Posts Tagged ‘baby’
Welcome to my Emergency Room for baby bunnies. OK, it’s really not a room, more like a spot on the couch. These 8 young’uns were born this morning. I found them scattered in the rabbit hutch, which in MN when temps drop below freezing, is very bad for a baby bunnies. When this happens, first thing I do is put as many of the cold ones into my bra. I know, it sounds weird but there is a very small window in which to save kits and a ride up to the house in my bra starts the warming process.
There are a couple of ways to warm up a chilled kit (baby rabbit). The bra way is a good way to start but it won’t do the job as it’s too slow. The kit(s) need to be warmed as quickly as possible.
You can warm them up by placing them on a heating pad (set on low) and/or also by using a plastic bottle filled with hot water. As you can see in the above picture, I did both as these babies were really cold. I cover the whole area with a towel and try to make a barrier so they don’t crawl away and you end up sitting on them.
Another way to warm them is by placing them in hot water. I take the hottest water I can get from the tap. Remember, you want to warm them not burn them. Then, if they are really cold, I drop them in the water. I usually only do this when the baby is just about frozen. It doesn’t matter at that point in time if their face goes into the water as they are barely breathing away. And yes, it works and no, they don’t drown. But as soon as all 4 limbs are moving, I lift their heads out of the water.
You can also place the baby in a plastic bag, like I did above. That is a snack size bag that I put the kit in and then placed it in the water. This baby was chilled but not freezing so I choose to warm it this way. You have to be careful so the nose isn’t against the bag or it can’t breathe.
After the kit is warm and moving. I put it on a heating pad (set on low), add towels, the rest of the siblings, etc. It takes a while for the head to warm up so be patient. You’ll be surprised at how easy it is to save a chilled, almost frozen rabbit. Make sure you check them often as you don’t want them to get too warm, that’s not good either.
Once they are warm, they are moved into a nest box and place in a warm area. We bring mamas to the babies in the winter. All our babies are kept in the house during the cold months until they are about 3 weeks old. At this age, they are ready to endure the chilly days and nights. They are then moved out to the bunny barn where they join their mama until they are weaned.
We have saved many a freezing rabbit by doing these things. We don’t save all of them but we try.
This morning brought us more baby bunnies. This time is was Himi, one of the crossbred rabbits. She’s a first time mama and decided to give birth on the wire on the cage instead of in the nest box. Rabbit does are not suppose to nest this way but once in a while you have a rabbit who has to be different. It usually happens with a new mom. Every bunny here gets a second chance and usually, they get it right the second time. You can’t make a rabbit nest in a box so if she’s a habitual offender, she shouldn’t be in your breeding program. Of course, IF you screw up and fail to provide her with a nest box, she can only make do with whats she’s got.
The above picture was taken about an hour before Himi kindled. This is not what you want a mama rabbit to do, build her nest on the wire. I was lucky because: 1. it was warm inside the barn; and 2. I knew she was kindling so I could get the kits into a nestbox before they wondered on the wire. Then, continued on to find warmth, ending up outside of the cage and a tasty meal for a hungry chicken. If this situation had happened during the night, the litter would have all died.
Did you know that a new baby bunny will search for heat? These tiny hairless creatures will seek out a heat source. You’d be amazed at how far a kit can crawl. They can fit through a very small opening. We have found kits, who are both blind and deaf at birth, across the barn on the ground. They chill very quickly and IF they don’t become dinner for some other critter, they will succumb to the cold.
Unlike cats or dogs, mama rabbits do not sit/sleep etc with their babies. They nurse the kits once or twice a day and don’t return until it’s feeding time again. Feeding takes less them 5 minutes on average. After nursing and butt cleaning, mama is gone. Sounds uncaring, doesn’t it? This trait carries over from their wild rabbit ancestors. Baby rabbits do not have any scent to them making them hard for predators to find so mamas do not spend any extra time in the nests if they want their babies to survive. Of course, today’s domestic rabbit has lost a few of those distinct traits. We have mamas who hang out in nest boxes because they can. They are not there to “tend” babies, they just want to sit in the nest box because its comfy.
That is your rabbit lesson for the day. We will have a quiz later this week…. . Just kidding.
