What's your opinion?

Discussion in 'Rabbits' started by nans31, Dec 18, 2004.

  1. nans31

    nans31 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    186
    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2002
    Location:
    Alaska
    I have a doe who just had her 3rd litter. First two were A+, couldn't ask for better. Had 9 and 10 and weaned all. This litter, she had them on the wire (12) and didn't pull any fur. I was right there, scooped them up and put them in the box, with some spare fur. That was yesterday, today they were all over the box cold, and one dead. I took them in the house, warmed them up and put them back in the box with more fur. This afternoon, there was another dead one and they are cold again. They pink right up and are active when warmed.
    Do you think there's something wrong with them, and she had them on the wire for that reason? I'm not sure if she's feeding them, they appear to have been fed tho.
    nan
     
  2. Vera

    Vera Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,054
    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2003
    I don't have any experience with does and babies in cages, but my penned does have done the same thing on a few occasions. I think it's nature talking when they refuse to take care of their babies, like the temps are too cold or too hot, or there's something wrong with the kits. I have one doe who's a wonderful mother, but a while back, she kicked one baby out of the nest for whichever reason... I put it back in, and next time I checked, it'd be out by itself again. Repeat scenario several times. I finally accepted that she knew something that I didn't and let her do her thing on her own terms. The kit died, of course. The rest of the litter did just fine and she took good care of them.

    I remember reading something about does not taking kindly to being disturbed or frightened while pregnant and that they might simply absorb the fetuses even late in the pregnancy... wish I could remember the specifics or where I read that. In a way, that's the proactive version of a doe refusing her kits after birth. This still doesn't explain why she would refuse only one out of the litter though, like mine did.

    Anyway, I wouldn't worry about it too much unless it happens again. If she does fine next time, I'd write this one off as "something she knew to do for unknown reasons".
     

  3. Tracy

    Tracy Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    845
    Joined:
    May 2, 2002
    Location:
    PA
    First thought comes to mind is some type of predator in the barn. Does will abandon their nests if they feel threatened.
     
  4. nans31

    nans31 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    186
    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2002
    Location:
    Alaska
    I checked them last night and 7 were dead. This morning the rest were dead. They were apx. 18 hrs old when they first started dying. There is no chance of predator in the barn, nothing unusual going on at the time of her birth. There was 4 other does that gave birth the same day.
    Will rebreed to a different buck and not get too obsessed about these deaths. Just a new experience for me!
    nan