Emergency: Mother Rabbit Not eating?

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May 4, 2016
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Hello! I have 2 angora rabbits that are almost a year old. I bred them on April 1st and on May 2nd the mama gave birth to 4 healthy rabbits. A few days prior to their birth she wasn't eating nearly as a much, only about half of what she normally eats. Then on May 3rd she had another baby, but she gave birth to it on the wire floor. The baby was a little scratched up but no severe cuts, so I put it in the nest with the other baby bunnies. It is now May 4th and the mom's appetite hasn't improved, in fact she hardly touched her food. Also, accord to where poop lands in the tray under the wire floor, she stays in the same position almost all day :/ This is my first time breeding rabbits so Im not sure if this is normal or not. Any suggestions will help a ton! :)
Oops, almost forgot. Ive been feeding her quite a few greens and fresh veggies, so maybe she is just full of greens and doesn't want pellets?
I'm confused, is she eating or not eating? Is it just her pellets that she won't eat, but that she is eating other food fine? Is she also getting hay to eat and is she eating that? Does it look like she is nursing the babies?

Poop being piled in the same spot doesn't necessarily mean she isn't moving around. Rabbits can pick one spot in their cage to go to the bathroom. To know if she is moving around or not you would need to be around to observe her for a period of time. If she is not moving and not eating at all, that is an emergency. If you give her veggies and she comes up to eat them, and does in fact consume the veggies normally, is acting normally and not subdued, then it's likely she is ok healthwise.

But if she is still not wanting to eat her pellets but will eat everything else, then there could be something off about the pellets. They could be spoiled in some way. Either with mycotoxins, mold, or contaminated in some way during the mixing process. Especially if this is a new bag that you just started. If the bag is bad, you can try a new bag(preferably from a completely different batch), or you may need to switch brands. If you have to do this, then be aware that normally pellet brands/types should be switched gradually and doing so suddenly can sometimes cause digestive upset.

The other possibility is that she is filling up on veggies. But for this to be the case you would really have to be feeding quite a lot. If she is being fed a lot of root veg, that could also fill her up so she wouldn't want pellets. If so, you could try reducing the veg amount, but you will need to keep a close eye on her after to make sure she starts eating pellets to make up for less veg.

Veggies alone aren't going to give her enough nutrition to be feeding those babies as they start growing, so if you can't get the pellet situation sorted out immediately so that she is eating them again, then she needs to be getting nutrition from somewhere. If you don't already feed hay, I would start feeding that. some sort of good quality grass hay, and maybe gradually adding in some alfalfa for the higher calcium levels to help support her milk production.

If she will eat hay and veggies fine, but she still won't eat pellets even after trying a new batch or switching to a different brand or reducing the veg amount, one possible health problem that could cause that could be dental problems, as mouth pain can lead a rabbit to selectively eat. If this is the case, you would need a rabbit vet to sort the dental problem out.
So, it's now been two days since she had them. Has she fed them yet? You should be able to easily tell. It's important to figure out if there is something wrong because it can go downhill really fast. Newborns won't last more than about 48 hours if they aren't fed. If the doe really isn't eating you also have a big problem and need to try and foster the kits to someone else who is nursing, and get the doe to a vet. If she is eating veggies but not pellets, that isn't good enough for a nursing doe. They need plenty of protein to maintain milk production...easiest way to get this is through pellets that are at least 16%.
It is normal that does lose some appetite 1-2 days prior kindling, but that should reverse soon after.

I feed forage whenever feasable, mostly grass and weeds, since imho that is what rabbits digestion is made for, they prefer it and it's for free ;). They eat pellets anyway, but except for nursing does they don't get much of these, so it's more a treat than food, and they don't eat more than a certain amount even if free fed.

But good quality (horse quality) hay, pellets and veggies are fine too, I wouldn't give too much of some veggies though.

Just free feed whatever your rabbit is used to, all the grass and weeds she likes if she is already used to that stuff (if not, introduce very slowly if you want to, over a week or so), you can add rolled oats to her diet while nursing.

That she always poops in one corner is actually completly normal behaviour, sometimes it comes out more pronounced when nursing. But even in the wild you see about 1ft wide spots of rabbit poo piled up here and there where european rabbits roam. That's why rabbits are relativly easy litter trained.
As long as there is a new heap of poop every day that's a good sign.

So, any news?
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She has plenty of Timothy hay in a feeder and I give her 2/3 a cup of rabbit pellets, but she has only been eating about a 1/3 a cup of the pellets. I give her quite a lot of fresh leaves and plants from our garden and she eats them all. However, I am not as concerned about the food problem anymore so much as the fact that she keeps having babies. On Monday she had four babies, Tuesday she had another baby on the wire floor and on Wednesday she had another baby on the wire and there was some blood. Is it possible for the babies to be 'stuck' inside of her? The 2 'late' babies that were born seem to be fine and all of the babies seem well fed with big round bellies:) Is it normal for first time mama bunnies to give birth more than one day? As I understand this is not normal.
Well, it is not that uncommon to happen that not all kits come at once. If everything else is ok I wouldn't worry too much about that now.
It sounds like things are okay since she's eating and nursing. Not all that uncommon to cross days on kindling. Most are born at one time but not always.
So there's nothing really to worry about? That's a relief! She had another baby on the wire today, sadly before I found it, it died

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