Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Mega Mom!

My doe JMJ-1 had 17 babies (all live) 2 litters ago. On Monday she kindled again with 15 , again all live. We were able to foster out 3 of them. This morning a first time mom had 3 live and 4 dead. She was taking good care of the live ones so I gave her 3 more of the JMJ-1 babies and so far they are all doing fine. I think JMJ-1 can handle nursing 9 babies :) I used to put a dab of vinegar on the foster mom's nose and on all the babies so everyone would smell the same, but for the last several months I have just put new babies in the middle of the nest or each one between 2 original babies.

What is the highest number live in the litters you have had? Do you move some to other moms? What has been your technique?

Sunday, May 3, 2009

They keep us hopping!

We had seven new litters born in the last 4 days. Six of them had litters of 9 - 13, which is our norm. As the does get older (3-4 yrs) they produce smaller litters; such as Miss Bunnie who had 6. We still use them because they can be good foster moms for does that just have too many to nurse. So Miss Bunnie adopted 2 from the doe that had 13, which left me with 3 litters who had 11 to raise. Another doe had 9 and the others had 10 each.This picture is of a brand new litter of 11 kits.

This litter, 2 1/2 wks old, is taking an afternoon nap. Notice the nearest one, on his back, feet up, like a little kid. It is so neat to see how relaxed they are.This is a common sight, out of the nest box, yet all piled up. The nest box will be taken out on day 18.
I took this picture to show the difference in size between a full grown Dutch doe and a full grown 6 mo old NZW doe, in pens back to back. This was the little Dutch doe I got for my grandchild at the Fairview auction in March. She had kindled 2 weeks later.
Tomorrow is rabbit truck day, so we will have more pens to clean, and more babies to wean!