How to get Doe to take kits?

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by BelleInBoots3, Sep 20, 2016.

  1. BelleInBoots3

    BelleInBoots3 New Egg

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    Hey guys I grabbed a couple rabbits at the flea market sense I had to sell my first attempt when i moved last year and I couldnt feel anything and didnt really believe the guy that she was bred. So i had her with a young buck and came out this am and she had birthed about 7 kits and either put them through the cage walls to keep them from him or they fell through. She had pulled a bunch of her hair that was with them. I removed him and collected them in a plastic tub with some chips and put them in with her. She has hopped in a few times and then right back out. Is she rejecting them? Is theyre anything I can do to get her to let them suckle? She is not tame so i dont think i can hold her for them but i dont want to just sit and let them die :'(
     
  2. Bunnylady

    Bunnylady POOF Goes the Pooka

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    OK, first of all, take a deep breath, then let it out sloowwwwwly . . . .

    So far, so good - you got the buck out. Maybe, with a little luck, the doe didn't get re-bred, but I wouldn't count on that. Go mark the date on your calendar, because your doe may be going to present you with another litter 31 days from now.

    You collected the babies together, with as much of the doe's hair as you could salvage - good job. Personally, I like hay, not wood chips. Unless you are dealing with cool temps, 7 babies should be able to keep each other warm for now. The doe did not put the babies through the wire, they fell out - newborn kits do a lot of crawling around, and they easily fit through regular 1"x2" cage wire (that's why "Baby Saver" wire has 1/2" openings on the lowest couple of inches).

    You put the babies back in the cage, and the doe knows where they are. Did you put them in the corner where you found the hair? That's the best place for them. Hopefully, the doe will settle down soon. I have had new mothers jump in and out of the box so much, they wound up trampling the kits and killing them (I think this is the real reason kits die when a buck is present, because I have never seen a buck show any interest in kits at all, one way or the other).

    First-time does don't have a great deal of milk for the first couple of days, so it can be a little hard to tell if the kits have been fed. They may not have huge, full tummies, but they shouldn't look slack and empty, either. For the moment, the more you mess with the doe, the more upset she'll get, and that's really not good. Normally, she would only feed her litter once or twice a day, and completely ignore them except at those times (around sunrise, and maybe sunset). If the doe still hasn't fed them by tomorrow morning, you may need to take further measures, but right now, the best thing you can do is make sure the kits are warm enough and together, and things near the cage are as peaceful as possible. Other than that, you need to just leave them alone.
     
  3. CuzChickens

    CuzChickens CountryChick

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    Bunnylady gave you great advice, and though I don't personally raise rabbits, I have heard that putting a dab of vanilla extract on a mothers nose when introducing babies, so she can not smell the babies and she will accept them..I don't really know though. :confused:
     
  4. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

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    A doe does not sit in the nest with her kits. She only feeds them twice a day, and the rest of the time she will be away from them. Leave them alone for now. Make sure that momma has plenty of pellets, hay, and fresh water. Tomorrow morning, check on the kits. If they are warm and have full, round bellies, all is well.
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2016
  5. BelleInBoots3

    BelleInBoots3 New Egg

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    Sep 13, 2016
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    The buck that was with her is quiet young. Im not sure that he is interested in breeding yet. I did do the vanilla thing and gave her some boss with her pellets. They are only currently on pellets though, as they said complete diet so i assumed theyre was alphalfa or something in them? She is more likely old rather than a new mom as I got her at the flee market. She was said to have had kits before. They do appear to have full bellies as far as I can tell, despite finding them all out of the cage, so Im just gonna hope for the best, I guess. Thanks guys and let me know if you have any more suggestions. I would really like this batch to make it! :)
     
  6. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

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    Hay should be the majority of the diet. It's essential for a healthy digestive system.
    http://rabbit.org/faq-diet/

    Rabbits are capable of reproduction at just 12 weeks old.
     
  7. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

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    Also, you don't have to bother with trying to mask scent. Domesticated rabbits are quite used to the smell of people and will not reject their babies because of it.
     
  8. Bunnylady

    Bunnylady POOF Goes the Pooka

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    I have been breeding rabbits for more than 30 years, and I have never, ever put anything on a rabbit's nose. I regularly swap bunnies in or out of nests to balance numbers, and even remove nest box and all when the weather is cool. A first time doe may not know she is supposed to nurse her kits, but I have only had one doe that simply wanted nothing to do with a litter, and that was because I tried the "forced feeding" thing with her. Everything else, the does have been fine with.
     
  9. DutchBunny03

    DutchBunny03 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mark the ears of the fostered kits with a sharpie or something, so you can be sure which kits are which, if all the kits are similar.
     

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