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seagypsy

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Hi, I haven't been on the forum in years. Signed up back in 2014 I think when we got the bunny in my profile picture. He is still with us since we could not find a home for him. The only people who offered were people who wanted to eat him or feed him to reptiles. Recently we acquired another bunny under the same circumstances. A stray female that had been roaming our neighborhood for weeks. Even during our recent ice storm here in Texas. She showed up on our doorstep shortly after we thawed out and allowed us to pick her up. Now we never neutered our male because we didn't have the money and certainly didn't anticipate getting another rabbit, definitely not a female. So here we are with a male and a female both intact. We tried our best to keep them separate but he escaped our grip and introduced himself. Took all of 2 seconds. We pulled him off but he was effective. Yesterday, Easter Sunday, we were surprised with 6 brand new bunnies. We didn't even know she was pregnant. We couldn't believe 2 seconds was enough and we had kept them separate from that point on. In separate rooms. We just completed building separate cages( they look like petting zoo pens) for them last week. So they are in the same room but still separate. Finished them just in time really. So I have lots of questions, first, what breed are my adult bunnies? The white one with spots is our female, we named her Kitty. and the black one is Dodger, the male. He's not dead, he just likes to pretend he is and scare us half to death. I have also included pics of the kits and the double pen we made. On that note I will admit, WE HAVE NO IDEA WHAT WE ARE DOING!!! We could use all the help and advice we can get. Also if anyone in the Dallas/FortWorth area can take any of the babies when they are ready to leave momma we would be grateful. We can't manage so many buns and we don't trust people outside a pet bunny forum. We will not allow them to be eaten by humans or snakes.
 

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zuppa

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Welcome back! It is good to hear you still have him he must be 8 years old now or more, and your girl is a good mama for sure.

You can give her a nesting box build one if you are handy or just find a suitable cardboard box, stuff it with absorbing material (I would use wood pellets), then fill with hay and if she pulled some fur line it with her fur, or you can pluck some fur from her belly or brush both of them to get some fur to line the hay so kits are warm and cosy in there. Then leave her offer her best food (best would be alfalfa based pellets for juniors with min 16% protein and min 1 % calcium because she needs to produce milk). So she must have unlimited (up to 200-240 gram per day) high protein junior pellets, unlimited hay and a plenty of fresh water, she needs to drink a lot to produce milk, and all her usual greens/veg, she can eat whatever she wants now because she is nursing. Check on the babies every morning if they have nice and round bellies it means she feeds them well. She will nurse just once or twice a day, usually late night or early morning and that is enough.

Here's a video how to prepare nesting box. They will stay in there for 2 weeks and after they will be hopping out of it but will still use it as their bed and maybe toilet.

Any questions please ask



Or here nesting box made of plastic box with all explanation why and what

 

seagypsy

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She was pulling out her fur when we woke yesterday morning. That set off alarms and we got worried something was wrong with her. That's when google searches suggested pregnancy. We couldn't believe a 2 second hello would achieve pregnancy but .. wow. So we gently rubbed our fingers down her sides and could feel the babies moving quite enthusiastically. So we quickly filled her hidey-hole box with hay. I had given her a cardboard box with two holes in it so she could go in and hide and run through. She proceeded to deposit the fur in there so we expected she would birth there as well. But she ended up birthing in the old bed sheet we gave her for playing in. I guess all this month she has been with us she has been practicing nesting and we didn't know. We just noticed her temperament was unpredictable and she was moody. But she loved to dig and bury herself in the sheet. That's where she gave birth. So we moved the sheet with some brand new padded cloth diapers into a cardboard box and transferred her fur to that. we were lucky to find them in the sheet. My husband had checked on her and said "no babies yet, she is playing in her sheet". About 20 minutes later I got suspicious and peeked in the sheet. She had just finished cleaning them up and was starting to clean herself. We were so happy to see only 6 and all 6 alive and well. Got scared that she seemed to be ignoring them though. So again, googled like crazy. was relieved to find out they only feed once or twice a day and that it is normal to stay away from the kits. Rabbits are so weird lol.
It is so hard to resist going in and checking them on an hourly basis or picking them up. I'm worse than a little kid when it comes to cute animals, I just want to hold and snuggle them. But I know I have to let them sleep so they can grow.
What should we expect to see over the next week or two? how soon will they start needing food other than what momma gives them?
 

zuppa

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What diapers can you take a pic of her spot? you will have to transfer them into some kind of box or make high borders or if she wants to use that sheet maybe make a hole in the ground and cover with that sheet so they are safe there in the hole and cant escape. This is because they are blind for the first 10 days and they will be crawling around and will get lost and will get cold and can freeze to death and miss their dinner, so that is why high sided box needed.

