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Multi-day rabbit birth

 
Jason Schultz
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I'm totally new at raising meat rabbits and we just kindled our first batch. I've got two does and one buck. One of the does keeps having babies. She had 2 the scheduled day of kindling, one died. Next morning she had two more live. Now this morning I checked and she had 7 in the box, two were dead. I'm just wondering if this is normal? Or if any more experienced breeders have encountered this before? My other doe had her kits the scheduled day and that was that. Thanks!
 
Craig Dobbelyu
pollinator
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Location: Maine (zone 5)
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forest garden hugelkultur
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Is this her first litter? It could be that it's just part of the learning curve for her. A lot of rabbits have a tough time with their first litter or two. They usually get it all figured out by the third litter. If not... Soup. At least that's my way of going about it.

Just keep an eye on them and make sure the kits have full bellies. Try to keep them all in one place in the nest box so that they all get fed. Sometimes a nest isn't made well by a new mom and some of the kits find themselves isolated away from the crowd at feeding time. Since rabbits only nurse once or twice a day, missing a feeding is a big setback for a kit. A new mom will also not be as careful about stepping on her kits. If they are all in one place, they stand a better chance when she jumps in the box.

It's normal to have dead kits especially with new moms. Remove them promptly to prevent nest contamination and just be patient. She's just learning and she's bound to make errors.

I've also read that if she loses all the kits, it's best to re-breed right away as she'll be more likely to conceive. No rest for the weary. If she manages to keep some of them alive, great. You can re breed her when the kits are 6 weeks old.

Once she get's into the swing of things, she'll be filling cages with bunnies like a champ.

Best of luck




 
Jay C. White Cloud
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Hi Jason,

That is not the norm in my experience, and I would watch this family group closely. She may present with additional complications.

Regards,

j
 
kadence blevins
Posts: 595
Location: SE Ohio
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books goat hugelkultur rabbit tiny house wofati
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If it was first litter it could just be the doe not realizing what to do or slow birth. More likely though you check alot and she kept halting everything when people would come by again. Its not good for her or the kits and i highly recommend just leaving her totally alone the due day. Feed her late the night before and the next day do anything and everything to forget about her for the day.
You wouldnt wanna be poppin out babies with a horde of onlookers would ya?

I have had the same thing happen when i first started. That could be the reason some were dead.. could be.. they were right there ready to be born and then momma halts everything and they are stuck squished in the canal until she decides its safe again.
But its possible they just were stillborn before due time. It happens.
 
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