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Monday, June 9, 2008

We're having a heat wave...

....a tropical heatwave.

It's HOT here in the South. Not just hot, miserably so. I asked Tim where our Spring went- it seems like we went straight from cold winter to the heat of summer!

We've got three beautiful litters here under 2 weeks old. Two of Jersey Woolies and one of mini lops! HOORAY!

But with this baby boom comes the worry. They are already in a nest of very little fur, owing to the 90+ degree temperatures here. My 3 week old mini lops abandoned their nestbox early last week and are just laying on a piece of board I put in the cage, giving them some relief from the wire, but nice ventilation.

I hate bringing nestboxes in. To begin with, it was still 82 degrees last night at 9:15pm. That's insane. It would be almost midnight before the temperatures outside and inside are comparable. So I'd have to bring in the boxes and take them out in the morning (then bring them in again) in varying temperatures. That's never the best thing to do.

Then, we have the difficulty of where to put them? My house has three cats, all of whom get along with rabbits and other small creatures. But I have no doubt that should a baby fall out of the box and not freeze, it would end up as a toy. Plus, the cats are nosy and like to stick heads and paws in boxes- I've seen this before.

Assuming I bring them in and find a place to keep them, I worry about stupid does. I have a first time mom outside- what if she doesn't take her box back? What if the mini lop decides she doesn't want the babies anymore? I sure don't want to feed them by hand, and I definitely don't want to foster 9 mini lop babies among a pair of woolies.

Thankfully, we had a thunderstorm today- it cooled us about 20 degrees, though the humidity is AWFUL. Still, the rabbitry is much cooler. We try to make sure the rabbits have water all day long, even the heaver drinkers. I've got ice sticks freezing in the freezer for bottles, as well as 20 ounce bottles freezing for relief for the angoras. I guess that beautiful black doe is going to need to be shaved down! So much for showing her.

I guess I'll keep measuring the temperature outside and in the rabbitry, providing relief for the adults, and keeping a close eye on the kits. If they can make it a few more days, temperatures should retreat to the mid 80s.

Keep's Rabbitry

1 comment:

Qadoshyah said...

I've taken boxes from first-timers plenty of times. If the doe doesn't jump in the box immediently, I just encourage her to go in. Once she is in the box and realizes the babies are nursing, most of the time she'll stay in there. I have had some does that I have to pet and pet for the 5 minutes I want them in the box, but that's not the norm ;).

~ Qadoshyah