Why Do Rabbits Kill Themselves / 19 Reasons


Why Do Rabbits Kill Themselves

Animal killing themselves refers to any kind of self-destructive behavior displayed by various species of animals, resulting in their death. Although contradicting the natural progression of life and an animal’s evolutionary instinct for survival, some situations may lead to an animal inducing their own death. Animal killing themselves in the defense of the group could be instantaneous or altruistic self-removal once an animal becomes diseased. There are anecdotal reports of grieving pets displaying such behavior after the death of their owner, or monogamous animals refusing to feed after the death of their mate.

We all remember the happy day we got our pet bunnies. Sadly, some rabbits that appear perfectly healthy die for no apparent reason seems like they have killed themselves. There is always a cause of death, no matter how sudden. As heartbreaking as it is, the bunny must have suffered from some illness, stress, or injury.

The Life Cycle of a Domestic Rabbit

Rabbits are born in litters of 1-14. They start eating what their mother eats at around three weeks and can leave their mother at eight weeks. Most male rabbits (bucks) become sexually mature at around four months. This is a good age to have your male neutered. Females (does) can die from being spayed as it is a major operation. I suggest only sterilizing male rabbits.

Most rabbits stop growing between 18-24 months of age and a healthy rabbit can live for 9-12 years. While giant breeds will not usually live to eight years, a healthy standard or dwarf rabbit will live to a full life span provided it is cared for properly.

Rabbits become senior citizens at 7-8 years of age. The Holland Lop and Netherland Lop have the longest life span, with most living past ten and even into their early teens.

5 Signs a rabbit is going to die

Possible Reasons Why a Seemingly Healthy Rabbit Can Suddenly Die

  • The bunny was an indoor pet that could not handle outdoor temperatures.
  • Myiasis, or deadly fly-strike.
  • Injured during improper handling by children.
  • Fear-related heart attack.
  • Injured by another pet.
  • Aborted pregnancy
  • Poisoning
  • Swallowed a sharp object.
  • Bunny was older than you thought.
  • Pre-existing health condition.
How to Tell if Your Rabbit is Dying

Pet Store Rabbits Should Stay Indoors

Most pet store staff will tell you to keep your rabbit inside until summer when the weather is warmer. Pet shop rabbits have been inside the warm store for a few weeks or more and cannot live outside right away.

Rabbits have delicate systems and a drop in temperature could kill them. It is not a good idea to keep pet store rabbits outside at all. They are indoor animals and must be kept indoors.

Deadly Fly Strike and Rabbits

Many new rabbit owners are not aware of the deadly flystrike. This happens when a germ-infested fly lands on a rabbit and lays eggs on them. The eggs hatch quickly and can literally eat a rabbit inside and out.

A rabbit with a deadly fly strike gets a dirty bottom and has a foul smell. If caught early enough, treatments can save the rabbit’s life but their lifespan will be shorter than usual.

The best way to prevent this fatal condition is to regularly check your rabbit’s bottom and keep it clean. Use a fly guard in your rabbit’s environment and keep your pet on a proper diet: no carrots, lettuce, or bread.

Rabbits Should Not Live with Children Under 12

Rabbits often do not like children and can be very fearful of them. If a child does not handle the rabbit properly, the rabbit may jump about so the child can’t hold them, or let’s go. If the rabbit falls to the floor they may break their backbone or neck.

Their bones are very delicate and break easily. Children running around screaming can cause stress and anxiety for rabbits. If a child ran out into your garden yelling and a few days later your rabbit died, then you have your cause: Rabbits can die of shock (see below) and are not suitable for children under 12 years of age.

Rabbits Can Die of Fright!

It is possible for a rabbit to die of fright. Loud sounds, such as cats, dogs, loud music, or screaming can lead to a heart attack and put a rabbit into shock, causing sudden death. It can day several days for the rabbit to die this way, and it does not happen often, but it is quite possible.

Other Animals or Pets Can Kill a Rabbit

Do not even consider a rabbit if you have aggressive dogs, large dogs, young untrained puppies, ferrets, or cats. Ferrets are hunters and cats are wild animals that will hurt, frighten, or severely injure a pet bunny. Large dogs can easily induce shock and heart attacks.

Puppies don’t mean to be naughty, but of course, they can hurt or frighten your rabbit to death. If you are planning to get a bunny, train your dog beforehand and keep them away from each other. Slowly introduce them to one another.

Do not buy a terrier such as a Westie or Schnauzer, as these are hunting dogs and are extremely hard to train to leave a rabbit alone.

An Aborted Late Pregnancy Can Be Fatal

If a rabbit aborts a pregnancy and cannot reabsorb the fetus, the baby rabbits will simply die inside her and create a toxic situation. A normal miscarriage can be absorbed harmlessly, but if the pregnancy is further along when the miscarriage happens, the mother rabbit may die.

Poison Ingested Indoors or Out in the Garden

It is possible for a pet rabbit to suffer poisoning and die very quickly. They may not show any symptoms and behave normally, but if there is discharge from any area, especially the eyes, mouth, or anus, they may have eaten something poisonous in the garden.

They will have very little appetite for food or water. If your rabbit dies and you suspect poison, be sure to remove the body and sterilize the area. If you have another rabbit and that one seems fine, take them to the vet just in case.

Possible sources of a poison include gardening products, pesticides, washing powder, and other cleaning products.

Bunny Is Older Than You Thought

Once a rabbit is passed three, it can be very hard to precisely identify the age. Be very careful to check a rabbit over before purchasing or adopting. Rabbits stop growing at 18-24 months of age but read up on the breed of rabbit you are looking at so you know typical sizes for babies and adults of that type.

