Baby Bunnies Died

Discussion in 'Rabbits' started by Rainbeau777, May 4, 2004.

  1. Rainbeau777

    Rainbeau777 Active Member

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    May 21, 2003
    My New Zealand White just had babies, but she didn't care for them. She ate one of the bunny's feet and she let them all get cold. I want to give her one more chance before I put her in a frying pan. This wasn't her first litter, but it was mine, so I will take the blame. How can I keep this from happening again? If the rabbit only feeds her young once a day, then how do they stay warm all the time?

    Tracy
     
  2. Michael Leferink

    Michael Leferink Well-Known Member

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    Jul 12, 2003
    Location:
    Louisiana
    Did she have them in the nest box or on the wire? If she builds a good nest in the box and lines it with fur, they should be O.K. You just need to make sure they can not get wet and the wind isn't blowing into the nest box. The kits will huddle together under the fur. Unless, there is less than 5 - 6, they should generate enough body heat to stay warm. Now if it gets much below freezing, you may have to bring them inside or provide some type of heat. I have had kits survive down to + 20 F with no problem. I start to have problems colder than that, with new borns. Once they get furred out they can handle even colder temperatures.

    Some does feed only once per day. Some will feed as much as five times a day. Ours feed 3 - 5 times a day for the first week.

    "This wasn't her first litter, but it was mine, so I will take the blame. How can I keep this from happening again?"

    If you have not done so already, talk to the previous owner. Find out if she has a history of eating her kits. If so, cull her. She will most likely do it again. If she has not, give her another chance. She may have biten the kit by accident. Rabbits teeth are sharp and not designed to pick up kits. The kit may have had trouble being born and she may have pulled it out and damaged it in the process.

    It's tough to loose a kit, let alone an entire litter. Hang in there, It happens to everyone.

    Mike
     

  3. Rainbeau777

    Rainbeau777 Active Member

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    May 21, 2003
    Thank you, Michael. I did some things wrong that may have caused her babies to die. I have learned a lot. I appreciate your help and advice very much. I will give her another chance and if the babies don't survive then, I will take her to the auction house. I would just let her go, but she is so tame.

    Tracy


     
  4. Michael Leferink

    Michael Leferink Well-Known Member

    Messages:
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    Jul 12, 2003
    Location:
    Louisiana
    Yes, please do not release her! The odds are that she would die a cruel death! While some colonies of feral rabbits can be found, it is rare for them to successfully establish themselves in the wild. First, they have been domesticated for 100's of years and have lost many of their natural instincts for survival. Secondly, they will worsen the spread of disease among the wild population. Thirdly, they can not successfully reproduce with North American rabbits or hares. Domestic rabbits evolved in Europe and North Africa. They have a different number of chromosomes. Fourthly, because of the stated reasons, it is illegal to realease domestic rabbits into the wild. I have seen, small colonies, surviving in remote areas. They are the descendents of rabbits released by farmers who went out of business. These colonies eventually die out, due to inbreeding. The only long term colonies, that I am aware of, are located on islands. That is because of a lack of predators and/or competition from other lagomorphs.

    I would not recommend selling her, unless the new owner was made fully aware of her problem. It's a matter of ethicacy. I'd use her to feed my family. That way, she does not suffer and I have gotten part or all of my money back, by way of not having to buy meat for that meal.

    I hope she does better next time and provides you with lots of healthy kits.

    Mike