Kits dying and i dont know why

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Ltilson71

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I have two does. One kindled on day 32. She had 6 kits. The other kindled on day 33, she had two kits.
None born dead. Both had 6 sucessful liters in the past two years according to the previous owner ranging from 6 to 13 kits with no problems.
Both made nice nests, both kept the kits close to the front but often would catch them uncovered. Never could catch moms feeding. Some kits look plump, other s malnourished, fur stuck on feet and mouth with dryed urine. Everyday one dies , usually the smallest one. Today two of healthiest one are cold dead when i checked this a.m. all stretched out, bellies empty.
I am a first time rabbit mom and this is utterly saddening to me. Today is day 4 and one is looking purple and im afraid its not going to make it.

They are outdoors in covered hutches, temp s running in the 40s at night 60s in the day.
Is there anything i can do?
Thank you.
 

dogwoodblossoms

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It sounds like the moms aren’t producing enough milk. Dandelion, calf manna, and extra protein pellets (18%) help production. They should have unlimited feed when lactating.
For the cold, you can buy litter saver which is just extra fur for the babies in the nest online or at the pet store. That might help for the temps. Rabbits are most comfortable at 60-65 degrees.
 

JBun

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If the mom hasn't fed them by 36 hours after birth, you would need to intervene and either help them nurse from her, or if she's not producing enough milk, as a last resort start hand feeds. Otherwise they can just starve to death. Also if the doe isn't cleaning them properly, then you would need to step in and keep them clean and stimulate them to pee.

If you don't have the kits in nest boxes, they need to be to prevent them from scattering and also so they stay warm, especially now it's getting cold. Otherwise the kits will just crawl away from the nest and get chilled and eventually die.

 

Ltilson71

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Thank you. They have nice nesting boxes with plenty of hay and pulled fur. The only thing i notice is they nest near the front rather than the back which makes it easy fir mom to jump in and crush them.
 

Preitler

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Mom crushing them is not likely, never experiened that issue. I've seen kits aggregating around the entrance, but only in hot weather. They always look for their Goldilock zone.

I tend to keep away for days from the nest, after an initial check up and removing of soiled bedding and dead kits.
 
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Thank you. They have nice nesting boxes with plenty of hay and pulled fur. The only thing i notice is they nest near the front rather than the back which makes it easy fir mom to jump in and crush them.
The kits would be better protected if they were huddled in the back surrounded by hair/fur. We had some does who were really good about covering the kits after they finished nursing and some who didn’t. Just curious, are you using metal nestboxes or wood ones?
 

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