Saturday, January 12, 2019

Our Single Survivor

Good Morning World.  Our Red New Zealand doe Scarlett finally had her first litter of kits.  Unfortunately it came mixed with joy and sorrow.  on January 11th in the wee hours of the morning she kindled two kits.  When we went out for feeding time we found one kit moving around and cold in the nest and the other kit unwashed cold and not moving.  After time was spent washing and trying to revive the kit to no avail I decided that shelving this single survivor inside the house would be the best option because newborn kits can't regulate their body temperature and being a singleton, it would have a much harder time staying warm.

Scarlett was a champ about the whole process, and while she wanted nothing to do with going in the nesting box that evening to free this single kit, she was willing to lie on her back in my lap while we let the kit nurse.

Fast forward one day to this morning, and when we go out for feeding time we find that Scarlett has kindled again.  Only this time, since we had shelved the single kit there was no next box and this poor kit was born on the wire, cold and didn't survive.  I have to admit that I cried this morning when we found this.

And the wisdom that was gained came at a difficult price.  The lesson?  When you have to shelve kits on the day they are born always leave an extra nest box in with mama because you never know for sure if she is done having kits or not, and it is better to be prepared then surprised and sorry.

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