Newborn kits can die in temps as warm as in the 40s if not properly nested by mom. I experienced such a heartbreak this past March, the 25th to be exact. One of my experienced does gave birth to 8 and I have no idea what happened, but when I came out in the morning all the kits were scattered on top of the nest rather than in the nest. They were all stiff and I had thought I had lost them all.If my hutches are outside is it possible to have babies in early November or would they freeze to death? I would imagine the answer is no.
I can certainly do that as I am with them alot. The nipple clingers took me by surprise the first time I saw it, had to laugh. Their nesting box is big but I can bring it in if necessary. I plan to have her kindle again by end of October then take the winter off. The five she has are 2 weeks old and very pretty. I would like to sell them after I can sex them.Newborn kits can die in temps as warm as in the 40s if not properly nested by mom. I experienced such a heartbreak this past March, the 25th to be exact. One of my experienced does gave birth to 8 and I have no idea what happened, but when I came out in the morning all the kits were scattered on top of the nest rather than in the nest. They were all stiff and I had thought I had lost them all.
As the saying goes, “A dead kit isn’t a dead kit until it is a warm dead kit.” True to that saying, I brought them all into the house for warming. 4 revived and 4 remained dead. So, your enemy isn’t so much the time of year as it is improper housing and weather protection, mishaps in the nest….they WILL happen… kits born on the wire rather than in the nest, etc.
Like others have said, in colder temps, which actually are ideal for a furred animal, a rabbit needs a good wind break and to never, ever get wet. As for the nest, most rabbits will have those babies exactly where they belong, covered, snug, and warm. If you have protected mom properly from the elements, that nest will automatically be protected and most mom rabbits will do the rest for you.
One of the most important things to do in the winter months is to be sure you’re out there each evening and each morning when babies are present to be sure no one has fallen from the nest…..a nipple clinger mishap. I have learned to avoid such mishaps by bringing the nest into our unheated basement each night during their first week of life. There’s no need to continue doing this after day 5 or 6 because by then the kits are fully furred. Just pull the nest on your evening check and put it back in with mom the next morning, first thing. Then drink your coffee.
I live in North Dakota and had a doe kindle on the coldest day of the year last year. Air Temp -40 or so? I don't know, I quit keeping track after it gets below 0. My rabbits are in a barn out of the wind and snow. As suggested above they have those silicone heating mats you can really dial down, I put that in the bottom of the nest box with cardboard on top and nesting material in there and they were just fine! When it gets that cold I use an oil filled radiant heater a couple feet front of the cages as well, Its not as dangerous as a heat lamp, and it doesn't obviously heat the whole barn, just radiates some warmth towards them.
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