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Vitamin D Definiciency?

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Vitamin D Definiciency?

Post Number:#1  Unread postby DaytonHillRabbits » Mon Sep 26, 2016 11:44 am


Hi all, I've posted in the breeding section about all the issues I've had of late.. just terrible luck with ALL my does either losing entire litters just seeming to fail, not taking at all, or early delivery of premature kits. Just.. disheartening. Before this stint I had never experience 1 lost kit. (and I've been breeding for years).. maybe I was just lucky before and it's all caught up to me.

Ok.. so my boyfriend posed the question of what might be causing every single rabbit to be unsuccessful at mothering or taking at all and this was his theory..

Rabbits moved from my farm being raised in the barn with open doors/windows, some were outside in cages with shelter etc etc, so a lot of outside influence.. to the inside of my livingroom in a 2 bedroom apartment. Not ideal, but went through a divorce and lost the farm, and I need the rabbits for breeding for my job, so they came with when all the other farm animals sold. So right now they're in my livingroom and they do not get outside at all as this is a big apartment building and it's just not possible. There is NO direct sunlight on them, they are semi close to the sliding glass door so it's not a dingy dark room or anything but my boyfriend wondered if they might be suffering from a Vitamin D (or whatever vitamin) deficiency. They are fed commercial pellets, BOSS, smetimes rolled oats as a topper, and they have ACV treated water always.

Thoughts?

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Re: Vitamin D Definiciency?

Post Number:#2  Unread postby MaggieJ » Mon Sep 26, 2016 12:25 pm


I googled rabbits vitamin d deficiency and there's tons of information but I don't have time to go through it. You might want to take a look.

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Re: Vitamin D Definiciency?

Post Number:#3  Unread postby LittleFluffyBunnies » Mon Sep 26, 2016 1:52 pm


I googled it too.

It said that a recent study deduced that rabbits kept solely indoors can easily get vitamin D deficiency. Window glass blocks UV light which prevents vitamin D reaching the rabbit.

Symptoms most often are teeth problems, and poor growth in youngsters. I don't see anything about breeding performance but it seems logical.

If it is that or not, the study suggests that indoor rabbits would benefit from time outdoors.
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Re: Vitamin D Definiciency?

Post Number:#4  Unread postby Zass » Mon Sep 26, 2016 2:01 pm


Some extra exercise to help keep them trim, and maybe supplementing with a source of vitamin A along with the D might help.

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Re: Vitamin D Definiciency?

Post Number:#5  Unread postby DaytonHillRabbits » Fri Oct 07, 2016 11:31 am


Well it seems that the sunlight is absolutely a necessary part of healthy and happy rabbits.. I didn't notice any teeth issues but lack of Vitamin D is said to cause dental problems.. I'll keep a close eye on that. My rabbits don't seem to be overweight besides one who I just recently purchased she's just a chow hound.. I feel bad limiting her because she may be bred, but... good lord I think she could eat more than my golden retriever does if I let her!

I've been actively trying to get them outside on the deck for at least a few hours a week to hope that helps them store up some good old Vitamin D.. I'm likely going to catch heat from the landlord for doing this, but I don't really mind, he knows the rabbits are here and they are quiet, so hopefully he doesn't give me a hard time.. he's a doll really.

I've since had one doe who was absolutely 100 percent bred ( many fall offs, she definitely wanted the breedings she didn't fight, in fact she backed the buck into a corner she was so enthusiastic ), and she produced.. nothing. So this is becoming a theme.. she went outside on the deck all morning and I'll try to get her in with a buck in the next few days, hopefully that helps some.. I realize it likely will take the rabbits time to restore the deficient vitamins, but not sure how much they need to do that.. will have to see how it goes.

I also read NOT to supplement with Vitamin D as it is very very easy to overdose and kill the rabbits, but the vet suggested simple getting them outside as much as I possibly can. So I guess that's what I'll have to do... I really wish I didn't lose the farm. Life was so much easier there. :oops:

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Re: Vitamin D Definiciency?

Post Number:#6  Unread postby Tiny Buns » Sat Oct 08, 2016 10:16 am


We have our herd in a climate controlled garden shed--one window I paid to get installed in the door.

