Are the kits being fed?

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Emma Walker

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Hi everyone,

So after princess’ failed litter at the end of December/start of Jan, I took everyone’s advice and bred her again with scamp. (Both Princess and Scamp are angoras)

A rabbit (flash) I rescued after being dumped in my area a month ago had 2 live kits 3 weeks ago. Princess had a live litter this time, and completely shocked me by kindling 7 live kits. There was an 8th who was unfortunately oversized and still born.

I’ve been checking on Princess and her kits, but she just seems completely overwhelmed with 7, there are a few that seem much more fed than the others. 3 of them are still warm and wiggly, smooth skin, however their bellies are never as full as the others.

Would I be able to get flash to feed some of the litter, with supervision of course, or is the milk they produce for a 3 week old kit completely different to a 3 day old kit?

Thank you in advance for everyone’s help xxx
 

zuppa

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Hi, there's no difference between 3 days and 3 weeks with milk quality, if you think she doesn't have enough milk you could give the wrinkled ones one extra feeding per day with other mother, but if it was my situation I wouldn't announce that to their mother I would just take the 3-week mother to feed the 3-day kits in some different location (under supervising) and would put them back to their original nest. Also some mothers are sensitive about smells so I would be careful with that.
I might be wrong but I wouldn't put 3-day kits with 3-week kits into same nest because I imagine they can't compete with 3-week kits, and the older ones could damage them as well.

Honestly, from your description I think that there's no need in using your other mother. You say they all have smooth skin and a few of them look a bit overfed so I would just remove the fattest ones from nest for one feeding and maybe after another one again. If you could post clear photo with the weakest kits so we can see their bellies that would help.
7 kits is not too much some have 14 kits just provide mother with enough food and water, unlimited hay and pellets and lots of fresh water so she can produce enough milk and she'll be fine. You can give her some rolled oats as an addition to her diet, some herbs too, generally give her much love and make sure she's happy and not stressed.
 

Emma Walker

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Thank you for the reply, I’d love to send some photos but can’t manage to upload any? Will only let me view the ones I put up when I signed up.

The tiniest of the “underfed 3” has suckled, but then moves to another teat. Each one he goes for he’s only there for around 20 seconds or so, and nothing changes, stomach wise. So I am concerned he not getting anything, or enough
 

Julie&Bunnies

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Fennel is good for increasing milk volume/production. If you think the rescued doe has enough milk, then you could do it.

In this kind of situation. . . I would do one of two things.

Keep all 7 with Princess but put the weakest 3 in to nurse first ... Make sure they are able to get securely latched on and then let them nurse for one or two minutes before you let the other ones nurse. This works great if you keep the babies apart from the mother and then put them with her to nurse. I have done this if I think the mother might be a danger. it's harder to do if the mother and babies are constantly together because you don't know when they're going to nurse exactly.

The second thing you could do is what you suggested, remove the 3 and take them to the other mother.
If you decide to do that, and I think it's a good idea to get them rehydrated and nourished before they go further downhill, then only put them with the Foster mother to nurse and then immediately back with their own mother. Just ensure that the Foster mothers two are still getting enough milk
 

zuppa

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Thank you for the reply, I’d love to send some photos but can’t manage to upload any? Will only let me view the ones I put up when I signed up.

The tiniest of the “underfed 3” has suckled, but then moves to another teat. Each one he goes for he’s only there for around 20 seconds or so, and nothing changes, stomach wise. So I am concerned he not getting anything, or enough
To post photo, when replying you see 3 buttons on the right bottom side Post Reply, Upload a File, More Options. Just hit Upload a File and you can upload any photo from your computer, you can post it as full size or thumbnails that's up to you
 

Julie&Bunnies

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Hmmm...they don't look too bad. Yet, it's good to catch things early and keep them strong. The little brown one who looks like the runt is the one I would prioritize extra milk for.
 

majorv

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I agree with zupper, you don’t want to put 3 day old kits in with 3 week old kits. If you want to give the smallest ones extra time You can do what was suggested and give them a minute or so to nurse and then put the others in with them. Does will only nurse for maybe 5 minutes at a time...not very long.
 

zuppa

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They are beautiful! I don't see any need to switch mothers they look fine like normal 3 day old kits, just check them once a day if you see some more wrinkled take the fattest ones from nest for one feeding, keep them somewhere warm and then put back. Don't overthink it rabbits are amazing mothers and don't stress her too much with making big changes and don't take kits out of nest too often, once a day for 5 mins is fine. Beautiful kits, I always wanted angoras can imagine how pretty they will be please post some pics when they are older with fur!
 

Emma Walker

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Thank you to everyone for your help and advice! I’m sure I’m overthinking things, but better safe than sorry I suppose!

I think because of the difference between these 7, and the 2 surprise kits Flash had, that’s why I started panicking a bit. Flash’s babies were huge compared to these little ones, and could clearly see when they’d been fed as they looked like they’d swollen a bowling ball!

The little brown one looks exactly like Princess with the colouring. Scamp, the dad, is a dark grey.

I’m going to keep a close eye on it, and let the tiny ones start feeding for a min or two first and then put the bigger ones back. Luckily myself and Princess have an amazing bond, so she doesn’t get stressed with my scent. Even when she was pregnant, she wouldn’t let anyone else go anywhere near her, but would snuggle up to me and lick me to death!

I will definitely keep up with posting some pictures for you all. Thanks again for all the help xxx
 

Emma Walker

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2BCDD484-D76B-4BBE-8A10-4487583ADE11.jpeg Hi again everyone,

Just a quick update, this morning all the kits were fat and full and wiggly. Even the smaller/“runty” ones looked much much better. I have been giving her some fennel as suggested, and it seems to have done the trick with milk production. Can’t thank you all enough xx
 

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