Will the mother rabbit eat any dead kits? Can two female rabbits be in the same cage when one gives birth?
We have just acquired two female rabbits. One we knew she was going to give birth this weekend. We have had them for one week.
I have two cages that I have turned together and opened the doors so the two can have a lot of room. They are very kind to each other.
When the female has her babies:
1. Do I have to separate the two rabbits? (what if they seem to get along)
2. I am nervous to check the new kits because I am afraid of causing the mother to kill her kits. Can I just leave the nest undisturbed? Will the mother eat the kits that die?
3. She had the kits Easter Friday at around 10-11am. When do I check them? How do I check them without touching them? I kind of looked in but can't tell how many she had or if any are dead. I do not want to be the cause of her killing her kits.. Need help!
4. I have noticed later on in the day the mom is trying to scare (stomp towards me ) to get me to leave both her and the other female alone. Should I stop petting them until the kids are at least a week or more old?
Help so many questions!!!***** Karen Sez *****1)
The does would need to be separated only if you are seeing friction between them.2, 3)
We don't recommend leaving the nest alone. IF any kits are dead, the doe will ignore them, and they will begin to stink and draw flies. Plus, if she did not eat all the placentas, they should be removed. If she hasn't killed her kits, she isn't going to harm them, I don't think. Simply remove the doe, do your checking (no worries on touching the kits), and then put the doe back. She'll be okay.4)
Your mom doe is feeling her hormones. Her threatening behavior is from maternal instincts. This will subside in 1-3 weeks. While she's feeling testy, you can just leave her alone. (Do keep tabs on the kits, however. If you need to recheck the nest, remove the doe like you did the first time.)
You'll do fine with these kits! Enjoy.