Continental Giants have babies (kits) between the 28th to 31st day after a successful breeding. The typical litter size is 6-12 kits, so they will need a very secure, large home. All newborns are completely without fur, and their eyes and ears are closed. Additionally, Conti kits will need to be fed by their mom (dam) twice daily; morning and night. It is vital that you check every baby no less than once a day to ensure that they are doing well, and have been fed. You will know if the Conti kits have not been fed by looking at them. If their skin is really wrinkly-looking and their stomachs look somewhat sunken in, they are not being fed. If you encounter this, you must intervene immediately. The best way to do this is by pulling the dam out and make sure she is producing milk. Next, securely hold her on her back, and place the baby on her belly with it’s mouth directly over a teat to encourage nursing. If you see that the baby is not getting fed, then you will need to intervene even further by introducing a FOSTERING SYSTEM, to ensure the health and vitality of your new babies.
WEEK ONE – FOUR
Your adorable little Conti babies should be covered in fur by the time they are 4 days old, however they can still chill quickly and easily, so it is vital to continue keeping them warm. Otherwise, the babies will open their eyes usually between the 12th – 14th day of age, and their ears will also be opening at that time as well. Additionally, you will notice them crawling around and beginning to hop out of their nest, often times chasing mom down for an extra meal. Once the bunnies reach about 3-4weeks of age, they will be nibbling on hay as well as testing out pellets. Remember, clean hay should be the first solid food your Conti babies eat. Fiber is vital in helping proper gut mobility, and helps to prepare their stomach’s for digesting pellets and treats.
WEEK FOUR – WEANING
However, just because they are beginning to eat solid foods, they are no where near ready to be weaned. In fact, every Conti baby should remain with their dam for a minimum of 12 full weeks… yes! that is 3 months! [not 8 weeks – not 10 weeks = but a solid 12 weeks!]. While they are growing very quickly, and may be eating you out of house and home, these giant babies still need that extra time with mom. It is also understandable that those “waiting-to-be” buyers are very anxious to get them quickly, just simply remind them that your top priority is for each Conti baby to be properly weaned and healthy. Their very lives do depend on this! This is an extremely stressful time for the babies, and it must be done in steps.
HOW TO WEAN CONTI BABIES
As previously noted, weaning Conti babies should be done slowly and properly. Doing so reduces stress, which improves the health and well-being of each kit. For best results, try these tips: remove the entire litter from mom, but keep them next to her, so they can still see her and know she is there. House the full liter all together for a couple days. Next, expand the distance from the liter and the mom. A couple days later, divide the litter in half; put does in one cage and bucks in the other. Allow them another day or two as such, then continue separating them, slowly, until each kit has its own cage. Make sure that each Conti is comfortable, eating, and doing well by itself for at least 2 days. Yes! This may seem to be a lot of extra work on your part. However, doing so greatly pays off in the long run. If the buyer doesn’t understand a longer waiting period, just explain to them that its more important to go slow, rather than risk releasing the baby too soon, only to get a phone call from a very upset and heartbroken person because their new Continental Giant just died.