First time rabbit mom not eating after giving birth

by Linda
(Colorado )

My doe is a 9 month old Flemish Giant that gave birth yesterday morning to 11 kits. 8 were stillborn, 1 died later the other 2 were cold. I got them warmed up and kept warm (thanks to this website). My doe did not use the nest box, she had them ALL over the floor of her cage. After getting the kits warm I put them in the box and covered them with a very warm soft baby blanket.

This morning I saw that the blanket was moved so I petted mom and checked the babies, both were fine and warm and the place where they were was a lot deeper so I know mom is taking care of them. But she is not eating very well and is thin, she is not eating her pellets and very little hay, I would think she would be very hungry by now. I gave her a 1/4 slice of apple last night and she ate that and a little sweet feed. What should I do?

***** Karen Sez *****
Sounds like you've made the very best of a hard situation. Hopefully the kits' tummies are nice and round by now?

I expect the doe's appetite to pick up soon, for sure. In the meantime, how long have her pellets been sitting in the feeder? Several days? If so, I'd either waste them or put them into the feeder of a different rabbit, and offer her a fresh scoop of pellets from the feed sack.

Second, supplement with a source of oil -- whole oats, or black oil sunflower seeds, or a half-tsp of wheat germ oil on the (new) pellets. This will help put condition back on her body AND help her produce milk for the babies.

Third, I hope she is not experiencing an intestinal blockage. Ensure she has all the water she needs 24/7, and grass hay, so that the fiber can keep her guts humming along.

Your doe will likely have everything figured out the next time around.

Good luck!

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Jan 01, 2013
Newborn kit has a cut in it's skin
by: Beck

This afternoon I went to check on one of my Californian Does, who was expected to kindle any day, and saw a bunch of little bodies moving around. Yay! Our doe made a nest but not a very good one. Our doe had made the nest with hay that I had placed inside the nesting box but left no hay in the very back where all the kits were and she barely pulled any fur. It's a bit chilly out and all of our rabbits are outside,so I decided to take the nesting box inside and allow the kits to warm up a little while I added some fur I had saved when one of our rabbits was shedding like crazy. As I looked over each kit as I removed them from the nesting box I found one had a cut in its skin along the side of its belly. I'm thinking the doe probably got the poor thing as she was cleaning it up after birth. Is there anything I can doe to help it heal or would it be a lost cause ending in a dead kit in a day or two? Thanks.

***** Karen Sez *****

Our experience is, even with large lacerations, simply approximate the edges (if necessary) and let nature take its course. They typically heal without any adverse affects, surprisingly.

Good job, btw, with helping the doe with her nest. :-)

Good luck!

Dec 19, 2012
First time mom
by: Linda

Thank you Karen
She has started eating and yesterday her 2 babies that were left died too so will wait to breed her again until she is back to being in good shape. She still in not eating the pellets very much but eats all the sweet feed which has oats in it with molasses and pellets and good alfalfa and grass hay. Again thank you and know she will be a good mom next time.

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