Doe died giving birth

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Our Doe died sometimes this morning giving birth to her second litter. She had three kits about a month and half ago and today she gave birth to 4 more and bleed to death. Poor girl we was heart broken to find her gone.
Now we don't know what to do to help these little baby kits survive. We have two other male/female pairs in other cages waiting to see if they have successfully made it and will have babies or not. So can we put the babies in with those females. Or has anybody had luck bottle feeding and raising kits from birth like this and they survive. If so how do we do it and what are we use for the milk and how often do we give them milk from this point on. Any help will be much appreciated thank you and God bless. Oh these are baby mixed Californian with New Zealand in them.IMG_20221127_182148380.jpg
 
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ladysown

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Your best bet is to find a nursing does and see if someone will foster them for you. But should that fail... and you need to get kits fed.

1. HOPE that your other does kindle. That would be a total win and YES they can foster the kits ONCE they have kindled.
2. the formula I use is goat milk (I cup), honey (about a tsp) and egg yolk. I mix one cup at a time. Leave it in the fridge and only take out what I need at one serving and warm it up a bit. instead of a bottle or eye dropper, I use a pipette, it allows me to exactly control the droplets as baby rabbits aspirate very quickly. feed them about three times per day somewhat less than full. Overfeeding can cause more problems than underfeeding.
3. You just want to keep them going until your other does kindle. Then divide up the litters evenly (or to how your does can best manage).

I generally do not feed formulate beyond 21 days. I get the kits started on solid food as soon as I can. (oatmeal and hay are good starters). Make sure you give them clean poops from your other rabbits to help get their gut flora established.
 
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Our Doe died sometimes this morning giving birth to her second litter. She had three kits about a month and half ago and today she gave birth to 4 more and bleed to death. Poor girl we was heart broken to find her gone.
Now we don't know what to do to help these little baby kits survive. We have two other male/female pairs in other cages waiting to see if they have successfully made it and will have babies or not. So can we put the babies in with those females. Or has anybody had luck bottle feeding and raising kits from birth like this and they survive. If so how do we do it and what are we use for the milk and how often do we give them milk from this point on. Any help will be much appreciated thank you and God bless. Oh these are baby mixed Californian with New Zealand in them.
Rabbits tend to take fosters quite well, so if your other does have babies that would be my first choice, no doubt about it. I can go into details about fostering in a different post if you'd like.

But first you have to keep the babies alive while waiting to foster them. If they're indoors and warm, they can make it up to 24 hrs without being fed, but their chances of making it go down pretty dramatically after that.

It was quite a bit of work and never 100% successful, but we've raised bottle bunnies. The best results we had were with goat's milk and/or Goat's Milk Esbilac for Puppies. You should be able to find it at pet or feed stores.

1669593982633.png

The mother rabbit only feeds her babies once or twice a day, but we found that ours did better when we fed them more often (3-5 times a day).

Any bottle I've ever seen is way too big for newborn kits, so I always end up using a 1ml syringe (no needle, of course), which you can usually get in bulk at a drugstore or pharmacy.
1669594228943.png

It doesn't absolutely have to be a 1ml, any size will do, but the smaller are easier to handle in the beginning. It's also useful to have a graduated syringe to keep track of how much formula the kits are taking in.

Make tiny amounts of formula at a time so you can keep it warm, about the temperature at which you cannot feel it if you drop it on your own wrist.

We pick the kit up, hold it on its back (that's how it would nurse anyway) and very slowly drip tiny bits of milk into its mouth. Don't put more in until you see the baby swallow it. It might take a little bit for it to realize it's food or to want to eat, but it will. The real key seems to be keeping the kit from aspirating the milk - be super careful about letting it get into the nose. Go slowly, and blot up any milk that might end up outside its mouth so it doesn't funnel itself down into the nostrils.

We feed the bunnies until their bellies start to look full, or until the baby acts like it's had enough - don't force it, as that's when it seems like you'll end up getting it down their nose. (Also, rabbits are obligate nose-breathers, so again, be careful not to full their nostrils with milk.) They almost never look as full from our feeding them, as they do when a doe feeds them, at least at the beginning; this is one of the reasons we feed them several times a day. We feed them again when they are starting to get restless, "popping" around looking for food.

I'm not sure it's absolutely necessary, but after feeding we usually try to clean the baby's vent very gently with a warm cloth to stimulate urination and defecation. The doe often licks them clean this way, so we try to imitate what she would do.

After a week or so, we usually start adding Nutridrops to the milk or formula.

1669595186265.png
If you end up feeding them instead of fostering, after a week or so, put some of the mother rabbit's poo balls into the nest box. (If you foster them, the doe will do it herself.) The kits will nibble on them and they will get some of her gut fauna to jump-start their own in their intestines and cecum. I always keep hay in the nest boxes all the time; they'll start eating it when they're ready.

