Remove first litter of rabbits when second litter is born?

Asked January 15, 2015, 12:49 PM EST

My rabbit gave birth to 3 babies 4 weeks ago. She now gave birth to a second litter with 5 babies. Can I remove the first litter? I'm concerned that she won't feed the new litter, or that she won't produce enough milk. These are mini rex rabbits kept as pets.

Thank you

Benton County Oregon

1 Response

I don't imagine you had planned this and probably came as quite a surprise.

Your concerns are valid and yes you should go ahead and wean her previous litter. It is common for commercial meat production rabbits to breed back their does at 14 days and wean the previous litters at 28 days. For house and show rabbits it is advisable to only attempt 2 or three litters a year.

When weaning young rabbits it is important to make sure they know how to drink. You can put some hay in the water valve so it will drip slightly to help them learn. If they go off feed or you are just uncertain if they are drinking, place a shallow bowl in the crate and see if they rush to get a drink.