Piper Kindled!

Sometime between the early afternoon check and seven tonight Piper had her kits. In the daytime which usually doesn’t happen. I almost didn’t check because she was in front of the door to her cage and she’s been very adamant about pushing it shut on me if she doesn’t want me in there. So I tended to all of the feeding needs of the others while the son took care of all the drip pans. Then we both sat down and watched them for a while and finally Piper got up and moved away from the door so I crept over to top off her food and though I couldn’t see any movement in the nesting box I put my hand in anyway. And I found a squirming mess of babies. Actually, I think I woke them up because they weren’t squirming at first.

I could feel several and none felt dead, but I’m not sure how many there were. Piper started to get a little antsy, so I backed away and then she jumped into the nesting box and just stood there for several minutes so I think she must have been nursing them. We watched her until she got out and settled herself firmly against the cage door.

Tomorrow I will take a piece of carrot out to distract her with and take the nest box out and count them. I am so glad nothing went wrong and that I was just being a worrywart. When you are new at something it can cause some nervousness. I even emailed her breeder who reassured me that everything would be fine and just to wait a bit more, she was a good mother who knew what she was doing. Thankfully we are through the first big hurdle. I hope they all make it through the night and there are no awful surprises come morning.

For now I am just happy that all is as it should be.

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13 thoughts on “Piper Kindled!

  1. Grace says:

    Congrats! See, it wasn’t as bad as you thought. I have had litters of rabbits, stuck my hand in a sheep’s rear end and pulled a lamb, dipped goat umbilical cords, shaved a goat, and all of that and trust me, it is worth being experienced.

    My worst experience with rabbits was my first time actually. I woke up to, “Dad said he saw three dead ones!”. Woo-hoo. Great. I have been on pins and needles waiting and now she gives me three dead ones. So as I am cleaning up, my mom finds a nest. She had 6 of them, 3 were alive and in her nest of fur! Although I was freaked, it did make my day brighter.

    Then, about a week and a half later, one froze to death. Then I had two left, and I was just waiting for one to die and then I would have this one kit that couldn’t keep himself warm. Luckily, they both lived and the last one actually went to a new home on Mother’s Day.

    Hope they are all fine and healthy. My rabbit kindled at 11:00 a.m last time and I watched! It was so weird. I had been in the barn for no more than ten minutes. I went to go check, and she hopped in the nest box and had them. Like she was waiting for me!

    Congrats, congrats, congrats!

  2. Congrats! I am glad it worke out… Be sure to check for any stillborn babies soon! If you’re nervous about handling them you could use the vanilla trick. I’m sure you have a great bunny mom! She was probably just waiting until when she felt that she had the best chance of being left alone!

  3. That cage bottom looks dangerous. Is it possible for you to put cardboard down so little bunny feet don’t fall through and become broken? Wire bottom cages are hard on rabbit feet in any case. The cardboard would also give Mom something to chew on and rip up. Bunnies love tearing up paper and cardboard.

    • LuckyRobin says:

      You can’t even see the cage bottom in that photo. You can only see the top wire and the drip pan under the bottom wire. The bottom has baby saver wire on it. The babies are in the nesting box which has a wooden bottom, then kiln-dried pine shavings, then straw, then hay. They won’t even come out of the nesting box for a few weeks.

      As for the cage wire, there is plenty of straw and a tile for the mama to rest on if she doesn’t want to be on the wire. But the empty side is the side she poops on so it is empty wire for a reason, to keep the cage more sanitary. The American Rabbit Breeder’s Association says that all wire cages are the best thing to raise rabbits in and much easier to keep sanitary. They say hutch burn is usually the culprit in foot problems, not the wire, which is caused by urine build up in improperly washed cages.

      Piper has apple tree branches and raspberry cane to chew on and a couple of toys if she wants them. Most cardboard is printed with unsafe inks so should not be in a rabbit’s mouth. Ditto any paper that isn’t printed with soy ink.

      • I’m glad Piper isn’t sitting on broadly-spaced wires and that she has apple twigs to chew on. Does she get any exercise time out of the cage?

        • LuckyRobin says:

          She won’t until the kits are about 4 weeks old because she doesn’t want to be away from them and they are too little to go out. Once they are old enough she will go out into the rabbit playpens we are building for an hour a day. All of the older ones (over 8 weeks old) will get time in the playpens each day, weather permitting. We have to build our playpens carefully because of the eagles. They take turns running around on the floor of the rabbit shed for now because it is raining a lot.

  4. lizreeb says:

    Big congratulations on Piper’s litter! My other doe kindled in the middle of the day today too, kind of weird eh? 🙂

    • LuckyRobin says:

      Thank you. Maybe there is something in that air telling them to have daytime babies. Although I wonder if it isn’t because of the time of day I bred her, because it was 4 p.m. And that’s about the time she probably had them, too.

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