[Appears in early ME. (along with the cognate
As I suspected, the verb "to kindle" as it refers to a rabbit delivering young comes from the same root as the German "kind," meaning child.
Bergthora obliged us by kindling 8 wee babies this morning! When I looked in on her at 7:15, she had pulled a bit of fur as lining for her nestbox. When my eldest and I went out to feed and water all the rabbits at 8, she was actively kindling. He got to watch! What an exciting way to start the day! By 8:10 she was finished and cleaning up the placentas. I confess to a twinge of envy at such efficiency in parturition.