ANSWERS: 5
  • could i ask a question first? did the mother abandon them?? if she did you should feed them 1-2 times a day but no more because it can kill them if you over feed them, if they haven't been abandoned just leave them and the mother will feed them in the night normally when your in bed and when the mother won't get disturbed. i hope this helped.
  • Are these wild rabbits? If they are, they are not abandoned unless you know for sure the mother is dead. She will come back and feed them. Put them back if that is the case. If these are domestic rabbits and you have lost your doe, then you need to hand feed them. Remember the domestic/wild bunny mom only feeds her young usually once in the middle of the night. Don't assume she is not caring for them if you don't see her nurse them. Check their tummies to see if they are round and the babies are warm in the morning--this means she is caring for them. In the rare situation that you have an orphaned domestic bunny, such as when a domestic rabbit mom is sick or refuses to care for her young, you will need to feed the babies. Overfeeding is a leading cause of death in these youngsters which results in fatal intestinal disease. Use Meyenberg Regular Goat milk (found at Safeway in the milk section or Whole Foods) or KMR KITTEN powder formula + follow directions on the can. (KMR better for domestics). It may be easiest to start with a 3 cc/ml syringe or an eyedropper. Some use pet nurser nipples on the end of a luer lock syringe, or a teat cannula on the end of a syringe. Feed only with the bunny sitting UPRIGHT, and point syringe down towards bottom or side of mouth, so if too much comes out, the baby does not aspirate! For those who are slow to learn nursing, SC fluids may be necessary to prevent electrolyte imbalance or dehydration (check with a vet on this only!!). Domestic buns with closed eyes should be fed 2 x a day, and the number of feedings gradually decreased until they are weaned. If their eyes are still closed, you need to stimulate their bottoms with a warm moist towel after feedings to help them to pee. (Domestics are weaned about 6 weeks; wild bunnies are weaned about 3-4 weeks for cottontails and 9 weeks for jacks). Bloat is commonly associated with too frequent feedings and too much at one time. For WILD rabbits, do not feed at home, but get them to a professional rehabber. This is CRITICAL for their survival as they are not like domestics. See contacts under wild orphans. Provide a soft nest area in a box with clean towels, and cover the babies so it is dark until their eyes are open. Do NOT provide extra heat if the room temperature is at least 65 to 70 degrees F because excessive heat can be fatal. If the room is cooler, then you may place a heating pad on a low setting under no more than HALF of the nest so the bunny can move to a cooler area if it gets too warm. If this is a wild rabbit, handle it ONLY when during feedings as excessive handling can be extremely stressful and potentially fatal. Wild rabbits usually don't need heat if furred and healthy. You can use Regular Goat Milk found in the carton at your local grocery store.You can also use KMR (Kitten Milk Replacer) available at most pet stores for the handfeeding formula. Avoid ANY regular milk, puppy formulas, etc. The following is a guideline for the daily amount to feed a TRULY orphaned bunny (mother was killed, etc.) Remember with wild bunnies, the mom only comes back at night to call and feed him; please put him back for her if just found and healthy. With domestics, the mom only feeds once or twice a day for only 5 minutes. Leave babies with the mom. For wild true orphans, see contacts for wildlife rehabbers under wild orphans. Feeding of True Orphans Age + Amount (This WILL vary depending on type of rabbit. It is impossible over the Internet to see your particular rabbit, so this is only approximate.) Use Goat Milk or KMR, regular not low fat. Add a pinch of acidophilus (aka Probiotic) to the formula to promote healthy gut flora. Formulas vary depending on region. Avoid Esbilac. FEED TWICE A DAY ONLY. Newborn to One Week: 2 - 2+1/2 cc/ml each feeding (two feedings per day). 1-2 weeks: 5-7 cc/ml each feeding (two feedings per day). (depending on bunny..may be much LESS if smaller rabbit!) Newborn babies (if eyes closed) all need to be stimulated to urinate and defecate prior to or following feeding until their eyes open. (Except Jackrabbits do not). *See how to below. 2-3 weeks: 7-13 cc/ml each feeding (two feedings). Domestic eyes open at about 10 days of age. Start introducing them to timothy and oat hay, pellets and water (always add fresh greens for wild ones). 3-6 weeks: 13-15 cc/ml each feeding (two feedings--again, may be LESS depending on size of rabbit! A cottontail will take so much less!! Half this at most.) Domestics are weaned about 6 weeks. Cottontails wean and release about 3-4 weeks and jackrabbits much later (9+ weeks). For domestic rabbits, if you have a healthy adult rabbit at home and you can collect cecotropes (the soft, chain-like droppings that the rabbit usually eats) then these can be mixed with the KMR to give the baby bunny normal bacteria for its intestinal tract. Only one cecotrope per day for 4-5 days is needed. This is particularly important for rabbits under one week of age. Also good is to sprinkle acidophilus powder, also called "Probiotic" from human capsules in the milk a little each time for healthy flora for both wild and domestic bunnies. *After each feeding it is important to make the bunny defecate and urinate to keep the intestinal tract and urinary system running smoothly (only UNTIL their eyes are open). No need to do this for jackrabbits; they go on their own. Use a cotton ball moistened with warm water and gently stroke the anal area until the bunny starts producing stool and urine and keep stroking until the bunny stops. You are reproducing the behavior of the mother rabbit who would lick her young to stimulate them to go to the bathroom and to keep the nest clean. As soon as their eyes are open, you may introduce the bunnies to plain alfalfa pellets, hay, such as oat hay, timothy, alfalfa, and for wild rabbits, in addition, add dark leafy veggies such as carrot tops, parsley, dandelion greens, etc. Dandelion greens and hay (timothy and oat hay) are extremely important for wild rabbits. You can add whole oats and oat groats from a feed store, and some grated carrots (about a tablespoon). The greens must be fresh, rinsed, and replaced if not eaten in a few hours or they dry out and get stale. You can place them in a cup of cold water with just the tops sticking out to keep them fresher for older rabbits. If this is a wild rabbit, you do not need to introduce pellets. If this is a domestic rabbit baby, then you may introduce plain pellets at 2 weeks of age (please refer to the handout Care of Rabbits for more information on diet). Wild rabbits should be released as soon as they are eating hay and greens and are approximately 5 inches in body length (cottontails) and run from you. They will be small, but the longer you keep them, the more agitated and difficult to handle they will become and the less likely their chances for survival in the wild. Release ONLY at dusk or dawn. Jackrabbits will be much larger and are released after 9 weeks when ready. Make sure they get exercise daily. The exception is the length/age rule is the jackrabbit. They are best released around 9 weeks of age, as they mature much slower than the brush/cottontails and need to develop strength. If they are ready, earlier, they will let you know. For more info on hand rearing rabbits and rabbit care, check out the House Rabbit society http://www.rabbit.org/
  • my rabbit had 3 babies, one is so tiny. Should I supplement with formula? When I say tiny, there is a huge difference between the "runt" and the other 2. Any advice?
  • It is not a peanut for sure. It is perfect, formed just tiny. Normal head and body.
  • I need to know this too. but its soo confuzzling

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