The popularity of keeping rabbits as pets is increasing with each year that passes and we have noticed more and more people asking a range of different questions to try and ensure that they are offering the best possible care to their pet rabbit.
Although rabbits do tend to be very beginner-friendly pets, there are a few areas that beginners can go wrong and simple fixes can help to make your pet rabbit much more comfortable.
With more and more people starting to breed rabbits either intentionally or accidentally, we have noticed people specifically reaching out about pregnant rabbit care recently too.
One of the more common questions that we have noticed about pregnant rabbits is how to stop your rabbit giving birth to dead babies so we have decided to publish this dedicated article to try and help any of our readers who are breeding rabbits.
Thankfully, the more common reasons that a pregnant rabbit may give birth to dead babies are often very easy to fix and small changes to their environment while pregnant can often be enough to help your rabbit carry her babies to term and give birth to healthy, live baby rabbits.
There are some less common reasons that your rabbit may be giving birth to dead babies though but we will go over them all in our article below to try and offer you as much information as possible.
Why Did My Rabbit Have Stillborn Babies?
The most common reasons that your rabbit will give birth to dead babies is due to poor nutrition, unsuitable bedding, stress or anxiety, hygiene in your rabbit’s hutch, and the age of your rabbit.
There are some less common reasons that a rabbit will give birth to stillborn babies but these are the most common and often easiest to fix.
Although we will be going over the easy fixes for most of the issues that we just mentioned, some people do still prefer to get professional advice from a fully trained veterinarian.
Thanks to modern technology, you are able to easily book a video call with a professional vet to have them go over the reasons that your rabbit is giving birth to dead babies with these video calls usually being much cheaper than going to your local vet while also being able to book the video call for a time that fits you and your schedule.
If you do suspect that your pet rabbit is giving birth to stillborn babies because of a health problem then specific advice for your rabbit’s situation from a vet is probably the best option to take.
If you think that it could be due to one of the other reasons that we mentioned above then the fixes listed in our article below could be able to help your rabbit carry its babies to term.
Ensure Your Pregnant Rabbit Has Nutritionally Complete Diet!
Unfortunately, many of the commercial rabbit foods on the market are nutrient deficient and won’t offer all of the vitamins and minerals that your rabbit needs to live a healthy life.
A lack of essential vitamins and minerals in your rabbit’s diet when pregnant can cause your rabbit to deliver stillborn babies when a simple tweak to their diet can often be enough to prevent the issue.
Thankfully, there are products like Oxbow Essentials Rabbit Food that are only a few dollars more than other rabbit food products but contain a more complete nutritional profile for your pet rabbit.
Simply switching your rabbit’s food from a nutrient deficient to a nutritionally complete product can drastically reduce the chances of your rabbit giving birth to dead babies.
You are also able to add fresh fruit and vegetables as a treat to help keep your rabbit’s diet interesting and top up some vitamin and mineral intakes too.
As we covered in our article about rabbits eating potato peelings, please avoid potato peels as they are toxic to rabbits and can cause problems, especially when pregnant.
If you want to remove the risks of giving your pet rabbit a potentially toxic treat then you can use Kaytee Timothy Biscuits Baked Carrot Treats that most rabbits seem to love with the treats being packed with vitamins and minerals too.
What Is The Best Bedding For A Pregnant Rabbit?
Although rare, some pregnant rabbits can begin to get stressed and feel anxious if their bedding and nesting materials are not suitable.
High levels of stress and anxiety can then cause the rabbit to give birth to stillborn babies but this is usually easy to avoid. Try to use a bedding that is based on straw, wood shavings or paper that is dust free for a pregnant rabbit.
Straw bedding can be the best option if your pet rabbit does like to build intricate nests while pregnant as it is easier for your rabbit to customise too.
Try to avoid getting a scented bedding for your rabbit too. Although very rare, there has been some reports of people who think that their pet rabbit may have been distressed due to the scent of their bedding.
The last thing that you want to cause a pregnant rabbit is additional stress and there are plenty of non-scented bedding options on the market these days.
Can Bunnies Get Listeria?
