Reviving Stone Cold Kits

by Indigo Hills Farm

If you find a kit has gotten lost in THE CAGE and is hypothermic stone cold - if it has a round belly - gently massage its skin and belly - watch its feet for any movement - if its little toenails are clear and not red - which would be coagulated blood - then it can be revived with massage and heat treatment -

I put my little guy on my chest and also covered him with a towel from the dryer - never just toss a cold 'lifeless' kit - within an hour he was squirming and returned to his mom who accepted him back with no problems - he probably came out of the box attached to mom's teat then he squirmed around until he became so cold he looked dead. Don't give up - be vigilant and check them often when they are newborn.

****Karen Sez****
Wow, excellent post and excellent tips. Thank you.

Here's another example with one more tip:

One early morning years ago, we found 'stone cold' kits strewn around the dewy grass in the early morning, many yards from their cage. It was a high-desert summer morning, so not horribly cold. The several kits had been 'played with' by the dog, who was probably confused that her playmates were so singularly unplayful.

When I found the poor dears, I woulda sworn they were lifeless. But I decided to run tepid water (bunny body temp is 102F, so approximate that temp in the water) over their chilly bodies (not heads). Didn't take all that long before I saw the first twitches in the extremities.

I was awed and overjoyed to bring those kits back to life, and a fence went up around the rabbitry shortly thereafter.

Just so you know, some kits cannot be revived, so don't feel too bad if you find your kitcicles too late. But, it never hurts to give resuscitation a fair try.

Use Indigo's guidelines to help you determine whether there's still life in a very cold little body.

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Dec 03, 2021
2 frozen rabbit litters
by: DavidC

We had one doe give birth to 6 kits we found frozen on Monday. Another had a stillbirth of 6 kits this morning (Friday). We spent a good hour getting their color back and up to temperature but they didn't revive. Oddly enough neither mother built nests either, so we were stunned to find both litters. This was very helpful, as was seeing all of your comments.

Nov 27, 2021
One rabbit kit so far
by: Anonymous

I did not know my female bunny was pregnant so as she was playing she gave birth to 1 kit. I noticed the kit on the floor quickly picked it up and put it on my chest to warm it up. It was breathing for the first 2 mins and then it stopped moving and breathing. I tried to revive it using different methods but to no avail... 😩😢

Nov 29, 2013
by: Carol

I feel a little better knowing others have had the same thing happen where the babies were too cold and unable to be revived. I, too, wish I had known more what to do. Maybe if I'd given them more time? So Sad. I have been bummed all day... Will know better next time.

Sep 08, 2012
Cold Kits
by: Melissa

When I went out to check on my doe last night I noticed she had kindled. I didn't check them because she had JUST had them. But I saw them all pick and wiggly and they were warm. When I went out this morning they were cold and not moving. I brought all 5 in and attempted to revive them using warm water and heating pads. I revived two only to have them both die about an hour later. The doe has had litters before and it was only about 40 degrees last night and she had a good nest built in the box. Should I have done something differently? I have another doe due in 2 weeks and I don't want to loose another litter. What can I do to avoid this next time?

***** Karen Sez *****
What a bummer - sorry Melissa.
Everything should have been okay. Seems you responded wisely. But, from your tale, I'm wondering if the doe did not pull enough fur? You said you could see the kits, that they were pink and wiggly. If there had been enough fur, you would have ONLY seen wiggly fur, not the kits.

For the next litter, just make sure there is enough fur pulled. If you need to, you can pull the doe out of the cage and groom her so that you pull out all the loose fur in her coat. The handful of fur you get from grooming can be used to supplement the fur that the doe pulls on her own. But if the fur in the nest is thick, the kits will remain warm without your help.

Good luck!

Mar 14, 2012
Buried Baby Bunnies
by: Molls

Oh I wish I would have read this 5 days ago! I knew in my heart something could have been done to at least try to revive my 3 (4, but one looked unrevivable) baby lionheads. They were born the night of the 6th of March, I found them that morning. I felt there was still some life in them but I stared at them for a hour not knowing something like this was possible!

***** Karen Sez *****
So sorry! {{{Hugz}}}
We know exactly how you feel, probably, cuz we've been there, but don't beat yourself up over it, okay? Rebreed the doe, and in 31 days, perhaps you'll have a brand new litter born snug and warm in a nest box. :-)

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