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Mom aggressive to kits

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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Mom aggressive to kits

Post Number:#1  Unread postby ipoGSD » Mon Nov 06, 2017 9:43 pm


So I don't understand this. Our Netherland Dwarf Doe kindled for healthy kits now that they're starting to wonder /wabble around out of the nest box, (they're about 2 weeks old) she's becoming aggressive towards them.

Growling and lunging at them. Like the way she behaves towards the litter scooper if we try to clean her cage while shes still in it.

I've never seen this behavior before with a mom and such young babies. Any ideas what's going on?
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Re: Mom aggressive to kits

Post Number:#2  Unread postby MaggieJ » Mon Nov 06, 2017 10:07 pm


I'm not sure what's going on with her, but I can hazard a guess or two. Is it her first litter? This could account for it, in a convoluted way. If she is protective by nature and -- not being accustomed to seeing youngsters hopping around -- her muddled little brain may be seeing them as a threat to the kits she thinks of as being in the nestbox.

Is she pregnant again? If so, she may be showing hormonal behaviour.

I once had a doe who would be aggressive to older kits and even the younger ones she was very strict with. I'd see them lined up and being good little bunnies on the hood of the nestbox, while their cousins from the doe's sister were hopping all over their cage. The doe in question was of a snappish, intolerant nature. She never really hurt the kits and I never even saw her chase them until after they were weaned, but they were excessively well-behaved.

Not sure any of this is helpful, but at least it may get the ball rolling for discussion.

You might want to put in a barrier with kit-sized holes so the kits can get away from her if necessary.

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Re: Mom aggressive to kits

Post Number:#3  Unread postby ipoGSD » Tue Nov 07, 2017 2:13 am


Hi Maggie, ty for your insight. I appreciate it a lot!!!

Yes Skittles is a first time mom, she is not pregnant again. Shes GREAT when they are in the nest box but when they start wandering out.. she acts almost territorial. So maybe it is like you said she doesn't fully understand that these are her babies. Or maybe what i was wondering is could she think they are too young to be venturing out?

She hasnt hurt them, just seems bullyish to them. Luckily she is an indoor bunny so we can keep a close eye on her. Hopefully she will smarten up LOL.

They are soooooo cute.. she had 4 chestnuts.
Mom is a true dwarf silver marten, she is less than 2 lbs. Dad is a false dwarf lilac chin who weighs close to 2.5 lbs.

I would like to find a different buck because i dont like his ears but he is from a breeder who shows so he does have a pedigree. And he is smaller than most false dwarf rabbits that I've seen around here. so thankfully no peanuts and no complications:)

Too tired to upload pics but tomorrow ill share some

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Re: Mom aggressive to kits

Post Number:#4  Unread postby LittleFluffyBunnies » Tue Nov 07, 2017 2:50 am


I have a doe who does the exact same thing. Great mom, but really territorial and hates when kits are out of the box. She nips at them and chases them back in. I try and keep her kits in the box as long as possible and give them a hiding place when they're out. At first she'll chase them in there whenever she's tired of them. By the time they're 3-4 weeks she has no issues.
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Re: Mom aggressive to kits

Post Number:#5  Unread postby Ozarkansas » Tue Nov 07, 2017 9:41 am


I have some does that are very strict on the 'no milk before dark' rule. When the bunnies first venture out they're like 'oh there's mom I guess that means we can have milk whenever we want now'! I only takes a few days for them to learn not to ask until after dark, my does have never actually hurt their kits. She may also be thinking these small intruders are going to hurt her babies in the nest as well.
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Re: Mom aggressive to kits

Post Number:#6  Unread postby ipoGSD » Tue Nov 07, 2017 10:20 pm


LFB, I think thats what it is. She has always been nutty when another bunny who is out playing approaches her cage. I hope she calms down in the next week or so.

Oz, im sure some of the bullying is them begging but ive watched a lot. She can be chillin in her litter box away from them and she will hop out and lunge. Tho she doesnt hurt them but definitely lets them know she brought them into this world, she can take them out lol

Anyway moms the silver otter
Dads the lilac chin
And the babies are the babies lmao
Seems like theres 2 true and 2 false

Like i said i dont like the size of dads ears but im also wondering if it was because he was born outside in the heat? I love his fur tho, its not long but kinda longer and a little flowy. If that makea sense.

-- Tue Nov 07, 2017 10:20 pm --

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This is the biggest kit but its one of my faves, so cuddly! Climbs my lap to snuggle!


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