I was sure Piper would have her kits last night, but so far, nothing. Except a lot more fur in the nest box. I put my hand in to check to see if maybe she’d had stillborn kits, but thankfully there weren’t any. So now I’m confused. It is day 33 in her pregnancy, but I thought they gave birth between days 28 and 32. Last night she was carrying hay around in her mouth and adjusting her nest. She drank almost an entire water bottle overnight and this morning she actually showed some interest in her food after almost ignoring it for the past two days. She still looks pregnant. When she’s not she’s a lot more stream-lined.
There hasn’t been any sign of blood or of her giving birth and maybe eating the kits. I guess all I can do is wait a few more days. I did a search and did see that sometimes it can take up to 35 days, but that this is not the norm. She was a lot friendlier to me this morning than she has been all week, letting me put her food in without trying to shut the door on my hand with her nose.
The newbie kits made it through the night just fine. They drank about half a 32 ounce bottle of water and ate some of the food and hay I gave them last night. And they are pooping just fine so I think all is well on that score. They are still too cute for words.
Last night the husband and I worked on drawing up plans for PVC frames for our indoor rabbit cages. We’ve seen several versions that looked downright rickety. The sort where a strong wind or a stronger toddler could probably knock them down. I told him that I wanted rectangular bases and that I wanted cross pieces to offer extra support both beneath and above. So he’s drawing up the plans and is going to go buy it tomorrow and hopefully get it assembled.
My semi-week off of homechooling while the kids were MSP testing is over and it’s back to a full schedule load today. We should be able to get things done fairly quickly if the son cooperates. I’m doing everything but math this week. For me to do math the husband would have to teach it to me first. It’s part of geometry that I never did. We find it works better if he teaches it to the son and then the son teaches it to me. Teaching someone else to do it secures the knowledge in his head.
But that won’t take more than three hours, so there should be plenty of time to build the cage frames. We should be able to fit all of the rabbits in the shed once we are done and the newbies can be moved out of quarantine. I’d like to get the other two hutches outside.
So my plans for now are to leave Piper alone as much as possible while she cares for the kits. She’s in an out of the way part of the shed so nothing we do should get close to her. So I won’t even attempt to move Piper until the kits are ten days old. That is when they recommend you clean out the nesting box and cage for the first time since the kits were born. We can move her and her nest box into one of the empty cages on the frame. Then we’ll put Phoebe in the cage above her. That way when each does’ litters are of age to be separated they will go into the big grow out cages next to their mamas, which they will stay in until they need to be changed to all girl and all boy cages while they grow out to butcher size.
Then we have another smaller cage to put Leo in, since he doesn’t need to be in something the size of a grow out pen or the size of a mother with kits pen. It gives him more floor space and should make mating go a little easier than in the narrower wooden hutch.
After butchering time Lola will be all that is left of that litter. I plan to keep Serenity and Sweetie Belle together until they start getting territorial. Then we’ll still have the black cages we are using for grow out that the new kits we bought yesterday can go into once quarantine is past. I will put Lola alone in the same cage she is in now so she can grow up. Then the other cage can be for Serenity, Sweetie Belle, and Starbuck. When Starbuck starts displaying dominant behavior and play mating he’ll be removed and put into another buck cage that we will be getting. Then all the wooden hutches can go outside. One of them can be used for quarantining new animals. I’m thinking the other two I might be able to adapt as quail cages. Or sell to rabbit buyers who don’t have a set-up yet. We’ll see.