty of nest boxes they will put them together or even make a burrow beside the nest boxes sometimes. However when they put them together they do nurse wonderfully. I had one that put her litter beside the nest box and the other was in the nest box, but the one beside it was getting pushed around. I ended up moving them into the nest box together and showed mom twice where they were and she now found nurses with the other mom. I’ve also had where I had a litter in the big pen that was a couple days difference (3 litters in 2 different nest boxes) and as soon as they started moving around they combined themselves into one. They actually used all 3 moms at will to nurse.
 

Captaincatholic

Lord of the Rabbits
Joined
Dec 17, 2022
Messages
83
Reaction score
65
Location
Maryland
I was going to say the same thing. I have a colony setting but I like to cage mine for birth so I can keep my kits tame. However I like to cage girls together whenever possible. So I’ll will put 2 in a regular cage or 4 in my huge pen. eve if I give them plenty of nest boxes they will put them together or even make a burrow beside the nest boxes sometimes. However when they put them together they do nurse wonderfully. I had one that put her litter beside the nest box and the other was in the nest box, but the one beside it was getting pushed around. I ended up moving them into the nest box together and showed mom twice where they were and she now found nurses with the other mom. I’ve also had where I had a litter in the big pen that was a couple days difference (3 litters in 2 different nest boxes) and as soon as they started moving around they combined themselves into one. They actually used all 3 moms at will to nurse.
I watched a baby nurse from a doe that lost her litter last week. These babies are sharing not 2, but 3 mamas! No wonder they are getting so adorably fat.
 

Attachments

  • 20230126_150854.jpg
    20230126_150854.jpg
    5.3 MB · Views: 0

Latest posts

Top