Help! Lop Stillborns :(

Help Support RabbitsOnline:

Juniperjoy

Member
Joined
Nov 5, 2020
Messages
6
Reaction score
0
Location
California
Hi all! I could use some help and advice!
My young female lop has been unable to produce live young, I gave her three tries but have stopped breeding her. Her first litter she had one huge stuck kit and delivery was extremely difficult. I thought for some reason she was just unable to produce live young.
I then got a proven doe from a breeder who has had many litters (usually small 1-2). She just delivered her first litter since I have had her and they were also stillborn.
I am now thinking the issue might be my buck? Is it possible he has a genetic factor that he can’t produce live young? This seems like it can’t be a coincidence.... any advice would be great!
 

JBun

Jenny - Health & Wellness Mod
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
Joined
Sep 10, 2012
Messages
9,611
Reaction score
4,552
Location
Utah, , USA
Sometimes in these cases with pregnancy, fetus, or kit mortality, it turns out to be a feed issue. Improper vitamin content can affect a does ability to get pregnant or to have live healthy kits. I had a breeder friend that was having problems with her does getting pregnant, or when they did have babies, the kits were stillborn or didn't survive long. This friend changed feed and gradually over the next couple months, the does were getting pregnant and having live kits, but the babies still were dying after a couple weeks. Then gradually the kits were surviving.

We suspected that the previous feed had excess vitamin A causing toxicity and the pregnancy and kit issues, and gradually as the toxic vitamin A levels worked its way out of the does systems, the kits were surviving with no genetic abnormalities. Initially the kits that did survive and died after a few weeks, were all showing signs of hydrocephalus and muscular dystrophy movement type issues, all signs of vit. A toxicity.

Because you're seeing this in two of your does, I would strongly suspect a feed issue. Particularly if this new doe was on a different feed in her previous home and is now transitioned onto the feed that you use. Low or toxic vitamin A levels can both cause similar pregnancy and fetus issues, so it could be either possibility. Though with toxic levels, this can be combated by vitamin E administration.

Links contain graphic medical related photos:


 

majorv

Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 8, 2011
Messages
3,416
Reaction score
688
Location
Texas
It is possible that the buck is the problem but since you’ve only tried him once on each then you’d either need to try him on one of the does a second time...I’d probably use the proven doe, or take her to another breeder willing to let you breed her to one of her bucks.
 

Juniperjoy

Member
Joined
Nov 5, 2020
Messages
6
Reaction score
0
Location
California
Sometimes in these cases with pregnancy, fetus, or kit mortality, it turns out to be a feed issue. Improper vitamin content can affect a does ability to get pregnant or to have live healthy kits. I had a breeder friend that was having problems with her does getting pregnant, or when they did have babies, the kits were stillborn or didn't survive long. This friend changed feed and gradually over the next couple months, the does were getting pregnant and having live kits, but the babies still were dying after a couple weeks. Then gradually the kits were surviving.

We suspected that the previous feed had excess vitamin A causing toxicity and the pregnancy and kit issues, and gradually as the toxic vitamin A levels worked its way out of the does systems, the kits were surviving with no genetic abnormalities. Initially the kits that did survive and died after a few weeks, were all showing signs of hydrocephalus and muscular dystrophy movement type issues, all signs of vit. A toxicity.

Because you're seeing this in two of your does, I would strongly suspect a feed issue. Particularly if this new doe was on a different feed in her previous home and is now transitioned onto the feed that you use. Low or toxic vitamin A levels can both cause similar pregnancy and fetus issues, so it could be either possibility. Though with toxic levels, this can be combated by vitamin E administration.

Links contain graphic medical related photos:


thank you for this information! Very interesting, is there a specific type of feed you recommend? They are currently on Timothy hay and Science Selective House Bunny pellets.
 

SableSteel

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 2, 2018
Messages
844
Reaction score
728
Location
Southwest USA
thank you for this information! Very interesting, is there a specific type of feed you recommend? They are currently on Timothy hay and Science Selective House Bunny pellets.
I would recommend a food actually meant for breeding rabbits. They have more protein & some of the vitamins that a nursing or pregnant doe might need. You can buy those pellets at most feed stores. I like Purina brand; Manna Pro is a pretty good brand as well. Holland lops are very difficult to breed. They have big heads and small litters, so they have a lot of stillborns. You need to make sure you are getting as large a litter as possible; the smaller the litter, the more likely it is for each individual kit to be large enough to cause a difficult birth. I'd advise only breeding the doe at the peak of breeding readiness, and then returning her to the buck about 8 hrs later to breed again.
 

JBun

Jenny - Health & Wellness Mod
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
Joined
Sep 10, 2012
Messages
9,611
Reaction score
4,552
Location
Utah, , USA
thank you for this information! Very interesting, is there a specific type of feed you recommend? They are currently on Timothy hay and Science Selective House Bunny pellets.
That's a good brand of food usually, so it may not be the feed. I would try what majorv suggested, and try a different proven buck with your proven doe(or both does). Then after trying that, if you still have problems, try a different feed tp see if that's the problem. Though like Sablesteel said, you will want a higher protein/calcium feed intended for growing/nursing rabbits.

I personally would stick with a high quality brand like science select or oxbow, but just do the junior pellet intended for growing rabbits instead of the lower protein pellets intended for pet rabbits. I believe science select has a junior pellet that would work if you wanted to stick with that brand. You just want an alfalfa based 15-16% protein pellet, with alfalfa as the first ingredient.

One other possibility that can sometimes affect litters, is if a rabbit has rabbit syphilis. So that might be a possibility to consider as well. Though if this is at all possible, you shouldn't be breeding your does with someone else's buck until after successful treatment.


Medirabbit: rabbit syphilis
 

Latest posts

Top