What Are the Reasons Rabbit Eats or Kills Own Babies?

Some home rabbits will eat their newborn kids. This is typically an indication that their hutches are too little – an instinctive response to population pressures – however occasionally, a rabbit will have a malfunction that makes her always eat her young.

If you believe that the mom is injuring the infants while kindling (giving birth,) while feeding, or has actually “cannibalized” any of the children (consumed them,) several issues should be explored. In some cases a mother bunny will mistakenly injure the sets because her nails have never been clipped, the nest box is not proper, or she is stressed out and skittish by too much activity around her. It is possible if she is housed outdoors, those area predators, such as feral felines, raccoons or fox, are causing her anxiety at night. Some rabbits are highly skittish (“fractious”) by nature.

Here are most popular reasons of killing or refusing own babies by rabbit’s moms.

No experience

Very young moms, especially those under six months of age, may not “understand” what has happened to them and veterinary intervention is imperative. Anxious and young mothers sometimes desert their nestlings for unknown reasons, which might consist of having produced unhealthy babies. Sometimes the dietary status of the mother is highly inadequate.


If the mother seems to be cannibalizing the nestlings, nutritional shortages are but among the possible scenarios. It is normal for these vegetarian animals to consume the afterbirth, as it is for many other mammals. It prevents predators from discovering the nest and supplies the mother which some much-needed nutrients. Sometimes people confuse these habits (if it is seen) with cannibalism.

Sadly, if the dad of the babies is much bigger than the female, she could be inadvertently hurting the babies, which are too large for her birth canal, while attempting to free them. Seek immediate veterinary intervention must this be taking place. The mother’s life is in danger, in addition to the lives of the babies.

If the mom rabbit has passed away, can not or is not feeding the children, you can attempt to hand feed them. Bottle-feeding infant bunnies usually culminates in the children’ death within a few days to weeks. Hand feeding is unsuccessful because no milk replacement formula is 100% adjusted for infant bunnies. This is also true for native species, such as cottontails. The physiological factors are intricate, and you must have the following info concerning what you will be facing when attempting to hand-raise infant bunnies.

Female rabbit wants mating

Another reason why the rabbit female throws her newborn babies is the desire of another mating with a male. Here one should “go on about” the female and let her go to the male rabbit so that he “does his job.” After that, the female returns to the babies and, most likely, will feed them properly.

The disadvantage here is serious – he will probably become pregnant and will not be able to feed them for a proper period. If the pregnancy is confirmed, it should be deposited from babies for 20-23 days and given the opportunity to prepare for the next birth.

Reyus Mammadli/ author of the article

I have had pets since childhood: cats, guinea pigs, rabbits, geese, chickens, ducks, parrots, aquarium fish and dogs (in the yard). Of course, I constantly encountered diseases of pets and treated them. Glad to be able to share my skills and experience, as well as advice on caring for and adapting these critters and birds.

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