Help - Babies badly injured **

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Samgabby

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Hello,

Please be kind. I inherited two girls and noticed one was creating a nest, I checked the other “girl” and it turned out to be a boy. It obviously was too late and she got pregnant. I don’t have a lot of knowledge around looking after baby kits but I have done as much research as possible.

She had a large litter of 11. Sadly when we found she had them, two had not made it. They are only 5 days old currently. I am so so upset as yesterday and today we found a kit that was outside the pen with skin missing from the same area. The top of its back and its bum. Sadly neither made it. We woke up both mornings to this. Mum is friendly with us, she lets us stoke her.

Vet suggested mum most likely did it and could of been getting rid of the weak ones. Has anyone had this before ? I am so traumatised and scared for the rest. I am hoping she does not do it to anymore. Can anyone just give me any advice on this ?

Thanks so much
 

Preitler

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Hm, never had this problem, so, you say she mutilated 3-4 day old kits?
Some thoughts:

Did you look closely, did the tooth marks resamble that of a rabbit. If they were smaller it could be rats.
What are you feeding? I heard that protein deficit could cause something like that, but that would have to be severe. You can practically free feed pellets and whatever she's used to now, nursing does don't get fat.

Does the nestbox have a low wall, so that it's very difficult that a kit could get dragged out on the teat?

Normally, as far as my experience goes, they don't get rid of weak ones - they put them out or eat them once they are dead, but when live kits get out of the nest it's wuite likely an accident.
 

Samgabby

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I had to take one I found this morning to be put down. They believe it is mum who has picked it up and chucked it out the cage. It’s skin on its back was gone. I had been crying all morning.

They are in a very warm room, in a spacious pen. It is definitely nothing to do with rats. They are in a box, the nest wall isn’t very high. However she had them so last minute, we were told not to touch or move the nest mum created.

Mum is fed plenty of hay, pellets and gets some vegetables.

The kit was Alive when I found it but badly injured and Cold. I managed to warm him or her up, but sadly when I got to the vets the damage was too severe. The vet believe it is mum. Just anxious now for the other babies. I care about them so much and have done everything I can following all the advice I have read.
 

Preitler

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Other than providing a stress free environment, enough space and unlimited food to the doe I don't have any suggestions. That things can go wrong is an inherent issue with breeding.
 

zuppa

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Sorry to hear that, can you post some photo of your setup, nest, babies? What pellets you feed her (brand or ingredients with % for protein)
 

zuppa

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And where is father, is he around or housed separately, can he see kits as well?
 

Samgabby

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Well thank you anyway. She is in a quiet room. Only a adult goes in every now and again just to check on her and give mum some attention. Obviously this was completely unexpected situation for us to be in. And I am trying my absolute hardest.
 

Samgabby

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And where is father, is he around or housed separately, can he see kits as well?
The father was separated as he become aggressive.

He has also recently been spade so is recovering from that.

I can try find the pellet name. It was my mother in law that bought it. We bought different types of hay from local pet store. Due to go to farm shop to get some more, as someone suggested here.

Mum moved the pen around a bit to suit where she wanted the babies. This was the night before. She is littered trained as well.
 

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zuppa

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So where are the babies in this photo, is that black box on the right used as nest?
 

Samgabby

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So where are the babies in this photo, is that black box on the right used as nest?
So I set her up that nest but she didn’t use it. She used the blanket in the middle, as where she wanted them. But because they were falling out. I removed the straw and put the blanket in that box. So it wouldn’t upset mum and would stop any falling out.
 

zuppa

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Can you add a pic of that, is that new bow in her pen, I can't see it in previous pic.
So she is nursing them well they are fat bellies and all?
 

Samgabby

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Can you add a pic of that, is that new bow in her pen, I can't see it in previous pic.
So she is nursing them well they are fat bellies and all?
I would have to take a picture and add it tomorrow. As don’t want to disturb mum, as vet suggested to just leave her alone but so many people say it’s fine to just check on the babies once a day. So it’s left me confused.

The cardboard box she kept knocking out the way, so we removed it for now.

She appears to be feeding them fine, which is why it has been so heartbreaking the past two mornings. The two that passed were the two smaller ones out of the litter, they just were not as fat as the others and possible runts maybe.

