Two litters in 2 months what do I do?

by Aimee
(New Zealand)

Last month my rabbit gave birth to 6 babies, sadly one died. I have 5 very healthy baby rabbits now. It was a surprise as we didn't know she was pregnant. She was with our male rabbit just before she gave birth that day. I went to fill up their water bottle and when I came back he was humping her. I separated them and when I came back later on that night I found she had given birth. We counted them and there was six but one was dead.

Then a month later she gave birth again but this time to 7 babies. She hadn't been with the male since before she gave birth to the first litter of 6. Do we keep the 5 older ones with her as well as the new 7 babies? Or should we separate them? The five from her first litter are five weeks and five days old and her new, second litter are two days old. What should I do?

****Karen Sez****
Aimee, we always house our bucks and does separately, and so don't have experience with accidental breedings. But, since in the wild the does abandon their prior litter in order to prepare for the next litter, I'm fairly confident it would be best to separate out the older kits, and let the doe do her job with her new babies in peace.

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Jan 08, 2012
boy is this tough2
by: JJ

WE did take them to the pet store and they would have kept them all. But they were helpful in telling which were boys and which were girls. (this time the guy showed me up close how and it looked just like the videos and the pics I had seen earlier.) Papa Pete said that is was so sad to see the cage looking so empty now. We sold a little brown boy to a nice lady the next day and Chelsea has decided to keep 2 females. One looks just like dad and one looks just like mom except for her white foot. We are now hoping that Mr Noodles will get adopted to a family who wants an only rabbit.

You said to think about eating it. My husband wouldn't hear of it. This is the guy who hunted and ate Bambi for goodness sakes! But he said it was different because he had seen them grow up from nothing into the cutest fur balls! Besides, I think these are kinda small for eating. I told Pete I wouldn't mind if I had to give them to others to eat or raise for eating. But these are PETS. I wouldn't eat a parakeet or a canary, even though I am sure they are on some predator's menu. I also know that Rabbit is a good meat, and I ate rabbit at my grandma's house, rabbits that they hunted in their fields and which weren't pets. I just wish it were easier to tell the boys from the girls so accidental breedings weren't as prevalent. I also wish that more vets were more comfortable with neutering and spaying rabbits. It shouldn't be harder than doing a cat. THe local shelters neuter kittens and puppies when they are quite young and still small, so I know it could be done. I think the babies we had will have good homes. I am hoping that mama is not going to surprise us again. She was irritable today and scratched me. SHe had mellowed out when the babies had gotten big enough to hop out of the nest, but now she is all jumpy and nervous acting. Though I haven't seen any fur, she has made some new holes in the straw in the box that weren't there when her family was still together. It should be time any day now if she were bred when the first babies were born.


Jan 04, 2012
Boy is this tough
by: Janice j

I never planned to be raising rabbits. It started out so innocently last summer when a neighborhood girl offered my daughter 2 nice bunnies that were the babies of some Easter rabbits she had gotten in the spring. (Not knowing that she had acquired a male and a female.) Even though we checked out several websites to try and figure out the sex of our rabbits, we were only 50% right.

Brown sister Noodles became brother Noodles, and we discovered this right before Christmas when we noted a huge pile of fur in the corner of the hutch.

Husband had stated from the beginning that he was not going to get involved in such a foolhardy plan as to have pet rabbits. He was concerned that our 14 year old daughter wouldn't take care of them. He wasn't planning to build them a cage, either. But I left a design for a hutch based on one my father had made me when I was a little girl, and miraculously, hubby started to build it. Now he has fallen in love with the babies and doesn't want to let them go to new homes.

He goes out several times a day to feed, water, play with and photograph these little darlings. He is always coming into the house telling me to go outside "right now" because the babies are doing something cute! At 4 weeks of age, they are totally precious. They have been outside all this time, and when they were born it was so cold. We did what we could to insulate the house part of the cage and cover with tarps to cut down on wind drafts.

The babies have thrived. They have really thick coats, just like their parents. How can one who had acted like he HATED rabbits now act like a proud, doting grandfather to 7 new bunnies? And what do we do? I can't imagine keeping them all, playing with them, gentling them, and above all, FEEDING them. Mama rabbit has become an eating machine! Any thoughts?


***** Karen Sez *****
An amazing story - thanks for sharing. :-)

Dunno what to tell you as to the predicament of keeping all the rabbits. This is why most breeders soon realize it IS possible to love rabbits, enjoy them, AND to eat the surplus with no guilt. Just don't make pets of the ones you cannot keep. Since rabbits are a prey species, one does not need to marginalize the eating of the surplus.

If this is too hard for you, there may be a pet food market in your area that can buy the extra animals from you live.

Nov 22, 2011
Thanks (:
by: Aimee

Thanks Karen for your, much appreciated. We have already got the male and female separated and have just separated the older babies. The pet store told us they were both females so we kept them in the same hutch.

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