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Rabbits...help, help, HELP!!!

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by amynbrent, Feb 5, 2012.

  1. amynbrent

    amynbrent Chirping

    Mar 15, 2011
    Dryden, MI
    I thought we had four girl rabbits...thought....we found babies when we cleaned the cage this morning. We are clueless on rabbits. I threw one away and had to dig it out of the bedding so I touched it. Is this ok? There were two more back in the corner so I put it with them and so far so good. I think I found the mom, she was missing some hair, but I hear that dont matter because the mom will take hair from other rabbits. He tummy seemed squishy and seemed to have nipples and the fur was pretty bare around them. I put the mom in with the babies and blocked off the door. Gave her food and water but she is really trying to get out. I checked the other three and their bellys are nothing like the other. I still dont know who the boy is. I did the turn upside down thing but that didnt go too well.

    What do I do? How long do the babies stay with mom? Any help is very much appreciated! I know chickens....not rabbits!!

  2. leadwolf1

    leadwolf1 Songster

    May 1, 2011
    It's been a long time...but I'll try to help until someone with more/recent knowledge comes along.

    Momma should be in a nest box, they like it dark and quiet for their babies. If her nipples are showing and the hair is matted, she has nursed the babies. The babies normally stay with mom for 4 - 6 weeks. It shouldn't matter that you touched them...it's more of a problem that you cleaned her so early on..they like to have their nest left alone for the entire nursing period.

    Your boy will look different then your girls...the boy will have a round hole for peeing whereas the girls will have a slit. One of them will look different...you will just have to get up close and personal :)

    Good luck with the babies, I hope mom settles down and lets them nurse again. If I were you, I would head out to a petsmart and get a baby bottle and milk replacer. We usually used kitten replacer. You will need to keep the babies warm, just like chicks, and feed every two hours if mom decides to abandon them. You will also have to stimulate the babies to go to the bathroom by rubbing their little bottoms with cotton balls dampened with warm water.

    Good luck with your babies...keep us updated, please!
  3. amynbrent

    amynbrent Chirping

    Mar 15, 2011
    Dryden, MI
    We only disturbed one section of the nest before we discovered the babies...it just happened to be the corner where the babies were. The rest was undisturbed and we put back everything we took out. She is in the dark section of the cage, it's a two level with multiple rooms on one is a box with no light and a tiny door. I put fencing up...I know they dont like noise but we worked quick and hopefully the staple gun didnt disturb too much. Would it be ok for me to open the door quietly to see if she's with them? I cant see from the little door inside the cage. OMG...I so didnt think we would have babies...now I may have to take care of them every two hours? Of course I will but I was so not prepared for this!!!

    Now to find the boy...see what I get for being the cool mom and letting each kid get a rabbit [​IMG]
  4. Bunnylady

    Bunnylady POOF Goes the Pooka

    Nov 27, 2009
    Wilmington, NC
    Rabbit breeder for over 20 years, here. If there's one thing my rabbits have taught me, it's that they are much more tolerant of "messing about" than most people are led to believe. I have had does do all manner of things with their first litters - sometimes I am the one that screwed up - and the babies were raised by the doe, no problem. You are probably fine!

    Seriously, at this time of year, my rabbits' "birth center" is my hall closet. Having lost more litters to cold than I can count over the years, I now put expectant does and their nest boxes in a carrier, and stick them in my closet. They usually have the babies in the box, pull fur, etc. just like they are supposed to. In all my years as a rabbit breeder, I have had exactly one doe that savaged her litter intentionally, and only one that abandoned her litter due to my interference. The nest boxes stay in my closet overnight; I take them out to the does in the morning and evening (does normally only nurse their litters at dawn and dusk; they stay completely away from them the rest of the time). I have had a few first-time does that didn't seem to know that they needed to nurse their litters. With them, I put the nest box into a carrier that is barely bigger than the box, put the doe in the box, and close the carrier lid. The doe normally only nurses for a few minutes, so after maybe 10 - 15 minutes, I take her out. I seldom have to do that more than once or twice before the doe figures it out, and nurses the babies from then on just fine.

    I always handle the babies on day one, and at least once per day after that. I check to see how many there are, whether the doe accidentally removed any body parts, and remove any dead kits. A first-time mother won't have a lot of milk for the first couple of days; if she has nursed her babies, they will have a noticeable white blob in the middle of the bunny. An unfed kit will have a slackness about the stomach area - they look empty. About day 3, the doe's milk supply increases dramatically, and the kits will look full to bursting after a feeding.

    It is best to have some sort of box to keep the kits together. Since the doe doesn't "brood" her naked offspring, they need each other's warmth to maintain their body temperature. Nesting material and hay make good insulation, as does the fur that the doe pulled, but if the kits wander away from each other, they can get chilled and die from cold (even at 65 degrees!) The natural nest of a rabbit is a burrow that the doe would have dug herself, so the best container would be only slightly larger than the doe's body. If the box is much larger than that, the doe may use it as a sitting box, and pee/poop in it - not good for the kits! When you make or find a container than fits the bill, you need to take as much nest material as can reasonably fit in it, put the babies in it, and cover them with as much fur as can be salvaged. The doe may pull more fur over the next few day; if she does, put it in the box as well. Some of my girls pull fur every time it gets cool at night for a week or more after their kits are born.

    The kits will need a nest for, oh, 2 - 3 weeks. I don't separate the babies from their mothers for about 8 weeks, though you will probably have to do it sooner than that. A doe becomes receptive to a buck immediately after her litter is born. You may be lucky, but she may be bred already and have another litter due in another 31 days! (you really wanted to hear that, right?!!) If she is already preggers, the next litter will probably be a big one. [​IMG]

    Rabbits that are mature enough to have babies are easy to sex, if you know what you are looking at. Just in front of the tail is the anus, of course, and a fuzzy bump that is the genital opening. A buck has a bare sac on either side of the bump; a doe has bare patches, but not sacs. Bucks can pull their testicles into their bodies if they feel inclined, so the sacs may be empty, but the extra skin will still be there. To check the gender of a less mature rabbit, flip the rabbit over (in your lap, or get someone else to hold the rabbit for you). Gently pull the tail toward the rabbit's backbone, and press on the front of the fuzzy bump (the side furthest from the tail). A doe will have a longer, V-shaped opening, that only stands up at the front. A buck's organ is slightly closer to the anus than the does "slit," and will stand up equally all around.

    I know you really wanted to hear this, too, but you need to find out for sure the genders of your other rabbits. Rabbits become sexually mature some time between 4 and 6 months. If you have other does with a buck, they may well be pregnant, too!

    Good luck!
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2012
  5. amynbrent

    amynbrent Chirping

    Mar 15, 2011
    Dryden, MI
    Thank you so much...I've been reading everything I can online. I figured they can tolerate alot since they are wild animals (not mine) I drove our tractor over a nest one time cutting the grass and they were popping around like popcorn and I didnt kill any...whew. They just hopped back to the nest.

    I tried to put a small box in the cage and I put the babies in it...we only found two. She started chewing the box and whining, she got in it and kicked them out. So i put them back in the corner where they were and she seems happy, she covered them back up. She seems to be pooping in the front of the cage so this will make it so much easier to clean it.

    OMG...I was not ready to fall in love with these naked little things...they are so ugly they are cute!

    Thanks so much for your help.

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