First time Bunny mom

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Aroomie

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Here's a question...

My Angora recently had her first littler, it was a bit of a rough start because I had NO idea she was pregnant. (Her fur made it so hard to tell). She is 8-9 months in age.

She was moved into a burrow house that I have, and everything was going very well! Her babies were fat and happy and wiggly lumps of adorable for 2 days. On the third morning... I saw she started to go Hannibal Lecter on her kits!!:eek: (I managed to save 2 of them. So far they are doing very well.)

So here's the question(s)...

Should I breed her again? Or is there a high chance she will just continue eating her litters?:confused:

There was nothing out of ordinary going on around her when it started. So I have no idea if she is just a cannibal mom, or just first-timer spooks and did it cause she was scared.

This is the first time one of my moms has done this. I am looking for general knowledge so I can understand better.
 

Augustus&HazelGrace

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You really can't tell if they are pregnant anyway just by looking at their stomach so don't feel bad about that. Most of the breeders in my area go on the three strikes your out rule. So I would breed her again and if she does it again then give her one more time and if after that she still does it, then it looks like she will just be a wool bunny and not a momma. BUT... I bet it was just a first-time mom thing and she probably won't do it again.
 

Aroomie

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You really can't tell if they are pregnant anyway just by looking at their stomach so don't feel bad about that. Most of the breeders in my area go on the three strikes your out rule. So I would breed her again and if she does it again then give her one more time and if after that she still does it, then it looks like she will just be a wool bunny and not a momma. BUT... I bet it was just a first-time mom thing and she probably won't do it again.
It's so silly! Even when prodding her belly I couldn't really tell! (Other does it was so easy.)
I'll give her another shot at being a mom. I will give her a few months to get herself back to normal before putting her with a buck again.

Thank you! :D
 

Augustus&HazelGrace

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It's so hard to tell even with my three years of breeding. I was still 50/50 on if I could feel them. It takes lots of practice. If all of the babies are gone you can rebreed her in as little as a week. Actually you could breed her now but I think they should get a little break. If she still has the last two then wait until they are weaned and then a week after. That is what I would normally do.
 

Aroomie

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It's so hard to tell even with my three years of breeding. I was still 50/50 on if I could feel them. It takes lots of practice. If all of the babies are gone you can rebreed her in as little as a week. Actually you could breed her now but I think they should get a little break. If she still has the last two then wait until they are weaned and then a week after. That is what I would normally do.
Honey is definitely getting a break. Her last two babies are in my office with me. I work from home so I can check on them regularly.
I tried to re-introduce them to her. However, they were mangled a little bit already before I could get them out of the house, and she started to try chewing on them again, so I took them away and now give them formula.
So far they are doing well, both of them are eating (somewhat) normal, but I thoroughly believe their best chance is to not be with their mom.

I give all my moms a good 3 weeks to a month/month and a half (depending on how their litters went) break before putting them with a male again.
 

Augustus&HazelGrace

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I wasn't saying that you shouldn't give them a break. It's a great idea. I was just saying they could technically be rebred as soon as they give birth although I don't think this is sound practice as it wears the does down a lot more. I never rebred until babies were at least 9-10 weeks old and away from mom.
Even if being with their mom is not safe, formula babies don't always survive so if there is any way you can hold mom and let them nurse off of her then this would be better than bottle-feeding them. I'm not trying to doubt your practices in any way just trying to offer some advice that I have seen on here from people like our health moderator.
 

Aroomie

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I wasn't saying that you shouldn't give them a break. It's a great idea. I was just saying they could technically be rebred as soon as they give birth although I don't think this is sound practice as it wears the does down a lot more. I never rebred until babies were at least 9-10 weeks old and away from mom.
Even if being with their mom is not safe, formula babies don't always survive so if there is any way you can hold mom and let them nurse off of her then this would be better than bottle-feeding them. I'm not trying to doubt your practices in any way just trying to offer some advice that I have seen on here from people like our health moderator.
Oh no! I completely appreciate the advice!
If I'm honest, I am fairly new to breeding my bunnies and could still be classed as a "noobie". So any words of advice you can give, I defiantly will bear in mind for future pairings. The time frame of a break was more just a "This is what I do for them" over-explaining thing that I have a tendency to do. lol.
 

