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Peanut or Runt?

Addressing the special needs of the breeding doe and her kits. Includes nutrition, gestation, nest boxes and materials, and tips to ensure survival of the young.
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Peanut or Runt?

Post Number:#1  Unread postby Chelw114 » Thu Jan 05, 2017 10:26 am


Is this little guy or girl a peanut or a runt? I know peanuts are possible/common with Holland Lops but this is only my second liter so I haven't come across any yet. His/her legs look pretty normal and both bunnies in the photo were about the same size when they were born. They're 48ish hours old now. Should I just try to add an extra feeding to boost growth?
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Re: Peanut or Runt?

Post Number:#2  Unread postby Princess3849 » Thu Jan 05, 2017 11:13 am


Looks like a runt to me.

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Re: Peanut or Runt?

Post Number:#3  Unread postby macksmom98 » Thu Jan 05, 2017 11:40 am


I also say looks like a runt. Peanuts are often obvously deformed in at least one area, and just overall have a failure to thrive. In my litters, I have seen sizez vary like this and not had peanuts. In my experience, eventually things even out on their own so I dont wory about extra feedings. The smaller one may always have a shorter build, but the difference in size will most likely become much less obvous, especially after starting pellets and hay, and after a few months. Congrats-Hollands are a fun breed!

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Re: Peanut or Runt?

Post Number:#4  Unread postby Rainey » Thu Jan 05, 2017 3:26 pm


I wouldn't even call it a runt and definitely doesn't look from that photo as if the smaller kit is unfed, just somewhat smaller. In my experience (limited) some litters are quite uniform in size, some widely varied. And sometimes the smaller ones catch up and sometimes not. Once you've had unfed kits, you'll know them when you see them again.

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Re: Peanut or Runt?

Post Number:#5  Unread postby Chelw114 » Thu Jan 05, 2017 3:49 pm


Thanks everyone! I'll just keep an eye on him/her. I guess it could just take after its momma. She was pretty small even for a Holland and maxed out at just over 3 pounds.

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Re: Peanut or Runt?

Post Number:#6  Unread postby SableSteel » Thu Jan 05, 2017 5:09 pm


It's not a peanut. It might be that the larger kit is a false dwarf, and the smaller one is a true dwarf.
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Re: Peanut or Runt?

Post Number:#7  Unread postby Chelw114 » Fri Jan 06, 2017 12:29 pm


So here are a few more pictures of the runt after a supplemental feeding today. When I checked on the nest box this morning my doe still hadn't fed her kits but he/she was extremely wrinkly and cold. The other one is warm.

As much as I hate to say it, I'm debating whether or not to just let nature run its course. After all, the goal is to have a strong healthy herd. I feel like such a horrible person for saying that though.

Before Feeding -
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After Feeding -
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https://goo.gl/photos/WDJWF4b7UkFmxGQs7

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Re: Peanut or Runt?

Post Number:#8  Unread postby macksmom98 » Fri Jan 06, 2017 2:54 pm


Feel free to do as you want, we all have different levels of what we are able to do and want to mess with when it comes to our animals. In this case, I would bring the babies inside to keep them warm, and bring mom in and assist in the feeding. The way you do that is just to put the kits in between your legs, and let mom sit on your lap while you hold her steady. The babies will likely raise up and nurse, and that is what my experience has been. I am not sure how you supplimented the feeding earlier with this litte guy, but most rabbits dont do well raised on supplimental milk. Its so much easier to get it straight from the mom, and I have never had a Doe not producing milk, although I know it can happen. It only takes 10 minutes or less, so for me this has been a very easy option and not taken too much of my time. I do it twice daily. Best of luck tho, and no one will judge you if you just leave them be either.

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Re: Peanut or Runt?

Post Number:#9  Unread postby Chelw114 » Fri Jan 06, 2017 4:18 pm


I flipped the doe over and let the runt nurse that way. She put up with it for about 5 minutes and then was done. That's the second day in a row now that I've had to do that. The other kit is clearly getting fed (has a nice round belly) but this one just looks super wrinkly and isn't really growing. I'm so disappointed because I've really been looking forward to this liter for months.

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Re: Peanut or Runt?

Post Number:#10  Unread postby shazza » Fri Jan 06, 2017 5:08 pm


i have a runt in one of my litters and it was very small/wrinkly and didn't seem to grow much at all for about a week and a half. once they became fuzzy and could kinda move around other than 'wiggle' it started growing more, i guess because it was able to compete better for milk. i found that when the other littermates were big enough to jump out of the nest, she wasn't, which meant that she would get nice big dinners as the only kit in the nest while the littermates had to wait until i put them all back in the next morning ;P i didn't think she'd live past a couple days, but she's still kicking at three weeks, and doing really really well. she's still about half the size of the other kits, but she is compensating well for her size by taking flying leaps into her siblings to be carried around the cage (im not even joking, she's so lazy and conniving.)

i tried a couple supplimental feedings, but my doe was not used to being handled, so there really wasn't a whole lot of success there - the kit would latch on for a few seconds then let go and start rooting around, acting like it was frustrated. it never seemed to get anything out of any teat i set her on. i pretty much gave up and decided to let nature take its course.
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Re: Peanut or Runt?

Post Number:#11  Unread postby Chelw114 » Sat Jan 07, 2017 11:32 am


I hope this little kit does as well as yours did Shazza. I moved both babies over to my other doe this morning since the mom has now gone 48 hours without feeding either one. Both are now full and warm.

Does anyone know if a Holland Lop can take care of 7 babies? The other mom already had 5. I know they only have 6 nipples so should I be concerned?

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Re: Peanut or Runt?

Post Number:#12  Unread postby Preitler » Sat Jan 07, 2017 1:13 pm


Since all rabbits have the same number of nipples (right?) and my buns can nurse litters of 10, 12 without problems I don't think that's an issue.

But taking out the fatter 1/3 of the litter for one meal now and then makes it a lot easier for the smaller ones to catch up. It dosn't hurt the bigger ones to miss one meal out of 3 or 4 for a few days.
But 7 kits isn't such a big litter.
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Re: Peanut or Runt?

Post Number:#13  Unread postby macksmom98 » Sat Jan 07, 2017 11:31 pm


Hollands are quite capeable of caring for 5-9 babies. If she hasn't fed them in 48 hours then there are other problems.

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