Surprise litter - please help me!!

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Squeak

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Hello! I have what I was told were two female mini lops...however, it turns out that one was actually a boy after discovering a nest and some wiggling hay. :confused:

Can anyone help me with what I need to do? I’m so scared the kits will die and am terrified of looking in case the mother rejects them! I have searched the internet and there are lots of mentions of neat boxes but I don’t have one. Jet (the mother) has made a very snug looking nest from hay and fur but I have left this largely undisturbed (except for adding more hay when it looks low). I noticed the wriggling 6 days ago today.

Any help would be much appreciated. Thanks in advance :)
 

Preitler

Loony bunny guy
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When there is a nice nest it's ok, no need for a box. The doe doesn't reject kits because someone touches them, rabbits don't care about that. What they care about is the nest, and some rabbits are a litttle protective and might get a little upset when you do something to it right in front of their nose, others don't care at all, maybe do it when she's away eating or so. It's no problem handling the kits, at that age they are already out of the rough anyway.

What is more important, when did you remove the other rabbit? It's quite possible that she's already pregnant again when the buck was around when she gave birth, you might need to seperate the kits at 4 weeks of age.
 

Imbrium

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^ What Preitler said... except that I disagree about the nest box. It may not matter right now, but as the kits get a little bigger, the nest box stops them from wriggling away and dying of exposure, drowning in a water bowl, etc. (unlike cats and such, a mother rabbit is NOT able to pick up her kits and put them back in the nest) - they'll start wriggling around before their eyes actually open if they're not contained. If you don't have a proper nest box, you can use something like a shoebox - as long as it's big enough for the kits, high enough to keep them in and low enough for the mom to hop in and out. Put a little layer of hay or something on the bottom and then gently transfer both her nest and the kits into the box and place it where her nest was. While it's not a bad idea to remove her from the cage while you're making the transfer, you don't need to worry that she'll reject the kits just because you've touched them.

If the buck was in the cage when she gave birth, then yeah, the odds are high that she's pregnant again. If you wish to prevent a second litter, you can discuss the option of an emergency spay with your veterinarian (since most vets remove the uterus in addition to the ovaries, a spay will terminate the pregnancy). It's worth considering, especially if she's still a 'teenager' herself (ie still growing) because the back-to-back pregnancies are really hard on her body, plus if she isn't fully grown then that increases the risk of complications like a kit getting stuck. If you don't terminate, it becomes extra important to modify her diet to help her replenish nutrients. Alfalfa hay and alfalfa-based pellets are usually avoided for adult rabbits because of the higher calcium and protein content but can provide great nutrition for pregnant/nursing does and young kits as they start to nibble at what she eats. A good variety of leafy green veggies should also be provided (it's ok if the kits take a nibble or two once they're old enough to be out of the nest box).
 
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