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Stuck kits?

Discussion in 'Birthing, Weaning and Raising Young Rabbits' started by AmberLops, Apr 27, 2019.

  1. Apr 27, 2019
    AmberLops

    AmberLops Loving the herd life

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    Hi everyone!
    I'm posting this because I don't have any experience with stuck kits....or breeding Lionheads.
    So yesterday my Lionhead doe was due to have her first litter (she's 7 months old) and I was keeping an eye on her, thinking she'd have her kits later in the night but I went to check on her again at noon and she was laying in her cage with a kit stuck and only half its body hanging out.
    I got some oil, lubed up the baby and it took a while to get it out but of course it was dead.
    The next kit she had was dead also but she birthed it just fine. She started having contractions again but the third baby wouldn't budge. Finally it's back feet came out and I lubed it up and that one took about 30 minutes to get out. Also, the babies were underdeveloped even though she did have a full term pregnancy.
    The buck I bred her to was a very small (2lb) lionhead so I can't figure out why she had so much trouble!
    Do you think if I bred her again the same thing would happen?
    Are there some does that just can't be bred without getting stuck kits?
    I'm used to my Holland Lops but thought i'd try Lionheads and this was my first lionhead breeding.
     
  2. Apr 27, 2019
    B&B Happy goats

    B&B Happy goats Herd Master Golden Herd Member

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    I don't know what to say, like you....never had it happen , really sorry that you had to experience this :(and loose some kits :hugs
     
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  3. Apr 27, 2019
    AmberLops

    AmberLops Loving the herd life

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    Thank you :hugs I'm just glad my doe is okay and it didn't happen while I was at work.
    I'm thinking of breeding her to my Netherland Dwarf buck...not many rabbits are smaller than him!
     
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  4. Apr 28, 2019
    promiseacres

    promiseacres Herd Master

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    Lion heads carry the dwarf gene if I think. That may be the problem rather than actually a size problem. @Bunnylady do you have any insight?
     
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  5. Apr 28, 2019
    Bunnylady

    Bunnylady True BYH Addict

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    The Holland Lop is a dwarf breed as well.:idunno

    It's funny - just yesterday, I had a Dwarf doe go two days past her due date, and deliver two stillborn peanuts. They were about the size of normal, full-term kits, but they had the typical weird-looking heads and undersized back legs (I assume the extra two days' gestation accounts for them being bigger than peanuts usually are). People often talk like you get one baby in a litter of four being born a peanut, but actually, every baby conceived in a true-dwarf-to-true-dwarf breeding has one chance in four; it's like flipping two coins at the same time and both coming up "tails." This time, both babies lost the toss; I have heard of (but never experienced) litters of as many as 4 or 5 with all of them peanuts.

    But yeah, I was thinking this could be a case of all of the babies being peanuts; that would account for them looking underdeveloped. That wouldn't explain them getting stuck, though. While I have occasionally had to help a doe deliver a kit, with mine, they were always grossly oversized kits. With three in a litter kindled on their due date, I wouldn't think they'd be all that big.:idunno

    I have heard of does that, for one reason or another, don't labor properly. One breeder I knew told me that English Angoras are notorious for it; they often wind up delivering a litter over the course of days rather than mere minutes (never having worked with the breed, I have only her word to go on for this). Her solution was Oxytocin. Vets may be keeping a tighter control on such things now, but she had a vet who trusted her to know when and how to use the stuff, and let her have a bottle. While I have heard of dog breeds that can't give birth without a Cesarean, it all seems a bit too much for me; I would consider being able to give birth and raise the litter as being a requirement for keeping a place in the gene pool.
     
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  6. Apr 28, 2019
    AmberLops

    AmberLops Loving the herd life

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    I'm sorry about your babies!
    My sister has Netherland dwarfs and I was thinking about taking her to my sister's place to have her bred by one of her bucks. She has a super small buck and I think it's worth trying. If she can't have his kits without getting stuck then i'll have to find her a new home. She's just not that small so I don't know what happened and the buck I bred her to was also small! And what I've read about stuck kits is exactly what you said...oversized kits! But hers looked underdeveloped and small.
    And I know that Hollands are a dwarf breed but I've never had problems with stuck kits with them...only peanuts.
    My sister has the BUDs and that seems to help with the peanuts. She used to have mostly true dwarf does but then she got some BUDs and it works out so much better...she breeds them to tiny bucks.
    They still give some true dwarfs and they have less peanuts. :)
    And she has some gorgeous rabbits!
     
  7. Apr 28, 2019
    Bunnylady

    Bunnylady True BYH Addict

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    If the BUD's are false dwarfs, they can't have peanuts, since they don't have a dwarfing gene to pass on to their offspring. Either your sister is breeding some rabbits that are oversized true dwarfs (it can happen!) or she is getting babies with some problem other than dwarfism.:idunno

    I appreciate the sympathy.:hugs Trying to decide what to do about the doe - do I re-breed (that'll have her due date nearly June, and the temps will be pretty high by then) or do I just write her off? She's a couple of years old; so may not be viable much longer.:th

    The Mini Rex that she was teamed with had 7, so she'd need another "partner" or two . . . .

