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BINKYBUNNY FORUMS > HOUSE RABBIT Q & A > Bunny had babies a couple days ago!
Last Post by RabbitPam at 11/06/2012 4:52 AM (8 Replies)
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User is Offline Jimmeh
4 posts Send Private Message
11/05/2012 1:30 PM

Hello everyone! First off, I hope I'm posting in the right section, had a lot of trouble deciding which topic to post this with! 

To put it simply, our bunny had bunnies! Our Dutch bunny gave birth Halloween night to three beautiful healthy kits. All three of them are moving and have nice plump bellies. Mama has been doing a great job keeping them healthy. I do have some questions about caring for them and for her.

Now we haven't touched the babies at all, they are in a wooden bird nest box we converted into a rabbit nest when we noticed she was pregnant. It's actually very convenient because we can check up on them by lifting the top of the box without touching them. We've had the mother since she was about 3 months old, so she's very trusting of us, and I've noticed her going into her nest a lot more often then domestic rabbits normally do. In fact, the majority of the time we go in there, she'll come greet us then go into her nest, almost like she wants to show her babies off to us. Is this normal? I've researched that normally we would need to wait two+ weeks before we can handle them, is it safe to handle them now or does two weeks sound about right?

Also, we separated the male from her a few days before she gave birth and put him in a separate cage next to hers so they can still see and smell each other, the pair of them are soul mates and get very depressed when they aren't together! The female is fine with this but the male has gotten very depressed, any suggestions on how to make him feel better? 

Lastly, I've noticed Mama continuing to pull out her fur and cover the babies throughout the last few days, to the point where we can hardly see the kits because there's so much fur on top of them! Is it possible the babies could suffocate if Mama goes overboard with the fur?

Thank you so much in advance, all help is greatly appreciated! 

User is Offline RabbitPam
South Florida
Forum Leader
11073 posts Send Private Message
11/05/2012 2:12 PM
Hi, Sinobi,
I'm glad to hear that babies and mother are doing well. I see that you're new here, so I need to ask you to read the forum rules so you can get to know the basics about this site better. As mentioned there, as well as being a house rabbit site, we also do not allow intentional breeding posted here. If you have two bunnies, or one that you just got that turned out to be pregnant, we are available to give advice for an "oops" litter. But if you have bred your two bunnies intentionally, you would need to find a site that advocates that. We also don't allow posting photos of the babies.

That said, I'm sure many of our members can help you with knowledgeable advice and suggestions. Firxt, I would urge you to have your male neutered asap. He can be recovering from the procedure for a few days while your doe is busy with her babies. Then they can be together again (after a month when his hormones taper off) for good and not break their bond.
I think you don't need to worry about touching the babies, but let momma take care of them without your interaction with them as much as possible. Keeping an eye on their progress, making sure she is fed and watered and caring for them daily is a great start. A wild rabbit will leave her babies for a long time during the day. This is to keep predators from finding them, so don't think she's neglecting them. She'll get to them for feeding time regularly.

SPIKE, my snuggle bunny (aka Spikey Marbles)

User is Offline peppypoo
Forum Leader
1953 posts Send Private Message
11/05/2012 2:13 PM
Welcome to the forums!

I do want to let you know that on this forum we very much discourage intentional breeding, and discussion of such is not allowed. However, if this was an accidental litter we can do our best to help you take care of the kits that you already have.

It is a common myth that mothers will reject kits that have been handled by humans. However, there is little need to handle them as long as they are healthy and being fed - their tummies should be round and distended. Here are some guides to raising baby bunnies with information about what to expect and how to care for them:

You were right to separate the male and female rabbits - she can become pregnant almost immediately after giving birth, and back-to-back litters would be very stressful for her (as well as for you). Why do you think your male rabbit is depressed? My recommendation is to have him neutered, so that the two can eventually be re-introduced and bonded without the risk of another litter. Of course, this means the female must be spayed too - in addition to preventing litters, intact females have a very high incidence of reproductive cancer. Do you have plans to have them altered?
Tammo (RIP), Milo (RIP), Peppy, Remi

User is Offline Roberta
Wanneroo, Western Australia
4366 posts Send Private Message
11/05/2012 2:39 PM

I second Peppypoo, get your little boy neutred, he will be happier and healthier and can stay with his wifebun... BUT...It takes a month after the op before its safe to reunite. I found that out the hard way and ended up with a second oops litter. Luckily by then Piglets sperm was long gone so he got to stay with Pepper and the kits and loved being part of it. He doted on the bubs more than Pepper and loved curling up with them.

