Rabbit stole another doe's nest?

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by Clov3r, Nov 3, 2016.

  1. Clov3r

    Clov3r Out Of The Brooder

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    May 11, 2016
    Palo Pinto County, Texas
    I have 2 chinchilla does who are going through their first pregnancies. They're sisters, and they share a 'habitat' space rather than individual cages. (We have a sort of controlled colony setup).

    Alice was due today. We have 4 nesting areas available between the 2 girls, and we packed them with hay in advance. Alice never showed any sign of nesting or fur pulling, so we assumed she'd probably be one that waited until the last possible minute to do so. We woke up this morning to one new baby bunny alone and cold out in the yard, rather than inside of the nesting areas. We looked for more, and when we didn't find any others, we moved him into one of the nest boxes and showed Alice where he was. I pulled some of her fur to keep him warm. She didn't show much interest, so we stepped away to leave her to do her thing.

    Chloe, Alice's sister, happened to start first thing this morning building her nest. She's due on Saturday. She worked at it all morning, lined it with fur, and it was actually quite impressive (more of a hay burrow than a nest). I stepped out to check in on the baby bunny (it's a cool, rainy morning and he's all alone), and Alice has stolen Chloe's nest and is giving birth to more bunnies! I moved the little male she left in the yard into the nest with her.

    Has anyone ever had one of their does steal another doe's nest? I'm hoping Chloe will build another for herself before Saturday... Alice just never even tried to build her own, the little thief.
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2016
  2. DutchBunny03

    DutchBunny03 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Try taking Chloe out of the same habitat as Alice. Does can become VERY territorial around kindling time, even more territorial than usual. Alice may be trying to get Chloe to leave. If you take Chloe out, she will probably just build her own nest in her new habitat and kindle there. You will be able to put them back together once the kits are a little older. Hope this helped[​IMG]!!
     
  3. Bunnylady

    Bunnylady POOF Goes the Pooka

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    Wilmington, NC
    This is why I take does out of the "colony" when I am sure they are pregnant. I have seen does start digging in a nest that has babies in it, which can kill the babies. I have also seen a dominant doe take over an occupied nest box just as a place to rest, when she wasn't even pregnant. Obviously, that isn't good for the babies whose mother has to stay out of the dominant doe's way.

    Just a note - in my experience, it is very unusual for a doe to pull a large amount of fur before she kindles. The vast majority of my animals have built nests of hay for days, but have pulled little or no fur until just before or just after they kindle. Does have their own way of doing things, without a history, you can't be sure what any doe's pattern will be, but it wouldn't surprise me if Chloe turns out to have had a false pregnancy. Of course, this may just be the way she does things; time will tell.
     
  4. Clov3r

    Clov3r Out Of The Brooder

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    May 11, 2016
    Palo Pinto County, Texas
    Oh wow! I've never had a doe barge in on another doe's nest before this. We watch them pretty closely for signs of aggression or them becoming too territorial. The bigger space (where these two girls are at) is about 10x20, so we don't usually end up having issues. We removed a third doe from the space, because we came out one day to find that she'd obviously gotten into it with another doe. (She's pretty grumpy on a regular basis, and is actually steadfastly refusing to breed with any buck... she may not be a keeper, unfortunately.)

    I'll watch Chloe over the next few days. I feel like we get a mixture of habits out of our rabbits: some do pull fur early, and others don't. These two just happen to be first timers, so I don't have those past habits to go off of. I do hope she kindles: she and Alice are both really gorgeous girls, and big!
     
  5. Weehopper

    Weehopper Chillin' With My Peeps

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    They should each have her own cage and nestbox.
     
  6. DutchBunny03

    DutchBunny03 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Rabbits can do fine sharing a colony, even at kindling time. Sometimes, such as in this instance, there are problems.
     
  7. Clov3r

    Clov3r Out Of The Brooder

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    May 11, 2016
    Palo Pinto County, Texas
    Thank you, hadn't gotten a chance to reply to that comment. Colonies aren't for everyone, and I completely understand how other kinds of housing can be easier to maintain. However, plenty of people colony raise rabbits, particularly on a smaller scale, and so long as you're observant and maintaining your rabbits, you'll know when there's an issue you need to correct.

    Update: Chloe made herself a new nest, and had a litter of 7 not too far from where Alice's litter of 6 is at. Everyone is doing well. :)
     
  8. Weehopper

    Weehopper Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Very cool! Congrats! Glad it worked out [​IMG]
     
    1 person likes this.
  9. DutchBunny03

    DutchBunny03 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yay!!!!
     
  10. FoodFreedomNow

    FoodFreedomNow Chillin' With My Peeps

    How are those Chin babies doing? Your does kindled around the same time mine did. I have a Chin doe, too, but this last litter was SFs and NZs. :bun
     

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