Help! Mini lop doe knocked over nestbox, babies got chilled

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by bossynbella, Jan 23, 2012.

  1. Put them in the same nestbox, put nestbox back with mom and leave it be

    2 vote(s)
    66.7%
  2. Put them in new nestbox and take them to mom twice a day to feed

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  3. Give them to my Mini rex doe to raise, or give her some of them

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  4. A better idea would be to.......

    1 vote(s)
    33.3%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. bossynbella

    bossynbella Chillin' With My Peeps

    945
    1
    163
    Aug 11, 2007
    Iowa
    First of all I want to say how lucky I am that this is the first time I have had this issue in my adult rabbit rasing life. My mini lop doe Eva had her litter of seven kits on the 21st. All went well the first two days. She has had babies before. Today I went out to do chores to find she had dumped her box. The kits where flipped over, and spread out in the box. They where cold, and I lost my siamese sable one. I brought the rest inside, four blacks, one broken black and one broken siamese sable. They where cold, and I wasn't sure they would make it. Now four hours later they are warm and snuggly in there nest by the heater. But... Who will feed them? If I take them back out to her will she feed them? It is a pain to get the box through the door to the cage (its a covered cat litter box, you have to take the cover off and turn the bottom sideways to get it in, which is easy when its empty, much harder with kits to keep from falling out. I don't trust to leave them in there. The boxes are not light she had to do some major work to tip it over filled with hay and babies.
    My other option is my mini rex doe who lives inside. She had a litter of four last night. It looks like she has three peanuts and one regular kit. It could be runts, but she had a peanut last litter and these look just like it. A quarter of the size of the one regular kit. She can easily raise a litter of 4, her babies are usually fat and sassy, I wonder though if she could raise a litter of 7? That of course is assuming the little ones are peanuts and that they fade fast enough I can get her use to the other kits. For the time being I may just add my broken siamese sable to my mini rex kits and see what happens.

    What do you think would be the best bet?? If I was to put them into a different nest box would their mom still be willing to nurse them? A nest box that fit through the door easier so I could take them in when I am not out there to suppervise? Or should I just leave them out there with her and assume it was a one time thing??

    Thanks in advance for any suggestions
    Melissa
     
  2. philter4

    philter4 Chillin' With My Peeps

    207
    4
    101
    Apr 3, 2011
    Placerville CA
    I don't know anything about rabbits but I have a lot of experience breeding wild and exotic animals so here are my thoughts. First, normally mother animals will not destroy the nest or abandon the young without reason, especially if it is not their first time. In my experience there is something else wrong and I could not even hazard a guess. Here are some examples that happened to me, I had a pair of cheetah kittens that were abandoned by the mother on the first day, turns out both had a virus that was highly contagious. I had a binterong (a very large type of civet) that abandoned the young around 3 weeks old, before this she had been an excellent and attentive mother but it was her first litter, turns out that a male in the next cage was charging her and threatening her everytime she left the nest box and she was stressed to the point she was not eating. I had another mother binterong who abandoned the young at about the same time and it turned out she was not producing enough milk for some reason and the babies were pestering her so much she just stopped going into the box.

    Second, if you decide to put the babies back you need to watch them, it is a wives tale that your smell will stop the mother from taking care of the young, watch any tv show about endangered animals, they always go in and handle and weigh the babies while the mother is gone and they do not worry about their smell causing any harm to the returning mother animal. The thing to watch for is her doing the same thing and or hurting the young outright. A mother can easily kill the kits and you are not sure why she did what she did so pay attention to aggression from her.

    Third, if it were me and these were my rabbits I would take a couple of the young and put them back with the mother under close observation. If she accepts them great, I would leave it at that, do not try to add the others. If she doe not accept them you will have to remove them before they get hurt or cold again. I would try to use your other nursing rabbit as a substitute mother for the rest. Finally if this doesn't work try to buy whole milk, (goats milk is a great substitute for a lot of animals but again, I don't know anything about rabbits) and bottle feed the babies yourself and hope for the best.

    Good luck and I hope it works out for you and the little ones.
     
  3. redhen

    redhen Kiss My Grits... Premium Member

    35,112
    121
    458
    May 19, 2008
    Western MA
    I'd get them nice and warm then put them back with mom...
    Hopefully she wont reject them though...
     
  4. NellaBean

    NellaBean Graceland Farms

    7,261
    12
    261
    Mar 4, 2009
    Broodyland, TN
    My Coop
    Get a real nestbox and put them back. I use wooden nestboxes as they are heavy enough to not move. Cat litterboxes are too easy to flip.

    Most rabbits would just kill the babies not flip the nest. It was probably accidental. If you do put the same box back, hook it to the side so it cannot be moved/flipped.

    A lot of breeders keep kits iin the house and bring the nestbox out once or twice a day to let mom feed. I used to use plastic litterboxes for nestboxes. Had nothing but problems. Built my own wooden nestboxes. SO much easier now.
     
  5. bossynbella

    bossynbella Chillin' With My Peeps

    945
    1
    163
    Aug 11, 2007
    Iowa
    I have been using the cat litter boxes for three years now, this is the first time I have ever had one flip. I may start hooking them to the side of the cage. I love the wooden nestboxes. They seem so simple to make. We have downloaded plans for them and ours.... well they look terrible none of the cuts are straight and they fall apart after only a few uses. I keep looking on craigslist and at the local swaps for some wooden nestboxes, but metal is all I see.

    I have mom inside now in a rather small (30" by18") cage, the babies in their cat litter box are next to her. So far I open the cage door and take Eva (mommy) out and set her infront of the babies, she hops in, stays in there for 10-25 minutes, and then hops out. I put her back in her cage and give her a tiny peice of an apple slice (reward for not hurting her babies! lol) So far all is going well.

