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Rookie mistake... :(

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Skip&Piper

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Hi all, so as you may know, we added sibling mini-lops to our household this Christmas. They were sexed twice and we were told they were both girls. They have been getting along amazingly well so they’ve been sharing a 4’x 8’ enclosure without issue.

One time when I had them out to play, I noticed Skipper circling Piper, but it only happened once. Then another week or so went by and Skipper would just seem to be kind of bossy, but they still never fought at all. Skipper would sometimes spray pee when near Piper, and would sniff at Piper’s hind end.

Yesterday Skipper attempted to mount Piper, but it was short lived and they moved on. but
Then today Skipper actually did manage to actually get on Piper, and so I moved them apart, thinking, geez Skipper, Piper knows you are the boss, you don’t have to keep trying to prove it! But Skipper wouldn’t leave her be, so when she tried again, I actually lifted her up in to my arms, and lo and behold, I could see quite clearly that she was indeed a he....

I feel stupid for trusting the lady we got them from and not checking myself, but, I have no experience sexing rabbits, and at 4 months I figured I could trust what she said with confidence.

I have obviously separated them now, but I have some questions:

How likely is it that Piper is actually pregnant? They are just 5 months old (as of yesterday)?

Am I stupid to think that this hasn’t been going on all night, and day while I was at work? I’ve never seen any behaviour like this between them when they were in the cage, only when let out.

How terrible is it for siblings to mate?(I’m reading conflicting information on this.)

I have their spays (or I guess spay/neuter!) booked for Feb 6, which is 23 days from now. Will I know for certain by that point if she is pregnant, and if yes, what should I do? I don’t really want to add more baby rabbits to the world if I can’t guarantee that they will be well taken care of, and certainly not if they will be unhealthy, but I would feel terrible if I terminated them by proceeding with the spay anyway. If they have a high chance of being healthy, I will do my best to care for them and find them all good homes, but I hope hope hope that she is not pregnant.

I’m honestly just baffled, I suppose I should have separated them right off the bat, but I was told they were girls and had no reason not to believe what I was told, but in hindsight, I should have checked for myself.

I welcome any advice you can provide me, feeling a little overwhelmed currently!
 

Augustus&HazelGrace

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It is very likely that she is pregnant, if she is by day ten you should be able to feel small marbles, but you have to do it gently and if you have no experience doing this then your probably not going to be able to do it (It took me a few pregnancies to get it right). If you find you can't do it make an appointment with your vet at around day 15 to do an ultrasound or him to do a palpation (feeling for the kits) Kits- Baby rabbits. If she is indeed pregnant then she will deliver on the 31st day, they can deliver as soon as 28 days and as late as 35 days. Be sure to keep them separated until 4 weeks after her spay and 6-8 weeks after his neuter to let their hormones get completely out of their system, no matter what the vet tells you if you are wanting to bond them wait until the 6-8 weeks or there will be fighting. The sibling breeding should be fine this one time as long as it doesn't continue. Some breeders use this occasionally to bring out some good genes in that line that being said it can also bring out bad genes but with this being a one-time thing (hopefully) then it shouldn't be an issue. You are not in fault for not knowing they were male and female and you had no reason to separate. Please don't terminate the pregnancy by the time the spay is she will be very close to giving birth. I would wait to see what the vet tells you when you go to see if she is pregnant If she is you will have to cancel the surgery. Also, I would call the vet right now to tell him the other one is male and you will need to change it to a neuter (These are often cheaper than spays because it's easier to do a neuter than a spay.) Also if she is pregnant then you will have to reschedule the surgery until about 6 weeks after the babies are born or she won't continue to feed them.
 

Skip&Piper

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Thank you so much for the reply!

I have called the vet and changed my double spay appointment to a single neuter appointment. We will wait and see what happens with Miss Piper, and go from there. I definitely did not want to terminate the pregnancy, but I was worried sibling mating was going to be bad news. I’m glad to hear from you (and also my vet) that this shouldn’t be a problem. So - I’m going to spend the next few weeks reading up all I can on how keep everyone happy and healthy! By my calculations, if Piper is pregnant, the babies are due on Valentines Day, which is super adorable.

