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ladysown

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Okay, so health in my rabbits is a big deal to me.

I have for the most part successfully gotten rid of nestbox eye, odd digestive issues, stupidity, head tilt, and a seasonal losses in kits.

WHAT I can't figure out is the seasonal loss of does with kits 10-14 days old.

Seasonal loss... when the abrupt fluctuations you get in temperature and wind causes rabbit loss.

This year I lost two SEASONED does. So it's not like they were first timers, not like they haven't been through a seasonal shift. FIRST time they went through a seasonal shift while on kits in that 10-14 day old window.

Other does I had at the time handled the shift just fine with kits just outside of that window. I was able to foster one litter and am currently handraising the other.

So what is it in that 10-14 day old window that makes does susceptible to seasonal change?

The first doe I lost also had a predator of some sort come through along with the shift in temperature so I'm thinking fright also played a causal factor. Though this doe was not one to frighten easily so I can't say that it was an added factor or not.

But the second doe... it was just wind, cold temperatures, and rain.

Could there be some underlying illness I'm not seeing? Or something they carry that causes them to stress and it pops up? Or is there something that weakens a doe during that time period? When I cull them they look fine, just typical gut shut down due to stress factors. SO it's not a faulty liver or kidney issues, I don't see parasitic activity in the guts, nothing that raises alarm bells. Other than a doe eating one day, and then stops. It's like all lights and bells are off.

Every year in the fall I lose one or two and I'm really starting to wonder what it is about 10-14 day old litters and their momma's.

Any thoughts?
 

hotzcatz

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That's an impressive list of things you've gotten rid of, but how did you get rid of stupidity?

10-14 days old, if it's a large litter will be putting more of a demand on the doe? Although, usually the demand gets crazy around the three week time. Are the does fed a lot when they have a litter? Ours are fed a higher nutritional diet and free fed when they have a litter, especially once the babies are getting bigger. We don't do the seasonal thing, though, so can't help you with thoughts on that.

Less litters show up in the fall and they don't seem to be keen on breeding until past Winter Solstice, so maybe that's part of the seasonal losses?
 

ladysown

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how to get rid of stupidity... never breed anything that's a bonehead. So I don't breed food gulpers, flighty rabbits, things too stupid to find a food bowl, etc.

I took to heart the words of an old rabbit raiser I talked to when first starting.... breed for what you want. If you don't want it, don't keep it around regardless of other considerations. Make your priorities and stick with them.

I want mind-numblingly easy rabbits to care for that don't need vetting beyond the odd thing that pops up. Requires thinking, hard culling, and on the odd occasion medication. My cats eat a lot of rabbit. I've tested a number of theories over the years and I am CONVINCED that nestbox eye is a latent illness and has NOTHING to do with cleanliness. In fact I believe that most rabbit illnesses are based on a poor immune system simply based on what I have seen in my herd. I believe the same about unthrifty kits, it is mostly, I think, a hidden illness that makes bunnies stupid so they don't learn to eat or drink properly as they grow.

Good personalities.
Colour.
Now I'm adding type to the list. it will be a balance to keep the colour while adding type. Things might get hairy for a while. :) <br /><br /> -- Thu Nov 12, 2020 4:35 pm -- <br /><br />
hotzcatz":2zxv8xpd said:
10-14 days old, if it's a large litter will be putting more of a demand on the doe? Although, usually the demand gets crazy around the three week time. Are the does fed a lot when they have a litter? Ours are fed a higher nutritional diet and free fed when they have a litter, especially once the babies are getting bigger. We don't do the seasonal thing, though, so can't help you with thoughts on that.

I measure feed everything but does on a litter get three times their normal ratio, and often don't finish it until hitting 9 days. Does that demand more food (with a big litter for their breed) get it. I don't stint them but don't let them get fat either. :)
 

NewZealands4Lyfe

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ladysown":1ctd6ds5 said:
But the second doe... it was just wind, cold temperatures, and rain.

Rain, plus cold temperatures and wind, Did the doe have a different hide other than her nestbox? I don't know a lot but the rain+cold temps+wind sets off red flags for hypothermia. That's just my thoughts, was it below freezing causing her -possibly- wet pelt to freeze?? ending in her death?? Again, don't know a lot, just pondering.
 
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once uppon a time..
when I had several does die in a short period of time,
when the kits were 2 to 3 weeks old,
post mortum examination showed bloodshot or gray gassy intestines.
I suspected it was a coccidiosis flareup from lactation stress..
I fed garlic chives and onions for the next several months..
it could of been "a coincidence" but the mortality stopped.
 

ladysown

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hmm... I wonder if that's a possibility. A latent coccidiosis that pops up during seasonal shifts. now... how to treat that in Ontario with our difficult medication laws....

difficult to feed loads of chives this time of year....
 
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