Baby Bunny- Sudden death :(

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prairie rose

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Beware!! Disturbing Content!!!
I came up to check on my bunnies this morning (three cages- three females, one male, mother with three kits), and found one of my babies to be dead. Its lying on its side, with part of its fur and skin gone, as if you were to skin it. It also has these bloodshot open eyes and is in rigor mortis, so at least 10 or so hours have passed, just enough for one night. I can't figure out what happened!! I don't think its a cannibalistic mother; I've been watching her and the most she does is walk over it. There were some pretty loud and scary fireworks last night, so maybe a heart attack? But then the missing skin is really weird! Please help me!!!
Screenshot 2020-06-27 at 9.06.03 AM.png
 

Preitler

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My guess would be mink ore marten. If a marten would have got into the cage I would be surprised if there were any survivors in there, but they can do damage through the bars. Rats killed some of my smaller kits, don't think that's as likely as mink.

A wildlife camera is a very good investment when having outdoor rabbits.
 

Preitler

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Well, I've read about cases of does killing kits, those are rather rare though. I would have a very close look at the wound. How old are the kits now, and does the doe have a place (high shelf etc.) to get away from the kits if they pester her?

Can you rule out an accident, that the kit got stuck somewhere, freaked out and injured itself? Two weeks ago I had to euthanize a 7 week old kit that managed to get it's rear leg stuck between two flower boxes and tore it off almost completly. Another incident, years ago, was a kit that used to hide behind the nestbox until it was big enough to get stuck. Check the whole area for the missing fur.
 

prairie rose

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Okay, so the wound does have a few little bite marks... There's no high shelf for the doe, and no fur anywhere. The cage they are in is made of wire, but the floor is all covered up with a towel for that reason. If this was the doe, is there a chance that she will hurt the others?
 

JBun

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It's possible the fireworks spooked the mom and she lashed out and attacked the baby. If you are concerned about her hurting the others and they are still too young to wean, one option would be removing the mom to another pen/cage and only retuning her to nurse the babies under supervision, to make sure she doesn't try and harm them.
 

prairie rose

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Okay. Thank you both very much!! I wanted to make sure that no one else gets hurt, and now I have a pretty good plan. First thing first: have a conversation with the neighbor!! Everything should be good now that I know what to do, though.
Thanks again!
 

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