Thanks again for your reply, and for the words of encouragement regarding the mistake. This was never my intention, in fact I purposely did not get super young bunnies because I wanted to be sure what genders I had. But, things happen for a reason, and perhaps I will be lucky and she is not pregnant, and then I will have at least found out that Skipper is a boy, before the day of their surgery!
 

Augustus&HazelGrace

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https://www.raising-rabbits.com/rabbit-breeding.html
https://www.raising-rabbits.com/taking-care-of-baby-rabbits.html
https://www.raising-rabbits.com/care-of-baby-rabbits.html
https://www.raising-rabbits.com/raising-baby-rabbits.html
These links should help you with your new bunny life(if it should happen) and with it going on for so long I would just treat her like she is pregnant just in case. I'm not sure how much your feeding her but I would up it in the last two weeks of her pregnancy and after the kits are born to let her have unlimited food and give her a teaspoon of Old Fashioned Oats to help with milk production and if you think that the babies are not getting enough food then up her oats to about a tablespoon. Also put the nest box in on day 28 so she can get it ready, this is just a rule of thumb even though all of my does make their nest 5 minutes before they deliver. Throw some straw into her cage when you put the nestbox in and if she starts gathering it up I can almost guarantee that she will have babies.
 

CharlieRae

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She is likely pregnant. I just want to input, if your doe is a free roaming house bunny, make sure to keep a close eye on her at the end of her pregnancy. I had a house bunny that made a nest in the drawer under my couch! Even when I gave her a nest box! Little stinker. If I hadn't discovered it she may have given birth there. I had to keep her confined to a smaller space until she gave birth.
 

Skip&Piper

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Thanks for the links and the advice Augustus&HazelGrace, there is some great info there with nice clear timelines that makes me feel like I can handle this!

CharlieRae - free roam is the ultimate goal, but as of now they are in a large enclosure (separated from each other now of course!) They are still working on litter training, so hopefully after they are both neutered/spayed, we will get there!
 

