About a month ago, I bred Snowball to Surprise. I wasn’t sure if it was a successful breeding or not, but I put in the calendar and put in the nest box. On Tuesday, Snowball had a litter of what I thought was six kits. They all looked healthy and warm. On Wednesday, we had a blizzard. The kits survived through that night. Thursday was warm, but that night it got really cold. The next morning, I found six dead kits and one live one. It was mostly my fault because I knew it was going to get cold that night. I should have brought the nest box in. Most of the kits just got scattered throughout the nest box and couldn’t stay warm. I found one kit underneath the cage. I am not sure where it came from, because I didn’t know I had seven kits in that litter. I guess I counted wrong. Anyway, now that there is only one kit left in the litter, I am repeating what I did when Snowball had only one kit in her last litter. Unfortunately, Snowball is still producing enough milk for a litter of seven, not for one. She is very uncomfortable right now, and I would give her something to slow down the milk but I need her to keep producing milk for the last kit. I will probably breed her soon, and that might help dry up milk production a little bit.
Well, so far November has not been too eventful, all things considered. I was expecting Snowball’s litter sometime around the 21st. I gave her the nest-box on the 20th and she didn’t do much with it at first. I gave her hay and she just chewed on it and dug it all out of the box. On the 23rd, she started seriously making a nest, so I gave her a bunch of hay and went away for a while. When I came back, she was still in the nest box, but there was fur, and she was cleaning up. I checked later, and there was one baby. She had been in the nest box for about an hour, but there was just one kit. Since it has been getting chillier lately, I took the nest-box inside and put turned on a heater next to it. I took the baby out to feed that night, and I have been bringing the box out every morning and night for Snowball to feed it. It has been growing pretty big because it doesn’t have to share milk with other kits. I had put a old cloth underneath it to keep it from getting on the floor of the nest box and a couple days ago, I lifted the kit out of the box and it had managed to wrap a string around its neck. Thankfully, we were able to get it off fast, and the kit hasn’t seemed to suffer any ill effects from that. I am planning on re-breeding Snowball sometime soon, and hopefully doing Secret at the same time.
The pictures aren’t that great, but you can see that Snowball built a pretty good nest and pulled plenty of fur.
My new buck is quite hefty. He is about 9 and a half pounds and I am really happy about that. I still haven’t thought of a name for him. I really haven’t been thinking that hard though. I am hoping the single kit doesn’t haven’t anything to do with his ability to breed. I will be trying him again soon.
I thought Snowball was due on the 25th. I went out this morning and found a bunch of kits all over her cage. There were six in her cage. I cleaned them out and then fed the rabbits. In Secret’s cage, I found another kit under the feeder. I have no idea how it could have gotten in there because there is a gap in between the cages. She had seven total. I am really bummed because that is a pretty good sized litter for an older rabbit. I have to breed Secret again soon, so I guess I will just breed them together like I did before.
The kits are growing big, some of them slower than others. I weighed the kits on Saturday and the largest kit was 7.2 oz. and the smallest kit was 3.4 oz. They have all gained weight since Saturday and the runt doesn’t look as runty anymore. Their fur is pretty thick, probably because of the cold nights. None of them have come out of the nest-box yet. They don’t feel the urge. It took a couple days for them to get their eyes open. They have been trying to eat the straw in the nest-box. There are three darker red ones, two lighter red ones, two white ones and three blackish-red. The middle-sized red kit is really jumpy and doesn’t like being held at all.
Here are the pictures.
They were constantly wiggling while I was taking these pictures.
The kits were all doing great last night. This morning I went out to check on them and found two of Snowball’s kits dead and pretty cold in different sections of the nest-box. Snowball’s nest wasn’t good enough to contain them. I couldn’t find the other two at first, but then I found them snuggled into a part with lots of fur. They were fed and look pretty good. When I posted yesterday, I hadn’t noticed that one of her kits had a hole in his head. I wasn’t sure how it got there, but it kind of looked like an over-cleaning kind of thing. He was one of the dead ones this morning. Secret’s kits are all doing great and they all have full tummies.
This morning, I went out expecting to find kits. It was day 32 after all. There wasn’t anything. So I decided they would probably give birth tonight. That didn’t happen either. I went to check on them at about 9:20, and Secret was pulling fur and gathering more straw. Since my rabbits only pull fur right before birth, I knew she was pretty close. I went back out at 9:45 and she was giving birth. I saw some of it happen. It was really neat. She was done a little while later and I checked the kits. There was one kit on the wire, and it was alive, warm, and clean, so I think it just got dragged out after she finished. She had eleven. They aren’t as big as Snowball’s kits usually are, but there were quite a few of them. She had them all tucked nicely into a little nest in the back of the box.
I went out a little later to look at the kits again and saw Snowball pulling fur and working on her nest. I checked on her about a half an hour later and she had five kits. One was dead and looked like it was the first to come out. It was rather stretched. I am assuming she had a smaller litter because she is older and she hasn’t been bred for a while. Those kits are bigger than Secret’s and look good. Snowball’s nest wasn’t quite as good as Secret’s. She has always been a bit sloppy.
Only two weeks until Snowball and Secret have their babies. I can hardly wait. It has been a very long time since either of them last had a litter. May last year, to be exact. Secret’s behavior has changed a little bit since she was bred, such as being more jumpy than normal, but she isn’t aggressive. Snowball is her normal self. She is an experienced mommy and doesn’t really care about anything else than food and stuff to chew on. They will be getting their nest-boxes on March 13th.