What to expect over next 2 weeks, they will stay in the nest and will get nursed once or twice a day when no one see. This is not weird actually, rabbits are prey animals and mother will stay away from the nest most of time she doesnt want to attract predators to it, that's why.

It would be best if they have hay covered with fur in their box or hole, they are bold and her fur will protect them from cold, also they are moving and warming each other. You just check on them in the mornings if they are fed and full and all in the nest, and after one week you will probably want to clean the nest as they will pee into it so just change hay and they will have some fur on them so put some fur back if it is still clean.

After 10 days they will start openng eyes and will start leaving the nest for short ventures but will be back for feeding, so their area has to be not too big so they don't get lost.

First two weeks you don't have to worry about them she will take care of them, just make sure she is well fed and has lots of water and no stress. After two weeks things will change a little but I don't want to go that far now you won't remember anyways, just keep us updated, post some pics here and we'll be here to help when you are at the next stage.

Here's a video how babies grow up from day one to one month.

Babies will have to stay with mother for 8 weeks, she will feed them, but after 3-4 weeks they will start nibbling on her food as well, and will start eating hay and drinking water. But you can rehome them only when they are fully weaned and eating hay and solid rabbit food, so 8 weeks.

 

Preitler

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First of all, congratulations. You quite likely have new world champion there, my buck needed full 30 seconds from escaping to impregnating :D

You can add hay to the nest, it's a pretty good nesting material. I'm not sure if they start nibbling on that.

For the next two weeks, you just do nothing but free feed the doe, she'll need 2-3 times the amount of food. Don't worry, nursing does don't get fat.
If the nest is well contained, the kits covered with fur - just leave it. Check for soiled or wet bedding and replace it, but that's it. If the nest is not in a low corner put up low barriers, 3-4" around it to keep the kits from wandering off.
At about 2 weeks they open eyes and start venturing out the nest, you can remove the barriers then but provide an easy way back to the nest. They should have access to the does food then, to get used on solid food (takes another 2 weeks).

Providing the doe with a shelf where she can get away from the kits once they are mobile really helps to keep the stress level down.
 
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seagypsy

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omg... I am gonna have the hardest time rehoming them. how do you let them go when they are soooo cute?!?!?! I will go get a pic of their box. The sheet was iffy so we put the baby diapers between the sheet and the babies. the diapers are organic cloth diapers.
 

seagypsy

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I just got to see something I didn't expect to see. She was trying to feed them but had pulled the sheet between herself and the babies. So I pulled them out from under the sheet and put them next to her. They did the rest. She only fed them for about 5 minutes, but they are very fat so I don't think they needed much. My husband said she was feeding them early this morning. After she was finished I got the pics. They are in a cardboard box that is about 4 inches deep. it doesn't show up well in the picture. after taking the pic I loosely covered them with one layer of the sheet, it still has lots of fur clinging to it.
 

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seagypsy

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Will they be able to pass through chicken 1inch chicken wire once they are crawling around? That is the only thing between them and dad. I'm assuming I should keep dad away from them.
 

zuppa

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That's why hay is better, because they can get tangled up in the sheet. They will constantly be moving around and hay is loose so they always have air and can find their ways in there.

Yes you should keep them away from dad, put a piece of solid wood or something so he can't damage them through the wire.

Here's an old pic from my girl with her kits, I didn't have a proper box either, but you should really get some fur off her because the babies need to stay warm. Just brush her and dad maybe and get some to cover them. Some people also use dryer lent or cotton wool but when you have two rabbits it is easier to get natural fur off them. Rabbit's fur is very light and warm so babies will be warm and nice all the time and important that it is so light they can breath through it, when you cover with something like a towel or sweater it is more difficult to breath through.

Here's some pics of her nest when they were just born





And this is her nest after about 10 days when I took babies out to change the soiled hay



And this is about 2-3 weeks, as you see they already have fur on them so don't need that much fluff but still it is mixed with hay and creates kinda soft cloud around them, protects their eyes from ends etc

 
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zuppa

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In this photo their place looks very nice but actually because they are both intact you'd need to put solid wall between them, because they will be under stress all the time. Also he can manage to get to her over the top, rabbits are very smart especially when there's a nice nursing girl and he can see and smell her all the time. I know he is about 8 years or so but they will be both nervous you will see they will mark their territory with big smelly poos along the wall and maybe will spray each other through it with urine. Best to make it totally solid.



