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When can kits find a new home & transportation question

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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When can kits find a new home & transportation question

Post Number:#1  Unread postby jenniferlanes » Fri Dec 22, 2017 11:02 pm


My surprise litter will be 6 weeks on Monday and I am wondering when it is in their best interest to find homes. Right now they are still nursing and live with mom. I heard they need to stay for 8 weeks to get the benefits of eating their mom's poops (sorry for the non technical terms, I know they have a name but I don't remember it). Is it OK for them to go sooner?

How well do bunnies travel? My sister is visiting from Nebraska and might take one off my hands, but we are worried about the trip. It would be a 2 day car trip packed into an suv with 3 dogs and a kid... What are the chances of a baby bunny surviving that?

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Re: When can kits find a new home & transportation question

Post Number:#2  Unread postby MaggieJ » Fri Dec 22, 2017 11:28 pm


Eight weeks is a lot safer than six weeks, especially when a kit is going to a home where the owners may not be very experienced with rabbits. Nor would I subject a young rabbit to a two-day road trip with dogs and a kid. Rabbits tend to be delicate and the nervous strain of such a trip would be tremendous.

The word you were looking for is cecotropes, but don't worry about not using it. More often than not we use the word poop here too.

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Re: When can kits find a new home & transportation question

Post Number:#3  Unread postby jenniferlanes » Sat Dec 23, 2017 11:05 pm


MaggieJ wrote:Eight weeks is a lot safer than six weeks, especially when a kit is going to a home where the owners may not be very experienced with rabbits. Nor would I subject a young rabbit to a two-day road trip with dogs and a kid. Rabbits tend to be delicate and the nervous strain of such a trip would be tremendous.

The word you were looking for is cecotropes, but don't worry about not using it. More often than not we use the word poop here too.


Thanks, that's what I was thinking, that it would be too stressful. I can wait til they are 8 weeks to find them homes. When do I need to separate them from each other and the doe to prevent more bunnies?

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Re: When can kits find a new home & transportation question

Post Number:#4  Unread postby Maleficent » Sat Dec 23, 2017 11:36 pm


Depends on breed, dwarves are capable of breeding as young as 12wks, larger breeds need to be older. And for such a long car ride I would wait until they are 12 weeks. Separate from mom at 8 weeks them give them a week or two or longer to adjust to eating strictly pellets. Reason for waiting so long is a) monitor their health and b) babies are more likely to experience enteritis (killer diarrhea and shut down of the gut) if you take them straight from mom while they are still nursing and throw them onto a pellet diet without a window period to adjust. At 12wks they should be old enough and adjusted enough to not have to rely on them company of mom or siblings. Essentially a little less stressful for them.

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Re: When can kits find a new home & transportation question

Post Number:#5  Unread postby MaggieJ » Sat Dec 23, 2017 11:41 pm


I agree with Maleficent about the danger of weaning enteritis. Giving the youngsters some kitchen oatmeal (large-flake, old fashioned style, not instant or flavoured) and some grass hay in addition to pellets really helps to prevent GI problems during the weaning process.

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Re: When can kits find a new home & transportation question

Post Number:#6  Unread postby jenniferlanes » Sun Dec 24, 2017 12:33 am


Maleficent wrote:Depends on breed, dwarves are capable of breeding as young as 12wks, larger breeds need to be older. And for such a long car ride I would wait until they are 12 weeks. Separate from mom at 8 weeks them give them a week or two or longer to adjust to eating strictly pellets. Reason for waiting so long is a) monitor their health and b) babies are more likely to experience enteritis (killer diarrhea and shut down of the gut) if you take them straight from mom while they are still nursing and throw them onto a pellet diet without a window period to adjust. At 12wks they should be old enough and adjusted enough to not have to rely on them company of mom or siblings. Essentially a little less stressful for them.


Mom is a lionhead and dad is a lionhead cross I think. He has a small mane and some of the babies had the V shape fur when born so I'm assuming he needs to have some lionhead in him to get the double maned kits?

They have been eating pellets since they could leave the nest box (about 2 weeks) and also eat the greens I feed mom (kale, spinach, parsley, romaine, cabbage) and Timothy hay. Will the doe keep nursing them all the way to 8 weeks?

I notice sometimes they have mushy stools stuck to their bottoms, but not runny like diarrhea. I just have been cleaning it off. Should I be concerned?

-- Sat Dec 23, 2017 10:33 pm --

MaggieJ wrote:I agree with Maleficent about the danger of weaning enteritis. Giving the youngsters some kitchen oatmeal (large-flake, old fashioned style, not instant or flavoured) and some grass hay in addition to pellets really helps to prevent GI problems during the weaning process.


Should I start giving that now, while they are still nursing? They are already eating whatever the doe eats including pellets, hay, and greens.

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Re: When can kits find a new home & transportation question

Post Number:#7  Unread postby Marinea » Sun Dec 24, 2017 9:13 am


The "mushy stools" in kits are generally cecotropes. As I also feed my young ones greens, I find it happens if the kits overindulge on the veggies. When it happens, I cut back on the greens a bit and add some oats (oatmeal). And yes, you can start the oats now.
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Re: When can kits find a new home & transportation question

Post Number:#8  Unread postby jenniferlanes » Sun Dec 24, 2017 10:03 am


Marinea wrote:The "mushy stools" in kits are generally cecotropes. As I also feed my young ones greens, I find it happens if the kits overindulge on the veggies. When it happens, I cut back on the greens a bit and add some oats (oatmeal). And yes, you can start the oats now.


Thanks! I was wondering if it had to do with the greens, they are piggy little guys! I'll give them some oats today. :)

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Re: When can kits find a new home & transportation question

Post Number:#9  Unread postby Maleficent » Mon Dec 25, 2017 1:05 am


I found offering a bit of probiotic horse paste or gel helps with mushy stools a bit.

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