Orphaned bunnies....

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by goatkeepers, May 3, 2008.

  1. goatkeepers

    goatkeepers Songster

    Mar 31, 2008
    Mooresville, NC
    I tried to do a search b/c I know several people have gone through this same thing before but for some reason it didn't find anything. [​IMG]
    Anyways, a friend's friend found baby bunnies last night, after her dog disturbed the nest or something like that. Putting them back was (for some reason) not an option, dunno if it's in an area where the dog would keep getting to them or something like that but he called me, apparently because he has great faith in my animal raising abilities. [​IMG] *lol*

    From what he told me, they don't have their eyes open yet so they must be very young. I know the chances of them making it are very slim but I want to give it a shot. I did a bit more reading and found that it's best to feed them only twice a day, morning and night with diluted formula (I will feed them goat's milk). Basically I was just hoping there's some people on here that have successfully raised baby rabbits that young and could give me some pointers.
    I'd greatly appreciate any support and/or pointers as to what to do/not to do.

    I am prepping myself that the three bunnies might not make it, but nontheless, I know I will be heartbroken if they die.
    Thanks for any support!
  2. KellyGwen

    KellyGwen Songster

    Apr 28, 2008
    Lake Luzerne, NY
    I'm not sure about the feeding schedule... but I know that they have to be kept in a VERY QUIET and dark, warm place. Loud noises can literally scare them to death...

  3. jckbohlken

    jckbohlken Hatching

    Apr 1, 2008
    Wild rabbits feed there babies Morning and Night.That's why youe don't see them doing it. But making sure they are warm is important too.
  4. puckbunny87

    puckbunny87 In the Brooder

    Apr 3, 2008
    Norco, CA
    Well, I've tried raising them once... didn't end well [​IMG]

    You feed them every 2 hours or so, with kitten formula. You have to get a special nipple for the bottles. If you can help it, don't hold them on their backs when you feed them... they can get milk in their lungs, and they're gonners.

    Hopefully someone who has raised them successfully can give you some more advice!
  5. coffeemama

    coffeemama Barista Queen

    Mar 5, 2008
    I used to raise bunnies and have fed lots of them-and had none die. The reason that does only feed a few times a day is that their milk is super high in protein and fat so babies only need a tiny bit of it. I used kitten replacer, and fed frequently with a tiny nipple or syringe. They need warm damp cotton balls rubbed on their bellies and genitals after every meal to get them to urinate and defecate. This is probably the most important step, and many people fail to do it. Baby bunnies' mamas do this, and they have to have it done or they will back up and die! Also do their eyes, makes them feel good and loved [​IMG]. Keep them in a nest, so they can keep each other warm. You can start to feed them rabbit pellets made into a warm mash, but I can't remember when we used to do that. Anyway, they can be successfully raised for sure!
  6. goatkeepers

    goatkeepers Songster

    Mar 31, 2008
    Mooresville, NC
    Thanks for all the info! [​IMG]
  7. Skyesrocket

    Skyesrocket Songster

    Mar 20, 2008
    Feed twice a day and don't over feed. Just until their bellys get a little rounded. Use pro-biotics. This is important. Rabbits eat their own pellets (poo) at night for beneficial bacteria to help digestion. A powdered probiotic works well...just sprinkle a small amount in their milk. Fresh goat milk works really well.
    After they eat you need to wipe them with a moist cotton ball to stimulate them to potty.
    Keep them warm with a heating pad underneath half of their box so they can move away from the heat if they get too warm.
    It's hard to only feed them twice a day...I used to worry if they had enough to eat. And be careful not to feed them too much. After a couple of days you should be able to tell when they have had enough. Over feeding can kill them. It's best to err on the side of too little than too much.
    Put hay in the box for them to burrow into.
    Good Luck!
  8. goatkeepers

    goatkeepers Songster

    Mar 31, 2008
    Mooresville, NC
    All 5 made it through the night! I am taking that as a good success. Even better: I got all 5 to pee (two of them a WHOLE LOT!) and two of them pooped. One didn't eat very much, but I figured I won't force them. I am feeding twice a day with a dropper.

    Where do I get the powdered probios? I have goat probios, comes in a gel form in a big syringe type thing. Would some of that work? I'd have no idea how much to give them?

    Thanks so much for all the help!! [​IMG]

  9. Hangin Wit My Peeps

    Hangin Wit My Peeps AutumnBreezeChickens.com

    Apr 20, 2008
    Birnamwood, Wisconsin
    I did the same thing one year and took them to the vet...he told me NEVER take bunnies out of their nest no matter what. I guess the mother can stay gone for up to two days so many people think they are abandoned when really they are not. Tell her to put them back in the nest and maybe block it so the dog cannot get to it. They most likely will not survive if she keeps them. I made that mistake and slowly and painfully lost every one when in reality they prob would have lived had I not intervened. Their own mothers milk is the only thing that may keep these babies alive and well. If she does decide she want to still try it tell her it's important to wipe the butt to get them to poop! VERY important. This is the main reason people lose rabbits. Wiping their butt stimulates them to potty.
    I used to work in a vets office and we forever had people bringing in bunnies and we always tell them put them back they will be fine...and get calls saying you were right! Mommy came back and they are out hopping around our yard [​IMG]
    Last edited: May 4, 2008

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