Rabbit pregnant with two litters

by Kaitlin
(Missouri)

I think my doe may be pregnant with two separate litters. How can I tell for sure and what should I do? Will she lose all the kits? Thank you.


****Karen Sez****
Hmmm, you'll need to tell us a bit more...explain why you think two separate litters.

If you test-bred at 10-14 days just to see if the doe was pregnant, and the doe only had babies in one of her two uterus horns, the doe could indeed conceive a second litter 2 weeks after the first. In our experience this is possible but not probably, thankfully.

We have never personally experienced such a scenario, so cannot give you much guidance. But, IF I felt my doe was double-pregnant 2 weeks apart, I might wait it out and see what happened, or I might take her to my rabbit-savvy vet and get an expert opinion.

It could be that the doe will deliver both litters at once; the younger litter would then be premature and would die while the oldest kits would be fine. Or, I've heard of delivering the second litter when the first was 2 weeks old. If this happens, you'll have a serious management problem, and may need to foster or hand-feed the second litter.

Or it sometimes happens that the second litter gets retained, an infection ensues, and, well, that's not good. You could lose both doe and all kits.

Let us know how it goes, Kaitlin. Your experience might help all of us.

Best of luck,
K

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Aug 12, 2018
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Birthing process over 12 hours
by: Anonymous

After breeding my doe and buck, marking the calendar Aug 12 to have babies, well yesterday the 11th I went out for her morning checking and feeding. There were babies in her nesting box and one outside the nesting box.

(My other doe after 2 breedings had killed and partially eaten her kits, so of course I wasn't breeding her anymore, anyway. I'm a bit nervous about this one doing the same.)

The kit outside the box and the ones in the box totaled 4. After checking the box, I discovered 2 of the 3 that were inside were also dead, appearing to be still born all three of them. She did not hurt them or attempt to eat them. I got the dead kits out and made sure her 1 had a nice fat belly and all the good stuff and it was super active, so I leave her to her business and tried not to bother her while checking on her and her baby throughout the day. When I went to bed about 9, she was fine the baby was fine, nothing out of the normal.

Getting up this am I was excited but nervous to go to the cage, because this is my first baby kit surviving.

I go to her cage this morning and to my surprise I see blood, more than I saw in the cage, even in my other doe, on top of the nesting box, on the solid base of her hutch. I was so afraid to look into the box thinking for whatever reason she thought she had to euthanize her kit. However that was not the case, it was actually in the box and moving around quite a bit more than it had just the day prior.

I started to look around the rest of her cage and to my surprise there are parts of what seemed to be parts of one kit.

When I allowed her to get pregnant my buck connected with her and the typical fall-off three times, then removed and not put back together. There is also like a milky white substance over 1 of her eyes. I wasn't sure if this is something normal, or happens with her having her litter of 4, and one was stuck for hours with no signs of her being in pain or uncomfortable, pregnant this doe doesn't like to be pet, however after having the 4 kits, she was back to her self not grunting at me. Also will or could this cause her to not take care of the baby she does have and why would she eat this one and none of the 4 the day prior? Any advice would be great!

***** Karen Sez *****
It is hard to know why your doe brutalized her last (delayed) kit. It may have to do with her survival instinct. Just ensure that her singleton baby can stay warm and not chill. Also, milky white over the eye is not normal, you might want to see a vet about that, but I don't think it will hamper her mothering, I hope.

More answers here: Rabbit Raising Problem Solver

Good luck with everything.


Aug 09, 2018
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Rabbit making babies one month apart
by: Avanell

My rabbit made babies on the 7th July. She made seven all healthy. She has been away from the males since then but on the 8th August she made seven more is that possible?

***** Karen Sez *****
Was the male in the cage when she gave birth to the first litter? If so, he re-bred her the first chance he got either before or after she kindled her first litter.

More answers here: Rabbit Raising Problem Solver

Jul 18, 2018
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Two litters
by: Jeanette

Hi I found your comments really helpful. My doe had another litter as soon as the first litter was four weeks old. Four more babies but one is super tiny and wasn't thriving after a few days. I took the little one out and hand reared for two or three days but when I attempt to put it back she didn't want to know.

Fortunately I have another doe nursing so I popped it in with her. Now it's eating on its own but still super tiny. I think it might break a record for the world's smallest bunny!

