Friday, February 13, 2015

The Effects of Motherhood

I must say, Cardamom has mellowed out significantly since becoming a mother. She seems so content to be surrounded by bounding 3-week-old kits.

She still hops away if I try to touch her, but she never used to even let me get this close.

Acer's temperament, on the other hand, has stayed pretty much the same.

She'll approach me when I give her her daily grain ration, but otherwise stays as far away from me as possible. She's, of course, a good mama to her babies overall, but seems to have less patience with them at this stage.

Something else interesting I've been monitoring between the two litters is recurrence of Nest Box Eye.

Roughly half of each group initially had crusty, sealed eyelids around day 14, which I treated with saline solution and coconut oil.

Cardamom's group was fine after one treatment, and needed no further intervention.

At least two kits from Acer's group, however, have needed treatment four times. This past time I ended up using triple antibiotic ointment, in hopes of knocking out any further infection.

Now, I removed both nest boxes within a day of each other (day 17 for Acer's, day 18 for Cardamom's) and they are all getting the same feed and hay, etc. And remember, they are all from Cardamom's litter. So the only difference? Does!

I have no idea why this would be, unless it's just coincidence. However, several kits from Acer's last litter also had minor eye irritation, with one having a full blown infection (which it recovered from.)

I'd say that the initial cause of irritation is probably dusty hay, but why did Cardamom's recover so much more easily?

It's interesting. I'll keep monitoring the situation and see how it goes with future litters.

Other than the eye issues, these kits are doing fantastic.

I packed their cages full of straw because it's been dipping into the teens at night.
They have also entered the disgustingly cute phase.

I think I've been a little too quick to discount Cardamom. (I know I'm always going back and forth about her.) Both does have strengths and weaknesses that compliment one another. Perhaps combining their genetics will result in the perfect brood stock. Who knows?

In the meantime, tuck your buns in tight - it's gonna be another cold one out there!


  1. Disgustingly cute phase.. that about sums it up, haha. I love them! Also, refresh my memory- did your does come from someone else or were they born there? I feel sure they came from the outside, but I wanted to be sure. We were having a discussion about temperaments- nature vs. nurture so to speak so I was curious. My runty doe is the only kicker right now, but I didn't barely handle her until this week because I (ass)umed she would be a cull. Now she is feeling smooth and it had me thinking about her fussiness since all of her siblings and parents (and grandparents for that matter) are super mellow.

    Also (sorry I know I'm rambling on in your comment section!), we've had good luck using Vetericyn All Animal Eye Wash in stubborn cases where we used to use Terramycin. No messy medications or prescriptions (its steroid and antibiotic free) and one little bottle lasts us forever. I think we got ours on Amazon for around $12-15 if I remember correctly with free shipping.

    Everyone looks fantastic! You stay warm, too! All this freezing weather makes me daydream about Spring. :)

    1. Yes, I bought both of these does and the NZ buck last summer, at 12 wks old, I believe. They were both really friendly until they hit maturity (the buck stayed super sweet). Acer turned skittish and Cardamom turned ornery. It probably would have helped if I was able to handle them more, but such is life.

      I may give Vetericyn a try. Thanks for the tip!

      It's in the 20's right now, but we've got the wood stove fired up and it is 73 in here! I am actually sweating!