I mentioned that one of the does recently kindled on the ground but under one of the dog crate halves that we have in their pen for shelter. This is a photograph of the doe's nest. She took in straw and piled it in the corner. Then she pulled a lot of fur and piled it on top of the straw.
Sometimes when I peeked in, I could see the fur pile wiggling a little bit. One day when the kits were very young - maybe a few days old - I peeked in and saw an ear poking out of the pile! It was covered with fur, which was amazing to me. Then the ear came up higher and I saw a bright eye looking at me. Hang on, I thought, kits this young don't have full fur and open eyes. Then the kit came completely out of the nest and hopped out of the crate and away. It was one of the batch that had been born a few weeks earlier, hanging out in the cozy warmth of the new kits' nest. Cheeky devil.
Well I'm happy to report that all but one of the kits born in this nest survived. The one that didn't make it drowned in the water dish. He had an adventurous spirit, as I'd found him a week prior to his death shivering out in the colony, eyes still closed. I held him close to me until I was certain he wasn't chilled to the bone, then tucked him into the nest. Within a week he was out again and drowned. All the other kits are now mingling with the older batch. I think there are four older ones and five younger ones but as they're staying underground a lot in these cold temps it's hard to be certain.
The kits that were born in this nest survived many single digit nights and one night that was eight below zero (fahrenheit).