***** Karen Sez *****
Cool. Your description actually sounds remarkably like a bunny with fatal double-dwarf genes. If this is the case, your cute lil tiny bunny will have a short life expectancy. I'm sorry; hopefully it is easier to know this ahead of time. See this page: Dwarf Rabbits


May 06, 2018
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Lola the killer bunny
by: Anonymous

So my rabbit named Lola ate one of her bunny's. Is this normal? This is her first litter.

Mar 05, 2018
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Nesting bunny
by: Sindhu

Hi, My female bunny gave birth to five babies yesterday (March 4th 2018), this is her second litter. She pulled her fur out to build the nest. Today she started to build a nest using hay and newspapers. Should I expect a new litter any time soon??

Jun 13, 2017
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Pregnant and feeding another litter
by: Anonymous

My doe had a litter of 4 approx 5 weeks ago, unbeknownst to us as they free range in our backyard, and we thought we had 2 males. At 2 weeks old, we found them. It is possible the doe may be pregnant again. If she has another litter I have to separate the mum and new litter from older babies, but they aren't fully weaned yet. How do I ensure older babies still feed when she's with the new ones....fingers crossed she isn't...

***** Karen Sez *****
All is well. 5-week-old kits are more than able to feed themselves and thrive without their dam in your situation. Good luck with everything.

May 14, 2017
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two litters in 33 days.
by: Randy

My doe gave birth on April 11th 2017. I removed her and two of her already born kits from the buck. She proceeded to birth 3 more kits. Lo and behold she gave birth to 5 more kits today May 14th, just 33 days later. Since she was removed from the buck, I don't quite understand.

***** Karen Sez *****
Your account well illustrates the facts of life when it comes to rabbits. Rabbits are prey animals. They are hard-wired to re-breed at the earliest possible moment in order to both feed predators and perpetuate the species.

Your buck had already re-impregnated the doe, probably just before kindling, but possibly even during kindling, and certainly before you separated the pair. Hence, a new litter 33 days later.

Enjoy the bunnies! :-)

May 03, 2017
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Two nests
by: Mommacoley

My bunny just had her first litter and I have noticed she made two nests, one inside her box and one on the other side of her cage. There are babies at both sites is this normal? Should we try to combine the babies into one nest?

***** Karen Sez *****
Not necessarily "normal," but not unheard of, either. Yes, combine the babies into the nestbox.

Mar 24, 2017
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pregnant baby
by: Sally

My son brought me a baby rabbit last year and then about 6 months later brought another baby. I did not know if they were male or female and one day I opened up the bottom part of the 3 story condo and much to my surprise there were two babies that must have been at least 6 weeks old. I gave one away and didn't know the sex of the either. I was feeding them one day and the male (daddy) was breeding the baby which by that time was probably 2 months old. I put her in another cage (I had already put mom in a cage by herself)and put a date on my calendar. That date came and went with no babies so I just figured she wasn't pregnant. Then almost 2 months later, I went out to discover 4 babies. Mama had not been in with the buck after I took her out. I was shocked.
I now have 3 week old beautiful white fluffy babies. I worry about a daddy rabbit impregnating his kit.

Mar 15, 2017
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Second litter
by: John

Our doe had a litter 2 months ago. Five in the litter. The buck was removed from her cage about a week before they were born. He was put in a cage over 10 feet from the doe's cage. Last week the doe begin pulling the young out of the nesting box if they entered it and chasing them around the cage while biting them on their rumps. I put her in the bucks cage. This morning I found 11 dead fully formed babies in the cage. She had tried to pull fur out to cover them but it was too cold to provide the needed warmth. Never suspected that she was carrying! Never saw anything like that before.

Mar 07, 2017
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Babies
by: Anonymous

How old do the kits have to be when they don't need to nurse on the mother? I also had a rabbit that had two litters that are a month apart If I put the mother and the recent babies in another cage is the first set of babies going to be ok?

***** Karen Sez *****
The kits will be fine after 4 weeks, though the mom might still let them nurse for longer.

Yes, the older litter will be fine if you move mom and young litter to a new cage.

If you had two litters a month apart, are you leaving the buck in with the doe? He needs his own cage. Cuz if he is still with her, you'll be having a third litter a month after the second.

Feb 21, 2017
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OMG!
by: Kelli

I've had my female mini rex give birth 2 weeks apart and the second litter died. I had no idea that such a thing could happen until I asked my cousin (she owns a rabbitry) and she said she has had only one case of that happening in the 17 years she has sold rabbits.

