HELP... dead babies

Discussion in 'Rabbits' started by Jessie21287, Sep 26, 2003.

  1. Jessie21287

    Jessie21287 Member

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    Well, I was mistaken when I said that my doe wasn't pregnant. She was and I didn't put in the nest box. So she had the kits on the floor and they both died. :( When would it be safe to breed her again?

    Also... my nephew's doe just had kits last night. When I went out this morning, 3 were in the nest box... alive and squirming. One was on the floor, dead. Then when I got home from school, I checked on them again. The previously alive ones were dead. Why has this happened and how can I prevent it from happening again?

    THANKS!!
     
  2. dnurse

    dnurse Member

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    Jessie

    You can breed her again at anytime. Put the nest box in around day 26. She should do the rest. Donna
     

  3. MaineFarmMom

    MaineFarmMom Columnist, Feature Writer

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    You should rebreed her now. If she goes beyond her due date leave the box in anyway. Smaller litters can easily go several days beyond the due date.

    Two kits is a very small litter if you're raising a meat breed. If you have another buck I'd breed her to him and see what happens.

    The kit on the wire was probably nursing and didn't let go when the doe jumped out of the box. Since rabbits don't carry the kits there's nothing that can be done to put it back except a person catching it in time. If it happens again and the kit feels cold you might be able to still save it. Warm it up (my incubator saw more kits than it did eggs) and see what happens.

    If the doe was in the box to feed them and was startled she might have stomped on the kits. Or, they might have gotten cold. Did she build a good nest and line it well?
     
  4. Robin Pundzak

    Robin Pundzak Active Member

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    What a great idea! I have an incubator that we've only used twice (unsuccessfully) to hatch eggs, and it never occurred to me to use it for kits! Thanks so much for your post. Now I have to head out to the garage and dig it out!
    Robin
     
  5. Jessie21287

    Jessie21287 Member

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    Thanks for all your input!! My rabbit is a Holland and my nephew's is a mini rex. Does pine shavings work as well as straw? Or should I use straw instead. It's getting colder and colder here so I don't want the kits to freeze.
     
  6. Natureschild

    Natureschild Well-Known Member

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    Id use straw not shavings. Its warmer and easier for the rabbit to work with.
    My nighbours rabbit had two litters and both died, except for one in the last litter which I put in with my doe who had birthed 3 days before. Her babies were bruised looking ands had some scratches. I think the doe was killing them.
     
  7. Jessie21287

    Jessie21287 Member

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    The dead babies didn't have a scratch on them or any bruises either so I think that it wasn't the does fault for them dying. I found a place that sells straw around where i live so I can use that as well as shavings. I believe that the babies got too cold and died.
     
  8. Jessie21287

    Jessie21287 Member

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    UPDATE:[/color] Three of my does are due this weekend. Even though I palpated them and didn't feel anything, I'm going to put in a nest box just in case. :D

    Will update when this weekend ends, hopefully with a few more rabbits on hand.
     
  9. chickflick

    chickflick Well-Known Member

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    Jessie.. when I had my show bunnies.. I would WAKE UP at about 4 am.. go to the rabbitry and retrieve babies w/nestboxes! Seems that's when they're always born!! At one time I had 20 nestboxes of babies in the house!! Since the moms only nurse once in a 24 hour period.. we would carry the moms back and forth into the house to nurse. It may be crazy.. but it saves those cold dead wire babies from happening!!

    Once they get some fur on em they can go back outside.. also if you have a mom who has trouble kindling.. like eats babies.. put a strip of bacon in the cage just before kindling time..

    It is always a good idea to observe, observe, observe. When you put the nestbox in.. check her several times each day and you'll see her nest building and pulling fur just before birth. That'll help you know when to go out into the cold dark morning to save those kits!!:):) Have fun!
     
  10. Pat Lamar

    Pat Lamar Well-Known Member Supporter

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    >Since the moms only nurse once in a 24 hour period..<

    This "sacred cow" has since been proven to be incorrect in recent research. True, *most* does will nurse only once or twice per day, but there are others which will nurse even 4 or 5 times per day.

    >also if you have a mom who has trouble kindling.. like eats babies.. put a strip of bacon in the cage just before kindling time..<

    Um... I really wouldn't advise feeding raw bacon to a rabbit or any animal! Rabbits are just as susceptible to trichonosis as humans are. Nor would I wish to encourage my rabbits to eat meat! If the cause of the eating of kits cannot be determined (e.g., difficult delivery wherein the doe attempts to pull out the kits and resulting in missing appendages; the presence of predators; the doe feels insecure and threatened in her present location, etc.), then, the cause is most often due to a nutritional deficiency in the feed. Pregnant and lactating does require 18% protein in their feed. "Poor maternal instincts" are actually quite rare with rabbits.

    Chickflick.... I don't mean to be picking on you, but you need to do some reading! Like you, I came back to rabbits after many years. It took me a full year of solid reading in order to "catch up" with new discoveries and developments, and I'm still learning! It's an on-going task to try to keep up as research on rabbits is still very active. May I suggest you obtain the book, "Rabbit Production," 8th Edition, by McNitt, Lukefahr, Patton & Cheeke? Best (cheapest) price can be found at this web site:

    http://www.phschool.com/catalog/

    Pat Lamar
    President
    Professional Rabbit Meat Association
    http://www.prma.org/
     
  11. chickflick

    chickflick Well-Known Member

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    Hi Pat!

    Yes, it's been a while since I had LOTS of bunnies. (Ummmm,, 9 years?) Actually, on the bacon.. you may be right... the only time I had attempted to use this.. it seemed to make no difference.. crappy mom bunny!! As best I recall. Got rid of it.

    Secondly, on the "once in 24 hour nursing"... well.. okay.. but in the situation I described.. what I did worked. All babies were fat and healthy.. and definately not dead on the wire from cold!! As soon as they got 'fur' they (and nestbox) went out.

    At this time, I only have 3 E.Angoras and they are MUTANT wool producers.:):).... So... my only updating of my bunny knowledge has been in that regard. (Just trying to help!:) Thank you for being 'kind' in your 'correction'.
     
  12. Pat Lamar

    Pat Lamar Well-Known Member Supporter

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    LOL Thanks for being so good natured about it, too! Can't ignore those time-proven statements of "there is NO 'one way' to raise rabbits," "go with what works for YOU" and "why fix what ain't broke?"

    There's still more on-going research on that number of nursings per day bit, too, so it's not yet "set in stone" and may never be. Sacred cows and old wives' tales are often hard to dispel when there seems to be some basis of accuracy to them. For example, the raw bacon bit represents a lack of protein, of course, and the raw bacon was the old-timers' way of quick-fixing the problem without pursuing the actual cause. Unfortunately, many fail to think that far into the problem by not asking themselves "WHAT is causing the lack of protein?" Or, even "Why does raw bacon solve the problem?" As always, the best cure is to treat the cause.

    Keep up the good work! We welcome your input.

    Pat Lamar
    President
    Professional Rabbit Meat Association
    http://www.prma.org/
     
  13. Jessie21287

    Jessie21287 Member

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    UPDATE: It happens that 2 of the 3 does were definately not pregnant. The other one I'm still not sure about. I put the nesting box in on the 27th day, which was Friday. Monday was the 31st day, and there's still no babies. Maybe tomorrow morning. :D Hopefully.
     
  14. Jessie21287

    Jessie21287 Member

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    UPDATE: The third doe was not pregnant. :( I'm still kind of confused. She made a nest, which is why I thought she was pregnant, but she didn't have any babies. She lined the nest with fur and everything. Do does usually do that?

    Thanks!