Good luck and God bless. Best case, your other does will have babies and you can let them take over!
 

Buknee

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So sorry to hear.
You have great information from ladysown and Alaska Satin.
The only thing that I would add, if one of your does doesn't kindle and you can't find any goat milk/formula, you can also use kitten formula.
Good luck.
 

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Problem is that without colostrum to start up the immunesystem they will "catch" every bug in miles. Hope that another doe can take them on time (so fresh litter herself) or be prepared for loss and vetbills. I know of one that had this problem (doe didn't do anything after giving birth), the kits lived, but never thrived. For me if the kits didn't get colostrum from the doe i don't even try. Anything from 3 days old i'll try to raise, but the start needs to be good or they'll just be sickly bunnies.
 

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We've had very good luck fostering, but it only works after the foster doe has already kindled herself. Since you don't have another doe in milk right now, the goal is to keep the kits alive until the next doe kindles. This is why I always try to breed at least two does at the same time, preferably more, so litters can be spread out if the unthinkable actually happens, and you lose a doe.

I've also used the goat milk formula given successfully, follow their advice. Keeping milk out of the lungs is a priority. As soon as she kindles, foster the kits over to their new foster mama.
 

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We just raised 15 from two litters. We had a doe break her back from a scare of something during the night and had another one who had 15, some died right away, but we had 12 from one litter and 8 from the mother who died. We changed each litter out every other day so they got some mothers milk and fed by syringe as noted above the other litter. Twice a day worked, we used a mix of kittens formula, goat milk, and colostrum. We fed this until they were 3 weeks. By then they were eating alfalfa and rolled oats when not and when with mom. We saved 15 strong healthy kits from starting with a lost doe and the other with 15 very small buns. The powdered colostrum in our opinion was very important and you can include it in the mix until they are 3 weeks old. One thing we do is not feed them lying down, read every thing we could get our hands on and the consensus was hold them upright. We wrapped them in a small rag with their heads clear, held them mostly straight up to feed them, especially when they were tiny. We could squirt a bit into their mouth as they swallowed and non aspirated. It is a slow process but well worth the effort!
 
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We just raised 15 from two litters. We had a doe break her back from a scare of something during the night and had another one who had 15, some died right away, but we had 12 from one litter and 8 from the mother who died. We changed each litter out every other day so they got some mothers milk and fed by syringe as noted above the other litter. Twice a day worked, we used a mix of kittens formula, goat milk, and colostrum. We fed this until they were 3 weeks. By then they were eating alfalfa and rolled oats when not and when with mom. We saved 15 strong healthy kits from starting with a lost doe and the other with 15 very small buns. The powdered colostrum in our opinion was very important and you can include it in the mix until they are 3 weeks old. One thing we do is not feed them lying down, read every thing we could get our hands on and the consensus was hold them upright. We wrapped them in a small rag with their heads clear, held them mostly straight up to feed them, especially when they were tiny. We could squirt a bit into their mouth as they swallowed and non aspirated. It is a slow process but well worth the effort!
Hi where did you get the colostrum for rabbits to add to the milk?? Thanks
 

Sapphire16

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I think it is available at Walmart but it is available on Amazon. Check with your local pet store too.

Wholistic-Pet-Organics-Cat-Organic-Supplement We mix only enough for a feeding and don't save left overs. approx 1 part kitten to 1 part powdered goat milk to about a Tablespoon of The Supplement. Add water to the powder mix then. the mix should be somewhat thick, not runny, but not sludgy thick. Don't microwave, use hot water and we have a hot tea kettle to warm up the bowl of milk by placing a bigger bowl of hot water under the bowl. Make sure to test it on your wrist before feeding and rewarm as needed.
 

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We did finally find at tractor supply one for cats, goats, ect but it didn't say rabbits but we are using it anyway. We just got it tonight but it was too late for three of the rabbits for we lost one today, and two yesterday. They just wasn't doing good enough only on goats milk, egg yolk and honey as someone had suggested. So we now wish we would have had goats milk, cats milk reducer, colostrum and heavy cream. The only one we have left is the strongest one we had and he seems to really like the new mixture. But we are sad that the others are gone. I spent five days working 3 times a day with them and now it's only one. But if this ever happened again we have the tools or stuff to help them get what they needed from their mother. We was hoping our other two does would have by now had a litter so we could have put them with them but some reason their not getting pregnant.
 
