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Has anyone brought Newborn Kits back to life?

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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Has anyone brought Newborn Kits back to life?

Post Number:#1  Unread postby aussiegirl » Fri Feb 06, 2015 7:16 am


Hi everyone,

I just wanted to share my experiences with bringing Newborn kits back to life and to find out if anyone else has done the same?.

There have been a few occasions where some of my does (mainly 1st timers) have had some babies on the wire and have either been ice cold (barely moving) or actually stiff, I will take these babies and place them on the dash of my car with the heater/fan on low to medium (make sure the air is neither too hot or cold and that the babies are Not directly on the vents), I have seen several kits (not all) come to life using this method.

Another experience I had recently with one of my 1st time New Zealand White does (I was absolutely amazed when this happened).
I went to check on the doe and she had already had one live kit in the nest and in the middle of having another (so I let her be for awhile), I went back about 1/2 hour later to check on her again and she had another 4 on the wire (All dead and almost jelly like). I took the 4 dead kits out and started to clean them off (as I have to supply any dead kits that are in perfect condition as well as older rabbits), while I was cleaning one baby I thought I felt something move - I kept going for a minute or two & felt it again, I stopped and looked at the baby and nothing - I was Just about to bag the kit when all of a sudden it gasped - I kept rubbing the kit very gently and although struggling it kept taking a breath (took a good 15 minutes or so) - This kit Actually came back from the dead I couldn't save the other 3 though.

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Re: Has anyone brought Newborn Kits back to life?

Post Number:#2  Unread postby Nyctra » Fri Feb 06, 2015 8:09 am


Reviving chilled kits is pretty common, but I've also brought back a hot fresh limp one that wasn't breathing. Dropping it a couple feet in the pile of dead kits I think may have given mine just enough of a jolt to get going. I thought I saw it move out of the corner of my eye, and after a moment, sure enough, it gasped again! Gross and unsanitary, I know, but I gave it mouth to mouth (sort of using my mouth and tongue as a syringe to suck out any goop clogging airways, then giving it a tiny puff of air back in), along with giving the abdomen a small squeeze every few moments. I actually got it breathing, but it went and had an misfortune accident. I think the kit wound up drug out of the nest later anyway and passed. All that effort for nothin'!

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Re: Has anyone brought Newborn Kits back to life?

Post Number:#3  Unread postby dangerbunny » Fri Feb 06, 2015 8:24 am


Yep, I always check the nail beds(light pink or white is good, dark red/purple means blood is pooling and the kit is dead.) and try to warm them even if they appear dead. Babies can go into a suspended animation like state when chilled, and can be warmed up.
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Re: Has anyone brought Newborn Kits back to life?

Post Number:#4  Unread postby Susie570 » Fri Feb 06, 2015 8:40 am


I will take these babies and place them on the dash of my car with the heater/fan on low to medium (make sure the air is neither too hot or cold and that the babies are Not directly on the vents), I have seen several kits (not all) come to life using this method.


I saw this on a YouTube video, it was pretty amazing. What do you mean, you have to 'supply' your rabbits?
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Re: Has anyone brought Newborn Kits back to life?

Post Number:#5  Unread postby MamaSheepdog » Fri Feb 06, 2015 10:48 am


Yes, we have a saying here at RT that chilled kits aren't dead until they are warm and dead.

I saved one two nights ago. What I do is put them immediately into my bra and then go to the house and warm towels in the dryer. I then make a little hollow in the towel and place them in it and shut the dryer door to contain the heat- making sure to tell all family members that there is a kit in the dryer so they don't accidentally turn it on.

Other members have found that dipping them in a bowl of warm water (keeping the head above the water line) is also effective.

aussiegirl wrote:All dead and almost jelly like... while I was cleaning one baby I thought I felt something move


I haven't ever had any luck with those, and have since stopped trying. Maybe you get lucky every once in a while? :?
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Re: Has anyone brought Newborn Kits back to life?

Post Number:#6  Unread postby dangerbunny » Fri Feb 06, 2015 11:06 am


I use towels over a hot water bottle, you can make a little nest there.
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Re: Has anyone brought Newborn Kits back to life?

Post Number:#7  Unread postby Zass » Fri Feb 06, 2015 11:59 am


I had a doe get 4 kits under the fur pile hair, and somehow had 5 kits in the box but not under hair. Those 5 were pretty stiff and cold. I put them right into my bra while working, and then they spent an hour "waking back up" on my electric lap blanket. All five made it and are growing fine now. Another batch born during the night was already past saving when I found them. I still warmed them up...just in case...