If they will manage to meet again and she gets pregnant again it will be difficult for her since she is still nursing for the next two months and she will have babies in 30 days so you will have to separate her babes from her so she can only nurse new litter, it will be lots of stress, you don't want it and it is bad for her she will be exhausted no time to recover at all.

Here's another thread just a couple weeks ago we had that situation when girl got pregnant immediately after giving birth.


>> Brand New Kits

They manage because people are very nice and taking a very good care of the first litter, but normally you want kits to stay with mother until 8 weeks and they were weaned at 4 weeks.
 
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seagypsy

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yeah he has been peeing on teh floor a lot but he has always done that, we've never gotten him to pee in a litter box but it may be that we have been stressing him out for 8 years. she is a neat freak compared to him. we can clean her side and it will stay poop free for several days. She wont poop outside her litter box unless her box is neglected. but his can be freshly cleaned and he will still poop wherever with every step he takes. not sure if he is a rabbit or a honey badger. we had the middle wall open in hopes of bonding the two but I guess we will have to wait until they are both fixed. ill try to fix up a better nest box in a little while. I had a new piece of office equipment arrive and i have to set that up. but i may delegate the next box fix up to my husband. He is a handy guy and may be able to put togehter a wooden one with all the scraps left over from making the pens. he's already lookign for a panel to cover the middle wall with.
 

seagypsy

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This is what we have for now. may take a day or two to get proper wood to build a good box, but by then they may be too big. Let me know if this little box is good enough. it is the box that a 12 pack of ramen noodles comes in. She had a huge stash of fur in her hidey hole box, I'm guessing they came too suddenly for her to move there before birth. When I reached in i could see she had actually made a nest in there, but the sides are not built up and the bunnies could wiggle out or worse under the flaps of the box. for reference, t he tiles are 13 in by 13in. It looks like there is too much fur, but that isnt even the full stash of what she had collected.
 

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zuppa

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To get fluff off her just hold her and pluck some fur from around her nipples it should be loose now because she actually needs to make them achievable for the kits, also from inside of her hind legs and from her chest and belly, fur should be loose right now and you can get some to cover the babies.
 

zuppa

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This is what we have for now. may take a day or two to get proper wood to build a good box, but by then they may be too big. Let me know if this little box is good enough. it is the box that a 12 pack of ramen noodles comes in. She had a huge stash of fur in her hidey hole box, I'm guessing they came too suddenly for her to move there before birth. When I reached in i could see she had actually made a nest in there, but the sides are not built up and the bunnies could wiggle out or worse under the flaps of the box. for reference, t he tiles are 13 in by 13in. It looks like there is too much fur, but that isnt even the full stash of what she had collected.
Oh that's great I didn't see your post, is there hay underneath and fur on top of hay? Make sure they are not directly on that tiled floor it looks cold to me unless it is heated floor there
 

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She will also eat hay from the nest box while nursing.
 

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As you've already noticed she will only nurse 3-5 mins and after that she will hop out quickly, and sometimes (quite often) she can drag one or two kits on her tits so they will be outside of that box. You don't want them to fall on that tiled floor so it is best to create some softer area around, also restricted somehow because the babies will be crawling around searching for the nest but won't be able to get back in and can froze to death. So think about that, if they are outside the box for a couple hours after feeding they are still in somehow limited area and with lots of hay around so will stay warm until you will find them in the morning and put back into nest.
 

zuppa

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For that reason there's a piece of wood on one side of the nestboxes I've posted in the first comments. Sometimes there's another piece of wood on the other side of opening too.

The box you have for now is fine but you will probably want something stronger when you get a chance, and higher sides

Here's might be handy to your husband

nestbox-size.jpg

nestbox.jpg
 
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seagypsy

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Oh that's great I didn't see your post, is there hay underneath and fur on top of hay? Make sure they are not directly on that tiled floor it looks cold to me unless it is heated floor there
Yes there is paper litter then a thick layer of hay and then a thick layer of fur which they quickly sunk into .
 

seagypsy

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As you've already noticed she will only nurse 3-5 mins and after that she will hop out quickly, and sometimes (quite often) she can drag one or two kits on her tits so they will be outside of that box. You don't want them to fall on that tiled floor so it is best to create some softer area around, also restricted somehow because the babies will be crawling around searching for the nest but won't be able to get back in and can froze to death. So think about that, if they are outside the box for a couple hours after feeding they are still in somehow limited area and with lots of hay around so will stay warm until you will find them in the morning and put back into nest.
I didn't think of that, thanks for pointing that out. I will get a fluffy rug or something under the box.
 
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