jazzywoo

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first of all don't beat yourself up.about it trust me even vets can get it wrong I once bought a male continental giant sexed by his breeder who had over 40years of owning bunnies myself who is fully qualified in animal care and at the time had been breeding and showing rabbits for over 10years and by our vet who was one of the best small animal vets in the area yet we all got it wrong our buck Hercules was a doe!! Lol oh and I have another story that will blow your mind my friend found a dutch hunny in the woods it hated her so came to me and we named her Oreo we had her vet checked he confirmed she was a she and was ok to be bonded as she had a full clean bill of health as she was a doe I paired her up with group of my does she was the only Dutch rabbit we owned therefore there no chance of any mistakes ever !! So imagine my surprise when a few weeks later I found a litter of Dutch x mini lips shock was a understatement so I took Oreo flipped her over to find 2 very obvious testicles so I told her now him off for tricking us all and put him in with a buck we had who was on his own as his friend had died a few weeks before and he loved to have company so it seemed like a good idea to give him a new friend I called my friend and told her what had happened she like me was shocked and so was the vet when I called him to tell him what had happened. Fast forward a few weeks i go to clean them out and find a nest in the corner of Oreos and dalek secs hutch confused I look at them wondering why either of them would have made a nest I would have understood if it was ianto jones, funny gloppy dalek cann ,captain blackbeard , ben, Robbie rotton or even bannakaffalatta as they had often made beautiful nests for their wives and helped to raise their young but Dalek sec had never made a nest in his whole 8 years of owning him even when his wife littered he didn't bother with helping so slightly confused I inspect the nest and found 4 kits inside it which floored me after all there were 2 bucks in the hutch Oreo had fathered a litter of 6 with Tilly a few weeks before and she was now raising the strangest litter I've ever seen there was a mixture of sticking up ears and lopped ears mini lops and Dutch crosses oh they were so adorable now I was looking at some more mini lop Dutch cross kits only this time Oreo hadn't fathered them he had actually given birth to them and was feeding and raising them as you imagine I was confused so I flipped him over to find yes his testicles were still their yet he was lactating milk !! So I called my vet and explained what had happened he asked like any normal person would are you sure you hadn't put the wrong Dutch in the hutch i explained i only have 1 Dutch rabbit just 1 so that isn't even possible he told me to bring him her it into the surgery as he was interested in what was going on I took pictures of the other litter to show him the first litter too we arrive at the vets and the vet looked at Oreo he confirmed yes he had 2 testicles and a penis but he was also lactating milk he also had a vagina !! My get very confused but also excited as Oreo as you have probably worked was a heraphrodite a rabbit with both sexes what was so exciting was they are always infertile and under no circumstances can they usually produce babies so this was a rare situation especially as Oreo had first fartherd a litter then become a mother my friend was as shocked as the rest of us so when I go home I put Oreo in a hutch on his own to allow him to raise the litter and to avoid any more suprises and Oreo was to stay alone as the vet said it was too dangerous to operate . Fast forward 6 months Oreo has not shared a hutch or been in contact with any rabbit at all so imagine my shock to get again find a nest in the corner of the hutch and in the best was 4 kits !!!! I'm not joking there in the best was 4 babies I was so shocked and the main question was how the did that happen it was 6 months since she had been anywhere near another rabbit so it was my dalek secs litter as they had been apart to long so it wasn't even a case of him getting Oreo pregnant as soon as the litter was born again I called the vet , again we took Oreo and the new litter to him he checked Oreo over saying that he was fine after he checked him over I asked how the hell did this even happen the reply was although the only explanation still came as shock Oreo had not only fathered a litter with Tilly , mothered a litter with dalek sec he had also fathered and mothered his own litter !!!! yeah sounds crazy doesn't it ? The vet went on to tell me that this was rare and strange and crazy in every way possible weird and then asked if and when Oreo died could he please have him as he wanted to pickle him and keep him in a jar which when the time came he did just that and Oreo was on display in his home !! Lol as I said before don't beat yourself up over this it happens just make sure you give unlimited food I recommend Alan and page breeder grower it a brilliant food and costs less than £12 a sack which will last ages I can be used as a every day food not only for does with litters I do advise take the kits out at 6 weeks sooner if they are fully weaned as mum can get pregnant by her own kits and makes can produce litters as early as 5 weeks I've seen it happen more than once !! Personally if I was you get dad castrated asap if he's done you don't need to do her plus it's a.more risky surgery for the doe keep him away from her for 8weeks as he can still breed after surgery for several weeks so keep them separate and don't worry the babies should be ok they won't be born with 2 heads or be deformed or anything so try not to worry good luck xx
Hi all, so as you may know, we added sibling mini-lops to our household this Christmas. They were sexed twice and we were told they were both girls. They have been getting along amazingly well so they’ve been sharing a 4’x 8’ enclosure without issue.

One time when I had them out to play, I noticed Skipper circling Piper, but it only happened once. Then another week or so went by and Skipper would just seem to be kind of bossy, but they still never fought at all. Skipper would sometimes spray pee when near Piper, and would sniff at Piper’s hind end.

Yesterday Skipper attempted to mount Piper, but it was short lived and they moved on. but
Then today Skipper actually did manage to actually get on Piper, and so I moved them apart, thinking, geez Skipper, Piper knows you are the boss, you don’t have to keep trying to prove it! But Skipper wouldn’t leave her be, so when she tried again, I actually lifted her up in to my arms, and lo and behold, I could see quite clearly that she was indeed a he....

I feel stupid for trusting the lady we got them from and not checking myself, but, I have no experience sexing rabbits, and at 4 months I figured I could trust what she said with confidence.

I have obviously separated them now, but I have some questions:

How likely is it that Piper is actually pregnant? They are just 5 months old (as of yesterday)?

Am I stupid to think that this hasn’t been going on all night, and day while I was at work? I’ve never seen any behaviour like this between them when they were in the cage, only when let out.

How terrible is it for siblings to mate?(I’m reading conflicting information on this.)

