Hi, I’m a newbie (with newborn kits)

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EdenFarmRabbits

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Hello,

My name is Katherina. We have Mini Lops and our sweet Janet just gave birth to 5 beautiful babies 2 days ago.

She seems happy enough and is feeding them. I can see the milk in their tummies.

She pants a bit and sometimes loud. Is that normal? She’s eating an incredible amount of hay, greens and grass which is understandable.

She actually gave birth to 6 but 1 died. I separated Dad when I knew she was a few days away from giving birth.

Any tips?

I hope I’ve posted in the right group.

K
 

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Plumpedbunny

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Its perfectly normal for a baby not to make it. Congrats on your baby bunnies. I recommend not handling the babies too much or at all if it can be helped and let the mother do what she needs to do. They will be ready to be handled after 4 weeks and after 8 weeks they'll be independent from there mother.
 

JBun

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I held mine from the start, but it didn't bother my doe at all, and I did always wash my hands before and was careful handling them. For some does it can upset them or cause issues if the kits are messed with too much in the first two weeks.

Though it is important that new kits should be taken out of the nest to be checked daily, and make sure they're being fed and cleaned by mom and that there are no dead kits in the nest. And also to make sure no kits have been separated or dragged out and are chilled.



I can't think why a doe would be panting at all after she's already given birth unless there's a health issue going on, possibly a serious one. If it's over 85f degrees where you are, panting can indicate heat stress and dangerous overheating. If this is occurring you'll need to take steps to keep her and the kits cool enough or they could develop heat stroke, which can cause permanent neurological damage or death. There are also pregnancy complications like bleeding, uterine infection, low blood calcium, etc that can occur.


Are you also free feeding an alfalfa/lucerne based good quality rabbit food pellet, or is the hay you're feeding alfalfa/lucerne?
 

Preitler

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Handling them isn't a problem - but they need their rest and warmth, checking on them is ok, showing them to everyone, toting around, petting cute little bunnies - not. I don't take them out the first three or four days, just put my hand in the nest and check them by touch. Only if the nest is too wet and soiled to be cleaned that way they go with everything dry into a bucket with a warm water bottle (if it's colds outside). I start handling a little more after about a week, holding them for a minute or so when they are properly furred, but also not too much. Even after they open their eyes they still need a lot of sleep and rest.
Some does are protective of the nest, I lock those who would interfere away or take the whole box out for checking. Others are just curious, or don't mind at all. (Fury (Picture) is of the curious sort.)

If they get lots of fresh grass and weeds (more than she cold possible eat) now in spring there should be enough protein in there, supplementing with alfalfa good pellets to make sure she gets everything she needs never hurts. Never had a nursing doe getting fat.

She's eating way more now, digesting it is hard work, if it's also rather warm now that could be the reason for her acting somewhat exhausted at times. If it's already above 20°C. I would offer her something cool to lie on, like a slab of concrete or stone.
If the panting is constant, persisting and severe this quite likely isn't the sole reason.
 

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