Baby Bunnies

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BugsBunny19

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Hey All

My bunny has had five beautiful babies. She had a litter of three just over a month ago and all of them died as she rejected them and we tried to hand raise them but no luck. But this time around she had made a great nest, and they are all warm together. However they aren’t as fat as I would like as I’ve read that they should look like they swallowed a grape. I have had to help Mum feed on one occasion by smoothing her and putting them underneath her, anyway I’ve attached some pictures. Has anybody got any advice on helping mum raise babies? And when I will be able to know their gender? They were born on Saturday night. Thanks.
 

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majorv

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They really don’t look that bad. Had they just been fed when you took the pictures, or was this later?

Actually, you can tell the sex easier right after they are born. Otherwise, it’s easier to wait til they’re 5-6 weeks old.
 

Cloverhouse

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I'm not sure what you mean by you having to help her feed them. Are you saying that she doesn't go into the nest box to nurse them twice a day? Rabbits don't hang out with their kits the way cats and dogs do. They power nurse a couple times a day and don't spend much time in the nestbox.

The babies look ok so far, but if the doe isn't taking care of a second litter please don't breed her again. Some does just aren't cut out for motherhood and it's better not to breed that trait (it does seem to be passed on to some degree) into your stock.
 

zuppa

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They look fine I don't think there's any help needed as said above they only nurse once or twice per day (usually at dusk and dawn or in the night) and not staying near the nest during the day as rabbits are prey animals and don't want to attract predators to the nest so only nursing when no one can see them. It is best not to intervene too much and let them be cover nest area with a blanket or something to provide some privacy. Check them every morning if they are not wrinkled, is so you can do what you did already placing her over them for max 5 minutes. They will have to stay in their nest until they are about 2 weeks, when they open their eyes around day 12 they will start crawling around. So just make sure their nest has high sides so they can't escape or be dragged out while still sucking that's basically what you need to check as they need to stay warm inside of nest, other than that she will take care of them. If you intervene too much she can abandon them you don't want this.
I had two rabbits (they are sisters) nursing up to 4 times a day but normally even if she does once a day it's fine.. Their milk is very rich and fat and digested very slowly that' why they have very round bellies right after nursing.

If you think she doesn't have much milk you can offer her a tablespoon of rolled oats per day, and make sure she has enough food and water, she will drink much more to produce milk and she should have absolutely unlimited hay and unlimited pellets while until babies are 7-8 week old. Fresh vegetables once a day too. She needs to eat well to produce milk, that's how you can help her so she can take care of her kits. Good luck and please keep us updated, don't take kits from the nest for long and some does don't like it so best to do it when she's not there and can't see it. Some tolerate it and even happy to see you are holding them, others will try to protect them attacking you and others will show no signs but can abandon the nest. It depends on your rabbit's character and on how much she trusts you as well.
 
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