Nov 03, 2016
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Confused
by: Anonymous

My Holland Lop gave birth 12 days ago, she was bred twice with my buck table top method within about 30 minutes and has been in her own cage since the breeding. She is now acting as tho she is in labor again and I am seeing movement,
Is it possible she got pregnant twice?

***** Karen Sez *****

Yes, it is possible, but ONLY if she was introduced to a buck again 12 days after the first breeding. But, the way you describe it, she never saw a buck after the tabletop breeding.

BUT: had she been bred by a buck a couple weeks BEFORE that intentional supervised breeding??

Apr 12, 2016
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Re: CLUELESS
by: Anonymous

She ended up having babies and the other one I have had babies about 4 weeks ago and she is having babies again. I found out that rabbits have two uteruses and they can have another litter within weeks after the first litter. Rabbits can have up to 3 litters during their cycle. Thank you for relying to my comment.

Apr 08, 2016
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CLUELESS
by: Anonymous

I have a rabbit that just had four babies about a month or so ago. Well there hasn't been a buck in with her and well I think she's pregnant again cuz she has made her nest again. She is pulling out her hair and making a bed with it. Is it possible that she's pregnant again? If so how is that when a buck hasn't been in her cage for over a month. If she is pregnant do I need to remove her other babies out of her cage. Thanks in advance.

***** Karen Sez *****

Two possibilities:

1) Your doe is in the midst of a false pregnancy. That is, her hormones are saying 'pregnant' without the presence of a buck. If this is the case, she'll end up abandoning the nest, and there will be no new litter.

2) WAS THE BUCK IN THE CAGE WHEN THE FIRST LITTER WAS BORN? If so, then the buck could have re-bred the doe shortly after kindling that last litter. And if so, then yes, she could certainly be pregnant. If you answer 'yes' to the all-caps question, then remove the first litter, provide the materials (if needed) for nest-building, and expect another litter in a few days.

For more info:
Rabbit Raising Problem Solver

Rabbit Reproduction E-Book

Enjoy your rabbits!

Nov 15, 2013
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Did doe survive?
by: Anonymous

I am in the same predicament, for showed no sign of pregnancy after three weeks. Was her same size no fat at all, felt for babies and didn't feel any so i was told to put her back in with the buck to see if she would reject him and she didn't so could she be pregnant and am I going to lose her??

Feb 18, 2012
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Help
by: Anonymous

My doe had a litter a month ago and has just given birth again what should I do, can all the rabbits stay together. the father is separated from them now, obviously too late. I thought they were two girls as pet shop sold them to me that way......help

***** Karen Sez *****
Yep, rabbits will be rabbits. The buck will re-breed the doe sometimes before she even has the first litter. Bucks cannot stay with does unless you want a litter per month for about 8 straight months.

The more dense the rabbit population in the same cage, the greater likelihood of pitched dominance battles. Your best bet is to move all the doe and her new litter into a new cage, leaving the first litter in the original cage. The buck is already moved out, this is good.

The doe and her new litter can be given her own cage.



Oct 05, 2011
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Response to your additional info
by: Moderator

Hey Kaitlin,
Everyone does what they believe to be the best thing based on the info they have. So don't worry about the guilt trips, at least when it comes to rabbits. A rabbit is a rabbit.

I suspect all will be well with your doe. I'm not sure what to make of every last move by your rabbit. For example, early fur pulling might mean great maternal instincts, or it might mean a false pregnancy.

You should mark your calendar 28 days from BOTH breedings. Put the nest in on day 28 after the 1st breeding. If she hasn't had any kits by the time day 28 arrives from the *second* breeding, the nest will be in place and ready for in case the second breeding 'took.'

Good luck with everything, and I hope you'll let us know what happens.
K

Oct 03, 2011
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More info on the doe
by: Kaitlin

I believe she is pregnant with 2 litters because I did test breed her, if that's what it's called, 6 days after her first breeding. I bred her twice one day (Saturday) and then once on the following Friday to see if she would refuse the buck. I knew this would indicate she was most likely pregnant.

I then asked a couple other breeders if they thought she was pregnant because after the breeding on the following Friday, she began to pull fur. I thought this was really early but wondered if she meant she was pregnant. They scolded me for breeding 6 days apart and told me I would probably lose all the kits and the doe because I bred her that far apart and that she would most likely have two litters.

I was told to put her back in to see if she refused and that's why I did it but now I'm scared I might lose her:( Let me know if you need more info. Any advice based on what I've told you? Thanks!

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