There always seems to be one kit who ends up with nest box eye. This little one is almost better now and was the only one to get it this time around. It started at ten days old when the other kits opened their eyes, but this one didn’t. Sometimes there can be an irritation or allergy to the contents of the nesting box, and since they don’t recommend changing it until the kits are ten days old it can get a build up of the kits’ waste. I think from now on I’ll change it at one week old instead and see if that makes a difference. They are all fully furred by then. I think 10 days might just be being overly cautious. It is one of Serenity’s kits. All of Lola’s are fine.
I treat nest box eye by soaking a cotton ball with vetrimycin eyewash and holding it against the matted closed eye for about 30 seconds. Easier said than done with a squirmy little guy. We try to use two people, one to hold the kit and the other to work on the eye. It can be done solo, but it is not very easy. Then I wipe away the crust that has been softened and gently work the eye open enough to put a drop directly in the eye. We snuggle the kit for a minute or two and then if the other eye needs treatment repeat the process.
The kits have started to eat some solid food. Not all of them, but I’ve seen 3 or 4 doing it. It is so adorable to watch them as they have to stand up on their hind legs to reach the feeder. I will take out one of the urine guards in each cage today and attach a small feeder lower down for them to access. We find this works well until they are five weeks old and can all reach the big feeder with no problems.
I took weights this week. I do think I am correct about Serenity’s kits being born sooner than I thought, based on weights. Even if you take away the fact that Serenity is a bigger rabbit and had one less kit to feed so they all got more milk, and account for the fact that Lola was the runt of the litter she was raised in, there is a big enough weight discrepancy to think that Serneity’s kits were born 2 days before Lola’s. Also it is off the average of Serenity’s previous litters. She just hid them so well in the nesting box. Also that is when she seemed to have dropped some weight. So I will adjust their birth dates accordingly and weigh based on that day of the week from now on.
You might wonder why I kept a runt for a meat rabbit. Well, she wasn’t big enough to butcher with the rest of the litter so we grew her out longer. She was very friendly when young and we got somewhat attached and so we decided to give her a go as a mother since she is such a beautiful rabbit with excellent confirmation when she’s not pregnant or nursing. She turned out to be my best mother. If a kit gets out too soon, she will keep it warm with her body by either hovering over it or pushing hay around it and huddling next to it. I have never had another rabbit do that. She has strong parenting instincts. She’s saved at least 4 kits in a year of raising litters this way. I don’t believe she has ever lost a kit or had a kit with nest box eye. She grooms their eyes when they start opening. I’ve not seen the others do that at all.
Anyway here are the litter weights. Keep in mind Lola’s litter was weighed at 3 weeks and Serenity’s was weighed at 3 weeks and 2 days old. I’ll get Serenity’s on track with week 4.
Lola x Starbuck Litter:
Kit 1: 11.4 oz
Kit 2: 11.4 oz
Kit 3: 9.5 oz
Kit 4: 10.7 oz
Kit 5: 10.8 oz
Kit 6: 10.6
Kit 7: 10.2
That’s a nice close range of weights and they all pretty much look the same size, even the smallest one just feels lighter, but doesn’t look any smaller. They all look healthy and are active.
Serenity x Leo Litter:
Kit 1: 1 lb 0.1 oz
Kit 2: 14.6 oz
Kit 3: 1 lb 0.7 oz
Kit 4: 1 lb 2.4 oz
Kit 5: 1 lb 1.2 oz
Kit 6: 1 lb
I’m not sure I’m willing to call the smallest one a runt yet, though you can see it is smaller it is still good sized and feisty. It is also the one with nest box eye so it probably started eating solids a little later because it couldn’t see as well to find the pellets. The two biggest ones are definitely little piggies! They are all growing very well.