Register

Doe killing and biting other kits after failed Pregnancy

Understand why your rabbits behave the way they do - and what you can do about it.
1 year of membership
Posts: 5
Joined: May 30, 2017
Location: West Virginia
United States of America Female
Thanks: 0
Thanked: 0 in 0 post
BunnyBucks: 30.00

Doe killing and biting other kits after failed Pregnancy

Post Number:#1  Unread postby Funnybunny2017 » Tue May 30, 2017 4:07 pm


Would it be possible that one of my two breeding does could be the culprit of several attacks on and deaths of kits from other breeding doe? The doe in question suffered a miscarriage about a month ago of a single kit and the attacks started soon after. Also yesterday I witnessed her aggressively roughing the other does kit around. Doe in question is currently collecting debris and creating a new nest so I anticipate her to be giving birth again. Hopefully successfully this time and maybe the attacks on offspring that is not hers will stop. Any opinions on whether im on the right track or should I be looking at the bucks in my colony for the attacks? :bunnyhop:

Site Admin
8 years of membership8 years of membership8 years of membership8 years of membership8 years of membership8 years of membership8 years of membership8 years of membership
User avatar
Posts: 16673
Joined: December 16, 2009
Location: South Eastern Ontario
Canada Female
Thanks: 779
Thanked: 2462 in 1905 posts
BunnyBucks: 60,168.00

Re: Doe killing and biting other kits after failed Pregnancy

Post Number:#2  Unread postby MaggieJ » Tue May 30, 2017 5:08 pm


In my colony, it was the buck. He found kindling does irresistible and tried to mate with them even while they were still giving birth. I was blaming other does until I caught him in the act. He was so persistent that he kept going back and going back no matter how many times I tossed him of the nest tunnel. I finally managed to get him into a spare cage, but I had several litters scattered over about six weeks before I caught on.

My immediate solution was to divide the colony and after that the buck commuted between the two sections, three weeks in each side. My long-term solution was to replace the buck with his son, who was less driven and much more of a gentleman.

1 year of membership
Posts: 5
Joined: May 30, 2017
Location: West Virginia
United States of America Female
Thanks: 0
Thanked: 0 in 0 post
BunnyBucks: 30.00

Re: Doe killing and biting other kits after failed Pregnancy

Post Number:#3  Unread postby Funnybunny2017 » Tue May 30, 2017 5:26 pm


Okay. We have two breeding bucks and one of them has a large bite on his back so after we seperated the bucks from the colony because we had anticipated that it was a buck causing the damage, we introduced him back to the colony but left the other buck seperated. Most of the kits have had their ears bitten off completely. But the thing that made me wonder about the Doe is that I saw her roughing a kit yesterday but could that be because shes about to give birth and just being territorial?

Site Admin
8 years of membership8 years of membership8 years of membership8 years of membership8 years of membership8 years of membership8 years of membership8 years of membership
User avatar
Posts: 16673
Joined: December 16, 2009
Location: South Eastern Ontario
Canada Female
Thanks: 779
Thanked: 2462 in 1905 posts
BunnyBucks: 60,168.00

Re: Doe killing and biting other kits after failed Pregnancy

Post Number:#4  Unread postby MaggieJ » Tue May 30, 2017 5:57 pm


Bitten-off ears is often the result of overgrooming by the momma bun. She knows to clean them up (instinct alone tells her that) but not when to stop (some need experience for this.)

A doe about to kindle can become aggressive if she feels other rabbits are a threat - rightly or wrongly. Was the victim youngster one of hers or from another doe?

To really sort this out, we need to know more about your colony. How big is it? Do you have hidey-holes, shelves and other "furniture"? How many does and how are they related? Have they been together from birth (sisters or mom and daughter) or were they introduced as adults. Are the nest boxes open or covered? How many grow-outs are in with the does and bucks? (That's all I can think of right now, but there could be questions I've overlooked.)

