I’ve been watching 4 does in the barn, prowling their aisle throughout the day, looking for signs of nesting or kindling. All were due with their first litters sometime between May 30 – June 1. Little Standard Chinchilla doe Flo(rida), who has started her nest, two Rex does, who have not (although I provided everyone with a nestbox and hay on day 27), and an American Chinchilla doe who thus far is unnamed. I’ll call her Miss Grump for now, because it certainly suits her. She started nesting the moment I gave her a box and hay, then did nothing, she rearranged it multiple times, flipped it on it’s side, emptied it, refilled it, then just lounged around while shooting me some stinkeye on occasion.
Miss Grump finally decided to give up the goods! On day 30 I snapped this pic of her, looking quite pregnant and irritable, ?. She was not looking all that thrilled about impending motherhood.
Day 32, in what ought to be record time, she delivered 9 healthy looking kits! Her first litter, with a properly built nest, fur and all. I gave her a treat, removed the box and discarded the soiled hay. I looked everyone over for signs of overcleaning. While not common, some new moms get a bit overzealous during that task, cleaning off ears or patches of skin. Thankfully, all had 10 fingers, 8 toes, and 2 ears. I added some fresh clean hay, arranged it like she had it, and put it back in with mom, who promptly hopped in to check them.
Here they are, about 10 minutes old. She’s got a little more cleaning to do, but I think this first time momma will do just fine! Oh, and she has changed her attitude too, for the better. I’m thankful for that!
More barn prowling today for the remaining 3 due, stay tuned!