Thursday, March 21, 2013

Twilight's first baby pictures!

Twilight has relented, and allowed us contact with her babies without more than an occasional grumble and check up that we aren't doing anything wrong to her babies. The Lady of the House managed to get some nice photos while I was getting weight checks done quickly in the unpleasantly winter like weather.
There are three distinct colors of babies in Twilight's litter. We have established that she does carry white, because otherwise we'd have a two color litter. There's one of her two blue kits in the foreground, the one white kit in the middle, and the three black kits blending in with the fur they are on in the background. There were in fact just the six that I found the first time, it is good to have confirmation when I'm not rushing to avoid further injury! 
The Lady of the House got this nice set of one of the black babies flailing around a bit. Top and Left give a good feel for the general color of the black kits. The kit pictured is one of the smaller kits from Twilights litter, and is one we will be keeping an eye on to make sure it grows well.

Top Right is a blue kit, it's actually very difficult to tell from this photo exactly how different it is from the black, but I wanted to include a singleton of one of the blues to show that you really do have to get blue and black next to each other to tell them apart when they're babies unless you are an expert. We aren't experts at this point, but fortunately we do have plenty of babies to look at side by side and get a solid comparison going. Below Right is obviously a white kit. They just look pink and naked, and are the easiest to tell apart. All of Twilights kits are very active and make a lot of noise when picked up and weighed, which I'm sure provokes their mother. Fortunately the Lady of the House was able to get in and out without a problem Tuesday evening, and Wednesday morning wasn't a problem for me. We didn't do weight checks this morning due to temperature, but will try to do so this afternoon.

Fortunately, Twilight is a simple creature, and as long as she has pellets she is less concerned about us bothering her kits. She's still not thrilled about it, and unlike Dawn did bark at me to tell me I was done yesterday morning. Hopefully she'll continue to get calmer about us handling her kits. It seems that the one she accidentally jumped on while trying to get me away is ok, so we'll just move on with the learning experience.

Dawn, the experienced mother always looks a little concerned about everything, but the Lady of the House managed to catch her normal state during weight checks. Watching, but doing so calmly. She was more concerned with her earlier litters, and did check on me more strongly at that point. I think she's just used to me being part of the life of her litters now, and it doesn't upset her.

 Her babies are all looking good, but we're keeping a solid eye on them, and considering fostering over a pair of her ten babies to Twilight. Normally one doesn't foster from an experienced mother to an inexperienced mother, however Dawn's babies are growing slowly. They are also smaller than normal, probably due to the sheer number of them. If they continue growing substantially slower than Twilight's babies we will transfer a couple of the bigger ones over to try to even out the growth rates so everyone has a solid chance to compete for milk. Ideally we won't mess with taking babies from one to the other, but it is a potential concern and something we're trying to think about ahead so we aren't making a rapid under informed decision. I wanted to include weight charts today, but Drive is being a pain today and not loading for me. What I can tell you is that the first day Dawn's litter lost 2% of their average weight, mostly from the larger kits. The second day they gained 6% as a litter average fairly evenly across the board. Twilight's litter however gained 13% as a litter average on their first day. Twilight's litter has some gigantic babies, and one very small one. Fortunately even the small one seems to be growing fairly well. We will see how the numbers line up as they continue to grow, and how the babies do over all.

Below is the pile of Dawn's 10 kits.


  1. Oh, they're so much better looking than baby mice! On the white kits, can you see through them enough to see the milk in their stomachs? (I used to do that with my problem mice to be sure they were getting fed.)

    I never fostered any pups, but all the books said to be sure to rub the new pups with the old pups really well so they smell right. The books also suggested removing pups from the foster mother's litter, but I always thought that defeted the purpose. At least you'll be able to tell the kits apart based on color!

    1. We can actually see through them whether they're white or not to see if they have milk belly. It's one of the things I do every day when I do weight checks since it's not too hard for one to get missed.

      Apparently rabbits are very easy to foster between, but with how hormonal Twilight's been I'm a little wary of doing anything near her kits. I'm definitely going to be doing research before doing any transfers though.