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Thread: Sad news, advice needed

  1. #1
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    Default Sad news, advice needed

    Well, most of you know that my surprise pregnant Bertha had 10 babies on Friday. I was really worried that she wasn't feeding them, but up to this point all of the babies were very vigorous and doing pretty well. Well, this morning before I went to work, I found one out of the nest on the wire. It was still alive, but cold, so I held it for a few minutes and then put it back in the nest with the other babies. Then later today I called dh, and he said that one of them had died. By the time I came home from work 2 more had died, and now 2 more have died. So, I'm left with 5, and one doesn't look like it's going to make it through the night.

    Tonight when I got home and realized that if Bertha was feeding the babies, only a couple were actually getting fed, I went ahead and layed her over and manually put the babies on. Most of them did really well, and they finally got bellies that looked like they had been fed. They feel so cold, and I don't know where all of Bertha's fur went, but there doesn't seem to be much left, so dh got a heat lamp. We have that on them right now to keep them warm. Besides the one that looks really bad, there are four that look like they are doing pretty well at this point.

    So, my question. Since I don't think they have had hardly anything to eat since they were born Friday morning, should I go ahead and feed them one more time tonight by turning Bertha over? I have to work again tomorrow, so I won't be able to do it again until tomorrow afternoon when I get home. Second question, do you think I'm doing enough? Is there something else I should be doing? I feel so helpless.

    I seriously don't know how you all breed your rabbits like you do. I have been an emotional wreck all day, and have been crying most of the night. I knew that there was a huge chance that most of them wouldn't make it, but it doesn't make it any easier. I just feel so terrible and feel like I should have done things differently.

    Thanks for any help!

  2. #2

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    Hiya,

    Mum rabbits have super strong milk so feeding 1-2 times in 24hr is normal. In this situation, yes, I'd try again today. If they're hungry they'll eat if not they won't.

    Tuck them right into the nest, they should only wriggle to the top to feed. Make sure there is a cool area away from the heat too, it's easy to over heat as well as for them too get cold.

    It's great she's so comfortable with you she'll let you help feed this way

    Just make sure she has lots to eat. As the babies get bigger and more active they may get better at grabbing on and she'll feed them better.

    Tamsin

  3. #3
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    Awww that must be so traumatic, even if you're half expecting them all not to make it

  4. #4
    Wise Old Thumper XMissySJx's Avatar
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    it was such a large litter, im sure its very difficult for her. sometimes the mom seperates the weak from the strong, to focus on feeding them, now there is five, that is alot easier for her to handle and hopefully you wont lose anymore
    My jelly had 8 in her litter and coped suprisingly well, and she wasnt even a big girl, youl be suprised how well they cope
    good luck x

    Gone but never forgotten, Peanut Butter, Jelly, Domino, and my sweet little Bertie, who was taken far too soon.

  5. #5
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    We are down to 2 this morning. What a sad night. The good news is that the two that are left are the 2 most strong ones, and they are really fiesty little guys. I'm really hoping this is it. I just can't bear the thought of losing the whole litter.

    I'm going to continue to help them along with the feeding. I did another feeding last night (the 3 that didn't make it were so weak that they could hardly even nurse last night)and I think I will just continue to do this a couple of times a day. How long do you guys think I should "help" them along like this? Do you think after a couple more days they should be strong enough and have the hang of it enough for me to let them do it on their own? Bertha was such a good girl last night while I had the babies nursing on her. She just laid back and sat so still. I think the poor little thing just didn't know how to handle so many babies at once since she had never done this before. Or, maybe there was something wrong with the others, and nature was just taking its course.

    Thanks for your help with all of this. I really appreciate it.

  6. #6
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    So sorry to hear you have lost so many. Will keep everything crossed that the two little ones left make it.

  7. #7
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    Just an update!

    My two fighters are still fighting, and doing really well. Bertha is doing a great job laying on my lap and letting the babies nurse. I am so relieved things seem to be looking up. I just hope these two continue to do good.

    Thank you so much for all of your advice and support! I will keep you all updated.

  8. #8
    Young Bun Animal Quackers's Avatar
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    Hello Jules!

    My Spice gave birth to one kit on Tuesday, and the kit was dead on Saturday morning. I also think that Spice was not nursing well...and it never occurred to me to see if I could get her to nurse the kit! DUH! You are so smart to think of it, and I want you to know I will be thinking good thoughts for you, Bertha and the kits. I really know what you are feeling these days!

    Hugs to you!

    Michelle

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Animal Quackers View Post
    Hello Jules!

    My Spice gave birth to one kit on Tuesday, and the kit was dead on Saturday morning. I also think that Spice was not nursing well...and it never occurred to me to see if I could get her to nurse the kit! DUH! You are so smart to think of it, and I want you to know I will be thinking good thoughts for you, Bertha and the kits. I really know what you are feeling these days!

    Hugs to you!

    Michelle
    Hi Michelle!
    I have been reading about Kit. I'm so sorry you lost him/her. I can't take credit for coming up with nursing the kits for Bertha. I have been pouring over the internet for info for all of this, and I read this suggestion a few places. It does seem to be working pretty well, though.

    My two little fighters are growing and getting fuzzy!! I'm trying not to get my hopes up, but as each day passes I feel a little more relieved!

    Hugs to you, too, Michelle!

  10. #10
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    Well, sadly, last night my two survivors died. They had been doing so well, but for some reason last night I got home from work and went out to feed them, and they were both very weak and lethargic. I attempted to get them to nurse, and they just couldn't. So, I attempted the dropper, and they were even too weak to swallow at that point. After working with them for a while, I finally just gave up and gave them cuddles and told them how sorry I was.

    Now it's time for me to start paying attention to poor Flopsy and Bertha again. I feel like I have forgotten them this past week. This has been such a heartbreaking journey for me. Thank you all so much for the help along the way.

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