I have their spays (or I guess spay/neuter!) booked for Feb 6, which is 23 days from now. Will I know for certain by that point if she is pregnant, and if yes, what should I do? I don’t really want to add more baby rabbits to the world if I can’t guarantee that they will be well taken care of, and certainly not if they will be unhealthy, but I would feel terrible if I terminated them by proceeding with the spay anyway. If they have a high chance of being healthy, I will do my best to care for them and find them all good homes, but I hope hope hope that she is not pregnant.

I’m honestly just baffled, I suppose I should have separated them right off the bat, but I was told they were girls and had no reason not to believe what I was told, but in hindsight, I should have checked for myself.

I welcome any advice you can provide me, feeling a little overwhelmed currently!
 

Skip&Piper

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Oh my gosh Jazzywoo, that is the most amazing story!

I’m happy to report that we did indeed have Skipper neutered on Feb 6th, and he’s recovering very well!

We are putting a nest box in for Piper tomorrow which would be day 28 of the first time I caught them together. She seems to be rather round compared to Skipper, but I don’t really see any other signs of pregnancy. I will keep you all posted!
 

Augustus&HazelGrace

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Oh my gosh Jazzywoo, that is the most amazing story!

I’m happy to report that we did indeed have Skipper neutered on Feb 6th, and he’s recovering very well!

We are putting a nest box in for Piper tomorrow which would be day 28 of the first time I caught them together. She seems to be rather round compared to Skipper, but I don’t really see any other signs of pregnancy. I will keep you all posted!
Have you tried the straw trick by throwing it into her cage?
 

Skip&Piper

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I have put in the nest box with straw in it! She had made a couple cute looking nests right after I put it in, but has since broken it down and doesn’t spend as much time in there any more. I think I will change out the hay today, since I don’t see any fur pulling or any other signs, so I think I have 4 days to wait, or she’s not pregnant at all.

Here’s one of her first nests:
upload_2019-2-14_18-10-27.jpeg
 
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Hi all, so as you may know, we added sibling mini-lops to our household this Christmas. They were sexed twice and we were told they were both girls. They have been getting along amazingly well so they’ve been sharing a 4’x 8’ enclosure without issue.

One time when I had them out to play, I noticed Skipper circling Piper, but it only happened once. Then another week or so went by and Skipper would just seem to be kind of bossy, but they still never fought at all. Skipper would sometimes spray pee when near Piper, and would sniff at Piper’s hind end.

Yesterday Skipper attempted to mount Piper, but it was short lived and they moved on. but
Then today Skipper actually did manage to actually get on Piper, and so I moved them apart, thinking, geez Skipper, Piper knows you are the boss, you don’t have to keep trying to prove it! But Skipper wouldn’t leave her be, so when she tried again, I actually lifted her up in to my arms, and lo and behold, I could see quite clearly that she was indeed a he....

I feel stupid for trusting the lady we got them from and not checking myself, but, I have no experience sexing rabbits, and at 4 months I figured I could trust what she said with confidence.

I have obviously separated them now, but I have some questions:

How likely is it that Piper is actually pregnant? They are just 5 months old (as of yesterday)?

Am I stupid to think that this hasn’t been going on all night, and day while I was at work? I’ve never seen any behaviour like this between them when they were in the cage, only when let out.

How terrible is it for siblings to mate?(I’m reading conflicting information on this.)

I have their spays (or I guess spay/neuter!) booked for Feb 6, which is 23 days from now. Will I know for certain by that point if she is pregnant, and if yes, what should I do? I don’t really want to add more baby rabbits to the world if I can’t guarantee that they will be well taken care of, and certainly not if they will be unhealthy, but I would feel terrible if I terminated them by proceeding with the spay anyway. If they have a high chance of being healthy, I will do my best to care for them and find them all good homes, but I hope hope hope that she is not pregnant.

I’m honestly just baffled, I suppose I should have separated them right off the bat, but I was told they were girls and had no reason not to believe what I was told, but in hindsight, I should have checked for myself.

I welcome any advice you can provide me, feeling a little overwhelmed currently!
This same thing happened to me! I felt like a dummy. I had 2 litters within a week as Lyon then named June was house with 2 girls. He had a split penis so it was difficult to tell until he matured and his testicals dropped. Luckily I found a great home for the babies. I understand the frustration! Keep an eye on her and prepare for a litter of kits
 

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