Yes sir, lambing season has started here at Coyote Ridge farms. Our second lamb arrived last this afternoon. Rich found this one which was still wet. He came up to the house to announce it and Madison took off for the barnyard to check out the new little one. Dottie is our new mama. She happens to be one of the ewes who’s actually tame. As Madison worked with the baby ewe, drying her off a bit, Dottie was busy giving Madison sheep kisses and growling at Ellie (dog) who happened to be on the other side of the fence. , silly sheep!
Dottie’s mama was my milking ewe. Dottie is tame enough that I could milk her but I’m thinking that since she is 1/2 Katahdin, her udder is not built for milking but I’ll check it out.
Our first litter of bunnies is now 11 days old and eyes are starting to open. They start to be fun to play with once their eyes are open. We are also starting to see the colors come in. It looks like we have 2 blue chinchillas, 2 blues and a black. We won’t be able to sex them until they are about 4 weeks old and it’s still a bit iffy at that point. At 5 weeks, it’s pretty easy.
Oh and one last thing, my new car (well, new to me) arrived today. I can proudly say I now own a car from this century ! We decided to purchase a different family car after my brother told me how much it was going to be to fix my current car. It was cheaper to buy a newer used car. The old car will now be used as a “beater” until it no longer runs.
Madison brought this little family up from the bunny barn yesterday at supper time. One of the broken black mini lops, Whisper, kindled while she was doing chores. There were 5 but one didn’t make it. We are up to 3 litters now and the season has just begun.
I’m proud to announce that out first baby bunnies of the season have arrived. My mini lop. Quiver, kindled this morning. It’s always exciting when those first babies arrive. I was under strict orders from Madison that I could not “count” the babies or announce the birth on FaceBook before she returned home from school. It seems that some of her friends, with internet on their cell phones, might see the announcement before her and that doesn’t make her happy!
So with Madison home and the official count done I’m “allowed” to post this. We have “6″ new little bundles in a nestbox in Madison’s bunny nursery, aka: bedroom floor. January is too cold for the babies to housed in the barn with their mama(s) so all babies come to the house until they are old enough to stay with mom. This is a very busy time of the year for us.
I realized today that I forgot to share pictures of the new lambs that were born Feb 24th. Our Katahdin, Sugar, had twins. Rich and I got to watch the 2 lambs being born. Sugar lambed outside in the hay yard. She had been off by herself all morning while I did chores. She had made a nest in the leftover hay from a round bale, laid down and without one peep, quietly gave birth to the 2 darlings. Rich finally moved the family to the barn after an hour or so. We were concerned about the ewe lamb as she didn’t seem to be nursing. After warming in the house for a short time, she was doing just fine. Sugar is a wonderful mom.
Now, onto today’. This morning I woke to warm temps of 20 with the weatherman saying it was going to get above freezing today! I was very happy to hear that. You see, last night, Austin and I discovered the barn water hydrient frozen and we were unable to defrost it. So we carried water from the house to the barn for evening chores. Not exactly fun but it works.
And of course, I was carrying water again this morning. Rich thinks the line is froze underground. He’s hoping his sister has the tool to help fix our problem but we won’t know until tonight or tomorrow. Unfortunately, the temps started to drop just before noon with the winds picking up. Rich and I quickly got the bales into the yard to feed the goats, sheep and cattle. Dang, it got cold fast. It is not suppose to get above 11 tomorrow. Oh that should be fun running water to the barn from the house, UGH!
I have had a busy last few days since I last wrote about Annie’s kids. We’ve had baby bunnies arriving. Here are the litters born since I last blogged.
I got all my Pickle Bread completed but the guy who was picking them up was in a car accident on his way here so all 28 loaves went into the freezer until he comes to get them. The freezer meaning the great outdoors. I just hope it doesn’t warm up before he gets here.
Tanner, Annie’s buckling, came down with Floppy Kid Syndrome yesterday. So he spent the day/night in the house so I could monitar him. I started him on Penicillin and Thiamine, which I will continue for 3 days. I also gave him a shot of CD antitoxin. He looked much better and went out to the barn this morning to rejoin the family. Annie was very happy to see him again.
We had twin lambs born as well. This is number 3-4 for Katadhin lamb. Sugar had a ram and ewe lamb. So we are at 2 & 2. Oreo is not only giving our small flock nice sized lambs, he’s adding a bit of color too.