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Protective mom rabbit

Understand why your rabbits behave the way they do - and what you can do about it.
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Protective mom rabbit

Post Number:#1  Unread postby AmberRae » Wed Jan 31, 2018 11:59 am


I have a doe that is VERY protective over her kits. I have never had this in a doe before. This doe is overly affectionate with me. She seeks out my attention and loves to be pet. It almost seems more so now that she has a litter. With this being said she does not want me near her nest box. If I put my hand on it she runs over making a growl noise and if i dont stop she will start attacking me with her front paws. It hasn't really been an issue because she has been taking great care of them and they don't need anything from me. They are 12 days old now and this morning they were all out of their nest box. When I had 9 babies to out back in the box the mom was so upset that I was touching her babies. Has anyone else experienced this behavior with a doe? What age will the kits be before she doesn't feel the need to protect them?

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Re: Protective mom rabbit

Post Number:#2  Unread postby MaggieJ » Wed Jan 31, 2018 12:03 pm


I once had a doe that was way overprotective for the first 10-14 days, but once the kits had their eyes open and started leaving the box, she reverted to her usual calm self. Yours may settle down in a day or two. In the meantime, if you put a brick at the foot of the nestbox, it will help the kits get back into it on their own.
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Re: Protective mom rabbit

Post Number:#3  Unread postby AmberRae » Wed Jan 31, 2018 12:50 pm


That's a great idea Maggie :)
I do find it sweet that she is such a good mom. I have been going out if my way to respect her and give the kits their space. The brick will work perfect. She is a first time mom and built her nest 2 weeks before she kindled lol. She would rearrange it everyday and pulled her belly bald giving them fur when they were born. She also will collect any fur that has came out of the nest box and put it back in on top if them. Best mom ever :) !!

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Re: Protective mom rabbit

Post Number:#4  Unread postby MaggieJ » Wed Jan 31, 2018 1:05 pm


It's nice having a doe that enjoys motherhood. :)
I once had a broken black doe named Patches who just loved having babies. She wasn't overprotective, but so, so proud. When she kindled, she'd come to the front of the cage just quivering with excitement, as though to say, "Take a look, Maggie! I did it! I did it again." She was a terrific mom who really enjoyed her kits.
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Re: Protective mom rabbit

Post Number:#5  Unread postby Ferra » Wed Jan 31, 2018 2:05 pm


Heh. My Angora does slapped me with her paws the other days for messing with the fur in the box.

I was kinda glad to have had a more agressive doe in the past, as it let me realize that Esther was pulling her punches with me, and giving me the rabbit version of a hand-slap. And she forgave me when the calf manna arrived.
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Re: Protective mom rabbit

Post Number:#6  Unread postby AmberRae » Wed Jan 31, 2018 2:30 pm


Lol Ferra, sometimes I think the calf manna is most of the reason my buns love me.

-- Wed Jan 31, 2018 2:30 pm --

Lol Ferra, sometimes I think the calf manna is most of the reason my buns love me.

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Re: Protective mom rabbit

Post Number:#7  Unread postby UFCreel » Thu Feb 01, 2018 7:10 am


My currant Red New Zealand with kits is a very protective mother. I dont mind. Just have to be careful when checking the kits. Now that they are jumping out of the nest box. I turned it on its side. They can come and go as they wish. She has lightened up on her do diligence of protecting them. We used to have a Golden retriever Sally that was just the most friendly dog ever. But when she had puppy's, only my oldest daughter and myself could get near or handle them. After a few weeks she reverted to her old self. Here take my puppy's please self.

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Re: Protective mom rabbit

Post Number:#8  Unread postby michaels4gardens » Sun Feb 04, 2018 9:39 am


one of my most prominent scars is from a doe who was trying to give birth, i reached into her cage [ignorant of that fact] there was no warning behavior, -she hit me so fast I never saw it coming -- it was a job for surgical glue and tape... i saw blood on her backside as she turned away... She was a good mom- so i kept her .. it was a good lesson for me--
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Re: Protective mom rabbit

Post Number:#9  Unread postby akane » Mon Feb 05, 2018 5:13 pm


People accept various amounts of protective behavior in their doe's. I always found it somewhat beneficial for colony raising where other rabbits could trample the nest or try to cram in the box when spooked or rats might try to make off with kits. I just slide a flooring tile or the feed scoop in front of them depending if they were in a cage with a small door or had space and then check the kits. Most of the time they gave it up when the kits left the box but I did have one doe that charged her first litter and chased them around not understanding why small rabbits were running around her and not in her box. She never injured any and after a week completely stopped to not repeat it with the next litter.
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