Rabbit (in) Labor (Rabbits - Health/Treatment)

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Hello, We're city homesteaders with rabbits in our back yard. We've had 2 litters so far but have never witnessed the event. We think one of our does is in labor now. She just made her nest and lined it with fur. Now she looks like she's in a trance and panting hard although it's only 70 degrees outside. The last litter she had was delivered several hours after the nest building, but she looked much more nonchelant about the whole thing. That was her first litter and this is her second. She's also yawning and sticking out her tongue and turning around in the box. We feel like expectant fathers so just had to communicate with someone. We really want to see the birth. We've missed the last one by less than an hour. Does anyone know what we should be watching for? Got to get back to the waiting room. Thanks

-- Julie Stradley (Julstrad@aol.com), April 19, 2001


Response to Rabbit Labor

I haven't witnessed the rabbits birthing either, but it sure sounds like you're about to. Good luck.

-- mary, texas (marylgarcia@aol.com), April 19, 2001.

Response to Rabbit Labor

Hi again, Well, we're grandparents. They were just born a half hour ago, and mother is nursing very happily. It looks to be more than 6. Her last litter she had 8. We got to see it all. Mother bunnie rested after making her nest and then all of a sudden we heard the squealing of babies. It happened so fast, with no drama. Boom it was done. We were sitting there and almost missed it. Thank you for being there holding our electronic hand.

-- Julie Stradley (Julstrad@aol.com), April 19, 2001.

Response to Rabbit Labor

It's us again. Our rabbit had 12 kits. One died so there are 11 left. Our book says to have 2 rabbits to kindle at the same time so you can put some from the big litter into the smaller litter. Unfortunately we don't have that option. Should we cull the litter to 8 or will the mother be able to nurse all the kits? How big is this problem?

-- Julie Stradley (Julstrad@aol.com), April 19, 2001.

Response to Rabbit Labor

My friend had a rabbit that successfully raised 12 babies. I would leave them & let mother nature take care of it. If any do die, it will most likely be the weaker ones. If you cull any, you may cull some that would have been stronger or better. Give her a chance & see what happens!

-- Wendy (weiskids@yahoo.com), April 19, 2001.

Response to Rabbit Labor

I agree with Wendy, let nature take it's course. I have had several kindle large litters and most raised them fine. Just be sure to feed your doe very well. Mine used to love a bowel of bread with goat's milk and lots of fresh alfalfa (stop the fresh greens when the babies start getting around as it will give them diarrhea)

-- diane (gardiacaprines@yahoo.com), April 19, 2001.

Response to Rabbit Labor

You are very lucky if you get to see the birth. My wife candy and I have been raising rabbits for over 20 years and have only seen a rabbit give birth once. Rabbits are a very private animal, and do not like people around when they are giving birth. The one and only time we saw a birth , it was by accident and the doe killed all of the kits. We have never taken the chance since then, we hope this doesn't happen to your kits. GOOD LUCK! As far as culling for now I would just watch the kits and let mother nature do her job, I would just check the nest in a few days and if there are any that have died remove them. She may suprise you and keep most of them. By the way you don't say what breed of rabbit it is ? If it is one of the larger breeds she should not have a problem raising most or all of them. joe from E.C.Wi.

-- joe (jmail@lsol.net), April 19, 2001.

Response to Rabbit Labor

A little bit of calf manna in her food would help her milk production, you can get it at feed stores, and usualy they will sell it buy the pound.About 1/4 teaspoon a day might help.congradulations.

-- kathy h (ckhart55@earthlink.net), April 20, 2001.

Response to Rabbit Labor

I have been rasing rabbits for about 8 years now and also have only seen a couple of litters born and have only seen doe rabbits feeding a dozen times or so. I try my best not to bother them when giving birth and as someone else said they will kill their young if bothered. I also think that the calf mana feed to the doe in that quanity would be a good idea. I have had rabbits raise 10 young successfully before Gary

-- Gary in NS (ggiles@north.nsis.com), April 20, 2001.

Hi, here is an update on our Kits. So far three of the twelve have died, so she is down to nine. We weighed them yesterday and we had four at 2+ oz. and eight from 1.25 to 1.5 oz. One had been pushed out of the nest and felt cold to the touch. However because he was still alive we put him back in with the rest. Today he was dead. Was it a mistake to put him back?

So far none of our Does have minded us fiddling with the nesting box. We just give them a treat and do what we need to do. However we try to handle them as little as possible.

By the way we forgot to mention it in the excitment of the birth but our Rabbits are Californians.

Thanks for all your help.

-- Julie (Julstrad@aol.com), April 22, 2001.

Lucky You!!! I've never seen my bunnies give birth... Seems they all like to do that at night around here! Congrats, "Dads"!!!

I wouldn't cull... If it is needed, the doe will do that quite effectively. I've seen rabbits nurse more kits than was thought possible, too... She (they) will be fine!

-- Sue Diederich (willow666@rocketmail.com), April 23, 2001.

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