Having problems with breeding (disclaimer: meat rabbits)


In the Brooder
5 Years
Apr 23, 2014
My rabbit has just given birth this afternoon, but she gave birth outside the nesting box on the wire mesh and none of the litter survived.

I've been checking up on her almost hourly the last couple of days as she continued to fill up the nesting box with fur. Even now, it's got plenty of fur in it, but she never moved the babies into it.

It's been pouring down rain all day today (very unusual for Utah to see an all day soaker, even in the spring) so the mother is not used to this wet of weather. But due to the weather, the babies were stone cold by the time I noticed them (maybe 30 minutes after birth, if that). None of the bunnies appeared mutilated. The placentas were sitting amongst them still attached to the fetuses. The mother still had fresh blood around the vaginal area.

I built the nesting box myself. It's got a 9" x 14" footprint made of 1/2 plywood sides, and a solid bottom that I replace every litter.It's just big enough for her to get in turn around.

She had one successful delivery and raising her first time, but since then she has lost THREE litters, two born outside the box and one born in the box but on a very hot day and she put waaaay too much fur in with them. Every time we pulled out fur, she replaced it back.

I'm about ready to call it and say she's an unfit breeding mother and needs to be put on the menu for our next rabbit stew. What's your opinion on her, anyone?
When I was raising rabbits, if a doe delivered her babies on the wire once I rebred her promptly. If she did it a second time she found herself sprinkled with salt, pepper, and garlic powder laying in a foil covered baking pan along with a can of cream of mushroom soup, some cut up potatoes, and peas in a 350 degree oven for about an hour. Sure cure.
She's a NZ. We've kind of taken pity on her because she only has one ear. The people we got her from said she got frost bite on it and it fell off. It doesn't seem to affect her though. My only reservation with making her a pet for someone is that she's not social. She doesn't really care to be held at all.
Title says meat rabbits.

New Zealand rabbits are a pretty good meat rabbit. I've raised Californian rabbits for meat, too.
The general rule of thumb is you give her 3 chances, and it seems as though she has blown them all. I'd eat her.

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