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Wholistic-Pet-Organics-Cat-Organic-Supplement We mix only enough for a feeding and don't save left overs. approx 1 part kitten to 1 part powdered goat milk to about a Tablespoon of The Supplement. Add water to the powder mix then. the mix should be somewhat thick, not runny, but not sludgy thick. Don't microwave, use hot water and we have a hot tea kettle to warm up the bowl of milk by placing a bigger bowl of hot water under the bowl. Make sure to test it on your wrist before feeding and rewarm as needed.
Very beautiful rabbits. Thank you and Merry Christmas ☝️
 

Sapphire16

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We did finally find at tractor supply one for cats, goats, ect but it didn't say rabbits but we are using it anyway. We just got it tonight but it was too late for three of the rabbits for we lost one today, and two yesterday. They just wasn't doing good enough only on goats milk, egg yolk and honey as someone had suggested. So we now wish we would have had goats milk, cats milk reducer, colostrum and heavy cream. The only one we have left is the strongest one we had and he seems to really like the new mixture. But we are sad that the others are gone. I spent five days working 3 times a day with them and now it's only one. But if this ever happened again we have the tools or stuff to help them get what they needed from their mother. We was hoping our other two does would have by now had a litter so we could have put them with them but some reason their not getting pregnant.
Manna Pro Colostrum for Newborn Goat Kids on Amazon $22. for 1 lbs which is alot. good to keep on hand and works great. I had my daughter look up what we use. So sorry for your loss, I hope your remaining baby does wonderfully.
 
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Our Doe died sometimes this morning giving birth to her second litter. She had three kits about a month and half ago and today she gave birth to 4 more and bleed to death. Poor girl we was heart broken to find her gone.
Now we don't know what to do to help these little baby kits survive. We have two other male/female pairs in other cages waiting to see if they have successfully made it and will have babies or not. So can we put the babies in with those females. Or has anybody had luck bottle feeding and raising kits from birth like this and they survive. If so how do we do it and what are we use for the milk and how often do we give them milk from this point on. Any help will be much appreciated thank you and God bless. Oh these are baby mixed Californian with New Zealand in them.View attachment 32688
UPDATE They are one by one died and the last one died today. After all the time we spend feeding them and caring for them and the money as seniors on disability we can't afford to just throw away and now the poor things are gone and our hearts are broken. We lost the Doe her four kits and then to top it off our best hen today got into our duck pool and drowned. Not a good day 🥺
 
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UPDATE They are one by one died and the last one died today. After all the time we spend feeding them and caring for them and the money as seniors on disability we can't afford to just throw away and now the poor things are gone and our hearts are broken. We lost the Doe her four kits and then to top it off our best hen today got into our duck pool and drowned. Not a good day 🥺
I am so sorry to hear how hard things have gone for you. Try not to feel too bad, it is very difficult to raise newborn bunnies. It may not have had anything to do with how you cared for them - they may have been compromised by whatever caused the mother to die.

It's been tough year for a bunch of us up here in AK, too, even seasoned breeders. For some reason a lot of us have lost a lot of rabbits to all kinds of things, and some we never did figure out. It is heartbreaking, for sure. Raising living things is always a challenge, and it seems that if it's not one thing, it's another. But hang in there. God always has a master plan when He allows these kind of trials, even if we can't see it in the moment.

God bless, and sending up a prayer for better days for you.
 

Sapphire16

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I am so sorry to hear how hard things have gone for you. Try not to feel too bad, it is very difficult to raise newborn bunnies. It may not have had anything to do with how you cared for them - they may have been compromised by whatever caused the mother to die.

It's been tough year for a bunch of us up here in AK, too, even seasoned breeders. For some reason a lot of us have lost a lot of rabbits to all kinds of things, and some we never did figure out. It is heartbreaking, for sure. Raising living things is always a challenge, and it seems that if it's not one thing, it's another. But hang in there. God always has a master plan when He allows these kind of trials, even if we can't see it in the moment.

God bless, and sending up a prayer for better days for you.
I am so sorry, I know the heartbreak of trying so hard to help these wee babies and losing the fight. And then your hen, so very sorry. Sending prayers that things will get better soon and that you will be rewarded for all your love and kindness.
 

Scooter1A

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We just raised 15 from two litters. We had a doe break her back from a scare of something during the night and had another one who had 15, some died right away, but we had 12 from one litter and 8 from the mother who died. We changed each litter out every other day so they got some mothers milk and fed by syringe as noted above the other litter. Twice a day worked, we used a mix of kittens formula, goat milk, and colostrum. We fed this until they were 3 weeks. By then they were eating alfalfa and rolled oats when not and when with mom. We saved 15 strong healthy kits from starting with a lost doe and the other with 15 very small buns. The powdered colostrum in our opinion was very important and you can include it in the mix until they are 3 weeks old. One thing we do is not feed them lying down, read every thing we could get our hands on and the consensus was hold them upright. We wrapped them in a small rag with their heads clear, held them mostly straight up to feed them, especially when they were tiny. We could squirt a bit into their mouth as they swallowed and non aspirated. It is a slow process but well worth the effort!
Wow what a great job you did. That's amazing, definitely be proud of yourselves for working so hard.
 

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