One baby bunny is not thriving

by Angie
(South Wales, UK)

Hello from Wales, UK! :o) Earlier this year I bought 2 bunny siblings from a friend of mine, which were supposed to be both girls. They were checked several times, by different people and all thought they were sisters. Well a few months ago I decided to check again because they were always so "cuddly" with each other. Well turns out that lil Miss Daisy is actually now Mr Daisy! I know we should have separated them, but I guess we just hoped for the best, maybe that Mr Daisy would be shooting blanks ...

Saturday Mr Daisy proved us wrong when our 8 year old daughter found a weird looking thing (what she thought was a bug at first) lying in the front of the cage. "Mooooom! there's a baby in the cage!!"

We frantically got both bunnies out of the cage, put Mr Daisy into a box and then after calling my friend for help of what to do, moved the lil baby bunny back into the nest. Later that evening I lifted the platform up which makes a lil hutch underneath for the bunnies to see how many there were and if they were alive. I counted 5 babies and they all seemed to be moving.

After reading your website on breeding and raising bunnies I decided to go check the babies out Sunday morning a bit more and found that one of the babies wasn't moving and was cold. His poor bottom was all sticky with brown gunk, with straw and his mommy's hair stuck to it. There wasn't anything I could do, It looked like he'd been dead for a while. :(

I checked the other ones and 3 out of 4 had really big bellies, nice and full looking. But the other 1 is really scrawny and half the size of the other ones. I just checked again this morning and the 3 big ones look really full like their bellies are gonna bust, but the little one is still real skinny and I can't tell if he's been feeding or not.

Now my question, what should I do? Should I leave him alone and hope mommy Twinkle is feeding him enough or should I jump in and feed him myself? Your opinion is much appreciated! Thank you in advance,

Angie from South Wales, UK :o)

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Oct 17, 2011
Possible Peanut
by: Moderator

Hi Angie,
You've done a fine job with a surprising situation. And told the story very well, too!

The little guy with the gunky bottom, yeah, nuthin you can do, except pull the dead bunny out of the nest and discard.

From your description of the little bunny that is not doing well, I'm thinking this bunny is actually a peanut. If your pet rabbits are less than 2.27 kg apiece, I'm guessing they're both carrying a dwarf gene, and your tiny little kit is a double dwarf, known as a peanut.

And if so, it cannot survive, because it has a lethal combination of genes. Click on "The Dwarf Gene" in the navigation bar to the left to learn more.

What to do? Again, nuthin you can do. The kit will die. You might just check the nest morning and night, and remove it once it has expired, likely in the next day or two.

About the kits being born to siblings, this is not necessarily a bad thing, especially if the siblings themselves are not too inbred. If the kits turn out okay, then all is well. (The peanut thing has nothing to do with inbreeding - it is a separate issue.)

We hope you'll have fun with the remaining babies, and that you can find great homes for them.

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