What to do with my new born baby rabbits?

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by Jo-Anne White, Nov 22, 2013.

  1. Jo-Anne White

    Jo-Anne White Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 22, 2013
    Rustenburg, South Africa
    Hi there

    My rabbit had six little ones yesterday, but she made her nest outside right in the open I live in South Africa & its a very hot time of the year for us plus its our rainy season so electrical storms @ night & heat you would not believe during the day not to mention the humidity, anyway I moved her & the kits into the barn to protect them from the elements but she now seems to have lost interest so now I'm not sure I did the right thing, but couldn't just leave them out there. I know a rabbit usually only feeds once a day normally between the hours of midnight to dawn but these little ones don't look like they have been fed I'm trying to stay away from them & hopefully the doe will settle but I don't want them to starve to death. I have another doe who actually gave birth the day before yesterday in the barn but she had a litter of five on the 3rd of November, the buck must have got out of his inclosure some how & impregnated her again without me knowing, it was a shock finding a nest of four new babies sadly two died & she is looking after them beautifully I had to remove her previous five little one which where not yet weened but they to are doing wonderfully only thing is this doe must be exhausted & I cannot expect her to "foster" the other does kits as she has lost weight drastically after the last birthing.

    My Mother & Father strictly believe in let nature take its course what should be will be kind of people, should I just take their advice & hope for the best? or should I intervene? They are really tiny???


    [​IMG]

    Any advice would be appreciated [​IMG]

    Thanks Jo
     
  2. Bunnylady

    Bunnylady POOF Goes the Pooka

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    Nov 27, 2009
    Wilmington, NC
    First time rabbit moms are often clueless about their jobs; sometimes they need a little help to learn what it is they need to do.

    A wild rabbit mother would have dug a tunnel, so her nest would be underground. We don't generally allow domestic rabbits that choice. We prefer that they have their litters in nest boxes that we provide, but since that isn't something she would naturally do, it isn't really surprising that a doe wouldn't know to do that. Most of the does I have handled have been very tolerant of my interference, so I have no problem with putting the nest and the kits into a box when the doe kindles elsewhere. Sometimes, just showing the doe where I put her litter is enough, but some does that do everything else right still don't seem to know that they have to nurse the kits. If I have a doe that I think isn't feeding her family, I will put the nest box in a carrier slightly larger than the box, put the doe in the nest, and close the carrier. The doe can't get out, so the kits usually find her. I stay close by just in case something nasty occurs, though it hasn't yet.[​IMG] I check after a few minutes; if the litter has been fed, I put the doe and her litter back in the cage. Some of my does have needed this lesson several times, though most catch on after one or two times in the carrier. The only doe that I can remember that this didn't work with apparently hadn't any milk anyway, so her litter had to be fostered by another doe (fortunately, I breed does in groups just in case!)
     
  3. Redyre Rotties

    Redyre Rotties Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 8, 2009
    North Carolina, USA
    I have found a number of wild rabbit nests with babies. Every single one has been in the grass above ground, not in a tunnel.....
     
  4. Bunnylady

    Bunnylady POOF Goes the Pooka

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    Nov 27, 2009
    Wilmington, NC
    The wild rabbits you have found are North American wild rabbits, probably Cottontails. They nest above the ground. Domestic rabbits are descended from a different species, the European wild rabbit, which digs burrows.[​IMG]
     
  5. Redyre Rotties

    Redyre Rotties Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You are absolutely correct, these were North American Cotton tails. See, if I'm not careful I can learn something sometimes. I had no idea of those differences in domestic rabbits.

    :)
     
  6. Jo-Anne White

    Jo-Anne White Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 22, 2013
    Rustenburg, South Africa
    Hi all

    Five of the six little ones died @ day three "Mother wasn't feeding them + they got cold during the night" ended up letting the other doe foster the surviving one & he is doing well.

    Thanks for all the advice x
     

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