Apr 27, 2014

Mena's First Litter

Setting up electronic calendars with reminders is really important, if you're scatter-brained like me, sometimes.  I had it in my head that Mena was supposed to get her nest box on the 25th, according to my Evan's Software (which I had set the "nest in" date to 27 days after breeding).  Since I had it in my head that the 25th was day 27, I didn't feel too bad about not getting the box in until the 26th.  Then I looked at my Evans Breeding List...the 25th was the day she was due  (set to 30 days after breeding).  Oops!  So I rushed out to double check on her.

Mena's nested cage.
The nest box looked undisturbed, but she had fur and piles of straw all over her cage, but no signs of kits or a birth.  It looked like one of two things had happened: 1) she had kindled on the wire and managed to clean it all up, building a nice nest for kits, and the kits had all crawled out (I don't have baby-saver wire); or 2) she still had yet to kindle.  Still, I pulled the nest box toward me.  No fur, all the straw still lying exactly like I usually stuff the box.  I shoved my fist into the back of the nest box.  Wiggly warmth!

Virtually undisturbed nest.
I couldn't believe it!  Seriously, the nest looked like it hadn't been disturbed at all.  So I brought the box in to do a head count and health check.

Litter of kits buried way in the back of a nest box.
Buried way in the back, under layers of straw, I found 6 kits, all full-tummied and wiggly.  Seriously, these were some of the most fidgety kits I've ever handled!
Litter of newborn black and blue otter and self rex.
Sadly, my hopes for chocolate otters seem to have failed. Of the six, two are blue otter, two are black, one is a black otter, and one is a blue. I think that only one is a doe, too (one of the blue otters). Oh well, more to sell, I guess!