Pulling fur at this stage is very normal as the babies must be kept warm, if she is still piling the fur on she is just being a good Mum and No they will not suffocate. If you disturb the nest make sure you pull the fur back over them.

I handled the kits from day 3 just to give them a good look over and make sure every one was ok and to ensure there wasn't any nasty after birth or anything left in the nest. Generally Mum will eat the after birth completely but it is still a good idea to check. You will need to keep the nest clean but I would lift the entire thing disturbing it as little as possible and put it in a box then change the paper and lining underneath and put it back as I found it.

In another few days they will start to get very mobile such keep an eye out for any one who gets out of the nest via a short ride on Mums teet and get them back inside ASAP. Also you might want to put baby savers around the hutch/cage at the floor levels so the kits can't fall out of the cage and get hurt or die from being cold. I used the plastic bottoms from enviro shopping bags (the solid green ones you get now) cut into strips and threaded around the bars. Make sure Mum has an unlimited supply of hay, greens and pellets as she will need lots of food to keep up good milk production.

User is Offline Sam&Rex
47 posts Send Private Message
11/05/2012 4:42 PM


I second pretty much everyone here. Get your bunnies fixed! The world has too many unwanted bunnies to have accidents like this.

First off it's completely normal for mom to pile on the fur, babies won't suffocate and it actually helps keep them warm when mom is away! I would wait until the babies start coming out on their own (between 2-3 weeks old) before you start handling them. Mom won't abandon them because you handled them, but it could stress out mom and the babies.

I agree with Roberta, watch the bunnies close to make sure none accidentally leave the nest. If you use a crock or water bowl make sure the babies can't fall or stumble in, I know that sounds kinda dumb, but I know someone who almost lost 2 babies that way (they ended up being ok, but the thought is really scary). If you have a wire bottomed cage you will need to use something to cover the wire too, otherwise you risk broken bones.

I can believe that your male is probably a little depressed, it sounds like they are not only mates but a bonded pair. He will be fine separated from mom, but you CAN NOT put them back together until one or both are fixed.

Also, unless you intend to keep these babies for the next 8-12 years START FINDING HOMES NOW!!! It's much easier to find homes for 12 week old bunnies than 10 month old bunnies. Start looking for homes for them now, that will also give the potential family to research and get ready for their new bunny. By the time they are 12 weeks old each one should be snuggled up in a cozy home with a new (well informed and bunny savvy) family.

User is Offline hey whats up?
21 posts Send Private Message
11/05/2012 5:32 PM
You can take baby powder put some on the moms nose and on your hands pick the babies up put a little more powder on your hands than rub on babies! Than put little more on moms nose do that ever y time until they get older! This is what I did with my babies and every thong worked out all ok!

User is Offline Roberta
Wanneroo, Western Australia
4366 posts Send Private Message
11/05/2012 6:29 PM
O Not talcum powder... Thats not good for them. Mum will be fine, they really don't have an issue with the babies being handled other than wanting to observe all interaction and give you a warning thump if they aren't happy you are there. Sam& Rex is right about the croc, they can get into anything before their eyes open, I had one make it into the water dish which was quickly removed. Mine were out an about by the first week even before their eyes were open and once they could see Mummy milkbar (Pepper) and Daddy big cuddles (Piglet) there was no stopping them, I was very glad I put in the baby savers. I also moved the nest to the ground floor of the bungalow to prevent falls. Definitely start looking for some good homes and put together a fact sheet for the prospective families. I have one you can adjust for your country/region and personal bunny info if you would like it.

User is Offline Sarita
18886 posts Send Private Message
11/06/2012 3:41 AM
The babies need to stay warm in order to digest their food so that is why momma is covering them up.

I agree with Roberta - no talcum and don't worry about interaction - mom will be fine.

This is a very good time to get daddy neutered as well.

User is Offline RabbitPam
South Florida
Forum Leader
11073 posts Send Private Message
11/06/2012 4:52 AM
I'm not familiar with the powder suggestion, but just an fyi: if you ever have an instance where you think power is appropriate, such as an adult with poopy butt, use plain corn starch (the kiind found in your kitchen for cooking) instead. It's safe and unscented.
SPIKE, my snuggle bunny (aka Spikey Marbles)
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