Surprise bunnies, what do I do now???
Hi, I was fostering a bunny and just officially adopted her yesterday with her booked in to be desexed tomorrow and low and behold i found babies this morning. She had an accidental encounter with our male bunny the day after we got her but got them apart before we thought any "damage" had been done. Looks like it only takes a few seconds, lol.
Anyway I am a little clueless on what to do now as to checking how many babies there are and to make sure they are all alive. For obvious reasons the babies aren't in a nesting box. My rabbit is a bit feisty as she was mistreated before being put into foster care, she isn't a great fan of being handled but she is very happy for me to give her pats......so basically what do I do now?
Thanks in advance guys.***** Karen Sez *****
Surprise, lol! Yep, sure doesn't take long for the buck to figure things out. And, it is very possible that your doe's 'feistiness' is due less to mishandling, and more to being an adult and/or pregnant female rabbit. Rabbit hormones ebb and flow in does, and they get feisty for no evident reason when they feel ready for a pregnancy. If they then get pregnant, they may stay feisty until the kits are around 2-3 weeks old before they mellow out once again.
But now what to do? Mostly just follow the guidelines on this Rabbits Giving Birth
Plus, since you were surprised by the litter, it would be ideal to give the kits a makeshift nest. This will help prevent kits from wandering away, getting lost, and then chilling to death. A 6" tall plastic dishpan is just about perfect for the job.
Drill a few holes in the bottom and wire the thing to the bottom of the cage, and to the sides, if necessary. This is because the rabbit will grab it in her mouth and flip it over, flinging hay and babies every which way if you don't.
Place 1-2 inches of pine shavings in the bottom of the dishpan. Then, gather up the litter, fur, and surrounding hay/straw pile and place it into the plastic dishpan. Now you'll be all set until the litter can be weaned, any time after 5-6 weeks or so.
Free-feed the doe with good quality rabbit pellets containing between 16% and 18% protein. When the kits are old enough, they'll eat the doe's pellets.
If necessary, you can purchase our e-book entitled Rabbit Reproduction
, which enhances and goes beyond all the info on Raising-Rabbits. It covers in detail what do do when you discover a surprise litter of bunnies. More info here:http://www.raising-rabbits.com/rabbit-reproduction.html
Enjoy your rabbits!