3rd Litter of Baby Bunnies Dying

by Anne

Hi, I have 2 year old male and female angora rabbits. they have just had their 3rd litter. their first litter she had 7, within 2 days 5 had died, 2 lived to 3 weeks, then escaped and died. the next litter she had 3 kits, they were dead in and around nest 2 days later.

She has just had a third litter 2 days ago, with 4 kits. This morning, only 1 was alive the rest were dead buried in nest, then 1 hour ago the last one has vanished, I guess eaten?? The pair are still together, is it my fault for not separating the male? I have also handled the babies. Please I hope someone can help, thanks

***** Karen Sez *****
Well, of all the rotten luck, eh?

One cannot always blame the buck's presence in the cage when kits die, however, there's a trend going on here! What kind of behavior does the buck show to the kits? Have you noticed the buck chasing the doe?

Is the doe stomping them when aggravated? Is the buck attempting to breed with the doe, and are they racing around the cage, one chasing and the other fleeing? If so, anything in their path will get trampled.

The problem is not bunny-handling. Clearly, after 3 litters, these animals are familiar with you and your smell, and won't perceive you as a threat.

Why are kits able to escape? Do cages need to be repaired? Why would they want to escape? Maybe the buck and doe are chasing each other?

I'm not sure you should assume the kit has been eaten, unless predators of some sort can get into the cage.

Why don't you separate the rabbits and give this doe one more chance to breed and kindle a litter all by herself in her own cage where the kits cannot escape. Just so you know, your doe might be rebred right now, since you said the buck was still in the cage.

Good luck with everthing.

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Mar 21, 2014
Nibbled on Babies
by: New Zealand Breeder

I have an outside rabbitry with 1" by 1" wire cages so that rats and mice can not get to the kits. It may not be the doe or the buck killing the kits....just a thought.

Oct 08, 2013
by: Anonymous

Thanks for your comments, the buck is very very gentle, does not chase her and is very placid, so I thought it was okay to leave together. They have a large run, and 2 hutches so plenty of space to get away if need be.

For the first litter, the babies were approx 3 weeks and they escaped though part of the run. this has now been fixed and can't happen again, the new problem is getting the babies to survive.
When I checked the kits yesterday there were 4, they looked to be 2 days old, were strong, warm, round tummies with milk in, 1 was smaller but still seemed vigorous. Then today the 3 were dead buried under the fur in the nest. I could see maybe a few very small/minor nibble marks on the toes of one, but nothing else.

I am worried that it is the doe doing it and will continue to go again, so I want to try everything I can to get the next litter to survive.

I was planning to separate the pair in a week's time so that mating will have occurred and to give her time to feel safe and settled. Any other suggestions, it is so upsetting, when 1 minute they are healthy and alive and the next minute gone.

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