Augustus&HazelGrace

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Just some stuff I used in breeding ;)

When the does nurse I would free feed pellets that way both mom is getting enough nutrients to supply milk and when babies are old enough to start eating them themselves. If they are not eating pellets now then this would not be a good thing to just start. But if they are already eating pellets then it is fine. Also, you should still be putting extra hay in at about 4 weeks old so they start nibbling on that. If you ever think a doe is not producing enough milk you can add a tablespoon of old fashioned oats to increase milk production. You shouldn't have to worry about a warm nest if she makes a good one with all that angora fur, but if you have other breeds that have shorter fur that you decide to breed. What I would do is when my longer haired breeds pulled too much in the summer I would save some for the winter when my short-haired breeds didn't pull enough.
 

Aroomie

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I wasn't saying that you shouldn't give them a break. It's a great idea. I was just saying they could technically be rebred as soon as they give birth although I don't think this is sound practice as it wears the does down a lot more. I never rebred until babies were at least 9-10 weeks old and away from mom.
Even if being with their mom is not safe, formula babies don't always survive so if there is any way you can hold mom and let them nurse off of her then this would be better than bottle-feeding them. I'm not trying to doubt your practices in any way just trying to offer some advice that I have seen on here from people like our health moderator.
I am happy to report!
I tried your idea of getting mom to feed the babies. Their actual mom dried up a lot faster then I thought would have been possible, so I wasn't able to use her. However, my new mom Lion-head let me take her and feed the babies!
The Lion-head only has two babies, and they drink so much milk that it looks almost unhealthy (you can see the little veins in their tummies! :eek:) So I am using her. She seems to be fine with it, especially since there seems to be so much milk in her!

I am so happy about this idea. Thank you! (Now I just need to research bunny wheelchair options for one of the babies.)
 

majorv

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It’s unusual for a doe to start eating her kits for no reason. Sometimes stress can do it, sometimes a perceived threat (predator nearby) will cause it. You might also check her diet to make sure she isn’t missing something there.

If she’s a first time mom and you don’t feel any of these things could’ve contributed to it I’d only give her one more chance. I guess we were lucky that in the 8 years we bred rabbits we never had this problem. The only mutilation we had was when our dog got under a cage and went after the newborns’ legs. We had to put them down.
 

Aroomie

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My baby buns, though missing a leg or two, move around happily and have officially been adopted by the other newest bunny mom.
She has started to groom them and make sure they are clean. The little nubs have been placed in the cage with the moms actual babies, and she loves them to death. All snuggled together and happy.
 

Mariam+Theo

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My baby buns, though missing a leg or two, move around happily and have officially been adopted by the other newest bunny mom.
She has started to groom them and make sure they are clean. The little nubs have been placed in the cage with the moms actual babies, and she loves them to death. All snuggled together and happy.
So cute!
 

Aroomie

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I'm glad that they are ok now. you did exactly what is right! Good luck as they grow!
We took them to the vet just yesterday to get some antibiotics!
Mommy milk only does so much.

The vet I go to is a "learn as we go" when it comes to rabbit's. (Costa Rica doesn't have a vet that specializes in "exotics") but we have meds and everyone is super happy (and very fat)!

They just opened their eyes yesterday when we got home. Their such sweet hearts.
 

bunnylove2024

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you are doing so good and I am glad you are also working with the vet! I had a "learn as we go" when one of my kits got neurological damage on week 3... he made a full recovery just as your kits are/will!
 

Aroomie

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you are doing so good and I am glad you are also working with the vet! I had a "learn as we go" when one of my kits got neurological damage on week 3... he made a full recovery just as your kits are/will!

I am very optamistic for my little nubs! (my mother has been calling them dust bunnies :rolleyes:)

Right now the main pain is going to be making them a wheelchair to help them move around,and other ideas on how to get them wiggling about.
One will be easier then the other, their birth mom managed to eat three of her four limbs before I could take her away, but she is the happiest (and healthiest) out of the pair!
 

bunnylove2024

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sound great, they are a little expensive but with some creativity you could probably make them under $30! Good luck!
 

Cloverhouse

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If you breed her again, I'd pay special attention to her protein intake. I think angoras need higher protein because of their fur, so motherhood would tax that even more. In my experience dietary issues have usually been the culprit when moms eat the babies. Same for mice, rats and hamsters. Make sure she has plenty of protein and calcium, hope that helps
 
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