I purchased grow lights at the hydroponics store. I got one big spiral
bulb in the ceiling fixture and 4 24" fluorescent types on the underside of a shelf at the back wall. It seems to work great--happy, healthy bunnies. I'd love to get a huge window installed....after I save my pennies.

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Re: Vitamin D Definiciency?

Post Number:#7  Unread postby ButtonsPalace » Sat Oct 08, 2016 2:24 pm


It just happens I saw this when I first got on and I am SO glad I did! I had no idea rabbits would get vitamin deficiencies being inside! I do in summer want to build quite a few rabbit runs for growing kits, and the other rabbits to have outside time, but for now I will surely be investing in some grow lights! I need some anyway for my aquaponics hehe :) Once again thank you for posting this DaytonHillRabbits! :)
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Re: Vitamin D Definiciency?

Post Number:#8  Unread postby akane » Sat Oct 15, 2016 8:08 pm


Actually in a light cycle argument several cases of rabbits that never see sunlight and some that barely see artificial narrow spectrum light were brought up. These were large breeding operations having no issues with production. I wouldn't say it's necessary to raise rabbits but we do know rabbits adjust within a couple generations to major changes in husbandry. You may have bred your specific rabbits to use lots of light and others may have bred their rabbits until they barely need any. I think this is part of why beginners frequently have a lot of trouble. Rabbits react to even the little differences but if you stick it out they quickly become your brand of rabbits.
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Re: Vitamin D Definiciency?

Post Number:#9  Unread postby DaytonHillRabbits » Sun Oct 16, 2016 2:56 pm


Akane, you're saying just keep trying with these rabbits? I have since had the other fat doe who was bred come up with no babies as well.. I am severely ... upset about all this.. I haven't had babies in months and months with many breedings... when is it going to end? LOL.. Right now I'm feeding a herd with literally zero output whatsoever... very frustrating.

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Re: Vitamin D Definiciency?

Post Number:#10  Unread postby ButtonsPalace » Sun Oct 16, 2016 3:07 pm


Fat does need diets. When I had obese does I would let them out in a cage where they could move, give them less food, and continue trying to breed while giving 3 day waits between breeding and then waiting for babies. I am just now finally getting more steady continuous results 8 months in..
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Re: Vitamin D Definiciency?

Post Number:#11  Unread postby akane » Sun Oct 16, 2016 3:22 pm


It's actually quite common in the first year or 2 to have spans where you just can't seem to get kits out. People show up frustrated all the time. It's also complicated by having to wait for the weather as you set up your first year or 2 of breeding schedule around temp extremes. We've all been there when we started or sometimes when we start with a new breed. There are tons of tricks you can attempt but it usually comes down to persistence and patience. That's why we have the 3 strike rule to follow as loosely or strictly as you want. If you can't get kits out of a doe in 3 attempts you cull her. When starting out you may not have the rabbits available to do that right away. Once some of them get going though I would then replace any that aren't keeping up.
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Re: Vitamin D Definiciency?

Post Number:#12  Unread postby DaytonHillRabbits » Sun Oct 16, 2016 3:23 pm


The fat doe was only due the 13th so I did not diet her as I thought she was bred and didn't want to interfere with nutrition to the babies. Now that I know she is NOT bred she will get cut back and hopefully she can give me something in the future. All my other animals are healthy and fit, no fatties other than this doe who was bought about a month ago..

I guess I'll keep trying to breed and see what happens.. we are in the process of buying another farm so hopefully soon something will shift one way or another!

Many thanks to you great people as usual! :bunnyhop:

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Re: Vitamin D Definiciency?

Post Number:#13  Unread postby akane » Sun Oct 16, 2016 4:05 pm


By the time you can see a rabbit is fat it is too late. They pack fat around the reproductive organs first so it's all internal. Sometimes a perfectly fine looking rabbit still improves with a slight food restriction or switch to more hay. Of course the oddball that breeds anyway happens. I had a single kit litter survived and she was fat from day 3. I tried to diet her but gave up waiting and tried breeding. After screaming murder at the first buck she bred with the second and then for a second litter with the original buck I wanted. I know 1 litter was 5 out of a mini rex. This rabbit fell under morbidly obese. I might have gotten the weight off finally with a heavy breeding schedule but I decided to culled and use the offspring.
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