Doe Hurting Kits

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by wingdwolf56, Jun 14, 2017.

  1. wingdwolf56

    wingdwolf56 Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 28, 2016
    Newcomerstown, Ohio
    Hello All,
    One of our does had her first litter of 10 kits on June 1. She built her nest about 4-5 days before having them and until 3 days ago, she was doing what we thought was a good job with them. 3 days ago we found a dead kit with what appeared to be a bite mark or deep scratch on it's back. Yesterday, we found another kits with the same cut and it was paralyzed. I put it down. Today we have two paralyzed kits and the doe doesn't want to have anything to do with the rest. We removed the kits for 4 hours, hoping the doe would feed them when we put them back in her cage but she just ignores them. We are going to remove them for a longer period and see what happens. It seems that she only hurts the kits that jump out of the nesting box.
    Any advice?
  2. Hybridchucks

    Hybridchucks Chicken Obsessed

    have you been touching them....
  3. Connorrm

    Connorrm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 27, 2011
    Capital District, NY
    Touching them will never ever harm them, ever.

    Anyway, what breed is the doe? How long are her tonails? Scratches from momma jumping in and out of the box, and landing on them often happens. Especially with 10 kits. There's a lot babies for her to potentially land on.

    Inadequate nestbox size can also be a problem.
  4. wingdwolf56

    wingdwolf56 Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 28, 2016
    Newcomerstown, Ohio
    New Zealand rabbits and yes we have been touching since birth. I don't know how long her nails are but they are sharp as the scratches on my arms can attest! She is a good size doe and although the nest box seemed big enough, I may try a larger one. I am limited on nest box size to the size of the door.
  5. Hybridchucks

    Hybridchucks Chicken Obsessed

    when you touch a doe and her kits SHE WILL kill them or eat them......:smack
  6. Bunnylady

    Bunnylady POOF Goes the Pooka

    Nov 27, 2009
    Wilmington, NC
    NO, SHE WON'T. In over 30 years of breeding rabbits, with hundreds of does, I have had exactly one doe intentionally kill her kits. I've had a few act like they were going to try to kill me if I messed with their litter, but most were perfectly fine with me handling the kits, putting litters together, even removing litters, box and all, and keeping them in the house during cool weather.

    @wingdwolf56 - this litter is 2 weeks old now, correct? They usually start coming out of the nest box at about this age; I'm wondering whether the kits are getting stepped on in the box or out of it.

    A doe avoiding her kits at this age is normal; they typically only feed a couple of times a day (around dawn and dusk) and get pretty irritated if the kits try to nurse at other times.
    Connorrm likes this.
  7. BantamLover21

    BantamLover21 Overrun With Chickens

    Jul 24, 2013
    I agree with the posters saying touching a doe's kits is not a problem. I have always handled my kits from day one, sometimes even a few minutes after birth, and have had no problems.

    The doe could be attacking the kits purposefully, but it is more likely that she is accidentally damaging the kits by landing on them. I've had nice does step on kits and scratch them (albeit not as badly as is happening to yours) before. If the kits are just beginning to come out of the nest, they may be irritating the doe, causing her to leap around and accidentally injure them.

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