Date: 2001-03-20 00:40:00 UTC
Subject: Re: [Ferret-Health-list] Premie Kits
In a message dated 3/19/01 5:36:53 AM Eastern Standard Time,
<< Today I had two jills give birth. One was perfect and had carried for 43
days. The other a minimum of 2 days early. Based on breeding dates she should
have given birth between Tuesday and Thursday.
This is not a good thing as it remains to be seen if all the preemies will
survive but I was also able to get an excellent picture which illustrates
just how much difference those couple of days can make.
Hi Susan - Excellent pictures of your newborn kits. I hope both litters are
doing well. To tell you the truth, both kits look within the normal range of
size for the neonate. I note both are holding up their heads which is a good
sign in the newborn. You do see variances in size at birth. Factors to
consider are size of litter, age of maternal jill, age of breeding hob, size
of mother and father, and condition of mother when bred. For instance, if
she was bred when in coat and at maximum weight, she has the best start to
meet nutritional needs of kits in utero. If she is bred after falsing,
blowing her coat and loosing weight, even more care has to be taken in
maximizing her nutrient intake to meet the needs of the babies.
Earlier in the year I had a litter (actually my jill did) that presented much
like the larger of your kits. More recently, a litter appeared very much
like your preemie, but there were 10 kits in this litter. Actually, imho,
the larger kit looks 1/2 days post-mature.
Normal term for kits (as you know) is 42 days plus or minus one. You begin
the count of days on the first day the hob is with the jill. Over the years,
I have found very little variation from this schedule with majority birthing
on the 42nd day. Time of day that you put your hob with jill can also vary
the date slightly. For instance, I will put my pair together late in the day
and most of my kits are born at night or after midnight because I am a
nightowl and not a morning person :-) Best regards, Meg