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Just rescued two buns...

Discussion in 'Birthing, Weaning and Raising Young Rabbits' started by Lyssbaby2010, Oct 4, 2018.

  1. Oct 4, 2018
    Lyssbaby2010

    Lyssbaby2010 Herd lurker

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    I just rescued two rabbits from a home where they weren't wanted nor really cared for. Just got both checked by the vet and the female is pregnant. she'll probably pop in a week or so.. I've never had a rabbit who was pregnant before. What all is needed? special diet? they have nest boxes, unlimited timothy hay, and plain pellets. We also suspect the male might be deaf but not 100% sure. If anyone can give me some pointers and some help I'd appreciate it. Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Oct 4, 2018
    Sundragons

    Sundragons Loving the herd life

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    First and foremost, separate them. Babies strain any relationship and rabbits are no exception. A lactating doe and kits shouldn't be housed together with a buck for everyone's well being.

    Second, you're going to need a nesting box, and probably immediately. If she's within a week of delivering, she's going to start looking for a nest soon. Stuff the box with fresh grass, and leave a generous pile in her cage. She'll do the rest when she's ready. And I mean stuff it. Leave a hollow in there for her to get into, but fill that sucker up.

    When she's close to delivering, she'll pull fur and line the nest box with it. This is normal and expected. Some rabbits do it days before, some do it minutes before, but they all do it. When you see a bunch of fluff in the nesting box, she's close, or she's already done and you'll find kits.

    After she delivers, she may not feed the first day, or sometimes even the second. it takes a little time for her milk to come in. Even when she DOES feed, it'll be a couple times a day only and 5-10 minutes each time. If the babies are round and you can see the milk in her bellies, all is well. If they're wrinkly and looking dehydrated, more attention may be needed.

    More or less, she will know instinctively what to do, let her do it and stay out of her way. Always keep her water full, making milk is thirsty work. I would suggest increasing her pellet ration until the kits are weaned (5-6 weeks usually), because again, producing milk takes a lot out of a girl. I Supplement lactating does with Calf manna (1 TBSP Calf manna per 1/4 cup of feed) for some additional extra protein. It's a calf milk replacer pellet, and it works great with rabbits (and all kinds of other animals as well)

    Wean at 5-6 weeks, and get one or the other fixed. Id' suggest the buck, since mamma's gonna be busy for a few weeks and he'll need time after neutering before he's not potent.

    That should cover the basics, the rest you can pick up on the way.