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I'm wondering what I am doing wrong. The mother, who is two years old, was in the great condition for giving babies. But, the babies started dying when they were 1 week old. The litter was 3 kits, and so far none have died yet, but it is coming close to one dying.

Note: This is only the second litter she's had.

The place where she gave her babies was about 70 degrees Fahrenheit, in a barn, and the place where she gave her babies was clean. Should we turn up the heat in the place or do something else?

We are feeding her rabbit food pellets that look like a brown tube which was recommended food by the store we bought it from. She went to the vet 2 days before she was going to have her kits and everything was good.

  • This is the sort of thing that requires a vet visit, it's too vast to diagnose online. It seems you have several pregnant/nursing rabbits, are you a breeder? If so it would be wise to have a vet on standby. Are the babies suckling? Are they just dying or is the mother killing them? – Piper Jan 25 '15 at 23:17
  • Yes I am a breeder – Derrick K. Jan 26 '15 at 1:44
  • @Piper I did go to the vet but they couldn't give me any answers. :( – Derrick K. Jan 26 '15 at 21:14
  • How old was the mother? Is this her first litter? What are you feeding her? How do define "perfect condition for giving babies" Is the father a proven buck (has other babies)? How old were the babies when they started dieing? How big was the litter? How many died? – James Jenkins Jan 27 '15 at 11:19
  • the mother is about 2 years old this is her 2 litter and we are feeding her rabbit food pellets that look like a brown tube which was recommended food by the store we bought it from. Sry about the perfect condition she went to the vet 2 days before she was going to have her kits and everything was good. The babies started dying when they were 1 week old and the litter was 3 kits and so far none have died but it is coming close to one dying. @JamesJenkins – Derrick K. Jan 27 '15 at 22:37
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In any case of severer life threatening illness your vet should be your first choice for medical assistance in this case though you have indicated you are feeding timothy hay based dark colored food pellets. These three related questions can assist you in balancing the diet of rabbit as it relates to alfalfa consumption and weaning.

While the high food value of alfalfa is a concern, it may be a requirement for breeding rabbits (ref) it should be pointed out that there are many different lines of thought here, so discuss nutrition with your vet to make the best choices for your rabbits. Rabbits are dependent on a high volume low value food supply, but in captivity and in breeding programs there can be issues. In particular nutritional care for rabbits living in wire bottom cages can be problematic as it can interfere with cecotrope consumption.

Along with the other critical information you refuse to provide to assist in answering this question, you have neglected to include the breed. A litter size of 3 is small for most breeds of rabbits, which can also be an indicator of poor nutrition. Based on the available information and your second question My rabbit just had babies and they are dying. What can I do?, it is likely that you are failing to meet the nutritional requirements of your rabbits.

Lastly there are several variables in kit survival rates, not all are well understood. (ref) (ref) Mortality rates of 10% to 100% can occur, even if you are doing everything correctly, expecting all kits to survive is not realistic.

  • if i didn't make that clear, my breed is a Silver Fox rabbit and I don't know much about dying rabbits so I couldn't really offer any help. Thanks for answering that anyway @JamesJenkins – Derrick K. Jan 28 '15 at 22:18
  • Silver Fox rabbit ...Does have large litters, produce plenty of milk, are excellent mothers, and make wonderful foster mothers I am not actually familiar with this breed, but it looks like a 2 year old mother on her second litter should be having much more than three kits in a litter. – James Jenkins Jan 29 '15 at 12:26
  • She might have more because she seems to be struggling with something inside of her maybe there are more kits coming out. I'll let you know if something turns out @JamesJenkins – Derrick K. Jan 30 '15 at 0:58
  • okay she did have more (sorry for the late comment) but they were stillborn. – Derrick K. Aug 22 '15 at 17:19
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I assume that you feed your rabbits with anticoccidiosis. I recommend you to stop using those pellets. Because if you feed your rabbits with other food the resistance for coccidiosis decreases and your rabbits can catch it and die.

  • I didn't. I had asked this 6 months ago and I wasn't doing anything but checking out stores and what not. – Derrick K. Aug 22 '15 at 17:17

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