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Raising Kits

So you bred your rabbit. Congrats on becoming a bunny breeder :D


Usually around 14-20 days we palpate our does. This is a technique that takes a long time to get the hang of. Lay your doe on a flat sturdy surface. Put a palm and fingers flat on her sides and slowly squeeze as you slid your hands over the soft part of her belly back until you are under her back legs. If she took, you should feel marble sized firm lumps. If you examine her vent, it should also be pale inside if she is pregnant.


In the beginning I recommend giving her a box a week before her due date even if you think you palpated negative. It's hard to tell and its better to give a box for nothing that lose a litter on the wire!


Everyone is different but we usually try to give nest boxes on day 26. I use fine pine shavings in the bottom and then put a very large handful of hay in the cage for her to make a nest. Some does begin immediately. Some does will make a nest the morning they deliver. Hopefully she will pull her own fur and stick that in as well. If she doesn't, you can grab pinches of fur from her legs and tummy. It will release easily around her due date. The naked kits will get cold fast without mamas fur to keep them warm.


Once she delivers, check nest well for dead ones or afterbirth left behind. After that I just check all their tummies to make sure they are all fat every morning. If one is repeatedly skinnier than the rest you can hold mom upside down while firmly holding her back legs and have a second person put her baby on her teats to nurse. Be very cautious as one kick from mom can catapult the baby off!


Most moms are naturals, many even have successful first litters. If not, we usually give them three tries before removing her from the breeding program.


Around 2 weeks their eyes will open. They will begin to try to hop out of the box. At this point we usually give them some fresh hay and pop them back in when we see them out. By three weeks we take the box out. They will be beginning to try moms food and hay at this point. They will also eat her cecotrops to help their guts to mature.


We wean anywhere from 6-8 weeks of age. If its a large litter we will take half out, then the rest out 2 days later. This can prevent the mom from getting engorged with milk if they happen to still be nursing. Although most moms are ready to be done by this point haha.

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