What to do when rabbit gave birth?

by Stephanie
(Newbury Park CA)

My rabbit gave birth to four babies. Only one is alive, why? There's only hay and bedding in the cage...does she need anything?

****Karen Sez****
Sorry about the dead babies. Given the information you've provided, I can think of several reasons why the bunnies are dead.

First, if any of the dead kits is extremely small, it was probably born dead.

Second, if the doe did not pull any fur to cover them with, then perhaps the kits got too cold.

If you were not prepared for this litter, then perhaps the doe did not feel prepared - did she have a nest box and a quiet evening with no other animals around so she could do her thing in peace and safety? Just asking.

That's why the Raising-Rabbits website - there's a wealth of rabbit breeding information here so you can read and learn what you need to know and do, so next time, the outcome might be a bit better!

Right now, the doe needs all the water she can drink 24/7, and some fresh, high quality rabbit pellets for making plenty of rich milk for the one remaining baby. Plus, she should have pulled fur at kindling time. You can comb the doe's fur, pulling out every last scrap of loose fur you can obtain, and cover the little guy with it. (I'm concerned that she might not have enough maternal instincts for raising babies, but it's certainly worth giving her another try.)

If the remaining kit is not being fed by the doe, you might want to figure out what you want to do about that. Info on feeding baby rabbits is under the Feeding Rabbits tab on the navigation bar to the left.

Good luck to you,

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