Mysterious deaths

Discussion in 'Rabbits' started by cowboy joe, Jun 2, 2004.

  1. cowboy joe

    cowboy joe Hired Hand

    Sep 13, 2003
    western New York
    I went to feed the critters last night and found three dead kits in one of the hutches. The kits were almost 6 weeks old and appeared to be in good health during the morning feeding (less than 10 hours before). The doe and 2 other kits appeared fine and were doing OK this morning.

    I've seen single kits die before but 3 at once has me stumped, especially with no sign of sickness or problems. The kits were growing nicely and were very active. None of the kits seemed lethargic or sickly. No changes to feed or routine, clean cages and water. Ruling out bad feed / water as the others in the rabbitry are far.

    The kits started nibbling on solid food about a week or so ago. I've always let the little ones eat when they are ready and haven't had any problems like this. I up the feed volume by 1/2 cup to compensate for their consumption. My only thought is the doe may have become agressive because the kits were competing for feed. This particular doe showed some agressive tendancies in the past. I checked the dead kits but didn't see any obvious bite or claw marks.

    Any thoughts??? I'm plain stumped on this one and am worried about the rest of the rabbitry.
  2. dale anne

    dale anne Well-Known Member

    Apr 28, 2004
    howdy...did ya check the ears and mouth fer blood?..also feel and see if backs are might have stomped them to death...I have had a doe kill off her entire litter at 4 weeks....we made the mistake of putting a buck in a seperate cage next to hers and it aggrivated her to the point she killed all the kits..accident or cause she wanted to we are not sure...but when we found them all had very broken bodies....might also be a parasite...I would contain the doe and rest of litter in a seperate spot fer another week or 2 before selling or slaughter...can also get a necropsey on the dead kits...or do yer own....look for spots on liver and other main organs...also check remains inside belly for parasites or non broke down feed....good luck...dale anne

  3. Michael Leferink

    Michael Leferink Well-Known Member

    Jul 12, 2003
    cowboy joe,

    I have the same thoughts that dale anne has. I would also consider spider or snake bites. And don't rule out illness. Your other rabbits might begin to show symptoms over the next few days.

    Sorry for your loss,

  4. Dian

    Dian Well-Known Member

    May 10, 2003
    Lafayette, TN
    We had young rabbits die like you described a few years ago and found a large wasp nest in the back corner of the cage. Check for any uninvited guests. We think something stirred up the wasps and they stung the rabbits. Sorry about your loses.