Doe biting kits toes

Discussion in 'Rabbits' started by thoshead, May 21, 2006.

  1. thoshead

    thoshead Member

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    Hi, I live in Montgomery, AL and have been raising rabbits for a couple of years now, but have recently started with meat rabbits (NZ & Cals). My best doe is on her third litter and with 3 week old kits (last week) she started biting off toes. Does anyone have an idea of what my be causing this? I do have a labrador, but he has been around since the beginning and doesn't bother them. Any help will be most appreciated and btw I visit every day and really enjoy the info. Thanks!
    Thos.
     
  2. MaggieJ

    MaggieJ Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Okay, a few questions come to mind. First have you actually seen her bite off the kits' toes? Second, are the rabbits housed in off-the-ground cages with wire floors? Third, where are the cages located?

    I remember another fairly recent thread where someone thought her doe was killing and eating kits. These were not newborn rabbits, they were out of the nest box. Turned out they were being bitten by a predator from outside the cage. It couldn't get the whole kit, so it just ate the parts it could pull through the wire. Raccoons will do this... not sure about weasels and possums.
     

  3. dixonsrabbitry

    dixonsrabbitry Well-Known Member

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  4. thoshead

    thoshead Member

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    I use wire cages hung 3'-6" from the ground to the bottom of the cage. These are in my back yard, we live in town in a residential area. I thought about cats, but there is a doe with 8 kits (1 week older) right next to this set and no damage to them. I am thinking of taking the doe away and seeing if there is any more new wounds. The kits are 5 weeks old now and eating good on there own. Thanks for the replies, I come here every night and really enjoy the discussions.
    Thos.
     
  5. KSALguy

    KSALguy Lost in the Wiregrass Supporter

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    you can wean them now anyway, did you re breed her? she may be wanting more room for her next litter, or wanting to be rebred?
    if its a weasle that just cant get into the cage they can slide down the wire or chain from above and clime on the wire even if they cant get in, just a thought
     
  6. MaggieJ

    MaggieJ Well-Known Member Supporter

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    If they are five weeks old and eating pellets I would definitely move the mother to another cage. It's the best way to find out who is doing the toe biting.

    Another thought... If it is the doe, perhaps she is getting aggressive toward the kits because she is fed up and tired. I have one doe who kindles terrific litters and is an excellent mother - but by the time the kits are five weeks old, she is visibly stressed by them. I take out the biggest ones and just leave her one or two small ones. Then everybody's happy and the runts have a chance to catch up.