3 years ago

2010-2011 Winter Issue - the American Dwarf Hotot Rabbit Club

2010-2011 Winter Issue - the American Dwarf Hotot Rabbit Club


Winter 2011 Dwarf Hotot News Page 39

Wintertime Kindling Needs a Special Focus By Laura Bock My plans for winter kindling start in late summer to early fall. If I expect a doe to be productive in winter, I try having a litter beforehand to keep her body in motherhood mode. Without controlled lighting, this can encourage receptiveness. Does ovulate from the breeding process, so house your does alone to avoid wasted time/reception due to cage-mate pseudo-pregnancies. Kindling in wintertime is a silent partnership between the breeder and the doe. Any good mother will make a sufficient nest lined with plenty of fur to keep her babies warm. However, in frigid temperatures she will need to be protected from drafts and have an artificial heat source. I like to use heat lamps attached above the nest box (wires out of reach) with 40- or 60- watt bulbs (never more for safety’s sake). My wooden nest boxes are warmer in the cold than metal, especially since I cannot use electric warmers. I put the box in on Gestation Day 27 or 28 to prevent the doe from thinking it’s for her, though she will find heated comfort there before kindling. The box is lined with a thick layer of pine shavings (never cedar), followed by plenty of packed grass hay. Ideally, the doe will “spin” a tunnel through it and make a back “den” for her litter. The hay will later double up as a first food for the kits. After the doe has time to do this process, I inspect her job with clean, unscented hands (I may even pet her to get her scent) and make any needed adjustments. By Day 29, I will pull fur from the mother myself if she has not furred the nest yet. This doesn’t mean she wouldn’t upon kindling, but because I can’t take chances in the frigid cold. Expectant mother’s fur comes out quite easily for me at this time. Be certain that the heat lamps are warming the box all the way to the back to prevent freezing the newborn(s). I line the cage bottom with cut-to-fit paper feed bags topped with wood shavings in case a kit is inevitably born outside the box. The nest box and an additional little board will help anchor it down. Some does welcome this liner, others will tear it apart. In that case, use plenty of hay and clean it as needed. I leave room for the doe’s “toilet” area. Next, the cage is draped with a covering which the doe can’t get to (they chew everything!) to keep in the heat. If necessary, I’ll add another heat lamp for warmth in the entire cage. This is a LOT of work for me to do for each rabbit and can take me hours if I have several due, but it is the only method I have since my rabbitry is in an unheated converted dairy barn. At this time, I also add Revitalyte Plus to the water. I love its nutrients and pro-biotics, but also do it to give the doe extra glucose energy. I continue using it for about four days after kindling. I also like to add a little more protein through a daily tablespoon of Calf Manna or Sunshine Plus pellets to encourage milk production. If the doe loses her litter, this must be stopped immediately to prevent mastitis. It is imperative to inspect the kits daily (I have a very rare “monster mommy” who will kill her kits if I do this so I just “hope!”). Check kits to prove whether the doe is milking the litter. If a kit has wrinkled, loose skin, it is not being fed. If all kits are like that, it indicates the doe is not feeding them and intervention is needed. This is an easy fix if caught or will guarantee imminent death. By putting a clean towel on my lap and placing the doe in a regular sitting position on top, I can then let the unfed kits nurse “naturally” by letting them burrow under the doe, flip upside down, and nurse. The sound of kits sucking is similar to smacking lips. Gently anchoring the doe’s front end and holding one back leg by the stifle/knee joint will help prevent her from jumping away. Some does are fidgety, but most are cooperative. I will repeat this as needed (does nurse only once or twice daily) until I know the doe takes over or will rarely foster out. Litter inspection is also a time to check for dead kits, especially double dwarfs which usually die by Day 4. I leave them alive and let them die on their own. It doesn’t hurt anything. Check them also around Days 10-14 to catch eye infections. Winter 2011 Dwarf Hotot News Page 40

2012 Spring Issue - the American Dwarf Hotot Rabbit Club
Winter 2010/2011 - American Bird Conservancy
Taking Stock issue 47, winter 2010/2011 - Stockport Grammar School
December 2010 · January 2011 - Calgary Winter Club
December 2010 · January 2011 - Calgary Winter Club
issue 16 winter 2006 - The Sunbeam Alpine Owners Club of America
2010 Summer Issue - the American Dwarf Hotot Rabbit Club
Winter 2011 Issue - IU Health
2010/2011 Winter Reliability - NERC
winter 2010-2011 - The University of Scranton
AAPI USA Journal Winter 2010-11 - American Association of ...
Issue 52 – Winter/spring 2011 - Old Millhillians Club
Winter, 2010-2011 - United States Professional Tennis Association
Winter Issue 2010/2011 - Camden Federation of Private Tenants
2011 Winter Newsletter - American College of Osteopathic ...
Download the Latest Issue: Fall/Winter 2010 - National ...
Download Winter 2010 Issue - The Stanley Foundation
Winter 2010 Vol 23 Issue 3 - OSFMA
Manchester Academy Newsletter | Winter, 2010: Issue 12
Winter 2010 Volume 6 Issue 3 - SPAA
The Play, Winter 2010 Issue - Chesapeake Energy
Winter/Spring 2011 Issue - the Wyoming State Library
Neighbourhood Learning Winter 2010/Spring 2011 - Community ...
BIKE SPORTS - Herbst / Winter 2010 - 2011