Rabbit Birthing Box

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by dbjay417, Apr 19, 2009.

  1. dbjay417

    dbjay417 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 14, 2007
    What size should my birthing box be for a 5-6lb rabbit?

    i was given a 9x11 box by the old man who set me up, but it seems crowded.

    My rabbit gave birth to 9 kits last night. I'm concerned that some will be crushed, or perhaps it will be too crowded for them all to feed adequately.

    When i got the rabbit, she had a litter of 5. 1 died. I dunno how many she actually birthed because when i got her the kits were already two weeks old.

    I'm just worried that I'll end up burying 5/9 baby rabbits.

    My first doe suffered a spinal injury just days before birthing, she delivered a single stillborn and then died, I assume with the rest of her kits still inside of her.

    Its been a rough start for sure.
     
  2. cluckychick

    cluckychick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 29, 2008
    South of KCMO
    I have one birthing momma using the smallest kitty litter box. She's used this twice for birthing. My other is using a box that is probably 12"Lx8"Wx8"T and it works well for her. The litter box does not have a top on it but she does fantastic at covering them well and keeping them warm.
     
  3. jbowen9

    jbowen9 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 10, 2009
    southwest Virginia
    That box is fine rabbits dont need alot of room for birthing did you ask the guy that you got them from if they had birthed in that box before. It also matters what kind of rabbit it is but for my new zealands I build my boxes 12"x12"x8" high and the reasoning behind this is i am lazy and 12" is alot easier to put together and cut for i just cut a 8" strip from plywood and cut in 12" blocks. The main thing you have to look at your winters there and what breed you have and when you breed because bigger box you will lose more baby's if it is cold smaller box holds more heat. Now that i have said that i am no expert by any means i just raise couple hundred rabbits a year a very small feat compared to others.
     
  4. lorieMN

    lorieMN Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 19, 2008
    montevideo,MN
    Quote:I agree..and one other thing is rabbits dont sit with the babies all day like a dog or cat..they feed 2-3X a day and that is about all the time they spend in the nest..so I would say your box is fine..and besides,you dont want to move them now as she will probably abandon them if you mess with them..
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2009
  5. dbjay417

    dbjay417 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    thanks for the pointers.

    I'd guess shes some kinda NZ Californian mix, again, about 5-6 lbs.

    When the man sold me the doe, she already had a litter in the same box, so she has birthed in it before. he said it was the standard size for all his boxes.

    Winter around here is very mild, you could say. LoL
    I live in Puerto Rico, about half way between the equator and Miami. Winter consists of mid 50 degree nights and 70-80 degree days, even in the dead of February.

    Wind, rain, and heat, are my biggest issues. corrugated tin, tarps, and milk gallons filled with water and frozen, have proven effective countermeasures.

    So I'll make boxes a lil bigger when I start to make them myself.

    While I have the attention of the cuniculturists, I'd like to know if anyone has, or knows where to get good breeding stock for meat. I was thinking NZ personally, but I'd be totally content with a reliable cross, but something with an adult weight of 5-8 lbs. if you can set me in the right direction or put me in contact with some one, please PM me.

    I agree..and one other thing is rabbits dont sit with the babies all day like a dog or cat..they feed 2-3X a day and that is about all the time they spend in the nest..so I would say your box is fine..and besides,you dont want to move them now as she will probably abandon them if you mess with them..

    yeah I've read that rabbits are particular about the scent of their young and the nest. I definitely don't wanna get stuck bottle feeding them.​
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2009
  6. RabbitMage

    RabbitMage Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 27, 2009
    Rabbits abandoning their babies due to human touch is an old wives' tale. We handle our kits from day one, no issues. An extremely nervous or aggressive mom might be upset about you handling her kits, but I've never had a problem.

    If you're looking for meat production, New Zealands or Californians are probably your best bet, or a cross of the two. It would probably be better for you to find someone actively breeding them for meat production rather than show. Unfortunately, I don't know anyone in your area with rabbits to recommend you to.
     
  7. Beekissed

    Beekissed True BYC Addict

    Yes, we always handled ours. Each and every kit. Sometimes, when one doe had many and another had few, I would foster a few over into the other litter. I always inspect a new litter, do a head count, clear out any born dead, etc. Then I let her do her thing for a day or so, do a brief "head count by feel" on a daily basis, extract any cold bodies, etc. Its hard to find the little buggers in all that fluff, so most handling is done by feel and not actually bringing them up and out of the boxes, etc. My the time they have a good coat of hair, you should be able to do anything you want to the little fuzzies for any amount of time and the doe won't care.

    If you work with your rabbits enough, they grow used to these intrusions. Any rabbit that doesn't do well with interference would buy a one way ticket out of my rabbitry. [​IMG]
     
  8. dbjay417

    dbjay417 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 14, 2007
    Quote:finding serious professionals with a healthy understanding of genetics and animal husbandry is a big problem here. Education here is very lacking, and only recently has college become a common goal for the youth. With that said, if you know a breeder anywhere that would be willing to go through the trouble of shipping a live rabbit or two for the right price of course, I'd be grateful for the help.

    thanks for the handling tips, I'm new to this all, and I've only had her for two months or so.

    I'll be sure to play with her a little when her kits are older, and then through out her next pregnancy, so that next time she births i will feel confident about being so invasive.
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2009
  9. Beekissed

    Beekissed True BYC Addict

    Try any 4-H in your area. I'm sure you will find one who has a kid that is serious about his market rabbits. Find out who is the consistent county winner and you will find someone who knows his/her stuff. When we got started in market rabbits, we sought out the biggest winner and bought rabbits from him or his bloodline breeder. You can get these rabbits cheaper around fair time, as they will pick the best of the offspring to show and the rest will be sold at market price. The also rans are still good for breeding for meat production.
     
  10. dbjay417

    dbjay417 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 14, 2007
    I live in Puerto Rico, I dunno if such things exist here. i will look into it though.
     

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