It's been a week since the kits were born to our three does and quite a bit has happened in that time. We've had some losses and some pretty stark comparison in terms of growth that I thought would be interesting to share.
As Michael mentioned in a previous post, we've got two of our does, Salad and Hazel sharing a nest completely of their own volition. Our rabbits are raised in a colony, so theWe decided to allow them to continue to do so, as they had been getting along well during the process. Hazel even helped to clean Salad's kits as they were born. It was really interesting to witness.
What's more, they have been taking turns mothering and nursing the kits. I got to see it for myself. As I was feeding and haying the gang, Salad ventured to the nesting box, arching over the pile of little rabbits and allowed them to nurse for a few minutes before venturing off to have a drink of water. No sooner than she left the nest, Hazel hopped on to feed the rest of the gang. As a result, the kits are huge. We've lost 6 of the 21 the two does managed to produce, which isn't strange, as does have a hard time feeding more than 8 kits at a time whether raised in colonies or not. We are now down to 15 kits in the nest, with 3 completely average in size. The rest are of the babies are monsters. I had to make a larger nest just to keep them from smothering one another.
Jonna has a nest all to herself and her babies have done well. They are easily 1/2 the size of the other kits, though born on the same day. All six of the kits are healthy and now that the risk of rejection is passed, Jonna is out and about in the common area with the rest of the girls again. We have a total of 21 kits now, which isn't too shabby for a bunch of rabbits that just started living together, out in the open!
You can see the comparison between Jonna's and Salad/Hazel's babies in the pictures above. How crazy is the difference??