Rabbits/Rabbit pulling fur after all 3 babies died
QUESTION: I got 2 rabbit which i was told were both does. The doe gave birth to 7 rabbits immediately we took out the buck and put him in a seperate hutch. I noticed when the babies were 31 days old her gathering hay and pulling fur and attacking her kits so i removed babies and she gace birth to 3 kits 2 dead and one still alive the other one died later so she has no babies and is still pulling fur anx getting cranky with her first litter. What should i do as she is nearly all bald.
ANSWER: Hi Jean:
It's not uncommon for rabbits to be incorrectly sexed - which is how your doe turned out to be a buck. It's also not uncommon for rabbits to re-breed the same day they give birth.
Wild rabbits breed the day they kindle (the word for rabbit birthing is 'kindle'# and in fact, my entire herd is on a one day breed back schedule, which means they are re-bred the same day as they give birth.
Do you know the age of the rabbits? I ask only because rabbit does will become very aggressive toward bucks once they are sexually mature. Typically if they have a litter and the buck is still in the cage, the doe will attack the buck and it often results in the buck having his testicles torn off by the doe. Fortunately you took him out before this happened.
The 'bald' doe will be fine. Nesting is instinctual and does will do it if their kits are dead or alive. They also do it during false pregnancies. I've had non-bred, non-pregnant does pull all their fur because the female in the next cage was pregnant! The good thing is that the fur grows back rapidly and you don't need to do a thing.
The reason she is cranky is that does are most hormonal on the day they kindle #give birth# and the 3 days following, as I explained - that's when they normally re-breed. Your options are to re-breed her if you want another litter or simply wait it out and allow her hormones to go back to normal. She should have her old personality back in about a week.
To speed things up, house the buck far away from her. Far enough so that she cant see him from her cage and cant smell him. If she can see and smell him, her desire to breed will continue.
Do you plan to breed, or are the rabbits just for pets?
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QUESTION: I was planning to keep one doe and buck to house with mum and dad will that be ok. The parents are about 6/7 months and i wont be letting them breed the boys will be kept in hutch outdoors and does indoors in hutch.
Rabbits are solitary animals and needed to be housed separately if they are in cages.
A doe could stay with her mother until she is about 4 months old, but after that they will fight badly.
If you have a large ground open colony style set-up, then you can keep as many as 3 does together, but only 1 buck and the area would need to be very large - for 4 rabbits you'd need an area a minimum of 15feet x 15feet square. All the does would need to be spayed if you are going to keep a buck in with them.
Never, ever, house 2 bucks together in any setting. Not in a cage and not in a colony.
They will fight to the death - without exception. Rabbit bucks are far too territorial to ever live with one another.
In the wild, there will be approximately 30 does to an acre of land, but only 1 buck. If another buck enters the territory, it will be driven out or killed by the reigning buck.
You can certainly keep some babies, but every rabbit will need it's own cage.