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She ate her litter? *GRAPHIC IMAGES*

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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She ate her litter? *GRAPHIC IMAGES*

Post Number:#1  Unread postby CeroBlanco » Sat Sep 22, 2018 3:47 am


I have a doe, Holland Lop breed, 6 months old. It was her first birth, she did a nest with fur and everything, but she gave birth at the 34th day, that is today. I found a single kit and not in the box, but in the cage. I think that this bunny has a strange shape and, maybe, she started to eat it, but I'm not sure. Moreover, I was almost sure that the doe had more than one kit, from her belly movements they looked at least two. I left the box in the cage, just in case. Someone can explain what could be happened? :(
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Re: She ate her litter? *GRAPHIC IMAGES*

Post Number:#2  Unread postby michaels4gardens » Sat Sep 22, 2018 4:35 am


New mothers often are upset, and confused- and do not care for their kits properly [some don't even have milk] that picture is what is commonly refereed to as "over cleaning" ... usually a doe will get it right on the second litter. Strike one...
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Re: She ate her litter? *GRAPHIC IMAGES*

Post Number:#3  Unread postby CeroBlanco » Sat Sep 22, 2018 5:11 am


Thanks for the explanation :( is it likely that she ate the others of the litter after the over cleaning?

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Re: She ate her litter? *GRAPHIC IMAGES*

Post Number:#4  Unread postby MaggieJ » Sat Sep 22, 2018 11:47 am


Michaels4gardens describes a very likely scenario for a first timer, but there is another possibility to consider.

An oversized kit like that is often a singleton. The abdominal movements you could see may have been deceptive. A large, single kit frequently gets stuck in the birth canal and the doe is forced to pull it out. Because of the nature of rabbit teeth, this is going to cause considerable damage to the kit. The kit may die from the wounds or it may suffocate from the prolonged time in the birth canal.

New rabbit moms do sometimes overclean kits, resulting in the loss of an ear, toes etc. and they will also sometimes eat dead kits to clean up the nest. It is rare for them to intentionally harm or kill kits that are alive.

I'm not sure if I'd consider this Strike One for the doe, but that is something you have to decide for yourself.
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Re: She ate her litter? *GRAPHIC IMAGES*

Post Number:#5  Unread postby CeroBlanco » Sun Sep 23, 2018 11:14 am


The kit was big and already with a little of fur, so the singleton theory it's likely too, and it is also likely that I was not able to recognize well the baby movements. Whatever was happened, I will rebreed the doe (she screamed during the buck falloff, is that normal? Never happened with my other does :shock: ) and I will update this post. :) Thank you for your help!

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Re: She ate her litter? *GRAPHIC IMAGES*

Post Number:#6  Unread postby MaggieJ » Sun Sep 23, 2018 4:50 pm


Some rabbits -- bucks and does -- will scream during breeding. I don't think it is a sign of pain. I had a buck who screamed when he fell off, but since he was eager to mount again, I assumed it was a cry of pleasure.
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Re: She ate her litter? *GRAPHIC IMAGES*

Post Number:#7  Unread postby michaels4gardens » Mon Sep 24, 2018 5:33 am


I have had a few does over the years that screamed when breeding... but it is rare... I have no idea what it means.. they were ready to accept another mounting--- so it must not have been too painful...
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