Cause of kits born dead?

Help Support RabbitsOnline:

Moonika

Active Member
Joined
Apr 23, 2018
Messages
39
Reaction score
5
I have a Netherland Dwarf doe that just had her second dead litter.
Her first litter consisted of two very large dead kits; which I expected.

But her most recent litter consisted of four, and they looked normal sized. She delivered two dead and then a few hours later two more were born dead.
My question is why were they born dead? They looked normal sized and proportioned, and I don’t really know what the problem was.
Could it have to do with her age? She will be turning three in a few months.
Also, anyone know any tricks to dry up a does milk? She produced quite a bit and I don’t want her to develop mastitis.
 

Preitler

Loony bunny guy
Joined
Jul 19, 2015
Messages
1,761
Reaction score
1,469
Location
Austria
Well, there's no way to tell for sure.
It could be that she has genetic problems, what do you know about the breeding line she's from? Unfortunatly some rare breeders seem value appearance or other traits more than health and perfekt mothering skills (shortsighted), or breeders that only multiply them for selling and don't care about that. There are things like inbreeding depression. But there are always some random failures, and you can't tell until seeing how they actually perform.

Why did you expect the first litter big and dead? That's a somewhat strange comment.

There are things like pinched hips that can be a problem. Or being too fat (imho high on he list). A high stress level (like another, very dominant doe) can cause problems (had that problem last year).

Well, 3 years is imho a rabbit in his best age, my best does are about 6 now - but, as far as I know, does should be bred in their first year, and at least once a year to avoid problems. That's just a rule of thumb though, no real rule or something.

I would count it as strike two, if something like that happens again I would retire her from breeding - no point in creating rabbits that may carry the same problems. Since she did improve I would try it again if there is a really, really good reason to do so, otherwise I would refrain.
 

Moonika

Active Member
Joined
Apr 23, 2018
Messages
39
Reaction score
5
Well, there's no way to tell for sure.
It could be that she has genetic problems, what do you know about the breeding line she's from? Unfortunatly some rare breeders seem value appearance or other traits more than health and perfekt mothering skills (shortsighted), or breeders that only multiply them for selling and don't care about that. There are things like inbreeding depression. But there are always some random failures, and you can't tell until seeing how they actually perform.

Why did you expect the first litter big and dead? That's a somewhat strange comment.

There are things like pinched hips that can be a problem. Or being too fat (imho high on he list). A high stress level (like another, very dominant doe) can cause problems (had that problem last year).

Well, 3 years is imho a rabbit in his best age, my best does are about 6 now - but, as far as I know, does should be bred in their first year, and at least once a year to avoid problems. That's just a rule of thumb though, no real rule or something.

I would count it as strike two, if something like that happens again I would retire her from breeding - no point in creating rabbits that may carry the same problems. Since she did improve I would try it again if there is a really, really good reason to do so, otherwise I would refrain.
I said I expected dead kits the first time around because the first litter commonly doesn’t work out in Dwarf breeds.
As for genetics, I don’t know anything about her ancestors. She also doesn’t have pinched hips.
The only thing I would suspect would be internal body fat? She was fed more than desirable early in life, and because of that she developed a dewlap. Other than that she is under 2 and a half pounds and is a fairly petite bun in general.
 

ladysown

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 17, 2010
Messages
1,203
Reaction score
269
Location
, Ontario, Canada
You can't always know why. I suspect due to the separation in birth times she's too narrow and shouldn't be bred
 

squidpop

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 3, 2013
Messages
787
Reaction score
100
Location
NULL
If she got pregnant with 4 babies I would have also thought they would have lived.

Do you feed a really good quality pellet? I wonder if she could be deficient in some vitamin she needed?

With my dwarf rabbits the only time I have had problems is when they only got pregnant with one or two babies. They went over the due date of 31 days— to 33 days and then the babies were too big and got squashed going through the birth canal.

Every time my rabbits have had 3-4 babies they all lived. Even with the first time moms- I never had a problem.
 

Moonika

Active Member
Joined
Apr 23, 2018
Messages
39
Reaction score
5
If she got pregnant with 4 babies I would have also thought they would have lived.

Do you feed a really good quality pellet? I wonder if she could be deficient in some vitamin she needed?

With my dwarf rabbits the only time I have had problems is when they only got pregnant with one or two babies. They went over the due date of 31 days— to 33 days and then the babies were too big and got squashed going through the birth canal.

Every time my rabbits have had 3-4 babies they all lived. Even with the first time moms- I never had a problem.
I don’t remember the brand of pellets specifically, but they work well for my other breeding/nursing does. She had her babies born on day 32. She had two babies right away but then a 2-3 hours later she had the other two. So could it have been the delay in birth?
 

squidpop

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 3, 2013
Messages
787
Reaction score
100
Location
NULL
Sorry its taken a while to respond. I wonder if she they got stuck. My rabbits have usually had all their babies within 1 hour.
 

Moonika

Active Member
Joined
Apr 23, 2018
Messages
39
Reaction score
5
By now that’s what I expect happened. I am breeding her one last time and if the litter is born dead that will be her strike three.
 
Top