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why are they squealing?

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why are they squealing?

Post Number:#1  Unread postby Rainey » Tue Sep 13, 2016 10:24 am


The first of our fall litters was 3 weeks old today so we took them out to weigh them. Several of them squealed really loudly when picked up. And I remember that when we were checking them in the nest box during the first week some of them squealed. They all seem to be moving and eating and growing just fine. Is there anything I should be looking for when youngsters squeal like that or just try not to startle and drop anybunny? They don't keep squealing--just that loud sharp blast of noise when they're picked up.

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Re: why are they squealing?

Post Number:#2  Unread postby MaggieJ » Tue Sep 13, 2016 10:43 am


I don't think it's anything to worry about. Rabbits are prey animals and being picked up can be alarming--more for some than others.

I had one kit that I had to hand-raise. He screamed insanely at first if I so much as touched him. It took three or four days before he realized I was not going to hurt him. He was a colony rabbit, so not handled as much from birth as yours likely are.

I'm wondering . . . Is their momma laid-back or up-tight? It is just possible that they are picking up vibes from her.

(Can you tell I was a teenager :groovyhippie: in the Sixties? :lol: )
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Re: why are they squealing?

Post Number:#3  Unread postby akane » Tue Sep 13, 2016 3:37 pm


It seems to just run in a litter that they will scream but not every litter from the same doe. After awhile and a few times of handling they usually calm down. Wild rodents around can make them more nervous and scream when handled. I've had some eaten by rats and the remainder of that litter took months to stop screaming. Even just frequent mouse visitors can set off a few.
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Re: why are they squealing?

Post Number:#4  Unread postby Zass » Tue Sep 13, 2016 4:57 pm


I have seen no pattern to screaming kits at all, except that a traumatic experience sometimes can set a kit off.
Once one kit gets squeaky, the others often follow. All I really know for sure is that breeders tend to get whole litters of squeakers at once, seemingly at random.

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Re: why are they squealing?

Post Number:#5  Unread postby Rainey » Tue Sep 13, 2016 7:30 pm


Thanks, all. Don't think it's because of the doe since it hasn't happened in her other litters. We've had before a litter or two where there were one or two kits who squealed the first time they were handled, but not still at 3 weeks, and not several from the litter. Glad to know I don't have to worry, that it isn't some sinister sign of a mysterious injury or ailment. Just need to be ready for it next time they're handled. No one was dropped, but came close.

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