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Question
my young female and male lion head crossed with American rex rabbits just had a litter of about 5 or 6 kits. when I try to separate the male rabbit "Oreo" from "Roxy" the female rabbit she has anxiety waiting by the cage mouth looking for him. he paws at my leg and looks into my eyes asking to be put back in the cage. she is neglecting the kits while searching for him. they almost froze to death last night. I decided to put him back in the cage as he seems to be more concerned about the well fare of the new babies than she is. he is the one cuddling them and warming them. without him in the cage I fear and fairly certain they will die. he is already getting her pregnant again is the problem as well. she completely ignores the kits if he's not in there with her. idk what to do. except let him get her pregnant again. Oreo is my little pet I've had him since he was about five weeks old. he has a mild temperament even after getting his testicles in he's "chill". Roxy trusts me as she was hurt when I found her and nursed her back to health. she is still a little wild. this is the first kits either one of them have ever had. I did all the steps necessary when separating them they can see each other nuzzle through the wire but Roxy is so anxious. besides the fact that they will have more babies is this normal behavior? for the father to care more than the mother? I feel like Oreo is encouraging Roxy to care for them and milk them and without him there she would let them die of the cold. I am going to let him out in the day and in at night. its all I can think to do for now.
any suggestions would be great!

Answer
Amber,

I'm sorry to hear you're having such trouble.

First things first - please please please get your bunnies fixed. This will ensure you don't have the risk of another pregnancy. Bringing the rabbits indoors, which I also HIGHLY recommend, lowers the risk of losing any of the babies.

It is normal behavior for a mamma bun to only visit her nest twice a day to feed her kits. Other than that, she generally ignores them anyway. This is normal behavior. Make sure there's plenty of soft warm material in the cage for Roxy to build up her next. Here is an article that talks about how to properly supply a nest for new babies:

http://www.bio.miami.edu/hare/orphan.html

You need to get them all inside though. They can't burrow since they're in a cage and, without seeing images of your setup, I can only assume the cage is not prepared to host a litter.

The article also goes into how to "force" mamma bun to feed. Other than that, there's not much to do since it's a natural behavior for her to ignore them most of the time anyway.

Please, get them fixed though... it was not wise to put them together with neither of them fixed, but both should be done so that there are no hormones to contend with coming from only one of them.

Best of luck,

Christine

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Christine Whetstone

Expertise

I am not an expert on wild rabbits, only domesticated rabbits. I can answer questions regarding habitats, behavior, diet, health, pairing/bonding - pretty much anything having to do with owning a rabbit.

Experience

I've owned indoor rabbits for the last 10 years. During that time I've gained experience in areas like bonding exercises, understanding behavior, warning signs of sick bunnies, how to handle more serious illnesses (GI stasis, abscesses, eye problems, etc.) and more. It's rare that I come across an inquiry that I do not already know the answer to.

Organizations
House Rabbit Society, supporter of local rabbit rescues

Publications
http://ilovemyhouserabbit.com/

Education/Credentials
Personal experience beats the pants off of a degree, in my opinion.

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