Need a little bit of bunny advice

stone_family3

Songster
8 Years
Apr 11, 2011
1,925
34
163
Ohio
Have any of you hand raised bunnies before? Constance is a stray that is kinda mean, I put her in a cage with a nesting box and this afternoon when i checked on her I found a nest had been built. I pulled it out and checked the babies. Unfortunately only two of the six were alive. The others were cold hard and 3 were contorted like they were mushed. The nest was warm, the two surviving bunnies were warm active and fat.

This is the first liter that I know of, I removed the dead bunnies but had to remove most of the nest. So I made her a new nest out of what saved fur I could. I put them back out in the cage with her and she sniffed them but appears to be leaving them alone.

Would you just give up on her and raise them yourself or would you just let her attempt it and let nature take its course? Nest was empty yesterday so they are less then 24 hours old.

This is Constance


This is how I found her nest.
 

EmAbTo48

Songster
8 Years
Jul 9, 2011
623
8
121
Northern Wisconsin
Rabbits usually only feed there babies twice a day and usually when you are not around. I would check on them for a few more days if they still are fat and active and warm they should be fine. But if not yes I would try to raise them by hand.
 

Chickerdoodle13

The truth is out there...
12 Years
Mar 5, 2007
6,820
408
331
Phoenix, AZ
It is pretty difficult to raise rabbits by hand. I would leave them there for a day or two and see if they are being fed. You'll know if their bellies are round and if they aren't skinny looking or cold. Most mom rabbits really don't mess with their babies that much so you most likely won't see her feeding or caring for them.
 

stone_family3

Songster
8 Years
Apr 11, 2011
1,925
34
163
Ohio
I checked on them about an hour ago and they were still warm and squirmy
smile.png
Here's hoping they make it through the night.
 

happyhens120

Songster
8 Years
Aug 8, 2011
652
3
131
Central PA
She built a great nest... warm with her hair and I'm sure the babies will be fine in the cold as long as they are covered up and out of the wind. I've raised rabbits for years, both for meat and for pets. I never had a hand fed bunny live longer than a day or so. I agree with the others... check on them tomorrow. Momma should feed a few times a day, and then leave them alone for the rest of the day. If they seem content and don't seem like they are dehydrated or anything, my guess is they will be fine.

ETA: I probably wouldn't mess with them too much. Some mommas are super protective and won't touch the babies if they've been handled by people too much. I had a doe that wouldn't let me touch her babes, and then another who I could mess with right after birth. But it's best to err on the side of caution, especially if she's a stray and this might be her first litter.
 
Last edited:

sommrluv

Songster
10 Years
Jul 17, 2009
379
4
123
Bucks County, PA
If you can buy a nest box or make one, that will help keep the kits warmer from any dampness coming up from the ground, and help keep them in the nest when she feeds. Sometimes they hang onto the nipples and will get dragged out of the nest.

Rabbits look like they ignore their kits, but mostly it's a defense mechanism. They are a prey animal, so it's best to keep the kits hidden and feed them as quickly as possible to help fool predators. Most rabbits will let you touch and check the buns, so feel free to look at them.

We had a "New Year" litter as well at our house. 9, with one stillborn.
smile.png
Yay for holiday bunbuns!
 

stone_family3

Songster
8 Years
Apr 11, 2011
1,925
34
163
Ohio
Quote:
She has a nest box already, I put one in there as soon as I caputured her. I had a mini lop pet that had a litter a few months ago that did great.
 

stone_family3

Songster
8 Years
Apr 11, 2011
1,925
34
163
Ohio
Well thanks for your help everyone, but she destroyed the nest sometime early this morning and the last two kits froze to death.

So my first attempt at meat rabbits have failed. 3 bred rabbits that didn't take, 1 stray who killed her kits.
 

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom