rabbit keeps having 4 live kits and 4 dead kits

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by mammat, Mar 10, 2013.

  1. mammat

    mammat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Has anyone ever seen this? One of our new zealand does has had 4 litters since we got her. Each time she has 4 or 5 live normal kits and several kits that are dead and in multiple stages of development. They are usually in pieces. Could she have a problem with one horn of her uterus? I am thinking maybe she doesnt have blood flow to one side. I cant seem to find anything about this on the internet. These are not peanuts. Today she had 3 normal in the box. Two normal on the wire and apile of several ranging in size from 1 inch long fetus to 3 inch long fetus. Some looked like 1 week development up to almost normal. I dont understand it. She is a wonderful mother to the live ones but i am afraid if this continues it will kill her from a retained fetus or infection. Last time she had 4 and i think she ate all the dead ones.:( she is only put in with the buck once so they cant be multiple litters.
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2013
  2. Happy Camper

    Happy Camper Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I wish I could help you... I have 2 yrs experience with rabbits (which is not tthat much) but I have read lots on rabbits and never heard of this... unless as you mentioned, the doe is bred more than once or rebred at 14 days to confirm pregnancy.

    Do all healthy ones survive? Does she regain weight and physical condition ok after having a litter? Can you track her parents to see if there has been a similar problem with them? Have you tried the buck on a different does with better results? Is the buck directly related to the doe (meaning brothers or cousins)?

    These are some questions that come to my mind, cause genetics may also play an important role here.

    Hope you find some help soon.
     
  3. mammat

    mammat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    She always looks fabulous! She came from a different farm than the buck and he mates with our other two does without any problems. The normal babies all live and actually look healthier and more robust than our other does babies. I think that is because she has extra milk to feed due to the small liter size. I would think if her and the buck were not compatable they would all have issues. Its as if half the kits dont grow. We have never had dead babies like this. It is heartbreaking. Yesterday she had 3 in the nest then the pile of dead ones and i found one on the wire that was normal. I put it in the nest and its fine. I checked her all day and about 7 hours later i went out and found another normal baby on the wire. I think it was live but died from exposure. I feel bad for her. She tries but seems confused after she has the dead ones and usually has more on the wire. It takes her 8 to 10 hours to finish. Our others kindle in 5 minutes!
     
  4. Happy Camper

    Happy Camper Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Eight hours is too long... She seems to be having problems probably with her reproductive system. Have you thought about having her sonogrammed? The thing is that in one of her deliveries she may die... this seems to be very stresfull for her and of course for you all since you love her so much.

    I'd keep her from getting preggers again before finding out if her health is not at risk. Again, considering you like her as a pet. If she was in a meat production program, she would be culled. But, I don't feel that's what you'd do.

    Good luck [​IMG]
     
  5. Bunnylady

    Bunnylady POOF Goes the Pooka

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    How old is this doe? IME, it isn't unusual for one that is a bit older to start having things like this happen. Sometimes when two embryos implant close together, there won't be enough room for the placentas to grow normally, and one or both babies will be stunted. That can happen even with younger does, but usually it's with large litters. 8 isn't that large a litter, and the babies are usually alive. (BTW, not that it matters, but since New Zealands don't have the dwarfing gene, they cannot produce peanuts).

    I've had several does that produced large litters as young does, then started having very uneven sized kits and a few dead ones as they got older - even some that clearly had died some time before delivery. One that I particularly remember was a Holland Lop that produced 7 babies at age 6, but only a couple were normal and survived.

    The extended delivery time is also rather unusual. I've had a couple of Jersey Woolies that did that; an Angora breeder told me her chosen breed were notorious for it. I'm kind of curious about this doe, now. If this animal was purchased as an adult, I'm wondering if this might be the reason that her former owner let her go?

    There is a hormone, pitocin (oxytocin), that can be given as a shot to get the contractions going when a doe does this. However, it can be harmful given incorrectly, which is why it is only available through veterinarians.
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2013
  6. mammat

    mammat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    She was only 3 months old when we bought her. She would be about 18 months now. We bred her first time at 7 months. Of course that is what the breeder told us. She was not full grown. Her first litter were all on the wire and she didnt pull fur...she sure acted like a rookie! We will not be breeding her again. I wanted to make sure the issues were not just because she is young. I do not want to put her through this again.
     

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