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Week old rabbit kits

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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Week old rabbit kits

Post Number:#1  Unread postby inearth » Fri Jun 08, 2018 6:59 pm


(they were born around 6/7/18 2 to 5 pm)

This is the first birth on our farm, I bred a Lionhead mix Holland lop with a Californian (The person I bought the californian from cant remember if he was a new zealand mix or not, not sure.) The californian is the Daddy and the Holland is the Mother.

This morning I came out to see that the mother had gotten the 1 day old kits and put them outside of the nest, I thought That was odd so I went into the nest with a pair of gloves and looks around gently, Saw a dead bunny so picked it up and buried it. :(

The 3 bunnies seem to be very active, rolling around in the hay and stuff. Ive had to pick them all up at least once ( I heard that if a mother can smell something then they will eat them, but then I also heard that they'd only do that if she didnt believe they would live.

So far I see one of the newborns have broken fur! :D first try.. black and white, of course.

The others are white I think. One of them ill have to keep an eye on but so far they all look good.

Questions;
1.Theres red patches on one of the white kits, Should I be concerned or maybe its just blood from the birth that wasnt washed off?

2.do I need to do anything to the nest or should I just put them back in? I removed all of the dead kits. they're just sitting/laying on wire and plastic with some hay on it.

3.will these turn out to be Dwarves? they seem like normal sized kits (even though this is my first time seeing newborn kits in real life.)

4.I looked it up, 10 days open eyes, 8 weeks I can sell them, is this right?

5. Will 2 rabbits with mix genetics of different breeds produce nice babies? (Californian buck and a Holland lop mix Lionhead Doe)
Last edited by inearth on Mon Jun 18, 2018 10:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 4 Newborns! 3 alive 1 dead

Post Number:#2  Unread postby MaggieJ » Fri Jun 08, 2018 8:04 pm


Welcome to RabbitTalk, inearth! :hi:

The main thing you need to establish is whether or not the kits are being fed. Sometimes a great deal of activity/restlessness is the result of hunger.

Kits that have been fed will have a nicely rounded tummy. Sometimes it looks so big it looks like they swallowed a grape. :lol:

Kits that have not been fed, or fed inadequately, will have flat bellies or in extreme cases they will look a bit sunken and wizened.

Here is a thread that may help you:
fed-vs-unfed-kit-pictures-t3052.html

Usually kits will be fed by the time they are 24 hours old. Please note that they must be warm in order to digest momma's milk. Did your doe pull fur for the nest? If not, you can add dryer lint, teased cotton batting or cotton balls, or feathers from a pillow. Natural fibres are safer than synthetics.

Your kits need a nest box, not just hay on the wire. It will keep them contained and also keep them warmer. You can improvise one with a cardboard carton or plastic bin, but if you do this is will need to be anchored to the cage wall to prevent tipping.

I don't want to lecture, but you've been a member for over a month. It would have been a good idea to post earlier so you were better placed to take care of the kits.

Mother rabbits do not kill or abandon their kits because you touch them. It's an old wives tale. You doe is familiar with your scent and to her it means good things: food, stroking, attention.

Please add your location (state, province or country if other than US or Canada) so we have some idea of the climate where you live. What works in the New England states might be useless in Florida or Alaska.
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Re: 4 Newborns! 3 alive 1 dead

Post Number:#3  Unread postby SableSteel » Fri Jun 08, 2018 9:19 pm


Welcome to rabbit talk~ (I too joined and lurked for a while before posting)
Don't worry about getting your scent on the babies and scaring them off... rabbit mothers usually dont much care, and you need to check for any problems in the nest (like dead kits, or wetness) when theyre young

Questions;
1.Theres red patches on one of the white kits, Should I be concerned or maybe its just blood from the birth that wasnt washed off?
Its probably blood from birth that wasnt washed off. I see that a lot on my rabbits, especially with first time mothers. (and I breed primarily white rabbits, Himalayans)

2.do I need to do anything to the nest or should I just put them back in? I removed all of the dead kits. they're just sitting/laying on wire and plastic with some hay on it.
If you could get them a nestbox, that would be best. If they stay in the nest, its fine, but without a box to keep them in theyre likely to wander out of the warm nest and die of chill or exposure. (edit: some people even just use a large tupperware as a temporary nestbox, anything that the mother can get in, but the kits cant get out. Mine usually start leaving the box about 15 days)

3.will these turn out to be Dwarves? they seem like normal sized kits (even though this is my first time seeing newborn kits in real life.)
Dwarf and normal kits start out the same size, but Id guess that theyd probably not be dwarfs. Dwarf breeds of rabbits dont breed true to dwarfism (they only have one dwarf gene and one normal gene) so a lot of the non-show quality lines of lionhead and holland lop are not dwarfed.

