Female Rabbit Eating Her Babies
Despite their reputation for being cute animals, it can happen that a doe or a female rabbit eating her babies after giving birth. In fact, to recover her strength, she first ingests the placenta. If she feels that she still lacks strength, she will eat all the babies in her reach.
The rabbit is neither cannibalistic nor carnivorous, yet during birth or shortly after, a doe can eat her young. This accident may be due to several factors that must be corrected.
After birth, the doe absorbs the placenta following a physiological need for substances lost during gestation.
Once the placenta is devoured, if she feels that she still lacks nitrogenous food, she will eat all the babies in her litter.
Why do rabbits eat their babies?
There are several reasons why a rabbit eats her young:
- Stillborn. When a baby is stillborn, your rabbit will take care of eating the body.
- The placenta. The doe ate the placenta and the placenta, and got confused. She ate the baby thinking it was part of the placenta.
- The panic. She was already nervous and ate her babies so as not to attract predators to her hutch.
- Dietary proteins. She found herself drained and without energy after the birth of her young.
Territorial behavior. She has no intention of sharing her hutch and has suppressed the competition.
- The weakest are less likely to survive. Rabbits can be Darwinian in their approach to motherhood.
- Most of the time, a doe (a female rabbit) will not consciously decide to eat her young. When she has given birth to several litters, she will better understand her role and what is expected of her.
What to do to prevent the rabbit from eating her babies?
Give your rabbit foods rich in nitrogen such as meal.
Give food rich in vegetable proteins (no to animal meal, we just said that they were not carnivorous!)
Warning ! During birth, the doe may have a fever, she will be very thirsty. She needs water at will otherwise she would also kill her young to drink their blood!
She should be in a quiet, non-stressful place.
Beyond a number of rabbits, she will not be able to feed them all, she will eliminate the weakest. To avoid this, on the second day after birth, remove the doe from the hutch, rub your hands vigorously with thyme, carefully visit the nest and remove the excess rabbits, 8 maximum for a good mother.