Listeria is more common in rabbits than other pets with the listeria monocytogenes bug reducing the immune system of the rabbits with pregnant bunnies usually being more susceptible to listeria too.
This can be a common reason that rabbits will end up giving birth to stillborn babies with some pregnant mothers, unfortunately, dying while pregnant due to listeria too.
The main symptoms of listeria are a high temperature, aches and pains, random chills, vomiting, and diarrhea.
If you do notice any of these symptoms in your pregnant rabbit then we would highly recommend that you book a video call with a professional veterinarian.
Not only are these video calls usually cheaper than going to your local vet but you can book them in around your own busy schedule too.
If you catch listeria early enough, it does tend to be easy to treat with antibiotics and shouldn’t cause any problems so getting a vet to assist and possible listeria health problems is essential.
The better antibiotics for treating listeria in rabbits do usually have to be prescribed by a vet in North America and Europe so without getting a vet involved, the condition can be hard to treat and will drastically increase the chances of dead rabbit babies.
Factor In The Hygiene Of The Pregnant Rabbit!
A pregnant rabbit can sometimes give birth to dead babies due to the lack of hygiene in their hutch while pregnant as it can easily become a breeding ground for dangerous bacteria.
While your rabbit is pregnant, do your best to clean any poop and other waste out of the hutch as quickly as possible and take the time to keep your rabbit’s coat as clean as possible too.
Any parasites, bugs, insects or other potential risks to your rabbit and her unborn babies should be removed from the case as quickly as possible too.
Old, uneaten food should also be removed and replaced with fresh food with your rabbit’s bedding being changed twice per week unless she has started to build a nest.
Although this may sound like a large amount of work, the majority of it can usually be done within minutes and really doesn’t take much time or effort.
Keeping your pet rabbits hutch as clean as possible while pregnant can be a quick and easy way to reduce the chance of your bunny giving birth to dead babies too.
Keep Other Rabbits Away From The Pregnant Rabbit!
Keeping other rabbits away from a pregnant rabbit can reduce the stress and anxiety levels in the pregnant rabbit and reduce the chance of her giving birth to stillborn babies.
If you do have multiple rabbits then separating your female from them can be a good idea but if she does start to show signs of being stressed or anxious, return her to the other rabbits.
This one really can be a double-edged sword as some rabbits will be totally fine when alone but others will miss the other rabbits and start to stress out.
If you notice that your pregnant rabbit is starting to stress out after putting her in her own hutch then try to add another female rabbit to her hutch to see if her condition improves.
Adding a female rabbit can be enough to help reduce her stress and anxiety levels without adding a male rabbit that may try to breed with her again and cause her stress while pregnant.
This one really does need you to pay plenty of attention to the condition of your pregnant rabbit though and adjust as required throughout the process.
The Age And Body Mass Of The Mother Rabbit!
Very young and very old rabbits can deliver stillborn babies just because of their ages. Unfortunately, there really isn’t much that you are able to do about it in most cases and it is just a rule of nature.
A rabbit that is either underweight or overweight can also have an increased chance of giving birth to dead babies too so try to keep your rabbit’s weight in line with what it should be.
Thankfully, rabbits tend not to overfeed as much as some other pets so it is often difficult to have an overweight rabbit unless you really do offer them way too many treats.
Some pregnant rabbits will go off their food though and barely eat causing them to drop weight very quickly and put their own life as well as the life of their babies at risk.
If you notice that your pregnant rabbit has stopped eating or is eating less than it normally would then booking a video call with a vet is probably a good idea.
There are a number of reasons that your rabbit may not be eating as well as different treatments available depending on the situation so seeking advice from a vet is usually the best course of action to take to get your rabbit eating again and help her give birth to healthy babies.
That brings our article going over why your rabbit may be giving birth to dead babies to an end. We hope that we have been able to help you better understand why your pet rabbit may be having issues with her pregnancy as well as how you are able to prevent the more common causes. The more common causes do tend to be easy to fix thankfully but some of the less common reasons that your rabbit may give birth to still born babies can require assistance from a vet.