More on Sibling Bunnies - Suprise!greenspun.com : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread
Well, I checked the bunny house this morning and, wouldn't you know it, there was a little tiny kit surrounded by a nest of fur. Just one, which seems a bit strange, don't they usually have a litter? I immediately separated the rabbits, and left the one that was in the bunny house when I first noticed the baby, (I'm assuming that was the mother) When separating them, I tried to check them both to see if I could tell which was the male and which was the female. Our older bunny, Willie is VERY obviously a male, the two siblings, however, look exactly the same in the nether regions. They were sold to me as a buck and a doe, but I wonder if I didn't get two does! Perhaps that's why they've never fought with willie or each other? Would 1 buck and two does get along ok?
Thanks for the feedback, I moved the chickens too, by the way.
-- chuck in md (email@example.com), December 05, 2001
Not usually. I've heard of people using the "herd" method of breeding rabbits, but I've also read that there are often problems involved. Again, the does are very territorial, and usually require their own space.
Yes rabbits normally do have a litter (between 6-12 usually), and just having 1 kit is kind of strange. It's possible that she had more and ate the rest due to stress. Or the other doe might have eaten them because they weren't her babies. It's also possible that your buck isn't very fertile, and that's all she had. Maybe she wasn't finished having them. Almost anything is possible!
Are you certain you have the correct rabbit in with the kit? The mama doe might have some discharge or blood around her vent area, or show signs of pulled hair.
As for chickens/ducks in with the rabbits. We do run a few chickens in with our rabbits, but our rabbits are all in cages up off the floor, and we have wire above the cages to keep the chickens from getting on top of the cages. The main problem is with the bird poop - it can make the rabbits sick. As long as the birds can't poop on the rabbit cages, or in their food, you shouldn't have a problem.
Best of luck to you! Enjoy those bunnies!
-- Cheryl in KS (firstname.lastname@example.org), December 05, 2001.
Oh Boy those bunnies! The doe may have only had one or if the other kits were born dead she would have eaten them along with the placenta. She will do this to hide the evidence of birth (Rabbits instintlively know they are the bottom of the food chain) She will also only nurse the baby 1-2 times a day and just for 3-5 minutes. This is enough though for the kits. My only concern is often when there is only one kit her milk may not be stimulated well to come in and the kit has no siblings to share body heat with. If both of your new rabbits look alike in the genital area and are over 6 months old I would tend to think you have two does. Because as you say Willie looks like a buck! If your area is large enough you may be able to let them live together as a colony. I have never colony raised rabbits so not sure how big an area you would need. Good Luck with the buns! Denise
-- Denise K. (Rabbitmom2@webbworks.com), December 05, 2001.
Well, congratulations on your new baby. Yes, 1 is very unusual, but not unheard of. It sounds as if you do indeed have two does; yes, that would account for the lack of fighting, since the does were raised together. Since you don't know absolutely for sure which is the mother, although I feel you guessed right, perhaps you can safely put the rabbits back together as you had them. Since one doe was indeed pregnant, you can probably assume the other is also, and maybe due to give birth at any moment. I don't know how much you know about rabbits, so here's some unsolicited advice. A mother rabbit does not stay in the nest with her babies like a dog or cat would. She gets in with the babies only about once every twelve hours, stands over them and they lay on their backs to nurse. While they nurse, she cleans them. Then she tucks them all back in, leaves the nest, and stays out until the next feeding time. It is very possible to never see her caring for the babies when in fact she is doing a very good job. Another thing to know is that quite often first-time mothers don't catch on right away, don't build a nest, or just ignore or destroy the babies once they are born. That doesn't mean she won't do well the second time around, so give her one more chance before declaring her useless.
-- Dianne Wood (email@example.com), December 05, 2001.
Just check the rabbits for the one with the most prominent nipples- this is the mother! She is lactating and they will be full.
-- Kevin in NC (Vantravlrs@aol.com), December 05, 2001.
I did the colony thing with three does and it was great. They took care of each others kits and were happier. Unfortunately, one doe who kitted first, decided to keep the other two away from the nesting boxes and they were all due because of Easter. I often get only 1 or dead from my first timers so don't worry.
If they start eating the kits, feed them some dry hairball cat food. It works.
Put the other doe back now before it's too late. If you try late, they may fight. You can always change your mind later, if you want.
I agree that the other one my have babies too. Make sure there is another nesting box available. Good Luck
-- Dee (firstname.lastname@example.org), December 05, 2001.
Chuck, you may want to check again. Your doe may not have been finished yet. My angora doe takes her time, kindling over a period of a few hours. I've opened her nestbox to check her on two different occasions and found her in the middle of giving birth to a litter. Both times she shut down until I left. I've also had a rabbit give birth to kits a day apart. I am assuming she was partially bred one day and finished the next!
-- Sheryl in Me (email@example.com), December 05, 2001.