4.I looked it up, 10 days open eyes, 8 weeks I can sell them, is this right?
Yes; sometimes it takes up to 12 days for eyes to open, but usually around 10. 8 weeks if the minimum age to sell them legally in many places, but its best if they're weaned and allowed to adjust to adult food before selling; you can wean at 6 weeks and sell at 8 weeks. I usually wait 2 weeks after weaning to sell if Im selling young rabbits (I usually actually wean at 8 weeks and sell pets at 10 weeks) However; there isnt much demand for californian x small breed, they usually turn out a bit too big for a lot of pet buyers and too small for meat buyers.

5. Will 2 rabbits with mix genetics of different breeds produce nice babies? (Californian buck and a Holland lop mix Lionhead Doe)
It depends on what you define as nice. Since I breed for show, and need purebreds, my definition of nice would say no. If you mean friendly? Then possibly, it more depends on the temperament of each parent (especially the mother). Manes are genetically dominant, so if your lionhead cross had a mane you might see manes in some of the babies.
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Re: 4 Newborns! 3 alive 1 dead

Post Number:#4  Unread postby Marie28 » Sat Jun 09, 2018 4:44 pm


You got two great responses but I do have to add rabbits do NOT move their babies. Rabbits are very mobile from day one.

-- Sat Jun 09, 2018 3:44 pm --

http://wabbitwiki.com/wiki/Rabbit_sale_laws_in_the_US

this has selling rabbit laws in the US

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Re: 4 Newborns! 3 alive 1 dead

Post Number:#5  Unread postby inearth » Sun Jun 10, 2018 5:19 pm


I live in New mexico (USA), Its pretty hot here, they were born june 7th when the Soldier canyon fire started, We havent gotten rain in a while. The temperatures range from 80 at night and it can get up to 105 in the day time, Usually its 97F.


I noticed lately that The mother of the kits have been feeding them, ive checked on them night and day but the Mother seems to have heat stroke? Normally when I pet her she immediately goes in a sitting position, or maybe runs around a bit not wanting to be touched- But right now shes completely relaxed and I can pet her without her even moving. Shes panting, I havent groomed her but I think by the amount of hair she has in the nest (3 inches thick with a foot by foot nesting box)


How easily can the babies die if you hold them incorrectly? I've seen irresponsible meat breeders drop the babies accidently in the trash and they'd be alive still...

Ive also heard about a 'nestbox eye' Where the urine and left over feces cause an infection in their eye(s) and White goo needs to be cleaned out, I know how to treat it just incase but is this caused by the mother sitting on them? or..


It seems like I already have a person wanting to buy them, (I know I cant sell them now since they need to be atleast 8 weeks old) Should I sell them for $15 or lower since it has 3/4 Genetic breeds in it? Again; Californian (maybe purebred or maybe a new zealand, the person I bought from wasnt sure) and then a Lionhead Mix Holland lop. Black with floppy ears and a single mane

-- Sun Jun 10, 2018 3:19 pm --

also I know ive been a member since may, I was just trying to figure out the website, then Id had completely forgot about it :roll:

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Re: 4 Newborns! 3 alive 1 dead

Post Number:#6  Unread postby MaggieJ » Sun Jun 10, 2018 10:31 pm


inearth wrote: I live in New mexico (USA), Its pretty hot here, they were born june 7th when the Soldier canyon fire started, We havent gotten rain in a while. The temperatures range from 80 at night and it can get up to 105 in the day time, Usually its 97F.
You need to add "New Mexico" to your profile, not just mention it here. We have too many members to remember all the locations. And in your case, the climate there is very pertinent to the information you need.

inearth wrote: I noticed lately that The mother of the kits have been feeding them, ive checked on them night and day but the Mother seems to have heat stroke? Normally when I pet her she immediately goes in a sitting position, or maybe runs around a bit not wanting to be touched- But right now shes completely relaxed and I can pet her without her even moving. Shes panting, I havent groomed her but I think by the amount of hair she has in the nest (3 inches thick with a foot by foot nesting box)
Heat stroke is serious. I strongly suggest you give her a plastic bottle of frozen water so she can cool herself. A fan is also helpful.


inearth wrote: How easily can the babies die if you hold them incorrectly? I've seen irresponsible meat breeders drop the babies accidently in the trash and they'd be alive still...
As long as you don't squeeze or drop the kits, you are not likely to harm them. Even falls from a cage often do not result in injury, but naturally they are to be avoided.


inearth wrote: Ive also heard about a 'nestbox eye' Where the urine and left over feces cause an infection in their eye(s) and White goo needs to be cleaned out, I know how to treat it just incase but is this caused by the mother sitting on them? or ..
Mother rabbits do not usually spend much time in the nestbox. "Nestbox eye" is an infection usually caused by dirty bedding. It is a good idea to change the bedding on Day 9, just before the kits eyes begin to open. You can save any clean fur, but put in new hay, straw or whatever you use. If the doe has pulled more fur than is needed, take some of it and save it so you have some clean in case of need. You can use fur from one doe for another without a problem.
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Re: 4 Newborns! 3 alive 1 dead

Post Number:#7  Unread postby Maleficent » Mon Jun 11, 2018 8:11 am


I haven't seen it mentioned yet but generally it is a very bad idea to breed such a large breed buck to such a small breed doe. Have you palpated her to make sure there were no stuck kits? I would be concerned if a stuck decaying kit couldn't also be part of why she is acting the way she is. Have you lifted her up to check her vent to make sure there isn't a foul odor or discharge? I do this even with my most experienced does.

