First time rabbit mama lost all her kits

  • First time rabbit mama lost all her kits

    Posted by Ben-Bradley on July 13, 2023 at 5:51 pm

    I’ve got a California/New Zealand cross trio. One doe, named Lefty, is very reliable and a good mama. The other doe, named Righty, just had and lost her first litter on Tuesday. My concern is that without any kits to nurse, that Righty may develop mastitis.

    Lefty also just gave birth today and I’m wondering if I should move one of her kits over to Righty. If, however, Righty has already dried up her milk, then I’d be starving that kit.

    Are there any obvious signs to look for to tell if a doe is still in milk?

    NicoleSauce replied 11 months, 2 weeks ago 4 Members · 4 Replies
  • 4 Replies
  • Tentance-KnottyPots

    July 13, 2023 at 8:12 pm

    Now, I may be making an unwarranted assumption. But by asking this question can we assume you are in the deep south? Here at my homestead in west Florida I do not breed the rabbits at this time of year. I will start breeding again in September. Because losing kits to heat stress is awful and they seem to be able to handle our coldest nights alright with the fur lining the nest tub.

    As for mastitis, just like in humans it is pretty rare. It will help her if you give her the highest quality feed available and lots of it. And just like in humans, mastitis is indicated by abnormal swelling and pus like discharge from one of the glands. Shouldn’t be all of them. Just like in humans, without any kits to feed her milk will stop and she will heal and be ready for breeding in a week or two

    I would not move the kits between them.

    More interesting things on our homestead

    • Ben-Bradley

      July 13, 2023 at 8:34 pm

      That’s good info, thanks! Temps here have risen to the point where I’m going to be holding off on breeding for 2 or 3 months until things cool off.

      I’ll be checking for the indicators you’ve mentioned, but am going to hold off on moving any kits. 👍

  • EvW

    July 14, 2023 at 12:44 pm

    Sorry for the loss. Hope she does not get mastitis

  • NicoleSauce

    July 14, 2023 at 3:10 pm

    Hi Ben – With my rabbits it is often the case that the first round of kits that my new rabbit mamas have all die. If the rabbit mom loses the second round due to not taking care of them, I move on to a different mama, but the first round I let it go.

    One issue I did have that was my fault and non hers was how I had the nests: I was leaving the bottom open to the bottom of the cage grating and putting straw as a barrier. This allowed my kits to get cold. Since changing that to where I have a custom cut board, we have not had this problem.

    I live in Tennessee so it is hot right not and the kits freezing is not an issue, but in the deep deep winter, we were below zero with kits that were only a week old. In that extreme temperature – because that is highly abnormal for TNJ, I brought the mama and kits into a shelter that was around 32. I did not bring them in my house because the shock of it being TOO WARM would have led to different issues. The mama and kits did just fine.

    When temps get too warm, your buck shoots blanks so I find that between about now and mid-September, we do not make net baby bunnies. Your mileage may vary.

    Sorry for your loss – but keep trying and you will have a great rabbitry!


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