Mar 31, 2014

Rollercoasters of Nests

Nestbox stuffed full of straw.
This weekend marked 28 days after breeding for another four does.  Each of them were given a nest box stuffed full of straw (and I do mean stuffed).

Some of the girls' bellies were getting obviously swollen.  Keep in mind, though, that not all rabbits will show signs of being pregnant.  Some rabbits carry their litters really high up and their bellies don't seem to expand.  Some does maintain the same personality and behavior throughout the entirety of their pregnancy.  Just because a doe doesn't look or act different doesn't mean that she didn't conceive.  On the other hand, a false pregnancy can cause a doe to change her personality, behavior, and even appearance.  My personal rule is that if a doe has been exposed to a buck, she should get a nestbox, no matter what.

Aster's late-term pregnancy belly.

Sweetie's prego belly.

Buck lifts feet as he "falls off"
Of course, not all breedings are successful.  This weekend also marked the 40th day after Mena was bred to Tron.  I was actually surprised to see that her breeding was unsuccessful, given how eager she was to breed.  Then again, her nest only got flatter each day.  In general, a doe that is pregnant (or thinks that she's pregnant) will fluff the nesting material rather than flatten it.  However, that's not a steadfast rule.  Since neither Mena nor Tron is proven, I can't say why the litter didn't take.

Godiva's nest with fur after 24 hours.
Excitingly, Godiva, who was also bred to Tron, made a nice hollow in her nest and even added a bit of fur.  Hopefully, that means that Godiva is really pregnant, and Tron will become proven.  (Meaning that Mena's lack of litter was because of something relating to her, only).

Sweetie's nest after 24 hours.

Rabbits seem to like keeping us on our toes, though.  The very next day, both of the nests with nice hollows had been evened out.  In exchange for that, Aster decided to fill her nest box (and cage) with fur, but no kits just yet.

Godiva's flattened nest

Sweetie's flattened nest.

Aster's cage filled with fur.

Aster's nest box of fur.