How do you hand feed a kit???

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by debilorrah, Jun 24, 2011.

  1. debilorrah

    debilorrah The Great Guru of Yap Premium Member

    The runt got dumped out of the nest, and she is clearly not feeding it. I bought KRM and a small bottle, poked a bajillion holes in it and it STILL doesn't seem like this baby is getting anything unless I REALLY squeeze the bottle.
    This thing is half the size of the rest.

  2. MandyH

    MandyH You'll shoot your eye out!

    I am of no help. I've always heard KMR and that the mother doesn't feed but like once a day. Maybe someone will chime in soon.
  3. Jamie_Dog_Trainer

    Jamie_Dog_Trainer Songster

    Jul 8, 2008
    Washington State
    Debi, use a small medicine dropper, those nipples on the KMR bottles are useless with rabbits.
  4. debilorrah

    debilorrah The Great Guru of Yap Premium Member

    I think we discovered it too late. It is really skin and bones, and I just didn;t notice. Then she tossed it out.
  5. equine623

    equine623 Songster

    Mar 17, 2009
    NE PA
    If you can find an experienced person like a rehabber (yes I know it isn't a wild rabbit) or a vet tech or someone who has done it before, have them show you how to tube feed. Wild rabbits are just about impossible to raise via bottle, tube feeding when done correctly is quick and the best way to get nutrition into a baby. BUT it is easy to kill a baby by putting the tube into the lungs, so definitely find someone to teach you this.

    I don't know if domestic rabbits are any maybe I'm way off base. But bunnies just don't suck well, at least not in my experience. Again, I'm used to wilds so maybe I'm totally wrong. [​IMG]

  6. Sachasmom

    Sachasmom Songster

    Mar 1, 2009
    Upstate NY
    It might be too weak to nurse already. [​IMG]

    How old is it? Anything less than two weeks is much much much easier to feed on a doe than hand feed. Just take your doe, get a comfy seat and flip her on her back on your lap. Then just stick the kit on a nipple to nurse, be careful, they like to punt! Nothing worse than having to put down a newborn kit that a doe just laid open. [​IMG] I guess I should say make sure her nails are cut first, then feed it.

    Some of mine will tolerate being flipped, others despise it. I don't hand feed much unless I have to, I've had better luck with them once they're past the two and a half week mark, not much luck before that.
  7. debilorrah

    debilorrah The Great Guru of Yap Premium Member

    Quote:We tried that earlier and obviously she had just nursed because it was danged hard to find a nipple. That concerned us, so we checked on the rest of the kits, and sure enough their bellies were full. This mama is an extremely docile bunny, which is why we chose to breed her. You can put her on her back without even touching her ears and she just lays there.

    I think this one is not going to make the night. They are just one week old.
  8. dewey

    dewey Songster

    Nov 9, 2010
    north of eternity
    They can lose the reflex to suck within a couple of days, so the kit may not have eaten for a couple of days and may no longer have the reflex.

    Healthy, domestic babies are fairly easy to hand raise, unlike wild rabbits that have almost a zero chance of survival.

    They make bottles for baby rabbits or squirrels, the kitten bottles are usually too big. They don't always take right to a bottle, and it helps if it's wrapped in a cloth or something for the feel that's closer to fur for their treading...maybe try rubbing the warm milk on its mouth to see if it'll lick it. It could take many tries but handling the kit a lot can create more stress on it. They need a berry of the cluster poo every day in the milk no matter which feeding method is used.

    Does will sometimes abandon ill or defective kits that they know will not survive. Losing kits is very sad...hoping the best for yours. [​IMG]
  9. krcote

    krcote Songster

    May 21, 2008
    Concord, NH
    My bet is on Mom knowing when to quit on that kit.

  10. dewey

    dewey Songster

    Nov 9, 2010
    north of eternity
    Quote:That's typically the case. I might be tempted to hand raise an entire healthy litter if the doe abandoned them all, but I don't take measures to try to save non nursing runts or single abandoned kits since, sadly, it's never seemed to change nature's intended outcome. [​IMG]

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