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Lost a litter...born dead

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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Lost a litter...born dead

Post Number:#1  Unread postby alforddm » Mon Nov 13, 2017 6:32 pm


Well, I guess it was bound to happen sooner or later. I had a litter born dead. It looks like they may have been dead for at least a few days. They were due today (doe always kindles day 30). She had been a bit "off" the last few days and I had been a bit worried for her. Yesterday there was blood under the cage (which I was hoping was just red urine) but wasn't sure so I gave her some herbs: Comfrey, dewberry, pink silk tree and curly dock. She seemed to like the dock best but when I went out this morning she had eaten everything and I found a dead (underdeveloped kit). This afternoon, I gave her more greens and found 6 more dead babies, all of them seemed underdeveloped. She seemed more herself, so I'm hoping she's done. I'll wait a few days to make sure before I try to rebreed her. I've no clue why this might have happened. She is my oldest doe but still only 2 1/2 years and has given me 7 litters.

I had really been looking forward to this litter as she is my magpie and I had finally gotten her breed to a tri buck that can produce magpie. I'm kicking myself as I just culled a daughter (REW) of hers thinking that I would maybe get a magpie out of this litter to keep. I still have one daughter (chin) that is a great doe. I just wish I had keep the other as a bit of "backup". Isn't that the way it always goes?

I will rebreed her so long as she recovers. I just wish I knew what had happened and that I had gotten this litter... :cry: :cry: :cry:

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Re: Lost a litter...born dead

Post Number:#2  Unread postby MaggieJ » Mon Nov 13, 2017 7:47 pm


There's no telling what may have caused a premature kindling, but with her track record, I'd be inclined to be optimistic that she'll go on to give you lots more good litters. Sounds like she kindled early, the kits were either born dead or too weak to survive, so she covered them up to dispose of them. Not surprising if she seemed a bit off for a few days.

I'm not minimizing the loss--especially since you had reasons to particularly want this litter--but there's a very good chance it was what people call so inaccurately a "one off."

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Re: Lost a litter...born dead

Post Number:#3  Unread postby alforddm » Mon Nov 13, 2017 8:06 pm


They weren't born early. Today was day 30 and she usually kindles day 30. From the looks of them, I think they had died a few days prior to kindling as they still looked immature (but obviously born dead). Yeah, it sucks but it's just one of those things. I consider myself lucky. I've been raising rabbits for 3 years now (probably close to 300 kits total) and this is the first time I've experienced this. I've lost 3 litters to first time does not nesting correctly but that is it.

Pretty good overall I guess. Just hope she recovers Ok. I'd really like to get another keeper doe out of her.

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Re: Lost a litter...born dead

Post Number:#4  Unread postby MaggieJ » Mon Nov 13, 2017 8:40 pm


Oh, sorry, I misunderstood. When you said "underdeveloped" I didn't think of them dying in utero and then being born dead at full term.

All the same, I'd be optimistic. It's no wonder she was feeling off, but as long as there is no sign of infection, she'll probably be fine.

:clover: :clover: :clover:

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Re: Lost a litter...born dead

Post Number:#5  Unread postby alforddm » Sun Dec 17, 2017 10:27 pm


I've been meaning to update this thread. She did make it but it was touch and go there for a while. Pretty sure she got or was very close to gi stasis. I picked her up to check her vent and her belly sounded horrible, all sloshy. I seriously considered culling her right then and there but I didn't. Instead I massaged her a belly to see if I could get things moving and gave her some more herbs, but it was a good week maybe closer to a week and a half before she finally was back to 100% herself. She lost a ton of weight and I still haven't rebred her.

I now have a wonderfully marked chocolate magpie in the nextbox and a nice harlequin out of her daughter and my tri buck so I may not rebreed her. I have quite a few babies I plan to keep back and she's only 1/2 rex so I'm kinda on the fence about her.

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Re: Lost a litter...born dead

Post Number:#6  Unread postby MaggieJ » Mon Dec 18, 2017 9:03 am


Glad to hear she made it, but boy! you both went through a lot to get there.

In your place, I'd likely hold off on a final decision about rebreeding her until I could see how the younguns were shaping up . . . but then I tend to be the "belt AND suspenders" type. :lol:

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Re: Lost a litter...born dead

Post Number:#7  Unread postby alforddm » Mon Jan 08, 2018 7:28 am


I bred her back yesterday to the tri buck. The first litter I got from her daughter and this same buck (there were only had 3), the buck in that litter was 5lbs 3 oz at 9 weeks and the two does were both 4lbs 6oz. I decided to keep all of them. I'm not sure how much of that growth rate is due to the small litter size but it's way better than what I normally get.

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Re: Lost a litter...born dead

Post Number:#8  Unread postby MaggieJ » Tue Jan 09, 2018 6:59 pm


Looking forward to hearing how her next litter shapes up, and how it compares to the three you got from her daughter. :)

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Re: Lost a litter...born dead

Post Number:#9  Unread postby alforddm » Wed Mar 07, 2018 10:33 am


Me too. If her daughters litters continue to preform well, I may end up with an entire barn full from this line. This magpie doe is kinda funny, cause I almost didn't keep her originally.

-- Wed Mar 07, 2018 9:33 am --

This will be the last update on this doe, but I wanted to update. She did successfully kindle a litter. Had 9 and 3 were born dead but the other 6 are doing well and 1 month old. Not a magpie in the bunch. :lol:

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Re: Lost a litter...born dead

Post Number:#10  Unread postby Dani4Hedgies » Wed Mar 07, 2018 12:35 pm


glad she kindled for you again and yep isn't that always how it goes the one color that you majorly want and is the who reason for pairing doesn't come out.

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