Mother rabbit won't take care of kits

by Gertie Baker

My female rabbit has had 2 sets of kits, both she would not take care of and all died. The second set I placed the nest in her cage with good hay, she promptly threw it out, shoved the nest out of the way. Had her kits and all died. What am I doing wrong?

***Moderator Comment***
We suspect you're not doing anything wrong. There are various reasons a doe refuses to mother her kits:
1 - She is not healthy
2 - She lacks mothering skills (poor genetics)
3 - Her environment frightens her. If the family dog or cat, or snakes, rats or other predators frighten her regularly, she may decide she cannot care for the kits.

Reason #2 may be the most frequent one. There's really no remedy for lousy mothering instincts, other than choosing another doe for breeding.

Do any of the other options sound true in the case of your doe? If so, maybe you can take measures so that she gets healthy and lives without stress.

Good luck!

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Jun 16, 2011
RE Mother rabbit won't take care of kits
by: Silver Desert Rabbitry

Some does will not take care of their litters. What you should do is

1) Foster the litter to another lactating doe in your barn, one that is not a first-timer
2) Bottle feed them and raise them yourself.

Both these methods work. Hope this helps :)

***Moderator Comment***
For tips on successfully bottlefeeding a baby rabbit, check our Feeding Rabbits page for links to Feeding Baby Rabbits.

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