The day before they quit dying I had quit feeding the hay. I had not lost another this entire time and they were growing and doing great, so I decided that what ever it was was over. I also decided that it wasn't the hay since I also researched giving hay to rabbits and found that hay was good for rabbits. Soooo....I bought some more hay and fed it to them. The next morning another one dead. Only one left now! This time there is no doubt, it is the hay. Both times it came from the same place and I do not believe it is a coincidence. I think it has to be a small amount of fertilizer or poison in or on the hay since it is killing so quickly. Lesson learned. BTW i checked it for poisonous weeds mixed in, but if it were only maybe one or two, it is possible that I could have missed it.
There might have been mold in the hay too. Mold will kill rabbits quickly. Rabbits really do need hay. You just need to find a good source. I have been feeding my rabbits hay for over 10 years and never had a problem but since I have alpacas and now goats, I know what to look for and alpacas can't have bad hay either or it could kill them. Hopefully your other little rabbit will be fine.
No I made sure that there was no mold. They only rabbits that died from it were he babies out of the two does that I bought, none of the adults had a problem with it. Everytime I fed the hay I would end up with one or two dead the next day. I was keeping it out fulltime until I lost 3 in one day. At that point I removed everything from their cage but the pellets and the water. I didn't lose another one until now. From appearances it is very good hay for horses that I have been feeding my goats. The reason I think it was just killing the babies(2 months old now) is that it had traces of something that didn't affect the adults as badly. It was a little drier than I like and I wondeed if maybe it was choking them, but even then it would seem like it would affect the adults. I have always fed my rabbits pelleted food until recently when I started trying hay to reduce feed costs, with the idea of eventually pasturing them.
There is a drying agent that some hay farmers put on the hay to help it dry faster. Maybe that is what is on the hay that you got. It usually doesn't affect the animals but I could see it affecting babies. I'm not sure what the drying agent is called.
You may have just solved my delima of dying babies. I was going to process all my rabbits this fall and start over. Now you have me thinking - ummmm the hay. Out of 3 litters I ended up with 2 survivers. And they all started dropping like flies when I added fresh hay.
2dream-Thank you! At least now I know that I am not the only one. My probem started when I started adding hay, when I quit it quit. Then I lost another when I added hay again 2 weeks later. Maybe we need to research babies and hay!
Rebecca what type or brand of hay were you feeding? I am asking because if you look on backyard chickens I am having the same problems. Only i am seeing jelly like stools with some of mine. Yet am getting the bloated bellies, and constipation. Death from 24 hours to a week. Only seems to be effecting my jrs.
The thing is is I sold some to a farm store about a week and a half ago. Thse rabbits are getting locally raised alfalfa, not the commercail stuff. They aren't having any problems.
I was feeding manna pro feeds, and switched to kent when I started seeing problems.
Gypsy posted something on the other forum that may be helpful.