Baby bunnies dieing, please help.

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by into_my_web, Nov 7, 2009.

  1. into_my_web

    into_my_web Chillin' With My Peeps

    188
    0
    109
    Jun 20, 2009
    Newfoundland
    My bunny gave birth to a nine babies this week and tonight we noticed two had died so we brought them into the bedroom and covered them with blankets, we initially thought they were freezing to death because they were kept in the shed with a heat lamp over them. We brought them in but one was very still and we weren't sure if he was going to live so we held him close to light but he didn't pull through [​IMG]. My boyfriend took them to his house for a while so they could keep warm but one died a few minutes ago. I'm really not sure what is going on, we had nine babies now we have five. The mother bunny lies down with them and it looks as though she is feeding them but it is really had to tell.
    My boyfriend is trying to feed them with a baby bottle but they don't seem to want it, but I think they may be starving because their tummies aren't so plump.
    Their momma lays on her side but they don't feed.
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2009
  2. chinbunny

    chinbunny In a hutch

    661
    4
    131
    Aug 24, 2009
    You need to keep them in one place on your property. If you are going to bring the nest box isnide, do it at night, and during the day. Make sure those babies are taken out to their momma first thing in early in the morning, and late at night. This is the normal feeding time for momma rabbits. What kind of rabbit is this? Nine is avery large litter. Most aren't able to feed that many. So it natural for the weaker kits to die off in a big litter like that. Also, you mentioned blankets? Are they in a nest box with bedding and fur? If so you don't need the blankets. Lay a hand towel over part of the top of the box if you want to. Just make sure they have enough space where air can get in. Well fed baby bunnies will have nice round tummies. Their bellies will be full of milk.

    I take it you are new to breeding? Go to www.ARBA.net and join the club, or buy a copy of the guidebook to raising better rabbits and cavies. If you join, you get all their books for free. The guidebook will tell you anything you need to know on raising young rabbits.
     
  3. chinbunny

    chinbunny In a hutch

    661
    4
    131
    Aug 24, 2009
    Also momma bunny will not lay on her side to feed them. She will jump in the box when it is time, and stand over them. They will nurse for a couple of minutes, then she will jump out once they are done. Rabbits do not stay in the nest that long to feed their young. They stay away from it most of the day, unlike cats and dogs.
     
  4. into_my_web

    into_my_web Chillin' With My Peeps

    188
    0
    109
    Jun 20, 2009
    Newfoundland
    We have shavings, fur and a hand towel in their nest. The momma dosen't leave the nest, she sits in it all day and all night. But she dosen't seem to feed them.
     
  5. Beekissed

    Beekissed True BYC Addict

    Rabbits will not do well if handled or disturbed by humans during this time. If the mother has a nest box and it is properly lined with her fur, these bunnies shouldn't need a heat lamp or any interference from you. Some babies just die and no one knows why, but if you take kits from the nest for any length of time and then expect the doe to nurse them, this is not likely to happen.

    Some babies get trampled by the mother and die in this manner. Nine kits is not too large a litter for a standard rabbit, I've had litters of 13-14.

    If it's not already too late for this litter, by you having interferred with the natural mothering/nursing of this litter, I would return these bunnies to the nest box, leave the whole family outside in their usual cage and let this rabbit do her thing.

    Next time, just check the nest and remove any dead kits, but do not take live kits from the nest nor disturb the mother too much. Let her do what comes natural, as rabbits have been doing this for quite a long time without our help. [​IMG]
     
  6. gypsy2621

    gypsy2621 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 29, 2008
    New Hampshire
    [​IMG]

    take away the heat lamp its unnecessary at this time of year.
    Is this the Does first litter?
    It sounds like first time mother syndrome, she doesnt know she is supposed to feed them or stay out of the nest box unless feeding the babys.
    Bringing babies and nest inside will not make the mother act this way. neither will handling new born kits.
    It sounds like the mother doesnt have the milk to feed the babies, sometimes they go through a pregnancy, pull fur, have the kits, build beautiful nests only to have no milk come in to feed the kits.
    its not unusual.

    I have handled the kits the minute they are born and never once have I found it detrimental to the kitsbeing ferd or taken care of. and should ever there be a mother that will go off her babies because of handling she wouldnt have a cage here. not keeping dead wood.

    give the mother a few pieces of oatmeal, ( not instant but rolled oats) to help her bring in the milk she needs.

    Some mothers can not and will not feed 9 kits, the weaker ones will generally die off, its a fact of rabbits,
    I have had 12 + kits brought up by one mother and thrive wonderfully , I have other litters of 5 and 3 are too weak to survive,
    it isnt the size of the litter that determines the survivors, its the kits themselves who decide if they live or not.
    If they are weak they die if they are strong they will live.
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2009
  7. into_my_web

    into_my_web Chillin' With My Peeps

    188
    0
    109
    Jun 20, 2009
    Newfoundland
    Quote:The heat lamp is necessary because they are kept in our shed and I live in Newfoundland, we have snow right now.
    I'm not really sure if this is her first litter because we bought her from a petting zoo and she was already atleast a year old.
    We only have one baby left now, and we would really like to save it but nothing is working. The good thing is this little fella was one of the kits that got a lot of milk.
     
  8. into_my_web

    into_my_web Chillin' With My Peeps

    188
    0
    109
    Jun 20, 2009
    Newfoundland
    Does anyone know what kind of milk we could give him so we wont die.
     
  9. chinbunny

    chinbunny In a hutch

    661
    4
    131
    Aug 24, 2009
    Hand towels don't make very good nes boxes. You need to buy, or make her one. you can find the info on making over the internet. plus rabbits like to play with objects like that, and they will eat them. Hand towels are very dangerous to keep aound them. They can block their intestines and kill them. I think the heat lamp will be ok. Ive used them before, and it doesn't hurt the babies. handling won't hurt them either. Neither will taking them ot o the mother twice a day. You may lose this litter since it doesn't sound like youwere prepared for them.
     
  10. mekasmom

    mekasmom Chillin' With My Peeps

    538
    0
    139
    Dec 9, 2008
    Quote:I have found very few bunnies who have been successfully hand raised. They just can't live that way. Goat's milk is the best option, but chances are he will die anyway. Bunnies are not like puppies, kids, lambs, calves, etc. They just don't do well in human hands.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by