New Here, New Rabbit, Dead Babies :-(

Discussion in 'Rabbits' started by bucklesbabies, Apr 10, 2006.

  1. bucklesbabies

    bucklesbabies New Member

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    Hello, I joined your group about a week ago when we acquired two rabbits from a portrait studio where they were being used at Easter picture props. Anyway I didn't want to post with nothing much to say but this morning I have a lot of questions! Our female rabbit (a New Zealand white) came to us pregnant and the male is a Californian. Tomorrow, Tuesday would have been 28 days for the females pregnancy. We just got done building her new hutch yesterday, Sunday, and we got her moved into it around noon. I checked on her before I went to bed around 10 last night and everything seemed normal. This morning when we woke up my 4 year old daughter asked if she had her babies yet and I said I didn't think so but I checked her nest area anyway and there were 4 very still babies. I did what someone here had posted (I've been reading your posts all week!) and took one of them and put it in a cup of really warm water up to its neck but nothing happened....they were REALLY cold and stiff so she probably had them hours ago. She actually though ate the middle of one of the babies...a little disturbing to see when you first wake up in the morning. Anyway though they looked big and well formed and she even had them in the right place but she didn't make a nest or anything. I'm sure she is a first time mom b/c she doesn't seem quite grown herself. I guess my main question really is when can we breed her with our male? I read someone said do it right away, how long is right away? The male bunny is READY TO GO....he's crazy haha Do you think she may not have been prepared because she was only in her new hutch half a day? Or maybe all the activity of yesterday caused an early delivery? I know sometimes there is no rhyme or reason to dead babies but anything I can do differently next time would be good to know.
    Thanks for any advice....we really need it!

    Crystalyn
     
  2. KSALguy

    KSALguy Lost in the Wiregrass Supporter

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    where are you located, are they outside, and i am assuming there was LOTS of hay available to her,
    considering she has been moved around alot, haveing just got her in the last week, and then getting moved into a new hutch soon after that, she could just have been too shook up, sometimes that happens,
    what sort of nest box do you have? also is there any possibility that a dog or something scared her? sometimes this will make them go into labor early.

    as to when to breed her back, sence she JUST had them you could in theory put her in to be bred right now, but i would wait at least a couple days just because she has been through quite a bit recently and needs to adjust to all her new situations, are they in adjacent cages? if so how is she risponding to him?
     

  3. bucklesbabies

    bucklesbabies New Member

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    UPDATE: The female rabbit just passed a blob, like some kind of afterbirth.....it seems a little late considering it seems like she had her babies in the middle of the night and here it is almost 10 am....is this normal? She's acting okay, munching on breakfast that kind of thing. To answer your questions....she had a lot of hay in her next area....she's had lots of hay for a few days. Her hutch is about 3x3 with the back 12" being enclosed for her "bedroom" so it's about 1x3 with an opening for her to go back there and that's where she had the babies in a neat little pile. No, her hutch is inside our living room right now (I was worried about the cold air at night, so we were keeping her inside until the babies were born) and she's been inside for the past month. Nothing scared her, no other pets and she's a very laid back rabbit...usually exploring the house and such. Her hutch is adjoining an identical hutch for the male rabbit, HOWEVER, he has not been moved in there yet. We've been keeping them out of sight and scent of each other for the most part. He is very aggressive and wants to mate but she wants nothing to do with him obviously at this time.....she likes him fine but we were all getting sick of being sprayed by him....it's really disgusting. He doesn't do it when he's in a cage in the garage or outside....only when he's around her.
     
  4. Honorine

    Honorine Carpe Vinum Supporter

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    First time mothers often lose their first litter, they just don't 'get' it, usually the second litter is alright and they figure out what to do. Poor mothering skills are inherited, so if I have a doe that loses three litters thats it she's out. Rabbits also do not mother like dogs or cats, they won't pick up their babies, or move them around, where ever they have them thats it, so sometimes you have to watch, and make certain the nest is properly made and put the babies in it. Its very common for rabbits to eat dead babies to 'clean' up their area, gross but has a purpose. They also sometimes eat live ones, and a doe who does it often shouldn't be bred either. Some folks rebreed right away, I usually wait up to a week myself. If a does not pulling fur I use dryer lint for the nest, set the babies up in it, sometimes a does will pull in advance, right before, or after kindling. Some pull a lot, some not enough. Moving her around could have spooked her, its best to have a new doe settled in and accustomed to her surroundings. For future reference I always try to breed an experienced does at the same time as a first time doe, so I have a foster mother just in case. You can switch babies around up until about three weeks, I don't after 2 weeks. You can also touch the babies, rabbits usually aren't picky about that.
     
  5. Danaus29

    Danaus29 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I have one doe that passed those gross blobs and some blood the day after giving birth so it sounds normal to me. Also the babies could have died from mom being moved around too much just before kindling. I lost half a litter by taking a pregnant doe on a trip. Wait until they settle down before rebreeding, you don't want to stress her too much.
     
  6. WindowOrMirror

    WindowOrMirror ..where do YOU look? Supporter

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    I am more and more glad each day for the doe that we've got! She takes care of her litters well and has only lost one kit between two litters thus far.

    R
     
  7. MaggieJ

    MaggieJ Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I know she was already pregnant when you got her, so please don't think I am criticizing you, but it is not good for a young doe to be having babies before she is fully grown herself. Between that and the changes in her life lately, I suggest you wait a month or two before breeding her again. She needs time to finish growing and also to settle in and begin to trust you. Tell the buck he can take cold showers until then.
     
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  8. arnie

    arnie Well-Known Member Supporter

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    if she is 6 months old she is old enough .moving her around so much being put into a new cage she being young ect. all are reasons for bad luck .my nest boxes are 16 x 11 inches . your nest area should work though .
    .i'd rebreed her within a couple days having time to ajust to her new home she should do okay.
     
  9. scarlet812

    scarlet812 Well-Known Member

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    I'm so sorry the babies did not live. I don't have any advice to offer since I'm new at this, too, but I feel for you. :(

    I read so many stories about losing first litters that I've been expecting the worst. Our first batch is not quite 24 hrs old yet and so far so good, but I'm still nervous about them.
     
  10. TroutRiver

    TroutRiver Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I've never tried this before, but I read somewhere that putting a slice of raw BACON into the doe's cage right before she kindleS will stop her from cannibalizing the babies. They like the fatty/salty taste and will munch on the bacon instead of the babies. Of course it probably won't do you a whole lot of good if they still don't build a nest...

    For my first time doe, I put a bunch of hay in the next box, and more hay on the ground right next to the nest box (I also have hay hoppers in the cages that are always full). She got the picture and stuffed that nest box full of hay :)
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2013