Runt or peanut?

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Kimchilla

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Our doe had 9 kits on the 16th. It has been very cold (10*F daytime) for most of their lives so I've poked around in the nest very little until two days ago when it got up to 38*. When I hauled them all out I noticed that we have two very small kits, a lot of medium sized kits and only two as large as I'd expect them to be. Here is a photo of one of the small kits next to the biggest kit. I bought some KMR to supplement feed a few of the smallest kits. This little guy just looks the worse for it.
She is a first time mom and this is a bigger litter so I think the smaller kits are just not getting there share.
But I was wondering 1) if anyone thought that this kit was a peanut or just a very thin runt? We have two like this little guy. I've never had/seen a peanut before.
2) I've tried to set our doe down and stick a couple of the smaller kits under her. They go to town hunting for food but never come back with full bellies???
 

zuppa

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Instead of bottle feeding you can remove the fattest kits from the nest for every other feeding (keeping them warm and safe somewhere), usually the strongest kits are getting more milk and the weakest ones not getting enough. The fattest ones will be fine if they skip one feeding, but the weakest ones will get their bellies full and you will see how it will change things just within a few days.

Also make sure their mother is getting unlimited high protein food and supplements, lots of fresh water available for her at all times and she is happy and relaxed. I'd rather take care of her so she can produce enough milk, rabbit's milk is very fat and very nutritious, you can't really replace it with anything, especially when you have mother, just take care of her and she will feed them. Rabbits can have up to 14 kits in one litter so you better supplement her food than feeding kits with replacements.

2) This is generally good idea to give them an extra feed, but make sure you do it not after she nursed but when she is full of milk. It should work.
 

Kimchilla

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Our set up is a 2x4' hutch with two roomy "nest boxes", then a ramp to get down into a 4x4' area.
For the extra feeding, I have grabbed the doe and set her in the "nest box" that does not have the kits in it, full of hay and set a couple of the smaller kits under her while she munches on a treat or carrot. Seems to work well, as far as she is happy to stay put, but their bellies do not come away looking full?!
Right, yes, she does have access to a lot of hay, pellets and fresh water. Veggie treats too (limited).
I have never seen her feed them so I'm not sure when she is. I suppose I could just pull the four well fed kits at night assuming that she will go in to feed in the AM.

Does the "force feeding" like I mentioned, taking her and setting a couple under her, usually work? I cannot figure out why they appear to be nursing but they're not coming away looking full...

Thanks for the reply!
 

SableSteel

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I do that force feeding. It can take a long time for the babies to get full - they dont seem to fill up as fast as when their mother choses to feed them. Usually takes about twenty minutes for them to start to show milk in their bellies. The baby is NOT a peanut. It has normal ears, peanuts always have tiny, pointed ears.
 

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