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Re: 4 Newborns! 3 alive 1 dead

Post Number:#8  Unread postby inearth » Mon Jun 11, 2018 2:24 pm


Maleficent wrote:I haven't seen it mentioned yet but generally it is a very bad idea to breed such a large breed buck to such a small breed doe. Have you palpated her to make sure there were no stuck kits? I would be concerned if a stuck decaying kit couldn't also be part of why she is acting the way she is. Have you lifted her up to check her vent to make sure there isn't a foul odor or discharge? I do this even with my most experienced does.



The only reason we bred her was she was stressing out, wanting company and was bored so she pulled her hair for no reason, when we bred her she stopped stressing out and she was just a patient bunny.

Ive picked her up 2 times already and she doesnt have any odor or discharge, I havent palpated her. ive felt around her stomach when she was laying down, cant feel anything that resembles a kit

also the Californian Buck is the same size as her. This buck is also very gentle. If I had another holland lop buck then I wouldve bred them. but I didnt so.

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Re: 4 Newborns! 3 alive 1 dead

Post Number:#9  Unread postby SableSteel » Mon Jun 11, 2018 5:18 pm


Californians should be at least 2-3 times larger than hollands lops or lionheads. Should be larger than most mixed breeds you find around too; probably is a cross if its the same size as her.
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Re: 4 Newborns! 3 alive 1 dead

Post Number:#10  Unread postby Maleficent » Mon Jun 11, 2018 11:01 pm


inearth wrote:
Maleficent wrote:I haven't seen it mentioned yet but generally it is a very bad idea to breed such a large breed buck to such a small breed doe. Have you palpated her to make sure there were no stuck kits? I would be concerned if a stuck decaying kit couldn't also be part of why she is acting the way she is. Have you lifted her up to check her vent to make sure there isn't a foul odor or discharge? I do this even with my most experienced does.



The only reason we bred her was she was stressing out, wanting company and was bored so she pulled her hair for no reason, when we bred her she stopped stressing out and she was just a patient bunny.

Ive picked her up 2 times already and she doesnt have any odor or discharge, I havent palpated her. ive felt around her stomach when she was laying down, cant feel anything that resembles a kit

also the Californian Buck is the same size as her. This buck is also very gentle. If I had another holland lop buck then I wouldve bred them. but I didnt so.


It's normal for them to have false pregnancies. It wasn't stressing her out either. She was being a good mother and practicing her nesting. What were your plans for these super mix breed kits? Food?

-- Mon Jun 11, 2018 10:01 pm --

SableSteel wrote:Californians should be at least 2-3 times larger than hollands lops or lionheads. Should be larger than most mixed breeds you find around too; probably is a cross if its the same size as her.


I'm wondering if the "Californian" isn't possibly a Himalayan mix as they look like tiny Cali's in my opinion.

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Re: 4 Newborns! 3 alive 1 dead

Post Number:#11  Unread postby inearth » Sun Jun 17, 2018 7:33 pm


The male californian has been recently brushed and weighed, Hes 5 pounds or 2 kilos

The female lionhead/holland lop was weighed a month ago, she was about 3 pounds I believe.

I also have pictures of all 3 babies and also the sire/dam




Im having difficulties sending pictures from my phone to my computer at the moment, but ive got pictures of the Babies...
All fed well and so far ones opened both eyes (born june 7th, its june 17th, 10 days old)

-- Sun Jun 17, 2018 5:17 pm --

IMG_20180617_091735_424 (3).jpg
Rabbit kit N3.
IMG_20180617_091735_424 (3).jpg (320.69 KiB) Viewed 192 times



IMG_20180617_091635_793 (2).jpg
Rabbit kit N2.
IMG_20180617_091635_793 (2).jpg (502.04 KiB) Viewed 192 times




IMG_20180617_091427_138 (2).jpg
Rabbit kit N1.
IMG_20180617_091427_138 (2).jpg (197.97 KiB) Viewed 192 times


-- Sun Jun 17, 2018 5:33 pm --

rabbit1.PNG
Californian Buck/Sire
rabbit1.PNG (437.87 KiB) Viewed 191 times
]


rabbit2.PNG
Holland/Lion Dam
rabbit2.PNG (651.97 KiB) Viewed 191 times
]

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