1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

please help..rabbit first litter

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by caryrachel, Aug 19, 2016.

  1. caryrachel

    caryrachel Just Hatched

    10
    1
    16
    Jun 5, 2016
    I'm wondering if anyone can help me. My doe is having her first litter and i have read all i can to help her. her first two were stillborn and i don't know if she's finished having them. she looks so tired and I'm scared for her. how long can rabbits take to give birth. is there anything i can do to help her???
     
  2. cassie

    cassie Overrun With Chickens

    4,772
    372
    281
    Mar 19, 2009
    If there is anything you can do I can't imagine what it would be. After making sure she had food, water, and a nest box I would leave her be.
     
  3. SilkiesForEver

    SilkiesForEver Overrun With Chickens

    16,957
    224
    351
    Mar 24, 2012
    Sacramento, CA
    I would leave her alone, and give her some peace and quiet. It's important not to stress them.

    I am by no means an expert, but I did breed Hollands for a little while. The first time my doe had a litter they were all still born, and she only had 2. The things that I have read and the people I have talked to say that is common for a first-timer.

    What breed is your doe? If she is a small breed she might only have 2.
     
  4. ChocolateMouse

    ChocolateMouse Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,157
    612
    221
    Jul 29, 2013
    Cleveland OH
    Hi. Serious rabbit breeder for 3 years here. This is probably normal. Many rabbits do not have the mothering instinct during their first litter, especially if they are particularly young (under 8 months) or old (over 2 years). Sometimes the litters are really rough. Most people find that only about half of all first time moms birth and feed their litter successfully. Sometimes second time moms have similar problems as well. We have a three-strikes rule for rabbits in my rabbitry because of this.

    Sometimes litters are not very big. Even a large doe can have a very small litter. It can take a day or two for a rabbit to finish giving birth. Don't be too surprised if you find that she has tried to eat the dead kits as well if you find any future ones are in pieces. This is also common... She is probably just trying to recycle her lost nutrients from a botched litter. There will also probably be blood, to the tune of about a tablespoon, which can look like a lot when it's spread out. She will most likely try to reingest the blood and placentas too.

    Remember, we don't talk about it but 1/4 of all human pregnancies end in miscarriages and stillbirths too. This is a normal part of nature's cycle. If it continues through her third litter, however, it's time to retire that doe from your program because she's not suitable for breeding.

    So just give her some space, some quiet, some dark and keep an eye on her from a distance. Make sure she has fresh hay and water. And don't be surprised if you wake up and find more kits. Rabbits can also hold in their kits and stop giving birth if they feel uncomfortable. Most rabbits won't give birth in front of you for this reason. So she will need that space desperately to finish her labor.

    Good luck!
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2016
  5. caryrachel

    caryrachel Just Hatched

    10
    1
    16
    Jun 5, 2016
    She is a yr and a half now and she looks alot better this morning. I let her be and she is calm n resting now. She only had the two. Both stillborns. I was told to try again in a few weeks but she was my first pet for my husband and I and I don't want anything to happen to her. Maybe next spring. She's an indoor rabbit and by no means small. I'm not sure what breed she is.
     
    1 person likes this.
  6. ChocolateMouse

    ChocolateMouse Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,157
    612
    221
    Jul 29, 2013
    Cleveland OH
    I'm glad to know she's feeling better. She will probably be acting totally normal again within a few days. If she's just a pet not a rabbit designated for a specific purpose (like breeding), you should probably have her fixed. The vast majority of unaltered rabbits get reproductive cancers after reaching 6 years old. If you want her to have a good, long, healthy life as a pet rabbit I would suggest not breeding her and having her spayed. Doubly so if you do not have a specific outlet for the kits as many rabbits (especially large ones) spend their lives in shelters.
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2016

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by