1 year of membership
Posts: 5
Joined: May 30, 2017
Location: West Virginia
United States of America Female
Thanks: 0
Thanked: 0 in 0 post
BunnyBucks: 30.00

Re: Doe killing and biting other kits after failed Pregnancy

Post Number:#5  Unread postby Funnybunny2017 » Tue May 30, 2017 6:44 pm


Our colony is 20ft by 20ft and currently we have 2 adult Does(one white, one gray), 2 adult Bucks (one white(separated), one black) that were rescues and seem to collectively breed successfully except for the white Does last litter where she had only one kit stillborn. We recently harvested 8, 10 week old kits (which is when we harvest every litter for meat) from gray Doe. Out of the same litter we kept a white doe, a black doe and a black buck. We did this thinking we would get rid of the Buck or Doe causing all the problems once we found out who it was. There is also a 6 week old litter with two kits and a 2 week old litter with 10 kits all from Gray Doe. We lost several of the kits from 6 week old litter to a rat that had pushed out wire and gotten in. (We did catch and dispose of him and fixed fence, attacks happened after involving just the ear biting, the rat had killed and ate almost entire body of kits so we knew there was a problem within colony after we killed the rat). Our nesting boxes are closed totes with open top lids and white pvc pipe going in. Inside we keep fresh hay that is changed after a litter of kits moves out and into the colony. We have several hiding spots/ "furniture" for them and they definitely seem to be happy with that arrangement.

Site Admin
8 years of membership8 years of membership8 years of membership8 years of membership8 years of membership8 years of membership8 years of membership8 years of membership
User avatar
Posts: 16673
Joined: December 16, 2009
Location: South Eastern Ontario
Canada Female
Thanks: 779
Thanked: 2462 in 1905 posts
BunnyBucks: 60,168.00

Re: Doe killing and biting other kits after failed Pregnancy

Post Number:#6  Unread postby MaggieJ » Tue May 30, 2017 7:54 pm


Your colony is wonderfully spacious! So overcrowding is not the problem. Some rabbits simply cannot take the stress of numbers. Some people too! :lol:

The rat sounds like a possible culprit. I know you disposed of one, but there is no such thing as one rat. I've heard it said that for every one you see there are at least ten others--and I believe it. We've had several rat infestations here over the sixteen years we've lived here. They can become incredibly bold and vicious, especially when the food supply is limited. We once had a gander with a slightly torn claw. Nothing serious, we thought, but the wound just kept getting worse. Rats. We crated the gander at night in a dog crate covered with 1/4 inch hardware cloth. Once the rats couldn't get at it, the wound healed. Even rats would not look at a full-grown goose as food, but the smell of blood drew them.

On occasion, the problem of a rat infestation was solved by a mink or weasel taking up residence. That sounds like trouble, I know, but it was a blessing. They do a better job of clearing out rats than poison and traps combined. We have lost the occasional rabbit or chicken to them, but on the whole they prefer to eat the rats.

Sorry for the Rat Rant, but I've seen what they can do and I do urge you to at least consider the possibility that they are the problem and not the rabbits themselves.

1 year of membership
Posts: 5
Joined: May 30, 2017
Location: West Virginia
United States of America Female
Thanks: 0
Thanked: 0 in 0 post
BunnyBucks: 30.00

Re: Doe killing and biting other kits after failed Pregnancy

Post Number:#7  Unread postby Funnybunny2017 » Tue May 30, 2017 8:12 pm


At this point we are open to every idea, suggestion, or opinion. Even though we do use these rabbits for food, we do not want any to suffer in any way and even at harvest time we do things as humane as possible! Our rabbit wire is buried in the ground and the wire is above ground about 6 feet with electric fence around the top. (far enough away from the bunnies but to keep predators out but like you said they can usually seem to find a way in. Tomorrow I will check the fence very well and probably go ahead and set another live trap just to be sure. Thankyou so much for all of your help!! :)

Site Admin
8 years of membership8 years of membership8 years of membership8 years of membership8 years of membership8 years of membership8 years of membership8 years of membership
User avatar
Posts: 16673
Joined: December 16, 2009
Location: South Eastern Ontario
Canada Female
Thanks: 779
Thanked: 2462 in 1905 posts
BunnyBucks: 60,168.00

Re: Doe killing and biting other kits after failed Pregnancy

Post Number:#8  Unread postby MaggieJ » Tue May 30, 2017 8:27 pm


What size are the spaces in the wire? Rats can get through anything larger than 1"x1" without any trouble.

1 year of membership
Posts: 5
Joined: May 30, 2017
Location: West Virginia
United States of America Female
Thanks: 0
Thanked: 0 in 0 post
BunnyBucks: 30.00

Re: Doe killing and biting other kits after failed Pregnancy

Post Number:#9  Unread postby Funnybunny2017 » Tue May 30, 2017 9:11 pm


Im not sure exactly what its is. My fiance would prob know but if I had to compare the size of the squares I would say no bigger than a mailing stamp. Its pretty small.

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests