We Lost Another One

I hate this.  I am trying to be philosophical and not let all the death get to me, but it has really been a hard 10 days and I feel devastated. One of Serenity’s kits held on when she was done nursing and was pulled out of the nesting box.  It was the biggest one, too.  For its greed it froze to death.  It wouldn’t have taken long as the fur wasn’t completely in yet.  In warmer weather it might have stood a chance. Now both Lola and Serenity are down to 7 kits each.  I was so optimistic at the larger litter sizes, too.  I guess that is what they call counting your chickens before they hatch.  Or even after they hatch since so much can happen to a baby.

I am trying not to second guess myself about the two pregnant does who will deliver mid-December, thinking I shouldn’t have bred them.  I know it is no use to think that now.  But I am afraid I will be dealing with more death when their litters are born.  Of course I may be dealing with more death from the others as well.  If I can just get them to two weeks old they will be able to jump in and out of the nesting box on their own.

At least the 5 week old kits are all doing well.  Colossus almost weighs a pound.  He has recovered beautifully.  He is nowhere near the size of his siblings, but he is going strong and they don’t pick on him at all. Here are their weights:

Sweetie Belle’s First Litter at 5 Weeks:

Kit 1: 1 lb 9.5 oz
Kit 2: 1 lb 12.7 oz
Kit 3: 1 lb 14.1 oz
Kit 4: 1 lb 8.2 oz
Kit 5: 1 lb 10 oz
Kit 6: 1 lb 14.1 oz
Kit 7: 1 lb 9.2 oz
Kit 8: 1 lb 12.9 oz
Kit 9: 1 lb 8 oz

Total Litter Weight: 15 lb 2.7 oz

Amount Gained This Week: 7 lb 2.6 oz

Piper’s Fifth Litter at 5 Weeks:

Kit 1: 15. 1 oz (Colossus)
Kit 2: 2 lb 1 oz
Kit 3: 2 lb 1.2 oz
Kit 4: 2 lb 2.6 oz
Kit 5: 2 lb 4.2 oz
Kit 6: 1 lb 13.8 oz

Total Litter Weight: 11 lb 5.9 oz

Amount Gained This Week: 4 lb 3.4 oz

Both litters gained very well this week, but Piper’s kits are huge in comparison to the one day older litter of Sweetie Belle’s. At least those kits are all doing well.

We finished weaning Phoebe’s kits so she is on her own now and seems quite happy with that state of affairs. We finally took away Piper’s nesting box because Colossus can jump to the feeder from the cage floor now. Plus we put in a cup feeder lower on the cage as well.

Not much else going on here. I am just hoping and praying we don’t lose anymore kits.

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8 thoughts on “We Lost Another One

  1. Oh no! It’s so hard, all the dying. Focus on the lovely kits you have left…

  2. Val Bjerke says:

    I hear you – losing any little ones gets very discouraging. Just a thought – with our pigs, we found that large litters (12-15), we always lost two or three piglets in the first week. Sometimes they got stepped on, laid on……it didn’t seem to matter how we configured the pens, always two or three dead. As we keep very detailed records, I began to notice that the sows who had the smaller litters (8-10) never had any losses. The birth weights were higher, the piglets grew faster, and we didn’t have to wean as early because the sow kept her weight up longer. We started breeding for smaller litter sizes – which goes against the popular view of ‘more is better’, stopped losing piglets in the first week and the litters thrived and reached slaughter weight sooner. I’m wondering if you go over your own records – you might see a similar pattern there. 😊

  3. I’m sorry it has been so hard on you. But don’t second guess yourself or be down on yourself. We breed all through the winter, and we get down to -30 degrees. Some litters you lose some, some you don’t. This can happen in any kind if weather. They can overheat in the bottom of the nest in the summer. And breeding in summer heat can make it hard to even get them to conceive, so you need to breed them in winter.
    Losses are hard, but your decisions aren’t to blame here. It is just part of raising rabbits. But I know it is still hard to go through, and I’m sorry you are having such a rough time with this litter.

    • LuckyRobin says:

      Yeah, I suppose thinking that way will just make me crazy. I am trying to be more practical about it, but I think it is something that has to build up, like growing a thicker skin or something.

  4. Grace Alice says:

    I’m sorry it has been so hard for you. 😦 That’s one of the things people need glued to their head if they are going into rabbits, that there is going to be a whole lot of death! Really with any farm animal there will be death. I’m just grateful that I have the ones left that I do.

    The heat was SO horrible down here in KS, it killed my (used to be) best doe. I found her trying to dig out of her cage. My best buck also died, but from an unknown illness. And these are rabbits that I have known for a year now, so that was hard. We lost 20 or so animals within just the Summer, and that’s including birds and lambs. It was hard but I don’t think I was really ever super depressed, because the rest of my animals were healthy and happy.

    I certainly don’t blame you for feeling that way, though! It’s very very hard to lose animals and I started not wanting to even open the chicken coop door or go down to check on the kits because I expected so much death. Farming is hard, and it is really difficult to realize the death that will be integrated into it before you start.

    Don’t blame yourself at all. These things happen, hte worst you can do is blame it on yourself. Farming/homesteading contains bad and good experiences, whether they are based on your decisions or not. So It’s okay, don’t blame yourself. If it makes you feel better, I have and will be breeding in the winter time, and it gets down to 12 degrees at night here. In fact, I have 4 pregnant right now. 🙂

    Happy Thanksgiving by the way, take this time to be thankful of the kits you have now 🙂 Those litters are still pretty big!! Good luck, also.

    • LuckyRobin says:

      I think so much of this is because I didn’t have any problems, other than trying to keep them cool in the summer, for such a long time. It was smooth sailing and I thought I was going to be the odds. Silly me. They are doing okay now, old enough to survive outside the litter box and a good thing too as they are determined to stay out of it for most of the day now.

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