My sandy jill (called Sandy!) came into heat early February 2020. To bring some new genes to our end of the country (Kent), I took her to a Sable stud in Somerset. He had a good medical history and was an excellent worker. Very well natured. So just what we were looking for. So at end Feb, we left Sandy at the stud at lunchtime on Saturday and collected lunchtime Sunday. The owner confirmed multiple matings.
She came out of heat within a week which confirmed pregnancy (although could still have been a pseudo). After a couple weeks we weighed her daily. She religiously gained 10g per day, taking her from c650g upto 996g on day of birth. Her belly was 25cm circumference.
Pic of her just before birth.
Sandy lives with her neutered brother (a Sable) in a large enclosure in the garden.
Sandy and her brother are very close friends. But we moved Sandy into a separate small birthing suite 10 days before due date. This suite is within the main enclosure still.
However, she still wanted to be with her brother, and would race around seeking him out. So they continued to have together time every day upto and beyond birth. But he was/is never allowed in her suite.
I installed a webcam in her nestbox and whilst not super clear, it does give us a good view of what is going on as well as sound. It has internal storage, as well as enabling us to live view from our smartphones. We hoped it would give us video of the birth.
Sandy started labour at about 9pm on Friday 10th April. We were all glued to the screen. Lots of familiar squeaking. Unfortunately, whilst the view of Sandy and the nest was clear right up to birth, about 30mins before labour she buried down into the hay, so we saw nothing of the actual birth. . But we did hear all the sounds as they emerged.
The following morning. We assessed the situation and there were 10 wiggly squeaky babies.
Unfortunately, over the course of the day, we noticed on the webcam that one was not moving, and we confirmed that it was dead and it was removed and buried.
Sandy seems very chilled out and relaxed with our presence, although we have not physically touched the kits yet. She seems quite keen to move her kits to another nest in the main enclosure rather than staying in her birthing suite. She even came running to the door with one in her mouth after we left her have some exercise in the main area today.
More posts/diary to follow as we go. Hoping for low mortality rate, albeit nine kits is quite a lot.