My dwarf rabbit and mini rex cant keep their babies alive

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by katherinerose14, Aug 26, 2013.

  1. katherinerose14

    katherinerose14 Out Of The Brooder

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    My dwarf buuny(male) and mini rex(female) have had up to 7 litters and they never are kept alive for more than a day. The last litter she had, had one baby and i planned on taking and raising my self but she had the baby when i was gone for 2 hours and was already dead. I heard somewhere that 2 dwarf bunnies cant have babies that live. Is there any truth to that.? and if it is true if i bred my mini rex with a normal size rabbit will the babies live.? and is it safe for her to bred again? its been about 3 months since she has a litter.
     
  2. Bunnylady

    Bunnylady POOF Goes the Pooka

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    Obviously not, or it would be impossible to have purebred rabbits of the dwarf breeds.[​IMG]

    Netherland Dwarfs, Holland Lops, Mini Rex and a few other breeds all depend on the dwarfing gene to get the compact animal described in their breed standards. The Dwarfing gene is a growth gene. There is one particular place in a rabbit's genes where it can be found. All rabbits have two genes there, one that came from the rabbit's mother, and one from the father. There are two possible kinds of gene that can be found there, the dwarfing gene or the normal growth gene. If a rabbit gets one dwarfing gene from either the mother or the father and one normal growth gene from the other parent, it will have a shorter, rounder head, shorter ears, shorter legs, and a shorter body. If the rabbit gets a normal growth gene from both parents, it will be slightly longer in the head, limbs, ears, and body, and will weigh 1/2 to 1 pound more than the rabbits that got the dwarfing gene. The problem comes up when a rabbit inherits the dwarfing gene from both parents. Two copies of the dwarfing gene is a lethal combination. All babies that get two copies of the dwarfing gene die. We call them "peanuts," and they are easy to spot in a litter. They are about 1/3 smaller than the other babies in the litter, with oddly shaped heads and an underdeveloped look to their back ends/hind legs. Peanuts usually dies within 3 days, though I have had a couple that lasted a week or so.

    All of the rabbits that fit the breed standard for these small breeds have one copy of the dwarfing gene, and one copy of the normal growth gene. When you breed two dwarf rabbits together, each baby has a equal chance of getting the dwarfing gene or the normal growth gene from each parent. There are 3 possible results: a baby with two copies of the normal growth gene, a baby with one copy of the dwarfing gene and one normal growth gene, and a baby with two copies of the dwarfing gene. The ones that get two copies of the dwarfing gene die, but all of the others live.

    While it's probable that some of the babies from your pair were peanuts, it's very, very unlikely that all of the kits in 7 litters were. One single baby has a hard time regulating its body temperature; baby bunnies usually need to snuggle with other bunnies to stay alive until they get furred out. Single babies often grow too large inside the doe, and it takes the doe so long to deliver them that they often die during the birth process. I'm not sure just what's going wrong with your doe, but the dwarfing gene cannot be the only problem you are having.

    Does your doe have a nest box? Is she using it? Is she using it too much (might she be trampling the babies)? Does she have adequate nest materials (hay, etc.)? It takes more than a day for baby bunnies to starve to death, so I don't think we need to look at an inadequate milk supply. Until we know what else is going on, it's hard to say whether any other litters your doe has will live.[​IMG]
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. aprille218

    aprille218 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Also people can't raise baby bunnies very well. They almost always end up being overfed and dieing due to bacterial overgrowth. If you have more than one doe breed them at the same time so you can foster the kits to a new mom. Most rabbits don't care whose kids they are :)
     
  4. katherinerose14

    katherinerose14 Out Of The Brooder

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    yes everytime she has had a litter its been in the warm months, and she has abox built in her cage, and has had hay and straw. We always took the male out a few days before(they no longer live togther due to the fact she was always pregnant and never had babies that lived.
     
  5. bhaugh

    bhaugh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I dont mean this to sound snotty, but why would you continue to breed this pair if their success rate is zero? Cull the doe and start over. You can spay her and place her into another home. She obviously wasn't meant to be a mom.

    The hardest part of being a breeder of anything is knowing when not to breed what you have. I live in Vegas. The summers here reach 110. I did rabbit rescue for a year and does would come into rescue pregnant. Although the heat is hard on rabbits they adjust and continue to produce. I don't think the heat is the main issue. I would say the doe's ability to carry to term and not reabsorb the litter is. Why go through the heartache and possibly putting her life in danger to do it again?

    Barb
     
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2013
  6. Chaoticchickens

    Chaoticchickens Out Of The Brooder

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    Well... Not to be rude. But a mini rex is not really a dwarf breed. It is a miniature. I don't think you should breed these two together anyways.. I mean it is your option. But there isnt much of a market of people who want mixed rabbits. If they were meat rabbits that is different. But most mixes otherwise are very hard to place. I wouldn't breed the doe again.
     
  7. Chaoticchickens

    Chaoticchickens Out Of The Brooder

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    In a way mini rex are a dwarf bree, I just met they are a lot bigger then NDs if thats what you mean by dwarf. Still dont see the point in this mix not trying to be offensive in anyway.
     

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