Well, so far things are going well for the surviving kit. I have been taking it out about twice a day to be fed by Snowball. I just hope her milk doesn’t stop because of only one kit nursing. This kit is a different color than the last kit I had to take care of. It actually is a really pretty color.
As you can see, I definitely don’t want to be putting the kit outside right now. We have about six or seven inches of snow and it is pretty cold and windy.
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.
Well, the kits aren’t weaned yet. I decided to redo my grow-out hutch and it took longer than I expected. I threw away the old frame and built a new one. I also converted the cage into a hanging cage. The wire I had stapled onto the wood was the right size, so all I had to do was J-clip it together. Anyway, the kits are still living with their mom. I hope to have at least two or three out of the cage tonight.
The kits turned five weeks old yesterday. They look small until you pick one up. I can barely get my hands around most of them. The biggest is a white doe. There were a lot of red kits in this litter. There are seven red ones, two white ones, and two blackish ones. I am still not sure which one I am going to keep. I am also keeping an eye on their teeth because of Secret’s last kit. So far, I haven’t seen any signs of malocclusion.
The kits are getting big! Their sizes are now evening out more. Some of them have started eating the food out of the feeder. I turned the nest-box on its side, but that isn’t working so well, so the nest-box will be coming out in the next couple of days.
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.