Saturday, September 24, 2011

Other news

I have three more does due today. Blossom has been eating less over the past three days so hopefully she'll kindle, Minx has been acting no different and if she kindles I'll be surprised, and Dusty has been madly digging in her box for the past week or so, therefore I expect kits from her (unless she just likes being a mad digger).. I've had that before so it just makes me shake my head. :) Sometimes does are very silly. :) All three of these does are new moms.

So I ended up losing all the kits in Stella's litter. As much as it bothers me to lose kits (and it very much does) I find it educational. Four kits in with Stella. Three of her own, one foster. Her milk production goes down...her three kits immediately start to have issues, her foster does a couple days later. I lose her three kits as the foster is starting to get better. All were fed the same. Why is the foster improving while her three didn't make it? The only thing I can come up with is different genetics. Different mom, different dad. It intrigues me.

Betty - kindles, Sept 24, 2011

I came in this morning to find one tiny dead kit in the nestbox.

Betty seemed fine so I left her after removing the kit.

I finished chores and then thought I'll pull her out and rebreed her as I bred a netherland dwarf yesterday as a test breeding for a young buck. She was acting very eager so that would make it an easy test for him.

Discovered she had a stuck kit. I assisted her in getting it out (just applied some gentle pulling on an alternating angle - I learned to do this as a child on a farm when assisting cattle to calve). She found that somewhat uncomfortable but was acting even more normal when it was done. Left her with her nestbox on the off chance that she had another kit behind it. The kits head was very large and discoloured.

I won't rebreed her for a week.

She ended up having one more normal sized kit later in the afternoon. DOA.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Four Sick Babies

So for the past week I've been dealing with four sick baby rabbits.

All housed with Stella. Everyone else in the rabbitry is unaffected. They all get fed the same.

Stella has been not the best momma for milk with her pups. She started strong but gradually decreased in her milk supply which meant her pups were forced to start eating solids sooner than they would have liked without the balancing act of momma's milk to help their tummies adapt.

I've been supporting them with oats, hay, probiotics, prickly lettuce, banana etc. All sorts of things that are good for bunny tummies. I've been encouraging them to keep moving as I've learned that bunnies that sit and sulk in illness generally die quickly. They are fighting against mucoid entropathy which is a dangerous and generally deadly disease for bunnies.

One has definitely rebounded, a foster from another litter. he's doing well. he's a bit on the small side but in time he'll be just fine I expect.

A second, not a foster, looks to be VERY weak at this point, but is nibbling grass and sniffing at the oatmeal this morning. Starting to drink a bit better... so I am hopeful.

A third lost the battle this morning.

The fourth I am still fighting with to support. It's been the strongest and the biggest of the bunch so has a bit more "oomph" behind it. Time will tell how it does.

Over time I've learned this illness has a genetic component to it. As I've weeded out rabbits that seem susceptible to it I generally don't have to deal with it. My last case was over a year ago so this came as a bit of a surprise. Stella is a new doe to the rabbitry as is Blaze. I've noted with Blaze in the past that while the kits are adjusting to solid food their poops get really sticky and I generally have to do a bum trim of hair to keep them clean. So my guess is that with Stella's milk issue and Blaze's tummy adjustment issue that the kits got hit with a double whammy. The changing weather patterns may have played a role as well.

Eric - Sept 23, 2011

This is Eric.

Eric (also called Darwin) by our son is no longer with us.

We got him from a show breeder of Guinea Pigs. Eric was one of the finest, nicest pigs I've ever known. A very solid pig.

Over the summer he has steadily been getting thinner, and two weeks ago I noticed he had a small lump on his side. Over the past two weeks that lump has continued to get larger. This morning he passed away.

His wheeking will be missed.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Biscuit Kindles Sept 19, 2011

Biscuit gave me 13 kits this morning. A mix in sizes from smallish to large. Most were in the medium range. Almost missed one as it had crawled up under the fur and straw and away from the group.

Bug is the dad. Quite impressed with the size of this litter. We lost one of the tiny ones.

They look at this point to be a mix in colour, will know more in three days.

the three fosters.

the ones she is raising.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Nicky - Kindles, Sept 18, 2011

Three kits, born from Spencer.

Two broken, one solid.

Hoping this litter turns out well.

Suspecting they will all be black. and indeed they are. :)