Moving cages right before rabbit kindling

by Jenny

We are first time rabbiteers. We purchased 3 does and 1 buck last weekend. The move was stressful on them by the way the acted. They are settling in, now. However, we are slowly getting acquainted. We haven't taken them out and held them, yet, but we do pet them.

Two of the does are due to kindle this coming week. I don't know if one of them will give birth at all since she started pulling fur the day after we got her. The second pregnant doe started pulling fur today. We have them all in a shed up our drive about 1/4 mile which is a trek for checking on them in cold weather.

We have an opportunity to move the shed and cages tomorrow to a location right outside our house with better access to electricity for a heat lamp when the babies come. We are expected to get cold weather again in a couple of days. Would moving them again tomorrow cause problems with giving birth?

***** Karen Sez *****

You can minimize the stress, I think, by placing the pregnant does in their own carrying cages, place them in a dark and quiet location like a room in your home where none of the moving ruckus will alarm them, and then, when the move is complete, put them back into their cages.

If you do this, offer them a special (non-sugary) treat when they go back into their cages, such as a pinch of black oil sunflower seeds or whole oats. Hopefully this will leave a good taste in their mouths, so to speak, about the disruption.

Try not to second-guess your choices and think things like, "If only..." should one or more does fail to kindle. It is very hard to pin blame correctly until you become thoroughly familiar with rabbits and especially your own rabbits. Which disruption was it that actually alarmed a doe that fails to kindle? How do you know she wasn't simply experiencing a false pregnancy? Etc. etc.

Therefore, if a rabbit fails to kindle by day 35, simply rebreed her - hopefully you'll have kits in another 31 days.

Enjoy your rabbits!

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