Some rabbit sellers may pass an older rabbit as younger. Unless you are sure the rabbit is young, think twice about buying or adopting. The stress of moving to a new home might cause a very old rabbit to die sooner rather than later.

Did Your Bunny Have Preexisting Health Problems?

It is hard to tell a rabbit’s history. If you do not know the person who is selling the rabbit, ask a vet or veterinary nurse to come along so they can give a proper examination of the animal. Ask the seller for medical records.

Comforting a Dying Rabbit

Swallowing Objects Like Glass Can Kill a Rabbit

Before your rabbit forages in the garden, make sure to remove any sharp objects, especially pieces of broken glass, or anything that could be potentially very harmful to your pet.

Rabbits will sometimes ingest things they shouldn’t and in many cases, it does them no harm. Swallowing a sharp or large object can literally tear a rabbit’s insides, causing severe internal bleeding.

If you notice blood around the anus, this may be a sign of internal bleeding. If this happens, take it to the vet to have it examined immediately

Conclusion

Rabbits are very Cute and adorable animals. They make wonderful pets. Being small in size care needs to be taken in their handling. Rabbits in the wild are prey for dog, cats, many larger pets that have their heritage in being predators. Care of Your Rabbits environment is critical to the health of your rabbit.

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Rabbit Meat Profitability Table

RabbitsRabbits BornLbs Meat / YearAverage Price / LBTotal Revenue Possible
184252$ 8.00$ 2016
2168504$ 8.00$ 4032
54201260$ 8.00$ 10,080
108402520$ 8.00$ 20,162
2016805040$ 8.00$ 40,320
3025207560$ 8.00$ 60,480
40336010,080$ 8.00$ 80,640
50420012,600$ 8.00$ 100,800
100840025,200$ 8.00$ 201.600
20016,80050,400$ 8.00$ 403,200
Rabbits Have Average 7 Kits (Babies) /Month - Some have had up to 14

Rabbit Giant Angora Fur Profitability Table

RabbitsRabbits Born / Yr0z wool / Year
40 OZ / Rabitt
Average Price / oz
$10.00
Feed Cost / Yr
$ .30 per day / $ 110 per Year

Total Revenue Possible
1843,360$ 33,600$ 9,240$ 24,360
21686,720$ 67,200$ 18,480$ 48,720
542016,800$ 168,000$ 46,200$ 121,800
1084033,600$ 33,6000$ 92,400$ 243,600
20168067,200$ 672,000$ 184,800$ 487,200
302520100,800$ 1,008,000$ 57,200$ 950,800
403360134,400$ 1,344,000$ 369,600$ 974,400
504200168,000$ 1,680,000$ 462,000$ 1,218,000
1008400336,000$ 3,360,000$ 924,000$ 2,436,000
20016,800672,000$ 6,720,000$ 1,848,000$ 4,872,000
Rabbits Have Average 7 Kits (Babies) /Month - Some have had up to 14
Average Giant Angora Weight 10lb
40 Oz shaved Fur per Rabbit per Year
Feed $ .30 per day for 10lb Rabbit

Rabbit Poop Profitability Table

Number RabbitsManure / day / .5lbManure / lbs WeekManure /lbs Year 
1.53.5182
217364
31.510.5546
4214728
52.517.5910
105351820
2010703640
30151055460
40201407280
50251759100
1005035018,200
20010070036,400
Manure per Rabbit ranges from .5 - 1 lb per day. We used .5 for Calculations

Breeds of Rabbits FAQ

Breed of RabbitOriginWeightPurposeKits / LitterBreed association
New ZealandsCalifornia5 kg
11 lbs
Meat8American Federation New Zealand Rabbit Breeders Assoc
CaliforniasCalifornia3 kg
7-10 lbs
Meat6 - 8California Rabbit Breeders
RexFrance4.5 kg
10.5 lbs
Meat2 - 4National Rex Rabbit Club
SatinsMichigan4 kg
9.5 lbs
Meat2 - 4American satin Breeders Association
PaliminosAmerican5.4 kg
12 lbs
Meat6 -8Palimino Rabbit Breeders Association
English AngoraEngland2-3 kg
5-7 lbs
Wool6 - 8National Angora Breeders
French AngoraFrance4.5 kg
10.5 lbs
Wool6 - 8National Angora Breeders
Giant AngoraTurkey4.5 kg
9 - 10 lbs
Wool6 - 8National Angora Breeders
Satin AngoraTurkey4.5 kg
6 - 10 lbs
Wool6 - 8National Angora Breeders
Mini LopUK3 kg
5.5 lbs
Dwarf2 -3American Mini Lop Rabbit Club
Dutch DwarfNetherlands1 - 2 kg
2,5 lbs
Dwarf2 - 4American Netherland Dwarf Rabbit Club
Pygmy RabbitNorth American500 grams
1 lb
Dwarf6?
Britania PetiteUK / Polish700 grams
1 1/2 - 2 lbs
Dwarf2-3American Britiania Petite Rabbit Society
breed
Size
Purpose
Litter Size
Breed Association

Rabbit Breeder Associations

Rabbit AssociationLocationLink
American Breeders AssociationUnited StatesARBA
House Rabbit SocietyCaliforniaHRS
Ohio States Rabbit Breeders AssociationOhioOSRBA
Livestock Conservancy North CarolinaLC
Rabbit Welfare Association and FundUnited KingdomRWA
British Rabbit CouncilUnited KingdomBRC
European Association of Rabbits....EuropeEAP
Australian National Rabbit CouncilAustraliaANRC
Australian Rabbit House SocietyAustraliaARHS
ARBA - Rabbit ShowsUnited StatesARBA - Shows
Resource List of Rabbit Breeder Associations

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