Why is my rabbit doe killing her kits?

It is highly unusual for a rabbit doe (female) to kill her kits (baby rabbits), as maternal instinct in rabbits is generally strong. However, there can be several reasons why a rabbit doe may exhibit such behavior:

1. Stress or Disturbance: A stressed or disturbed doe may feel threatened and act aggressively towards her kits. Loud noises, sudden movements, or being handled excessively can cause stress and disrupt the bonding process between the doe and her kits.

2. Health Issues: A doe in poor health or experiencing pain or discomfort may display aggressive behavior towards her kits. It could be due to an underlying illness, injury, or hormonal imbalance.

3. Insufficient Nesting Area: If the nesting area is inadequate or improperly constructed, the doe may not feel secure or comfortable, leading to increased stress and aggression towards the kits.

4. Lack of Maternal Skills: Inexperienced first-time mothers may unknowingly harm or neglect their kits due to a lack of maternal instincts or improper care.

If you suspect that your rabbit doe is killing her kits, it is important to intervene to protect the remaining kits and ensure their safety. Remove the kits from the doe's presence immediately and provide them with appropriate care, such as warmth, proper nutrition, and hydration. It is advisable to consult with a veterinarian to assess the doe's health and behavior and address any underlying issues that may be contributing to her aggression.

It is worth noting that if a doe exhibits repeated instances of killing her kits, it may be necessary to reconsider her suitability for breeding. Breeding rabbits with a history of aggressive behavior towards their offspring can pose a risk to the welfare of future litters. Consulting with a rabbit-savvy veterinarian or experienced breeder can provide further guidance and support in managing such situations.

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