This past fall we lost our minds for a little bit and came home with some dwarf rabbits, both Dwarf Hotot and champagne Netherland Dwarfs. Obviously, this is really big departure for us because we are used to BIG rabbits and these… even full grown they are so tiny!
We’ve been enjoying them, however, and have bred them for some successful litters. However, this week our ND was due and we had our first run in with a stuck kit. A little back story, this doe has given birth without issue before, but this litter was two days overdue. We’ve since learned that there is a theory that you want to breed a dwarf with stuck kit issues multiple times so that she had a larger litter which theoretically also equals smaller kits.
This is our daughter’s rabbit and she’s been watching her like a hawk for the babies to arrive. The doe nested as usual and did a great job of preparation but the kits just didn’t arrive. Then we went out and my husband observed her convulsing and pulled her out for a closer examination.
Stuck kits occur when the baby is took large to be easily delivered through the birth canal. This is especially common within the dwarf rabbit breeds because of the shape of their skulls.
Here is a clip of the video we took of the contractions. Since we have never had a stuck kit, it was extremely informative to us to even know what we were seeing.
Once we turned her over we were able to observe the feet of the kit emerging from the birth canal and we realized what was happening.
It seems the best practice if you’re going to assist with a stuck kit is to wait for a contraction and gently tug with the contraction toward the stomach of the rabbit.
In the end, the doe delivered three dead babies (very, very large!) and over the next 24 hours she delivered the placentas, etc. She’s doing fine and recovering well. We have given her raspberry and dandelion leaves and rest. Experienced breeders have encouraged us to give her a few days and then breed her again.