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Help with kits

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
We have two first time mamma rabbits. Mistie had 5 kits. We keep finding the outside the nest and mamma accidentally stepped on and killed one. We keep placing them back in the nest and they seem healthy. Trixie had 7 kits. They all seemed healthy. They were born 3 days ago. Last night we found one dead outside the nest and this morning we found another. Anyone know what is happening or what we can do?
post #2 of 5

Welcome to the forum!:frow

 

My first thought is, maybe you need a different nest box design?

 

Baby rabbits can hang on and get pulled out of the nest when their mother leaves. In nature, the nest would be at the bottom end of a tunnel and the babies would just tumble back to the nest, so mother rabbits normally do not have an instinct to put the babies back themselves. The babies need the warmth of the nest and each other to survive, so they crawl around, trying to find it, and they can wind up quite some distance away. I've had them die, apparently of hypothermia, when temp's were in the 50's, so you really need a means of keeping them confined to the nest area until they are old enough to walk out on their own.

 

Sorry for your losses - dead baby anything is really depressing!:hit

post #3 of 5
It is also typical for first time mommies to kill the entire litter. Last year all 6 of my first time mommies killed the kits. Not a single baby survived. This year all mommies have raised the kits till weaned. Good luck.
post #4 of 5

I certainly  wouldn't say it is typical. It happens, but it isn't typical.  When I was raising rabbits, if a doe killed her litter she was bred back at once.  If she did it a second time she ended up on my dinner table. 

The obscure we understand eventually. 
The obvious takes a little longer.
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The obscure we understand eventually. 
The obvious takes a little longer.
Reply
post #5 of 5

I wouldn't call it typical, either. In 30+ years of raising rabbits, I have only had one doe that I can say deliberately killed her kits. I have had many does lose litters due to many causes, including everything from the doe's neglect to quite a number of things that the doe had no control over at all, but I have had plenty of first-time mothers do perfectly good jobs, too.:idunno

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