TO PUT THE BABIES
the babies a soft nest area in a box with clean towels. We like
to put one folded towel on the bottom and another bunched on top
of that, so the babies can snuggle into it. You can also purchase
soft nesting wool from a pet store and put that on top of the towel.
Cover the box with a towel so it is dark, making sure that there
will be enough air so the babies do not suffocate. Leaving about
a one inch gap at the top is usually sufficient. Keep the babies
in an out-of-the way, QUIET area, such as an adult's bedroom. If
the room temperature is between 68-72 degrees you will not need
to provide extra heat, but if it's cooler than that you will need
to provide extra warmth. Use a heating pad set on low
and slip it under one half only of the
bottom towel in the box. We do it this way so that the babies can
move to a cooler area if it gets too warm. ALWAYS make sure that
the heating pad is covered, as babies can burn themselves very badly
on an exposed heating pad.
the babies were with their mamma, but she is not caring for them
(and you are sure she is ignoring them) you will need to separate
her from them, so they will not get hurt. If she has created a nest,
use that material in the box that you have made to hold the babies.
Rabbits nurse only ONE TIME a day, so if you think that she is not
caring for them based only on the fact you don't see them feed...think
again. But if you are sure she is neglecting them, if they are dehydrated,
cold, obviously ignored, of course, something must be done!
TO FEED THE BABIES
rabbits should be fed Kitten Milk Replacer (KMR), which you can
buy at pet stores, or sometimes even a local veterinarian's office.
Because rabbit milk is the most caloric of all mammals, we add in
one tablespoon of cream to each can of KMR. Unless you are familiar
with and skilled at tube feeding babies, use an eye dropper or sterile
oral syringe, which can be purchased at most pharmacies. Feed
baby rabbits no more than twice a day. Baby rabbits normally
feed only ONCE a day, but you're not mama and the KMR is not as
caloric as rabbit milk---so if baby does not take in the total amount
quoted below in one feeding, you may split the feedings in half,
AM/PM - but no more frequently as it can cause severe gastrointestinal
distress. Overfeeding is a leading cause of death in infant
this is a wild rabbit, handle it ONLY during feedings and
make sure to keep it in a quiet, safe, out-of-the-way area of your
home, as excessive handling and human interaction can be extremely
stressful and potentially fatal, and will lessen its chance or survival
once released back into the wild.
is a guideline for the daily amount to feed a domestic OR wild rabbit
who will be approximately 5-6 pounds as an adult (average rabbit
size). You can increase the amounts as needed for larger breeds.
Remember, if the rabbit does not eat the full amount listed, feed
the remainder later, but do not feed more than twice a day.
the BEST results, go to your local health food store (GNC has this)
and get a bottle of ACIDOPHILUS. Ask for the capsules that have
the "grainy stuff" inside (they are easier to mix than
the “powdery stuff”) and add it to the KMR at each feeding.
acidophilus in addition to KMR will GREATLY increase the
baby rabbit's chance of survival, because it helps keep the bacterial
balance in a baby's tummy adequate.
1 capsule = 1 cc
AND 4 weeks, until weaned (you may wean at 4 weeks of age)
rabbits feed from their mothers while lying on their backs. You
may loosely wrap baby in a soft face cloth or hand towel and lay
it on your lap or in the crook of your arm. If bunny will NOT eat
this way, of course, do the best you can. It is ABSOLUTELY CRUCIAL
to let the baby eat at it's own pace---especially if it is not suckling
from you (i.e. if you are using a dropper or syringe to feed it...).
If you squirt the liquid in too quickly you can aspirate (get liquid
in) the lungs and the rabbit will suffocate.
each feeding it is important to make the bunny defecate and urinate
to keep the intestinal tract and urinary system running smoothly.
Use a soft cloth or a cotton ball moistened with warm water and
gently stroke from between the bunny's front legs all the way down
over the anal area until the bunny starts producing stool and urine,
and keep stroking until the bunny stops. You are replicating the
behavior of the mother rabbit who would lick her young to stimulate
them to go to the bathroom (as well as to keep the nest clean).
The stool will be soft and may be varying shades of green and yellow.
Be sure to clean baby's mouth with a damp cloth or paper towel,
so that no milk dries in the hair.
rabbit eyes open at about 10 days of age. You may start introducing
them to hay and pellets at this point, but no veggies or fruits
yet. Just leave some hay and pellets in a corner of the box
where the babies can easily get to them. Make sure it the pellets
are plain, high fiber and fresh, with no added goodies such as dried
banana chips or seeds. Don't ever leave a deep water dish in which
a baby could drown; instead, use something shallow and rinse and
fill it frequently.
THESE ARE WILD RABBIT BABIES:
Start giving them small amounts of pesticide-free greens and timothy
or oat hay at this point (grass, dandelions, weeds, parsley...),
but you do not need to introduce them
to pellets, as the goal is to release them back into the wild where
the food is not that high in protein. If they are eating pellets
and then released into the wild, the change in diet could kill them.
it is critical that you handle wild babies only for feeding and
cleaning, or for wound care – as necessary. Keep them in a
quiet area away from family goings-on. The goal is to keep them
as wild as possible so that they will have a better chance when
rabbits do not make good pets. The do not become docile like their
domesticated cousins and they will be happier in the wild, where
they belong. It is illegal and cruel to keep a healthy wild animal
as a “pet.”
you can find a wildlife rehabilitator in your are who will care
for and release the babies, this is your best bet.
rabbits should be released as
soon as they are eating hay and greens, are urinating, defecating
and drinking well and are approximately 5 inches in body length.
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. Make sure to release them in a
safe place, where no pesticides are used--and where they will not
run out into a street! It is best to release them in the early morning
so that they have the day to acclimate. Community parks are NOT
the place to release ANY rabbit, let alone a wild one. Prior to
the release date, try taking drives and/or walks in the dawn &
dusk hours (rabbits are crepuscular) in rural and country-ish areas
and find out where other wild rabbits live. We choose to release
our babies very early in the morning (5AM) or lat in the afternoon
(4-5PM) in order that they have some time to acclimate and find
a place to hide. We always make sure to leave several days supply
of hay and water, so the babies will not starve or dehydrate will
acclimating to their surroundings. It is best to leave the hay and
water right next to large bushes, so the rabbits will have some
place to run into should a predator come along while they are eating/drinking.
contact ZOOH CORNER for more information of releasing wild rabbits
- or how to tell IF the rabbit you have is wild (909)868-BUNI email@example.com.
you plan to keep this rabbit as a pet (as long as it is
domestic), make sure that you have the time and really
want a House Rabbit. They are wonderful, affectionate, playful pets
than can be litter box trained like cats and live 8-13 years if
altered and properly cared for. If you just want to let it live
in the back yard or a cage - contact us for more information, and
for help placing it. Rabbits should not live outside or
in isolated cages. They are very social animals, love peopleCand
the outside life is simply too dangerous (heat, cold, predators,
bacteria) for a rabbit to live a long happy life.