Need help, doe pulling fur

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by Boo-Boo's Mama, Oct 27, 2010.

  1. Our neighbor called at the end of September, said someone had dumped two rabbits out at their church. She knew I had two and thought we would take good care of them.

    My husband took a live trap and placed the morning of day two he had the doe and within 2 hours had the buck.

    No idea what breed they are. Doe's fur was in terrible shape, very dry, matted and yellowed...not sure if she had been in a cage where she was sleeping in her own urine or what. I brushed her several times and now she is nearly solid white with a few black hairs here and there. The buck is much smaller, white with dark gray/blue? around his eyes and few spots on his back, appears to have a lil bit of light brown at base of his ears.

    When my husband brought the doe home he said the buck was trying to mount her so I knew she might be pregnant.

    Well, this morning when I went out to feed and water, it looked like something had attack her in her hutch...fur everywhere! Yep, she had pulled lots of fur during the night so I got a cardboard box and gathered as much of the fur as I could and put it in her hutch...she got in the box right away. My husband had just left the house so I called and told him to pick up some pine shavings to add to the fur (don't have any hay or straw). How long before she gives birth?

    It has been decades since my son had rabbits for 4-H. Someone please refresh my poor memory about how to care for the doe and her kits.

  2. Break an Egg

    Break an Egg Songster

    Mar 17, 2008
    San Antonio
    Well, there is not much you need to do besides checking on the kits once in a while to see if they have full bellies and that the doe is feeding them. A hungry kit will have wrinkled skin and the belly won't be as round. Also, don't worry if the mom isn't spending alot of time with them. Momma rabbits only feed once or twice and stay away from their babies, keeping them hidden.
  3. Back 39 years ago we had a doe that had just given birth to 12 kits when a 6' bull snake got in with her. It ate all but two, she fought the snake and stomped one of the kits in doing so...left one kit which she would not have anything to do with so we got formula from the vet and tried to keep it alive but lost it. So I really hope all goes well!

    Thanks for the reply.
  4. IcarusSomnio

    IcarusSomnio Songster

    Apr 27, 2010
    Vernon County, MO
    She could kindle in the next 24 hours or in the next week...some does even pull fur JUST before they're ready to go! Others nest a week in advance.

    I'd make sure her cage is draft free. If she's on a wire bottom, I'd cover it with plywood to keep any cold air from coming up. I let my momma rabbits eat as much hay and grain they can stuff themselves with-nursing can take a lot out of them. I handle kits as soon as their born without a problem. Fresh water, of course, should be always available.
    The nest should be nice and warm with plenty of fur. I usually cover the bottom with an old T-shirt or rags so it's soft for the kits. I usually check mine a couple times a day to make sure nobody wiggled off and is getting cold, or for dead kits (some, unfortunately, just don't make it).

    Momma bunny usually does the rest. The biggest litter I've had was a litter of 12 out of a Flemish cross doe, she was a great momma, raised every one of them. Usually the max you should have on a doe is 8 kits, but some can manage 10-12. I have a nice nest box and rearing cage now, but at one point it was just a cardboard box and a cobbled together 'whatever I can find' cage [​IMG] Momma bunny, she was a lovely Californian, raised up some of the fattest kits I've ever seen. I later sold her because she was a REW and I can't have that in my lines, she's now the guys best producer with the biggest, healthiest kits.

    You will want to watch out for signs of aggression from the momma bunny. Some WILL attack to defend their kits. With does I'm uncertain of, I give them some delicious treat to keep them distracted while I check the nestbox.
  5. I just went out and found 5 kits in fur on the wire so I carefully picked them up and put in the box, she was stomping all the while so I tried to be sure I put the kits up against a wall of the box. Since she is so new, she is still getting to know us. I had her out yesterday for a lil neighbor girl to pet, I noted that she looked a lil rounder but thought it might be just the fact that she was getting feed and water. Appears the kits look like the buck...white with black spots. I didn't handle too much...didn't want her to get too upset.

    I may have my husband check at Tractor Supply to see if they have a good metal box for her. I think we will bring her hutch in to the enclosed porch today so that they are protected from the weather.

    Had not had rabbits since 1989 or so. I told my husband in 2008 I wanted a rabbit for manure for the garden; it did not happen. Then I found one on FreeCycle Jan/2009. She is a Frost Point Mini Lop, very sweet in her ear. Had a toe that was bleeding so off to the vet...$150 surgery to remove the toe. This Spring my husband went to city 40 miles from us to pick up some chicks and they had mini rex bunnies; clerk said it was a doe so he brought HER home only to find later that Iris was a Chester! He is a sweetheart, thought...softest rabbit I have ever held...I want a broken color black/white!

    Thanks for the advise. I have a piece of plywood I can put in to protect the bunnies from the wire floor.

    What kind of hay and grain do you feed? We feed rabbit pellets.
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2010

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