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Re: Has anyone brought Newborn Kits back to life?

Post Number:#8  Unread postby Celice » Fri Feb 06, 2015 12:06 pm


Zass wrote: I put them right into my bra while working, and then they spent an hour "waking back up" on my electric lap blanket. All five made it and are growing fine now.


Yes!!!! I'm not the only one that has done this!!! shoving chilled kits into my bra is a good saver.

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Re: Has anyone brought Newborn Kits back to life?

Post Number:#9  Unread postby Truckinguy » Fri Feb 06, 2015 1:52 pm


I have a small heating pad like you would put on your shoulder that I warm kits up on. I have a habit of bringing any frozen kits inside and warming them up no matter what other condition they are in. A couple of times I've warmed kits up twice in a couple of days and they've been fine.

The Frozen Five that I posted about a couple of months ago will be processed tomorrow. They were brought back from almost rock solid.

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Re: Has anyone brought Newborn Kits back to life?

Post Number:#10  Unread postby the reluctant farmer » Fri Feb 06, 2015 10:50 pm


MamaSheepdog wrote:I saved one two nights ago. What I do is put them immediately into my bra and then go to the house and warm towels in the dryer.
Zass wrote:I put them right into my bra while working,
Celice wrote:Yes!!!! I'm not the only one that has done this!!! shoving chilled kits into my bra is a good saver.

Yep, I'm another member of the stuffing-kits-in-the-over-the-shoulder-boulder-holder club. So convenient, so warm, so secure--if you're wearing one that means business, not some tiny slip of lace thingey where they'll tumble out the front. Tuck 'em in & finish chores, then take them in to the house to do a check-over. I've also slipped one into a ziplock bag and put it into a jar of warm water. Blew air into the bag so it was full like a balloon and let it bob on the warm water while I finished making lunch. (I'm sensing a pattern of multi-tasking in my life, now that I think about it.) That one rallied but died the next day--small runt who just couldn't cut it.

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Re: Has anyone brought Newborn Kits back to life?

Post Number:#11  Unread postby aussiegirl » Sat Feb 07, 2015 12:03 am


Hi syberchick70,

I raise commercial meat rabbits, I currently supply up to 200 rabbits every 6 weeks. I have been asked to supply more so we will be expanding and processing around 700 rabbits every 6 weeks within the next few months,

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Re: Has anyone brought Newborn Kits back to life?

Post Number:#12  Unread postby Nyctra » Sat Feb 07, 2015 12:53 am


YIKES! Lots of bunnies! I'm curious for pics of your setup! :D

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Re: Has anyone brought Newborn Kits back to life?

Post Number:#13  Unread postby aussiegirl » Sat Feb 07, 2015 5:56 am


Hi Nyctra,

I'll try send some pics soon as we are still renovating and has been a very slow and EXPENSIVE process.

It is only my husband & myself doing everything, my husband suffered a near fatal car accident nearly 12 months ago (though he was extremely lucky - only suffered a broken wrist & collapsed lung considering the damage to his car) and I myself was recently bitten by one of our dogs as she got hold of my goat and although I know better, I pried her mouth open and she's gone for another bite of the goat & grabbed my hand at the same time (hence the bandage on my hand in 'Rex Kit Pictures').

I currently have 30 does & 8 bucks (they average between 7 - 11 kits per litter) if a doe falls below 6 kits for 4 consecutive litters I'll Cull her or try find a pet home if she has a nice personality, although I do keep a couple of does that always have 2 - 3 kits per litter for possible foster does.

we aiming for 100 does. The goat is fine by the way (lost a horn & hurt his leg but is walking on it now - very lucky goat as he is only about 4 month old).

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Re: Has anyone brought Newborn Kits back to life?

Post Number:#14  Unread postby TornadoRed » Wed Nov 08, 2017 8:47 am


Well this brings stuffing your bra to new and more interesting heights.

I am sitting here this morning with a cup of coffee and two cold kits wrapped in a towel with hand warmers. The kits are sandwiched between the towel hand warmer and the towel. I'm not sure how long the process takes i e when do you give up? I checked their nails and it doesn't look like there's any pooling of blood and they seem to be warming up nicely. It's been about a half hour.

I wonder what guys do?

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Re: Has anyone brought Newborn Kits back to life?

Post Number:#15  Unread postby MaggieJ » Wed Nov 08, 2017 9:50 am


It can take a while, TornadoRed. If they are thoroughly warmed through and still seem dead, they probably are. If your set-up is one you can just leave for a bit, always give them longer than you think is useful, just in case. It can do no harm, after all.

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