    I can't kill the peanuts, I know it would be better for them and for the momma and the one regular sized kit. Not to mention whichever kits I would put with her. But I just can't do it. I hope they go quickly (last time the one lasted three days) and if they do I will add two-three more kits from another litter.

    I counted the kits in my other mini lops litter, and unless a counted wrong ( I did it three times) I count 10! She has never had more then 8, with 7 being usual. They all look fat and the same size though. I tried to count my satins today but she has them burried at the back of the nest and I couldn't see them well enough to count. There are more then five though that's all I know.

    Here is a picture of the kits I was having the problems with yesterday. They are going to be so friendly cause they are just to cute not to touch!

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  6. NellaBean

    NellaBean Graceland Farms

    7,261
    12
    261
    Mar 4, 2009
    Broodyland, TN
    My Coop
    Here are some of the smaller ones I made. Not hard at all. Just use thicker wood (I used thick plywood) and predrill your screw holes.



    [​IMG]
     
  7. Bunnylady

    Bunnylady POOF Goes the Pooka

    17,191
    2,123
    421
    Nov 27, 2009
    Wilmington, NC
    I think I would look at this as just being one of the dumb things that happen sometimes. I don't think this doe has a problem with her litter, so I wouldn't worry about her doing any further damage to them. Long ago, I decided that my rabbits put their heads together at night and ask, "how can we drive her crazy today?" Sounds like Eva has found a good way!

    Call me a brute, but I don't kill peanuts, either. Particularly if there are only one or two normal babies in the litter, the extra mass of the peanuts may be the difference between the normal kits staying warm enough to survive until they can regulate their body temp better (for the first day or so, anyway). Even big, healthy newborns have a tough time surviving solo. If you do add other kits, try to keep them as close to the size of the Mini Rex kit as possible, so it won't get out competed and pushed aside. I play "put and take" in my nest boxes all the time, but I try to match sizes when I can. Since I do several small breeds, having only one or two surviving kits in a litter isn't unusual. My does often wind up with three or four different breeds in their nests!

    Good luck, love the pics (they are making me eager for my own Spring litters, lol!)
     
  8. bossynbella

    bossynbella Chillin' With My Peeps

    945
    1
    163
    Aug 11, 2007
    Iowa
    Babies are all doing good. Moms are like Alligators though. Is it just because they are in here or what? These does have never been an issue, not when they have had babies before or anything. Now a days its like feeding time at the zoo, and you may or may not come back bleeding. My mini lop (Eva) when I got her had some territorial issues, but she stopped within days of being here, and showed no aggression when she had her first litter last year. Today She bit me when I went to take her out to feed the babies. I mean actually bit me. Left a mark, but no blood, so I guess I will live. Then stupid me waits to fill her food bowl till after I put her back in the cage from feeding her babies. Almost got me again. Then she dumped the bowl as soon as I put it in there, and threw the bowl around the cage growling. My mini rex (Jane) has never so much as growled at me before. But she is just as bad now. She nipped me the other day when I was checking on her babies and removing the last peanut (died yesterday) So she has two kits right now. One of hers and one of Eva's. I noticed when I checked my other Mini lop (Ninja) her ten are looking a bit thin. Is it to late to take two and add to Janes? These where all born on saturday/Sunday. I know I should of done it as soon as I realized she had ten, but because of how aggressive Jane has been I am honestly worried she will not take to these two. She seems fine with the one I gave her from Eva, though she did try to bite me when I put it in there. These kits will all look different, so I will be able to tell them all apart and know who's are who's.
    My two out side does are showing no aggression what so ever when I check on their kits, my satin doe (Sage) always keeps her eye on me but never tries to attack me or anything.

    I need to take some pictures, they have grown so much in just a couple days.

    Also learned something yesterday. Unlike Puppies and kittens apparently you don't need to simulate the baby bunnies to poop and pee, I was weighing them yesterday and they where peeing all over, one got my shirt and pants, and I kept having to clean out the bowl I use to set them in cause they would pee in it!

    Love the babies. Wish I could tell if my broken siamese sable is a boy or a girl. If its a nice rabbit it will stay anyway (nice meaning conformation wise, though personality would be a plus!
     
  9. Minniechickmama

    Minniechickmama Senora Pollo Loco

    7,129
    672
    371
    Sep 4, 2009
    Minnesota
    I usually see my girls acting b**chy in the fall, however, when it warms up in the Spring a few have gotten cranky too, probably a hormonal thing.
    If you are talking about some you just brought in the house where it is warm, the new environment might be the issue? or if you brought a fresh scent of new babies in around one who isn't part of that goings on?
    I think the nest flipping was a fluke and if you warmed the babies up again, they should be fine. I have brought back a few from the brink where they were accidentally out of the nest and on the wire. I think sometimes they are latched on to momma and she hops out and takes them with her.
    I use wooden nest boxes I made and every one is a different shape and size because I use scrap lumber. They chew the heck out of it and if I get use out of it for a couple of litters before it is trashed, I am lucky.

    Back to crabby biters...
    I have, or should I say my son has, a Netherland Dwarf who has almost always been a snot. She finally raised her first litter last summer after a few stillborn and difficult litters, and she has finally settled down and I can reach in without getting scratched or bitten. My kids are still afraid of her, but she is no longer like that with me. I think for some it just takes them having babies to get them to calm down.
    I love my MRs because they are almost never mean in any way, except that fall thing I mentioned. They have always been good mothers too.

    On peanuts, I would leave them in just for warmth for the rest of the litter. The bad part is if they die and the live, normal ones try cuddling up to it, but that shouldn't cause too much harm because by the time they are dead, they have separated from the rest either because the others have moved away or momma has pushed it away.

    Isn't raising baby animals just a joy?
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by