Pregnant Doe not Eating

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Lindsay Krawsczyn

Rabbit Breeder
Joined
May 2, 2024
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Location
Meigs County, OH
So, one of my does isn’t eating. She’s due to have kits the third or fourth of June, she’s been drinking just a little bit of water and I don’t think her feed has gone down at all in the past two or so days. I gave her some hay and she ate it, but she hasn’t been having any feed. I’m feeding the same feed as I have been, all I can think that’s different is I switched her to a different cage but she hasn’t had issue with that in the past. She doesn’t look like she’s loosing any weight or anything and she’s just as plump as ever, but I could get her out and weigh her. She’s one of my mutts but last time I weighed her she was pretty average when cross referenced with other relatives of that mix I have at six lbs.
 
Hmm. I would first be sure her water is fresh and dispensing properly for her, lack of water is usually the first reason for going off feed.

I have had does slow WAY down on food in the days right before kindling, but it sounds like that is too far off? I would keep offering her hay and possibly some favorite weeds like dandelion, blackberry leaves, grass. Just some temptation to keep her eating something.

I would double check my records and be SURE there is no way she is closer to due than you think. If there is any chance she was already pregnant or her breeding date is off I would give her a nest box early.
 
Hmm. I would first be sure her water is fresh and dispensing properly for her, lack of water is usually the first reason for going off feed.

I have had does slow WAY down on food in the days right before kindling, but it sounds like that is too far off? I would keep offering her hay and possibly some favorite weeds like dandelion, blackberry leaves, grass. Just some temptation to keep her eating something.

I would double check my records and be SURE there is no way she is closer to due than you think. If there is any chance she was already pregnant or her breeding date is off I would give her a nest box early.
Hmm, I’ll check to make sure on the water. I know the last time I even maybe tried to breed her was months back, so it can’t be that she’s closer to due than I’m aware unless one of my relatives for some reason decided to get her out and breed her while I was gone or something which seems pretty unlikely. I’ll keep giving her hay and some grass and weeds. I think she’s been drinking water, as the water level on her water bottle has been going down, but I’ll dump it out and replace the water + make sure the nozzle is working right just in case. When it first happened I sorta assumed it was built up fines or something since I live in a moist area and a lot of the time the fines build up due to moisture, but it wasn’t that as I checked. I did giver her some sunflower seeds recently on top of her food and she’s not a huge fan of them, could that have any affect on it?
 
not usually. If the seeds attracted rodents, who sat in and peed on her food that might make a rabbit stop eating it I suppose--not MY rabbits, who seem to just see it as seasoning, but I can imagine it bothering pickier rabbits than my little greedy piglets.
 
So, one of my does isn’t eating. She’s due to have kits the third or fourth of June, she’s been drinking just a little bit of water and I don’t think her feed has gone down at all in the past two or so days. I gave her some hay and she ate it, but she hasn’t been having any feed. I’m feeding the same feed as I have been, all I can think that’s different is I switched her to a different cage but she hasn’t had issue with that in the past. She doesn’t look like she’s loosing any weight or anything and she’s just as plump as ever, but I could get her out and weigh her. She’s one of my mutts but last time I weighed her she was pretty average when cross referenced with other relatives of that mix I have at six lbs.
Like @eco2pia says, the very first thing is to check the water source and be sure it's working properly. Emptying, cleaning and filling the bottle/bowl with fresh water might be a good idea too, in case there's something that her pregnant self doesn't like about the water she has now.

I like to weigh my rabbits about once a week (doesn't always happen that way, but I like the idea :ROFLMAO:). Sometimes the first sign something is going wrong is an unexplained weight drop or gain, but you need a baseline to discern that, since most rabbits do have normal weight fluctuations. It's a good way to gauge that a pregnancy is healthy - a pregnant doe might not gain a lot of weight, but she should gain steadily. If she quits gaining weight you know something might be up, and if she loses weight, you can be almost certain something's going wrong; sometimes rabbits can lose a lot of weight before they actually look thin. When I have them out for weighing I also check the rabbit's body and coat condition; if you can feel her spine and especially if you can feel her pin bones, something is up (unless she's normally a bony rabbit).

Other than that, @eco2pia's advice is the same as mine; give her whatever keeps her eating, and think about giving her a nest box a little early.

When it first happened I sorta assumed it was built up fines or something since I live in a moist area and a lot of the time the fines build up due to moisture, but it wasn’t that as I checked. I did giver her some sunflower seeds recently on top of her food and she’s not a huge fan of them, could that have any affect on it?
If the feed gets moist you may have an incipient mold issue. You might take out everything - feeder, waterer, hay - clean it all, and give her all new food and water.

I've never had BOSS bother my rabbits - if they don't like it, they just dig it out - but I definitely have does that hate mice with a passion when they have kits. That would be another argument to clean everything and start over.

I just had another thought on re-reading your original post. If she's not due till June, she's not very far along, but there's a possibility she could be developing pregnancy toxemia. I've had this happen once, in a doe that was initially very fat (obese would be the word). About halfway through pregnancy, she quit eating, barely drank, and eventually lost a tremendous amount of weight very quickly. She aborted the litter, but I did manage to save her, after quite a lot of effort.
 
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not usually. If the seeds attracted rodents, who sat in and peed on her food that might make a rabbit stop eating it I suppose--not MY rabbits, who seem to just see it as seasoning, but I can imagine it bothering pickier rabbits than my little greedy piglets.
Well, I’ll make sure she has nice clean water and her water bottle is working right and then probably replace her feed just in case. If she keeps not eating her pellets or starts eating them again I’ll get back to you on it.
 
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