Two missing kits

by Misa

My doe gave birth to 4 kits. One day later, the runt died. I changed the nest box and put in the new one with the three remaining back in the hutch. All three seemed fine, stretching and ruling a bit. I gave the doe alfalfa hay and apple. On day 3, when I'd petted the doe and let her out to run, I discovered only one kit left.

I also found some mice droppings among the food pellets inside the hutch. I can't figure out where the mice droppings are from. But I'm not sure if the doe is feeding her bunnies. I'm concerned, as four kits are reduced to one. I lifted the hay in the hutch to see if the two might be covered, but I found nothing.

***** Karen Sez *****
The mice droppings are very concerning! Both from a disease standpoint and from a predator standpoint.

Did the kits sicken and die from disease, or did the predator pursuing the mice take the kits? Do you have snakes where you live?

Just to cover the topic: When we have missing kits, it is usually because they died and ended up scrunched into a corner of the nest. Sometimes we cannot find the kit's body, and sometimes it is easier to see the dead kit and to remove it. If a kit dies in the nest, the nest can start stinking and can breed flies. This is why breeders need to check the nest each day, just to make sure all is well.

In your case, there might also be a need to predator-proof the cage.

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Mar 09, 2012
missing kits
by: Anonymous

I had a doe who kindled 9 babies and after a few days there were 8. She was fretting a lot. Standing up and looking and sniffing everywhere and when I counted babies, one was gone.

I surmise that it was either snakes (most likely) or rats. I immediately pulled the babies and mamma out, put them in an inside cage and then pulled the cage out and totally covered it with 1/2" hardware cloth. Then returned her and the nestbox to the original location.

NOW... when I have a doe that is due to kindle, I put them inside or if it's warm enough, outside in the special cage that is covered with the "rat wire", which is what we called it when I grew up.

That's more than likely the reason and are you sure it's mice droppings and not rat droppings? UGHHHH either are nasty and I suggest covering everything with the rat wire.

Good luck with the last baby and hopefully you can save it from being stolen too. Rats learn quickly where they can get a free meal.


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