One question many new rabbit breeders face is determining if the doe has fed her kits. Often the doe is never seen in the nestbox once the kits are born. It is not uncommon for a doe to feed her kits once a day, and often at times not very convenient for us. So how can you tell?
The unfed kit will look similar to the picture at the left. This is a dutch so you can clearly see its undercut. Notice that the belly area looks wrinkled. General the body forms a little bit of a buldge in the belly area. Although this one had not been fed that day, it wasn’t yet straving. Should the body form a straight line from head to toe without a budge there would be a little more concern.
Comparing the Fed to Unfed Kit
The picture at the right shows a kit that was fed two hours prior. Notice that there are no wrinkles in the belly. That means no lose skin and a very full belly. You’ll also notice that the belly area is mush wider than the head, this is also another good indication that the bunny has eaten. One of the more difficult things to see in the picture is that the belly almost has some translucent spots, almost like you can see the milk inside. Again this is another good indication that the kit has eaten.
We will generally check the bellies a couple of times a day to make sure that all of the kits are being fed. Kits that are not eating tend to wrinkle in the belly area very quickly, and if not corrected, they will look very old on the underside. If you have a kit thats not eating there are several possible solutions. Watch for an upcoming article for those tips.