I am such a animal lover that this is really hard for me. I just want mum to be happy. Her room is quiet, warm. She is friendly and we make a fuss of her when we can but also allow her space.
 

zuppa

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What I would improve I see in your photo that spaces between the bars of playpen are too wide and when you have babies I would cover the lower part of the pen with something, cardboard would work (if she is not a chewer) or plywood panels or something like that. Nesting box must have high enough sides like 18 cm high, ideally if you don't have a proper box you can put it into another cardboard box little larger because when she's nursing it's just 3-5 mins and then she's gone very quickly and can drag babies with her outside the nest. They are unable to get back into nest on their own and they have no fur that's maybe why they were outside the nest and cold.

The nest must have all four sides and opening only on top.
 

Samgabby

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What I would improve I see in your photo that spaces between the bars of playpen are too wide and when you have babies I would cover the lower part of the pen with something, cardboard would work (if she is not a chewer) or plywood panels or something like that. Nesting box must have high enough sides like 18 cm high, ideally if you don't have a proper box you can put it into another cardboard box little larger because when she's nursing it's just 3-5 mins and then she's gone very quickly and can drag babies with her outside the nest. They are unable to get back into nest on their own and they have no fur that's maybe why they were outside the nest and cold.

The nest must have all four sides and opening only on top.
Thank you, I did put around the outside, towels, sleeping bags to stop any from getting out. Just anything I could find to put up against the cage.

I will look at maybe getting a different box then. Still worried about the injuries they had though and hard to understand what mum was doing for them to have them.

Thanks for all your help
 

zuppa

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Thank you, I did put around the outside, towels, sleeping bags to stop any from getting out. Just anything I could find to put up against the cage.

I will look at maybe getting a different box then. Still worried about the injuries they had though and hard to understand what mum was doing for them to have them.

Thanks for all your help
That's great, here's some videos how to set up nest box I've posted just a couple days ago they also had a surprise litter, so check out the videos and there's also pics with suggested sizes for nestbox. You can use something what you have on hand, of you can't build one, just so you get the idea.

Welcome back! It is good to hear you still have him he must be 8 years old now or more, and your girl is a good mama for sure.

You can give her a nesting box build one if you are handy or just find a suitable cardboard box, stuff it with absorbing material (I would use wood pellets), then fill with hay and if she pulled some fur line it with her fur, or you can pluck some fur from her belly or brush both of them to get some fur to line the hay so kits are warm and cosy in there. Then leave her offer her best food (best would be alfalfa based pellets for juniors with min 16% protein and min 1 % calcium because she needs to produce milk). So she must have unlimited (up to 200-240 gram per day) high protein junior pellets, unlimited hay and a plenty of fresh water, she needs to drink a lot to produce milk, and all her usual greens/veg, she can eat whatever she wants now because she is nursing. Check on the babies every morning if they have nice and round bellies it means she feeds them well. She will nurse just once or twice a day, usually late night or early morning and that is enough.

Here's a video how to prepare nesting box. They will stay in there for 2 weeks and after they will be hopping out of it but will still use it as their bed and maybe toilet.

Any questions please ask



Or here nesting box made of plastic box with all explanation why and what

For that reason there's a piece of wood on one side of the nestboxes I've posted in the first comments. Sometimes there's another piece of wood on the other side of opening too.

The box you have for now is fine but you will probably want something stronger when you get a chance, and higher sides

Here's might be handy to your husband

View attachment 54284

View attachment 54285
 

zuppa

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If you click on Click to expand you will see videos and photos there, but here's I will repost maybe it'll be easier to you



 

zuppa

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I have to agree with Preitler I don't think she damaged her kits, at least intentionally, rabbits are very good mothers and it would be rather unusual, especially you say that she nurses other kits well. It could be an accident, I have no idea about injuries but I would think it was kind of accident.
 

zuppa

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The other thing if you could check the package of her food what % of protein , calcium, phosphorus, fibre, and generally what ingredients, or what brand. She should get unlimited (up to 200-240 gram high protein (min 18%) pellets) daily, because she needs to produce lots of milk for the babies.
 

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