Thursday, June 14, 2012

Advice on Weighing Babies, and General Updates

As you can see, Twilight is settling in nicely and enjoying her new home. I miscalculated how much pellet food I had left today so she suffered having her entire meal for the day being Hay. As you can see, she is terribly upset. So upset that when I did a health check and ran my hand down her back she didn't even stop eating. Such an awful situation. Overall she is a bit more skittish than say, Dawn, but she is getting more friendly by the day.

As you can see to the Left Umbra is unhappy about the regular oiling to deal with the mites problem. That said, the mites have been doing just fine and may have been fully dealt with which would be good. In the next couple days we will be breeding Dawn and Sunny again for their second litters so we can maximize our number of litters before the Winter. He has been irritable with me since I have been doing that, to the point of kicking when ever I walk by.
 Dawn and the babies showing just how much they have grown in the two pictures on the Right. It has become a bit of an adventure weighing them as I mentioned a few times now. The best system I have found to weigh them when working alone is to have the scale near the entrance to the private space, and have all of the babies on one side or the other. Pick each one up, preferably with two hands, and put them on the scale.

 If they fight against being picked up, or fight not wanting to stay in the scale cover their eyes gently and wait for them to calm down. Never raise your voice, or move faster as it will agitate the others. While doing all of this keep the others away with your elbow. Once each is weighed, put them with the others, enter the weight, and move on to the next. It can be a real pain to keep the babies away from the scale. Dawn's babies want to crawl in to the weighing Tupperware, and Sunny's want to chew on it. Sunny's babies will actually end up throwing the Tupperware if you aren't careful to keep them away from it. Below is a cute picture I got of three of Sunny's babies drinking from the water bottle at once. Not an uncommon sight.

Weight Charts
I got some very useful critique about the weight charts from Caity of domestiCaited which are very helpful. I haven't had a chance to implement them yet, but thanks for the critique. I am definitely going to be putting in what I am weighing in on the chart (grams), and trying for more consistency with my notes.

Dawn's Weight Chart
In Dawn's babies we have seen their growth taper off significantly. Given that this is our first litter we aren't sure if that is normal or not. That said, they are all right around 1 Kg at this point which is half way there to butchering weight. We are hoping they will be there by mid July, but it is hard to know how fast they will actually get there.

Sunny's Weight Chart
Sunny's litter continues to grow quickly and be a bit jumpy. It is difficult to compare their growth weight to Dawn's babies because of how much more consistent the growth rates are for Sunny's litter than Dawns. Over all right now they are significantly heavier than Dawns litter was at the same time.

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