    But just because they are almost too cute for words, here are the two "over achievers" litters (two weeks old, and all still with us!):celebrate
    20190428_151759.jpg 20190428_153542.jpg
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2019
  8. Apr 28, 2019
    AmberLops

    AmberLops Loving the herd life

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    Aww they're all so beautiful!!! :love
    I'm a huge fan of agouti so i'm loving the bottom group! Is that a chocolate chestnut on the far right?!
    I think you should rebreed her...but that's just my opinion. I think it's worth trying one more time :) And who knows? Maybe she'll give you a normal litter one last time!
    About my sister's rabbits...can't a BUD bred to a true dwarf buck still have peanuts? :confused:
     
  9. Apr 28, 2019
    Bunnylady

    Bunnylady True BYH Addict

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    Yes, good eye! I don't know why my phone made the two Chestnuts look different shades; they aren't. From left to right, that litter is: Steeled Otter, Chocolate Otter, Chestnut, Steel, Chestnut, and Cinnamon (Chocolate Agouti). I have a buck that I felt pretty sure is a Steeled Otter, that I bred to a Chestnut doe, hoping that I'd get a Steel to confirm my hunch (of course, it's a false dwarf buck . . . also of course, BB2K has totally fallen in love with him . . . so we have given the 'Bun of Steel' the 'Man of Steel's' birth name, Kal El). The chocolate was a total surprise, but I'm loving it!


    The thing that makes a Big Ugly Doe "big' and "ugly" is that she lacks the dwarfing gene. Without the dwarfing gene (Dw), her face is longer, her ears are longer, her legs and back are a bit longer. With the longer proportions, the false dwarf doe is probably a bit over the maximum weight for her breed, but that isn't a "given;" you can get true dwarfs that go a bit over, and false dwarfs that weigh "in" (some people just have to see how small they can breed Dwarfs, and pride themselves on having animals that weigh no more than a pound as adults. Such tiny animals look delicate, and I've never cared for that look, but a false dwarf from a pair of such small rabbits could very easily wind up less than 2 1/2 lbs as an adult. I'm sure there are folks doing the same thing with Hollands, I just haven't seen them).

    The tricky thing about the dwarfing gene is that it is a dominant gene (meaning that if a rabbit inherits it, you will see the effects from it; it won't hide), but it is also homozygous lethal (if a kit gets two copies of it, it will die, usually within 3 days of birth). So, all true dwarfs, no matter how tiny and typey, have only one copy of the dwarfing gene, and one copy of the normal growth gene. When they are bred, some of their offspring will get the dwarfing gene, and some will get the normal growth gene. If they are bred to another true dwarf, there is a 1-in-4 chance of a kit getting the dwarfing gene from both parents - those are "peanuts." Some get the dwarfing gene from one parent, and the normal growth gene from the other; those are the true dwarfs. Some just happen to get the normal growth gene from both parents; those are the false dwarfs.

    A false dwarf doesn't have a copy of the dwarfing gene, so it can't give it to any of its offspring. When you breed a false dwarf to a true dwarf, only the true dwarf has a copy of the dwarfing gene, so it's the only one that can give it; the maximum number of copies of the dwarfing gene that any baby from such a cross can get is 1, so - no peanuts. You get true dwarfs and false dwarfs only, so all babies at least have a chance at living.

    But just as size isn't necessarily an indicator of the presence or absence of the dwarfing gene, nor is "type." You can have a poorly bred true dwarf with a long snipey face, longish ears, and narrow body. If a person just wants to make more rabbits, that may not bother them, but if they are interested in producing good, show quality animals, but would rather avoid peanuts (gotta admit, it seems like a very dirty trick, and breeding them may actually be illegal in some countries), you have to learn to recognize good type without the dwarfing gene, and that can require a lot of practice.
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2019
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  10. Apr 28, 2019
    AmberLops

    AmberLops Loving the herd life

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    Very interesting and good to know!
    Thanks for the info :)
    You're so lucky!! 've always wanted a steel!!!....what does it take to get one without a steel in the first place? have a baby chestnut and can't wait for her to grow up!
    My squirrel threw me an amazing litter...an opal, Siamese sable, smoke pearl, smoke pearl point, blue and chestnut! Not one baby the same color. She had a black but it didn't make it after floppy rabbit syndrome :(
    I have a question for you...
    I bought a Holland lop doe who i was told was a 'normal' even though she's pretty small but she's not very typey for a Holland...she has a longish body but a nice head, short ears and good boning...and when she had a litter (not her first-ever litter but first litter I've had from her) she had 3 which seems unusual considering her shape/size and 1 appeared to be a peanut, but i'm still not sure. It didn't have the deformed hind legs of a peanut, but it was SO small...like pinky-finger small and at least twice as small as the other two. Because I was told she is a normal, I wasn't expecting it! The baby only lived for about 6 days. The buck I bred her to was also bred to my other does who have not had peanuts...so I assume it isn't my buck with the dwarf gene, am I right? Or am I confused and does he carry the gene also? Would she still carry the dwarf gene if she IS a 'normal'?

    Also, when you said it's a dirty trick/illegal in some countries...what is? Breeding bad-quality true dwarf netherlands?
    You kind of lost me there but i'm very interested! :)