Date: 2001-03-24 11:10:00 UTC
Subject: Re: Preemie kits
Thank you so much for posting the pics of the two kits, as it
answered a question I was going to ask. Zirrah had a litter of 11 on
3/19, a day early from the first breeding and three days early from
the second (unplanned by me) breeding. Six of the kits were very
tiny and had very sparse, short hair in comparison to the other 4
larger kits. The firstborn kit was the largest, had no hair at all,
and was stillborn. The tiny ones were not as active, had no nursing
instincts, and died 36-48 hours after birth. The other 4 are
thriving at four and a half days.
I only bred the jills once with my other two litters. Both had
litters of 9 of uniform size, looked at birth like your larger kit.
The tiny kits in this litter looked even less developed than your
smaller kit, though there were no apparent abnormalities. I have
seen premature pups (born a week before the due date) that were
nearly or completely hairless so I assumed that these kits were
premature and thus probably did not have sufficient lung and/or
digestive system development.
Her second breeding occurred when Bravo managed to get over the
barrier to the ferret room (quite an accomplishment!) and tie her
before I caught up with him. He is agile, quick, and VERY
determined! I was not too concerned at the time, thinking that two
days would not be that significant. Do most breeders allow breedings
over 2-3 days and, if so, have any of you seen obvious differences in
size and development of the kits?