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.

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Mar 10, 2016
Need answers
by: Anonymous

My doe had babies that were 31 days old exactly when she delivered her 2nd litter. She obviously had gotten pregnant before I discovered her first litter because I separated them immediately. Should I remove the older babies from the cage with the new litter?

***** Karen Sez *****
Yes. And in the wild, the mom would have abandoned her first litter after 4 weeks and went and dug a new burrow for that second litter. Enjoy your bunnies!

Apr 04, 2013
Birth update on new kits 6 days old.
by: Anonymous

Thank you Karen for your information.

It has been about 6 days now since the kits were born. The two females are doing great together. I have two wire cages together still , one with the nest box and the other is where i keep the food and water. I have also created a little run for the two females to go and explore (made out of card board boxes taped together to make a maze) They love this! They use it once a day to stretch their legs.

I have also made a cover from card board boxes for the wire cage that fits over the cage from the outside. They seem to like it as they can feel hidden when they want.

I now see that I have 8 very healthy looking kits. The Doe is a really good mom, I touched them for the first time today to clean out the rest of the nest and add new bedding for them (which the mom quickly kicked out so momma knows best I figure!)
I think the best advice for me was to make sure mom has plenty of water, food, and space and a Clean Cage with a good size nest box!! This has made them quite happy.

Thank you for all that have commented!

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