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Friday, November 11, 2011

Rabbit Myth

Everyone, say it with me.  These are domestic rabbits.
They are 100% used to human scent.

If your domestic rabbit has a litter, you can touch them immediately after she gives birth.  She will not eat them.  She will not reject them.  They will not die from contact with you.  I get so tired of people telling me or my husband that if we touch our rabbit babies, the mothers will eat them, then arguing with me about it.  Let's see- I've had Jersey Woolies for almost 6 years now.  I had Holland Lops for years before the woolies.  These people, on the other hand, heard the rabbit myth.  Who is more qualified to speak on it? Hm?

Now, some does do cannibalize their kits.  There are hundreds of reasons why they may do this.  They may be lacking in nutrients, the baby may die and she may eat it to "protect" the others from predators.  She may be a terrible mother.   The point is, this is the exception, not the rule and a doe that cannibalizes her babies does it not because you touched the animal, but because of one of the reasons noted above.

I do not breed terrible mothers, nor do I sell them as breeding stock.  If I have a first time doe that eats her litter, I may let it slide- terrible things happen during the first kindling sometimes, so they get a pass.  If they do it a second time, that animal goes to a pet home or is otherwise culled. 

Long post short- touching a domestic rabbit's babies will not cause her to eat them, kill them, or abandon them.
Rabbit Myth #1? Busted.

-Kristen
Keep's Rabbitry