First time mother rabbit

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by 22lilchickens, Jan 20, 2017.

  1. 22lilchickens

    22lilchickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 3, 2014
    My silver fox doe I got about 2 weeks ago gave birth yesterday(she wasn't suppose to have ever been bred before) it took me by huge surprise. She did very good making a way with hay and pulled tons of hair but I just went outside to check on them and all of them were cold and dead in the nest. She had 8 and I could tell she pulled more hair and put it on the nest to keep them warm. I have heard a lot of first time mom rabbits lose their first littter, is this true? And when should I re breed her? Also should I leave the dead babies in the nest for about a die she can realize they are dead?
  2. Bunnylady

    Bunnylady POOF Goes the Pooka

    Nov 27, 2009
    Wilmington, NC
    If the doe put the babies in the nest and covered them with pulled fur, she did all she could possibly do; it isn't her fault that the babies were lost. It sounds like she did a wonderful job; if you had known and been prepared, you probably would be celebrating a live litter instead of mourning a dead one.[​IMG]Go ahead and remove them, she knows they are dead. She may continue to pull a bit of fur for the next few days, but don't get too wound up about that, it's just something that does often do in cold weather.

    Some people manage to have their rabbits raising litters in sub-freezing temperatures, and I salute them, but I know I can't do it. When I got so I felt I couldn't stand to see one more dead litter, I started bringing the litters into the house when the weather was cold, and only taking them out to their mothers a couple of times per day. It takes a bit of finessing sometimes, but most of my does have learned to deal with that just fine. I have found that most rabbits are much more tolerant of my messing about than I was led to believe. In fact, I often bring the does into the house to kindle; I joke about my hall closet being "the maternity ward."

    If this was my doe, I would rebreed her within the next couple of days, and write it down on the calendar to make sure I didn't miss it the next time. If rebred right on the heels of a lost litter, a doe will often conceive the largest litter of which she is capable, so if she had 8 this time, be prepared for at least that many.
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2017
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  3. Weehopper

    Weehopper Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 26, 2015
    Was there a nest box? If you rebreed her, be sure you put the nestbox in the cage 3 days before she's due. I liked to put pine shavings in the box, with straw or grass hay on top of that. She will make the nest herself.
  4. balloonflower

    balloonflower Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 25, 2016
    I'm very sorry to hear of your loss. Must have been difficult when you didn't even know she was due. I just had my first kindling with a first time silver fox doe. Had half of the litter of 8 survive--8 days old now and just opening eyes, but I still feel bad about those that didn't. I have been quite happy with how even my young first time mama cares for them--I think you will have no problems next time when you're ready with a proper nestbox. You might consider saving some of the fur if it's still clean.
  5. FoodFreedomNow

    FoodFreedomNow Chillin' With My Peeps

    My condolences on the loss of the litter. [​IMG]I also raise Silver Foxes, and my last doe (a first-timer) had 7 kits - 1 was stillborn and 1 was a runt that only lived a couple of days; aside from that, my does of various breeds have only had live litters. I'm in KY and the temperatures can fluctuate a lot at this time of year, so I only have my does kindle indoors (they're on pasture the rest of the time). There are so many things that can go wrong, especially with a first-timer, that I won't take a chance on outdoor kindling.

    As other posters have already advised, you can rebreed her now. Best wishes for your next litter!
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2017

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