I've been out of town for the past several days, but had a sitter taking care of the gang. I arrived home last night to a beautiful new litter of 8 that belong to Hikari. She did another amazing job of making a nest and pulling tons of fur. All of her kits looked outwardly healthy and warm when I checked on them.
Unfortunately, Pearl did not get the memo. She kindled two overnight and I found them on the floor this morning. It looks like she cleaned them up, but never pulled fur or made a nest. One of them had already died from exposure, but the other one came back to life when I warmed them up slowly. It is always amazing to me when a freezing cold and outwardly lifeless kitcicle suddenly starts to move again with warmth. Hopefully they will be able to nurse and grow stronger, but of course this is always a very tenuous time for newborn rabbits. I put the little one in with Kari's litter for now since there won't be any warmth in the other empty nestbox.
Pearl hasn't started eating again yet and she may have more yet to kindle, so I am watching her like a hawk just in case. I was told she was a proven mother and did a good job raising her last kits, but she is acting an awful lot like a first-timer today. Maybe it was because her one and only litter was supposed to have been a long time ago or maybe winter has something to do with it and her hormones haven't kicked in. Either way, I am not terribly concerned other than wanting to make sure any kits are taken care of properly and that she isn't experiencing any complications. This litter also confirms that Scorch and Pearl can reproduce successfully. I know it is a silly thing, but I hate to mark a buck or doe as proven even on my own paperwork until I have personally seen that they can produce live kits just as a matter of course.
Edit: Someone must have clued Pearl in that she was doing it wrong while I was typing today's blog post as later on she started nesting frantically. This afternoon she started pulling fur and lining the box with it. She then kindled several more kits- it looked like at least four additional so far that she had in the nestbox and they look like they are warm and wiggling. Yay Pearl! I went ahead and moved the original NZ kit from Kari's nestbox back to her Mom's now that hormones seem to be in full gear. :)