During the weekend of September 9-11, I was gone with my church at a retreat on Whidbey Island. I made a mistake planning the birth, because I ALWAYS try to have the doe due when I'm there all day to help her if anything goes wrong. I thought that we were not going to this retreat, so I planned her delivery specifically for this weekend because I thought I would be home all weekend. Well, then my sister and I are able to go and since it's amazingly fun we couldn't pass up the opportunity. The rest of my family stayed home (we have a new puppy), and my mom was on baby watch! With Clementine's last litter, she refused to nest inside the nestbox and gave birth to dead kits scattered on the wire. I had a feeling she would do the same thing (hopefully with live kits), because she tore apart her nestbox the week before delivery and nested in a different corner.
Clementine was supposed to give birth on Saturday (the 10th) when I was gone all day and night, so my mom and I were texting each other all day because I wanted to stay abreast on all the latest news with Clem. My mom is amazing; she woke up several times Saturday night/early Sunday morning to check on Clem!
Clementine didn't start labor until Sunday morning, right before my mom left to pick my sister and I up from the ferry. She didn't finish kindling until a couple hours after I had returned home!
Clementine had 5 kits, of course outside the nestbox in the nest SHE thought was better. Sadly, 4 didn't make it. I'm not positive why that is. They didn't get too cold, since I was there watching her delivery. 2 were peanuts, so they would've died anyway, and the other 2 were huge and dead on arrival. Usually with 5 kits, all the kits are smaller due to the lack of space, but I'm thinking that because the peanuts are so unnaturally small, a couple kits were able to grow larger.
I am so thankful for the little baby that is surviving, however!! He (or she) is so adorable and chunky! Since Clementine lost her previous litter, I am doing everything in my power to make sure she doesn't lose this baby! If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook you would already know this, but yesterday when I went to feed in the morning, the baby was cold so I brought him inside to warm up for a couple hours. When I brought him back out, around 10am, I left him out for several hours. Around 1pm I checked on him again and he was cold (again), so I brought him BACK inside and didn't take him out that time until around 5pm.
Around 10pm when I went to bed, my gut was telling me to bring the baby back in for the night. He had trouble all day staying warm, and was cold again that night when I checked, so he spent the night inside. This was the first time I had ever brought a baby inside for the night without mama - I wasn't taking any chances with this little one!
I was worried that Clementine might not take good care of her baby after bringing him back to her this morning after nearly a whole day inside the house. She was feeding him just fine before I brought him in, but peeing in the nest box as well. I noticed that everyday she would pull more fur but place it in the opposite corner of her cage - the corner the nestbox was not in, and the corner she originally gave birth. i moved the nestbox to that spot this morning, and so far, the baby is fat and well fed, and she hasn't peed in the box! I guess she just wants in it HER special corner! I might bring the baby back inside if he's cold when I check on him around 10. So far today he's been staying very warm.
This baby is a broken opal, I think, although it may be a broken blue. I'm not positive, but I love the color and it's a real cutie!
EDIT 9/25 - on or around 9/18 Clemmi's baby died suddenly while it was in the house :( Poor thing. I'll be rebreeding Clem either in October or November and hope for better results. If she doesn't have a surviving litter on her third round, she'll be sold.