Mother ate baby

by Jessica Thomas
(London, Ky)

Hi, I have a lop eared rabbit, I wasn't sure if she was pregnant, she doesn't like to be held, so I wasn't able to check her. I wasn't expecting the kits til next week, hadn't fixed a nest box yet. Anyway, I came home tonight to find a half eaten kit laying in her cage. I removed it and fixed her a nest box. She stays inside so I don't know what would have scared her to make her eat it. So far she hasn't delivered anymore kits.

Do you think she will have more or is it possible she already did and ate them too?? She is my first pet rabbit so I am new to this and any help or advice is greatly appreciated, thanks.

***** Karen Sez *****
What? You weren't able to check her? Who's the big bunny, you or her? Of course you can check her.

Sorry for the half-eaten bunny. There is the possibility that as the doe was consuming the placenta she forgot to stop when she got to the kit. It is also possible that the doe's maternal instincts are lacking. Or, that since she had no nest box, she felt either vulnerable or unprepared. All you can do is leave the nest box in the cage for a few days, and see what happens.

If it helps, we also have very occasionally found a single half-eaten kit in a cage or nestbox, even with experienced does. It's not always easy telling the reason why. Sometimes the doe accidentally injures or kills the kit during the birthing process, especially if the first kit is a very large one. In this case, the doe might simply finish the already dead kit off to destroy the evidence and prevent attracting predators to the nest.

I'm surprised that your rabbit doesn't like to be held. Sometimes young does go through a hormonal stage as they gear up for reproduction, and they can get a bit standoffish during this season. Cranky 'teenage' does frequently become sweet a few months later. But, if she truly isn't very friendly, are you sure you want babies from her? Because friendliness is a heritable trait. You may not want a whole litter of cranky kits... Just some food for thought.

Comments for Mother ate baby

Average Rating starstarstarstarstar

Click here to add your own comments

Dec 09, 2011
by: Jessica Thomas

Thank you for responding. So far no new kits. She isn't a mean bunny just very skittish. I have only had her since the end of October. She is a lil over a year old but hasn't had a lot of human contact. The lady that gave her to me said she had been passed around to several members of her family but none of them had the time for her. I can pet her and when she is out of her cage she will come up to us but if we try to hold her she runs. I just figured she needs time, didn't wanna force her and scare her.

Now for the buck, he was only here for about 9 days. We got him for our son after he fell in love with mine. He was as gentle as could be when we picked him up. About 5 minutes after we got him home he turned extremely aggressive. He would charge us like a bull lol if we came into reaching
distance of the doe. He bit me several times, he bit and scratched my son and daughter. He got so bad we couldn't feed him that he wasn't trying to attack us. I knew he was frustrated so I figured if we put the two together he might calm down. I was wrong, he was still just as mean, when he bit my sons toe so hard that it bled, I thought time to go. I found him a new home with a girl who didn't have another rabbit. When I got him to her he went back to being a sweet cuddly baby lol. So anyway, if she doesn't have anymore kits I don't plan on rebreeding her. I am hoping she will get less skittish and start letting us do more with her soon, she is very sweet, just scared.

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Comments.

Protected by Copyscape Plagiarism Check Software