I also need to know why our rabbit kittens keep dying… I have read other posts but I am still confused.

Our doe just had her second litter. Her first litter was 7 kittens and all survived. This litter was also 7 kittens. Since they were born, about 3 weeks ago, we have lost 5 kittens. The first one after a couple of days, the second one after a week and for the last three days we have had one dying each day. All of the dead kittens have looked strong and healthy. We have checked for worms or other diseases in the intestines but found nothing in the stomach and nothing in the liver and lungs. The stomachs have been full of milk. I found that one of the dead kittens had a transparent, gooey, jelly-like liquid in the anus.

We haven't fed the kittens intensionally, but we have fed the doe with oats (both rolled and full grain), pellets and fresh greens (leafs, grass, etc.). The kittens have had access to this food. But I am not sure if they have been eating it.

We're based in Denmark so it's summer right now. There is no way the kittens have died from cold. I would be surprised if they haves died from heat as some of the kittens died while the rabbit-house has been placed in shadow. The cage is on wheels and we move it daily in order to give the rabbits access to fresh grass.

The first litter (where all 7 survived) was born in early spring.

Both litters have been from the same buck.

The doe gets fresh water from a bottle every day. We haven't been serving water to the kittens as we thought they would get sufficient liquid from the milk. We placed a bowl of water in front of the kittens yesterday, but still had one dying this morning. So I don't think that dehydration is the probably (also the stomachs have been full of milk…).

What might we do wrong?

Thank you!

  • How old is the doe? how long do you let the doe rest between litters? Are using the production rabbit pellets from the feed store, or pellets from a pet store? – James Jenkins Aug 28 '15 at 10:28
  • Thanks for answering. The doe is about a year, maybe a bit more. This was her second litter and the first was about 4-5 months before. We don't use specific rabbit pellets, but all-round pellets from the feed store. Could it be a problem with the pellets? – Lukas Aug 30 '15 at 20:12
  • 1
    Rabbit pellets from the feed store are generally designed for production (breeding, eating) rabbits and are generally scientifically formulated for that. It should be fine for your needs, but offers to much food value for pet rabbits. The only thing that is jumping out at me here is "jelly-like liquid in the anus" I did some research without results and posted What does it mean when a rabbit has clear mucus like poop? If you would care to research and post an answer to it, you may find helpful info, while answer question. – James Jenkins Aug 31 '15 at 10:41

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