Hi, I am Julia from the UK, I am happy to have found Rabbit Talk.

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Joined
Mar 26, 2024
Messages
12
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Location
North Shropshire, England,UK
Quick intro, it has been raining in the West Midlands since November. I have been sloshing around in mud for months.
I brought a breeding trio of NZ in October and this March I have my first two litters.
I have joined Rabbit Talk because this community has a wealth of knowledge and experience. I have already found lots of fantastic threads.
When you get into something new it is essential to find some mentors with first-hand experience. Thank you for all the wisdom you have shared in the excellent forums.
You have already been a source of reassurance and great advice.
I have been building my polytunnel rabbitery over the winter and I got the mums moved in and settled before they kitted. We had to get off the mud and into the clean cages as soon as we could - it's been a rapid learning curve that's for sure.
Right now, I have two nest boxes full of white fluff and wiggling baby buns and two healthy mummies. I haven't investigated beyond waving my hand over the nests to feel the warmth of all the little bodies. The mums are both experienced and because they know more than me I am just observing and letting them do their thing.
I am in my early 50's, and would describe myself as practical, creative, pragmatic and caring.
Thanks for opening the door to me. It's great to find this community.
 
Thanks for this advice. I will get the boxes out and do an inspection first thing.

I named my girls Margo and Babs and my buck is Jeremy.
Babs kitted first - she produced one huge kit in the night between my watches. Sadly, it was very cold with blood pooling in its feet when I found it. Although she had sorted out her nest box she didn't pull any fur and it was like she had been taken by surprise.

2 days went by and then she started pulling fur and making a nest. Labour seemed to go on for a long time but she produced a litter in the box yesterday morning.

Margo kitted 3 days ago and seems to be very attentive.

I will let you know what I find. I can see the logic of all the advice you have provided. Many thanks. x
 
Lovely, I am so glad I took your advice.
Margo has 12 and Babs has 9 all healthy and all of a similar size.
Nothing to remove or manage. Mums are doing a super job.
Hi Julia! Welcome to the forum. It sounds like you have a couple lovely litters. Good to see you here.
 
Thanks for this advice. I will get the boxes out and do an inspection first thing.

I named my girls Margo and Babs and my buck is Jeremy.
Babs kitted first - she produced one huge kit in the night between my watches. Sadly, it was very cold with blood pooling in its feet when I found it. Although she had sorted out her nest box she didn't pull any fur and it was like she had been taken by surprise.

2 days went by and then she started pulling fur and making a nest. Labour seemed to go on for a long time but she produced a litter in the box yesterday morning.
I have had this happen before, twice - in each case the doe produced a premature dead baby, then went on to kindle a healthy litter on the due date. I don't know why it occurs, but a large (in number) litter may be the case. One of my breeds is very small (1kg adult weight) so they have small litters of 1-4, and I can certainly consider that the doe may run out of space in the uterus as they grow, meaning one detaches and is born too early, and that it can also happen with large breeds that have 10-12+ in each litter.

BTW I'm in the UK as well. I like your polytunnel idea but it may be too hot in the summer - rabbits tolerate cold a lot better than heat. In my shed it got to 80F/28C in the summer last year, and that's probably about as high as rabbits can tolerate; mine were OK but other people had losses. They become acclimatised to the heat in hot countries, but don't have time to adjust here when it hits that high.
 
it is important to actually SEE the kits.
reasons follow
1. to know how many you have in case one goes missing... you know to look!
2. to know if any dead kits or placentas are left in the box
3. to make sure they are being fed
4. awareness if they are warm and dry
You can also note any defects/injuries early.
 
BTW I'm in the UK as well. I like your polytunnel idea but it may be too hot in the summer
Hi, great to meet you. I found your post about premature and detached very interesting. I had wondered if Babs had dropped her premature one from one horn and then two days later had the rest of her litter of 8 from the other. What you have explained makes more sense.

Re the polytunnel, I covered the entire frame in chicken wire. The roof is a tarpaulin that comes down half-way - so there is no full cover of plastic. For the sides, I have rigged-up shower curtains on the inside that can be pulled up to allow airflow. Each end is also open but I have put some bamboo screening to allow airflow. The inside is dry and drafty. So far I am pleased with the arrangement and I am planning two grow-out areas that will be similar. I'll share some photos if you like.
 
Hi, great to meet you. I found your post about premature and detached very interesting. I had wondered if Babs had dropped her premature one from one horn and then two days later had the rest of her litter of 8 from the other. What you have explained makes more sense.

Re the polytunnel, I covered the entire frame in chicken wire. The roof is a tarpaulin that comes down half-way - so there is no full cover of plastic. For the sides, I have rigged-up shower curtains on the inside that can be pulled up to allow airflow. Each end is also open but I have put some bamboo screening to allow airflow. The inside is dry and drafty. So far I am pleased with the arrangement and I am planning two grow-out areas that will be similar. I'll share some photos if you like.
I’d love to see your setup. I love where I live (Arizona USA, near Phoenix) but I have to keep my rabbits in a climate controlled shed most of the year! So I always enjoy seeing other people’s setups whether cage, hutch or colony
 
Quick update on my litters.
From the original 21 I have lost 4.
Both mums now have 8 each all strong, full and healthy.
Which leads me to thinking about nipples. I guess one kit per nipple would be optimum.
Wouldn't it be five lost?
21-4≠16?
 
I had better admit right now that I have dyscalculia. This means that I can't see patterns in numbers ... or remember numbers very well.
(Life has been much easier since mobile phones!) It's a bit like dyslexia (word pattern and reading disability) but get this with numbers.
On the bright side, I have 8 healthy kits per doe.

Taking my number blindness into account I have been counting them in and out of a safe box while I do my checks.
 
Update. All 16 kits are doing great. Super healthy and bouncy. I will be tipping over the nest boxes this weekend as they are starting to jump out. I had a lovely moment watching a single kit sliding around under Mum, joyfully grazing from nipple to nipple. Because they were on the plastic surface bit of the cage the kit was backstroking and scooting around in a state of bliss. Watching my rabbits is a true joy, and spending time petting the kits is a wonderful therapy.
 
Nice to hear they are all doing great. I saw that you received a lot of good information from the members here.
 
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