Sunday, March 29, 2015

Litter Update 3/29/15

I haven't been bringing the nest boxes in and handling all the babies every day for the simple, lame reason that I don't want to get out in the cold more than I have to.

Which is kind of funny, considering temperatures like this felt warm a few weeks ago.

Both Ian and I are battling a head cold, like everyone else on the planet seems to be right now. These up and down temperatures really do a number on the immune system.

I've at least been peeking at them every day to make sure everyone is getting fed.

Today I finally brought everybody in to replace the nest box bedding and get some pictures...


Acer's bunch:

I'm guessing ole' "funk eye" didn't survive, since I only counted 12 alive. Today when I cleaned out the nest box I found one desiccated kit, which I'm assuming was him. It's just as well. The remaining 12 are fat and sassy!

In the end, Babette's litter was just too unthrifty to survive. I thought they looked a little scrawny from the get-go, with bluish colored extremities. She spent a lot of time lounging in the nest box, but they never looked fed or seemed to grow any. I tried swapping them around the other doe's nest boxes, but they just couldn't seem to catch up.

I decided to go ahead and re-breed her, rather than wait 3 weeks and breed everyone at once. I realize it's a bit risky if she ends up botching another litter, but the hot season is fast approaching and I really need a second Creme doe for my breeding project. She really wanted to be bred anyhow, since she would flatten and lift every time I touched her. So hopefully the second time she'll get it all right. She really didn't even screw up as much as Cardamom did her first time, and she turned out to be a fantastic mother.

I cleaned out the grow-out pen the other day...

I removed all of the straw down to the soil and carted it away.

There's some really great soil under there, chock full of earthworms.

Ian was playing with the worms
So now I'll just disinfect all of the feeders and boxes, and spray everything else down with a bleach solution.

We'll try to get a couple of more cages up and I'll only put a few of the grow-outs in the pen this time, just in case.

By the way, we are borrowing an old laptop from my parents, so we at least have a way to get online at home. We're going to see about getting mine fixed, which will hopefully be soon since I need it to teach a class on herps in a couple of weeks.

Despite colder temperatures, spring is still in full swing!

Sweet Betsies are blooming everywhere
Pretty soon the leaves will cover up our lake view

Shared on The HomeAcre Hop


  1. The litters look fat and healthy! Acer in particular had a heavier load and is doing such an amazing job. I'm hoping my doe Tacoma can step it up because she has 10 in her nestbox now that I added 3 from a doe with zero mothering instincts. I've found that some does can rock and roll with a higher number and some struggle to keep them all fed. Is it possible for you to move your grow out pen over to a different patch of woods in case this one does have cocci? Hope you and the hubby feel better soon!

    1. Yeah, I've been re-breeding the does when their kits are 4 weeks, but I may give Acer a longer break this time, since she's been feeding so many.

      I've thought about moving it, but it's going to be so much trouble to disassemble and relocate that I was planning on waiting until we were actually moving. We have it screwed into the storage shed for stability. We'll see!

  2. WOW look at those fat bellies on those babies! They look great. I'm sorry ya'll are under the weather!

    1. It's evident that Acer has plenty to go around. Maybe we should try milking her ourself! Ha! :)

  3. I know what you mean about the "flattening and lifting" because our Tauriel does that the second the babies come out of her until we breed her again! We couldn't even get any good posing pictures because every time we would smooth her fur, she would just lift that bum up and end up looking ridiculous!