Is there enough milk?

by Cathy

My lionhead doe had 3 babies last week (7 days ago). She is very small and it is her first litter (she had a false pregnancy right before this past breeding). It doesn't appear to me that the babies are getting enough milk.

Years ago we had large common rabbits for our children as pets - and the babies were always plump and healthy and slept most of the time. These babies twitch a lot when I pick them up (only every few days - as Violet would really grunt at me if she saw me do it). Their skin looks wrinkly and they do NOT look like they are full at all. I am putting extras in Violet's feed dish like dried cranberries and pieces of banana. She has plenty of timothy hay and water.

She seems to want to get out and roam the house (like she did before she had the babies) and gets mad at me when I keep her caged and empties out her litter box - empties the feed dish - and piles a ton of hay and grain up against the door of her nesting box. She is very ornery. (but beautiful). She is white with violet eyes.

I know you can drink BEER to make more milk (as a human - I was told that many years ago when I was nursing my son) ---- but I have never seen a rabbit have a problem. I know she is inexperienced. I guess if they didn't get ANYTHING they would be dead by now. But they are pretty skinny & twitchy to me...

Any suggestions?

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Oct 11, 2011
by: Vishakha

Hi, what I feel is maybe the mother is not very experienced, and she is not very sure what to do, so in this case you must start feeding them with a doctor's syringe, before its too late, as the babies still cannot see or hear, so you may need to help.

May 26, 2011
RE Nest box cleaning
by: Moderator

Good job! That's very good news.

As to the nest box, most does are very fastidious, and you won't need to clean anything in the nest. Simply remove it around 14 - 18 days. (The kits may already be climbing out.)

Some does are, of course, messy. As you check the doe and kits each day, you can see if the doe has peed or excessively poo'd in the nest. Usually you can simply scoop out the damp or dirty part and add some shavings and grass hay to fill in the hole.

Easy peasy.

Glad to see things are looking good...!

May 26, 2011
by: Cathy

Hello Everybody: I took the babies out of the nest this morning to check after about 2-3 days of leaving them alone. Lo and behold, there is finally a little meat on those cute little bods. And now they are not so twitchy. I do think they were hungry before.

Violet was flat chested again this morning - so I guess she feeds them in the early morning. One is bigger than the rest. They have more hair than they did (which is "some hair") - esp on their heads. One is light - either white or white with grey - and two are dark grey like their daddy. One is smaller than the rest, but not too too small. I had to put Violet in the dog crate so she couldn't see me.

When do I take out the bedding from the nest and replace it with fresh stuff????

May 26, 2011
RE Is there enough milk?
by: Silver Desert Rabbitry

Actually, feed your doe Calf Manna. You can find it at your local feed and tack store. Rabbits love that stuff and is a good supplement for the lactating doe.

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