How to tell the rabbit mother

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by Fionas, Mar 29, 2016.

  1. Fionas

    Fionas New Egg

    Mar 29, 2016
    Hello, I'm very new to raising rabbits and have a bit of a problem. I have 2 black does and I can't tell them apart. One had her first litter on Saturday and was doing a fine job. Yesterday, she jumped into the other does pen and now I can't tell which one is the mum so I've ended up putting them both back in with the kittens. Is there a way of telling which one is the mother so I can separate them again (short of actually catching her in the act of feeding)?

    Thank you,
  2. cassie

    cassie Overrun With Chickens

    Mar 19, 2009
    I would guess you would be able to tell by looking at her nipples. One of the does will have milk.
  3. Bunnylady

    Bunnylady POOF Goes the Pooka

    Nov 27, 2009
    Wilmington, NC
    The mother should have pulled a fair amount of hair from her chest and belly for the kits, so her belly fur should have a ragged, thin appearance. They don't develop very much in the way of an udder, but the nipple are more prominent, and there is a little bit of softer tissue around them, so the undercarriage of a doe that is nursing will feel a bit different.
  4. Fionas

    Fionas New Egg

    Mar 29, 2016
    Thank you, yes, one had fur missing and I picked up one of the kits to see if it would drink, which it did. Unfortunately, this morning when I went to check on them, they were only covered by a very thin layer of hay and were cold. I've managed to revive one (from 9) but it is very weak and doesn't seem to be able to drink. She had been such a good mother and we've had colder nights since they were born. I wonder if she was just too stressed by being handled and the disruption of having the other doe in with her.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by