So I have been bottle feeding a baby rabbit for about a week now and he is doing better but after some research I think he is a peanut. His siblings/cousins are anywhere from 3 to 5 times his size after a little more then a week. My two rabbits (who are sisters) delivered there babies the same night. Both where good mothers but my brown doe stopped producing milk and has dried up. Two of her litter didn't make it before I caught what was going on and two more where on deaths door, two were lively enough that I slipped them into the does sisters nest since she only had three of her own, the two live ones left I brought in and bottle fed before slipping them into the nest as well. The one I thought is a peanut had to be removed again and brought inside to be bottle fed because he wasn't getting any milk. Well he is doing much better but I think he is a peanut due to his size and traits. Bulging bug eyes, tiny body, weird head shape... He eats well and has been growing slowly and gaining strength and muscle. Do you think he is a peanut or is he just starting to grow after being emaciated. If he is a peanut do any of them ever live? I am optimistic but also realistic about his future outcome. Is there any hope or am I heading down heartbreak road with this little guy, please weigh in.
Peanut Rabbit kit
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What breed are these rabbits? Are they one of the small breeds that use the dwarfing gene (Netherland Dwarf, Jersey Wooly, Holland Lop, Mini Rex, etc,?) Peanuts only occur in breeds with the dwarfing gene. They are the result of a rabbit inheriting the dwarfing gene from both parents. Not all dwarf breed animals have the dwarfing gene - the slightly oversized "false dwarfs" have two normal growth gene. Those biggish "brood does" may not be showable, but the advantage is that they never have peanuts.
Unfortunately, the dwarfing gene doesn't just affect the general growth rate of the rabbit, it also is involved in the development of the digestive system. Many peanuts don't have complete digestive systems, in those that do, the digestive system just doesn't work right. The longest I have had a peanut to live was about 10 days, but it really didn't grow, and it had this nasty, gooey poop. There are other genetic disorders that result in weird looking kits - the Max factor being one. Max factor kits grow slowly, but usually don't die. They wind up blind, crippled, and stunted; so the breeder finally has to "do something" with them.
I'm afraid that I have learned to be ruthless when it comes to odd-looking kits, because my experience has been that they look odd for a reason. Even if they make it out of the nest box, they seldom live very long. It's hard to just let them "take their chances" with the stronger kits, but I'm afraid that what I have learned is that my interference means that they just die later rather than sooner.