Help w.Angora Doe may not be feeding????


13 Years
Mar 4, 2009

Here is mama before and this is the baies(10) one died.I am not for sure if she is feeding or not.We did catch her over them so maybe she is.Any advice?This is her first litter.
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First, congratulations! What makes you think she is not feeding them? If she was in the box with them then she was feeding them. Just if you see her in the box don't get to close, some does get spooked or excited to see you and will stop feeding before the kits are done.
Take one (or all, LOL) of the babies out and inspect them. If she's feeding them, they'll have smooth skin and tummies that look like they swallowed a grape. If you check later in the day and she fed them in the am, its harder to tell.

If she's NOT feeding them, they'll be wrinkly and their tummies will be very empty. Plus they'll squeek, rabbit kits do not normally make come eat me noises, so if they're squeeking, they're (pick one) too hot, too cold, too wet, or hungry!

You can hold the doe in the box if she is being a bit stupid, or flip her and feed them one at a time. Its a large litter, so you'll probably loose one or two normally.
This is partially correct in that they will be emaciated. However they may not squeak and rabbits are naturally wrinkled so them being wrinkled has little to do with if they are getting adequate nutrition. I am basing this off of years of raising ARBA rabbits. The big thing to check for is when you pick them up are they cold or chilled to the touch. If they are, then they are not getting enough to eat. If they are limp and lifeless they are not getting enough to eat. First off this is the doe’s very first litter, and it is a massive litter. If you have other brood does with few babies I would foster a few out.
If not,
If you are 100% sure she is NOT feeding them I would suggest you hold her on her side, let her relax (her milk will not flow if she is stressed) and put the babies on her one by one starting with the largest and strongest. This may or may not work; it all depends on the temperament of your doe. You can even try placing her on the nest box and holding her gently, it may or may not work and it stresses most does out and can make the situation much worse by her squashing them attempting to get away.
If you are SURE she is feeding them (does feed at night so she may be doing it when you are not there), I would sacrifice a few for the good of all or let nature take its course. If you choose to remove a few babies from the nest box pick the smallest ones to give the stronger larger ones a better chance of survival. 10 is a massive litter and the entire situation gets worse because of the fact that she is a first time mother and not a very large rabbit, I highly doubt you will get them all. However it is possible, I am simply saying I really doubt it.

The best you can do is hope she takes care of them all, I have English Lops who are horrible mothers and loose quite a few babies to neglectful moms. I have never been able to sacrifice babies, but I always put that option out for those who can.
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Rabbits dont "lay" with their babies like dogs and cats do. They only feed once or twice a day, so it isnt unusual to not see her in the nestbox very often. I would check for full tummies once in the morning, and once at night. You should be able to figure out her feeding schedule quickly by observing them at these times and noting the size of their tummies. Some does only feed in the morning, some only at night, and some morning AND night. If they appear to be skinny ALL the time, then she isnt feeding them. You know they are being fed when their little tummies look like they cant possibly fit anything else in there! I did have a doe that wasnt feeding her babies once, and I did lay her on here side and allow the babies to feed. The release of milk stimulates the hormone oxytocin, (or the "mothering" hormone). After allowing them to nurse once, I didnt have to force her again after that... she took over on her own. But I would be certain she isnt feeding them before you do this, because it can be quite stressful for the mother, and the babies could get accidentally injured, especially if she is naturally excitable or not used to being handled regularly.
She isn't used to being handled,but when I have checked on them they are warm.She will check on them after I have.They do seem to have full bellies.They do get ansy(sp)You can see the fur moving and they are all squirming around or sleeping.Thanks for all the ideas.We just noticed this morning the other doe is starting to pull fur and build her nest as well.
In that picture - they look like they've got full bellies. Beautiful babies!

Just to give you something else to worry about... when I raised Angoras, their hair is so long that you have to watch and make sure the babies aren't getting it wrapped around their necks or their feet. It's long enough to cut off circulation.
THe other mama(Patsy)just had her babies,we counted 4(I think)we did have 1 other but it was still in the sac and very small.No signs of life.We will just wait and see how this one works out.I have been checking out the other litter(Samantha)and they are looking good.
That's wonderful! Maybe if she has a smaller litter you can foster some from the large litter to even it out some (if they are close to the same kindle date)

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