My Mini Rex's First Litter

by Hill

I bought 3 mini rex rabbits to start hobby breeding after studying up on it for about 7 months. The first doe had a litter of 5. One was a peanut I think because of the size. The other 4 are just perfect.

The other doe however had her litter tonight. She had 2 VERY LARGE babies that were both dead. I am bothered by this.

I bought the smallest rex buck I could find to breed to them to try and make sure this kind of thing wouldn't happen. Did I do something wrong?

***** Karen Sez *****
No, you did not do anything wrong at all. Nor did the buck do anything wrong. When does conceive a small litter, such as 2 kits, those two kits get all of the intrauterine nutrition, and can grow very large. When this happens, and especially when the doe is a few days late kindling, the kits can die inside the dam.

It's very disappointing, but it is simply a part of agriculture and animal husbandry. There are some things that are outside our control, and this is one of them. It's not a matter of right and wrong, but of trying again.

There is still cause to be grateful - the kits did not get stuck inside the dam, in which case the situation could have ended catastrophically for the dam as well.

You can rebreed your doe immediately. And when you do, leave her in the buck's cage for, say, a half hour. In that time, he will breed with her several times, and ride her back even more. This is the behavior that will stimulate her to release a good quantity of eggs, most of which I hope will get fertilized this time. If so, the kits will not be quite so big, and the kindling and lactation should go smoothly.

Good luck!

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