Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Warm Weather and Litter Update

 This is officially the weirdest winter I've had in Georgia. Yesterday it was almost 70 degrees with humidity at 73%. With how warm and humid out it is, it feels a lot like a Spring day in late May. Except.. it's the second week of January.

It's confusing everything around here from the rabbits to the trees. I noticed a couple of the Lops are molting. My Japanese flowering cherry trees have buds on them and the poor, confused daffodils are popping up.

In other news, the NZ litter and the Harlie litter are all still with us, but I am having a lot of trouble with the rotation system and bottle feeding. I think Pearl ran dry around a day before she passed, so the NZ kits lost almost two full days of milk that the Harlies had. This means that the Harlie kits are bigger and stronger than the NZ kits for the most part.

To account for this, I am trying to put the smallest in one nestbox and the largest in the other to try to minimize the competition, but a few NZ kits are still lagging significantly. I still think it is important to try to up Kari's milk production, but (and it sounds cruel) the Harlequin litter has to take priority. New Zealands are one of the top two most popular commercial breeds in the world, while this is probably the only Harlequin litter in my state at this time.

Aside from the rotation, I am also supplementing with the KMR mix to the NZ kits that need it. I haven't found a way yet to convince the kits to nurse a dropper, small bottle, or syringe, so it goes painstaking drop-by-drop to keep them from aspirating. I've noticed they tend to fall asleep before they get even half of what they need so far, so I would not say it is necessarily successful. Hopefully we can get a schedule and some rhythm going to these feedings and they will do better though.

I had planned to do a comparison between the two breeds week by week with weights and growth that I had mentioned before in the blog, but obviously this had to come to an end before it really even started due to the unfortunate circumstances. Here is a comparison picture I took before Pearl became ill (and you can see the Harlies were keeping up with the NZ just fine initially):

And a mugshot:


That's all I have to update for now. Next up hopefully I will be able to post a couple of pics of Tacoma and Bonus, who appear to be settling in just fine. They have wonderful personalities!

No comments:

Post a Comment