Baby bunny emergency

HuskerHens18

Crowing
Mar 11, 2018
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Chickenlandia
During the family's Easter Egg hunts, my dogs discovered and destroyed a nest of baby bunnies. I could only save one, they only look to be a few days old. I've never had baby bunnies, I don't know what to do! I've only owned adults or yearlings.
I fully understand it probably won't live, but I can't just leave it for my dogs to slaughter.
Unfortunately every store is closed, so I had to use a strong milk replacer. I believe it's calf, but the label was torn off (my uncle dropped by to give it to me)
I'm only giving it a few drops per hour.

Has anyone saved baby rabbits before? Is there something else I need to do? I'm keeping it in my chick brooder, they seem to like him. It's about 90°F in there right now.

Any help and prayers will be greatly appreciated! Thank you, and Happy Easter! :bun
 

oldhenlikesdogs

I love September
BYC Staff
Premium Feather Member
6 Years
Jul 16, 2015
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It is recommended to put it back where you found it. Try to recreate the nest if it was in one. Than keep your dog away for a few weeks until it can get away. Mom rabbit will return at night to feed and take care of it. It has a better chance at survival that way than you trying to take care of it.
 

cassie

Crowing
12 Years
Mar 19, 2009
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First of all, if you decide to try to raise it, ditch the milk replacer. You ought to be able to find some formulas for orphan rabbits on line, but meanwhile you could use evaporated milk. Use six parts evap and one part water. This works on puppies. Puppies are not rabbits, but a dog's milk, like a rabbit's milk, is very concentrated and much more nutrient dense than cow's milk. I have never tried to raise a baby rabbit, but I did once raise a baby pack rat as well as puppies on that formula.
 

HuskerHens18

Crowing
Mar 11, 2018
2,158
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Chickenlandia
Thank you @cassie thats good to know. I wanted to put it back like oldhenlikesdogs said, but I can't pen up my dogs or the coyotes and coons will get my chickens, and they're more important to me.
Again, thank you so much. I honestly need the help.
Does evaporated low-fat milk work? That's all I have right now.
 
Feb 9, 2018
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First of all, it is very hard for one kit to survive because it relies on the body heat of its siblings. Breeders have a difficult time keeping the body temperature regulated for a single kit even when brought indoors. Putting it back in the nest would be ideal IF there were siblings, but it probably would not survive current temperatures at night.

Second, if you plan to foster it, kitten replacement milk is far better than evaporated milk, but raw goat milk would be even better.
 

HuskerHens18

Crowing
Mar 11, 2018
2,158
4,965
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Chickenlandia
@Tale of Tails Rabbitry I really wanted to put it back, but my dogs killed the other siblings. I feel horrible and so irresponsible about it, but I need my dogs loose to protect my chickens.
We are about to get over a foot of snow possibly.
Right now it's sharing the brooder with my chicks, they love the baby rabbit and huddle with him. I'll be going to the store tomorrow, so I hope it makes it through the night so I can get some milk replacer. I'm thinking it's closer to a week old, it's covered in fur, but it's eyes and ears are closed. It moves around a lot and has made his own burrow in the wood chips under the heat lamp. How much should I be feeding it? I read online it's easy to overfeed so I haven't fed him since about 3pm. I've just done tiny squirts from a syringe.
I feel it's my responsibility to give him a fighting chance since it was my dogs who killed his family, I honestly would've preferred to put him back though.
 

OF65

Chirping
Feb 7, 2018
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Raise it on a bottle with fresh milk if you have it. Depending on age and size is how much it will take. The ones I raised had no trouble returning to the wild when they were 3-4 months old. Sounds like you are doing fine.
 
Feb 9, 2018
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60
@HuskerHens18 Don't feel bad. In the wild, rabbits are prey animals. It is just the way it is. Most kits do not make it to adulthood.

As to overfeeding, a kit will gorge itself on its mother's milk to the point that its belly is tight and white. You should feed it at least twice a day, but if it is not getting its fill like that each time, perhaps more times.

The brooder temperature will probably be okay for awhile, but it cold be too warm once its fur is in and its eyes are open. As long as it has a "nest" of hay, it should be fine inside.
 

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