Has your rabbit mother recently given birth? Or maybe youve found a baby rabbit that was separated from its mother? Either way, your mind may be turning towards what you need to do to make sure that these baby rabbits are happy, healthy, and well-fed.
However, in the unlikely and unfortunate circumstance that the mother rabbit is dead, missing, or completely ignoring her newborns, youll need to take action and begin feeding them right away! Before mixing your formula recipe, make sure you have both a Sterilizing steam bag, such as the ones used by breastfeeding human mothers, and Nursing bottles and nipples , often available in package sets.
Then, youll need to mix your baby formula from this recipe , courtesy of Doctor Dana Krempels of the University of Miami Biology Department: The combination of nutrients in this formula most closely resembles rabbit mothers milk, making it an almost-perfect match for feeding orphaned babies. Image by auenleben from PixabayFeeding baby rabbits takes special care and attention, so as not to overwhelm their sensitive immune and digestive systems.
This will form the foundation for weaning them off of the bottle, but theyll still need the nutrients provided by formula up until about 8 weeks of age at which point you can safely stop feeding them.
What can baby bunnies eat?
A small amount of many different vegetables is much better than a large amount of one food item. Young rabbits, under approximately 7-8 months old, should be fed alfalfa pellets and alfalfa hay free-choice ; they need the extra protein and calcium as they grow. They, too, can have a variety of vegetables.
What fresh food can baby rabbits eat?
Leafy greens, except lettuce, are best for rabbits for example dandelion leaves, carrot tops, kale, spinach, spring greens, raspberry/blackberry leaves and herbs such as parsley and basil. For young rabbits first introduction to greens it’s best to avoid fruits, though these can be introduced as treats later.
What do you feed baby rabbits by hand?
Once this occurs you can start gradually introducing them to timothy and oaten hay, chaff, pellets, small amounts of green vegetables and water in a shallow dish. By 2 – 4 weeks of age normally baby rabbits will start eating their mothers caecotrophs to keep their gastrointestinal tract full of good bacteria.
What can I feed a 3 week old rabbit?
When the bunnies are 2-3 weeks old, you can start to introduce rolled oats, and at 30 days, you can start them on commercial pellets. It is important to slowly switch rabbits to oats and pellets or you can cause enterotoxemia, a type of intestinal infection with a high mortality rate.
Wild babies are most often not orphaned! Many people mean well when they contact HRS after discovering an abandoned nest of wild rabbits. Often they wish to rehabilitate them with some advice from others. The reality is fewer than 10% of orphaned rabbits survive a week, and the care that people attempt to provide can be illegal, unnecessary, and potentially harmful. The best thing you can do is put the bunny right back where you found him, in the general area, as the mom will only come back at night to call and find him. Leave the area. If injured, please contact a wildlife rehabber or rabbit vet immediately! You can search Google for your state/country and wildlife rehabber. Also search your state + wild rabbit rehabbers. You can call your Humane Society for referral and also check here: http://www.humanesociety.org/animals/resources/tips/find-a-wildlife-rehabilitator.html and here: http://www.owra.org/find-a-wildlife-rehabilitator If you find a baby with eyes open, and he appears healthy, leave him be!! If picked up, go put him back outside. Mom only comes back at night. Please put back for her!
A moved nest should always be covered with string in a tic tac toe pattern and monitored to be sure the mother found it and came back to the babies. To make a new nest, dig a shallow hole about 3 deep and put into it as much of the original material as you can recover, including the mothers fur.
Very young wild baby bunnies with eyes closed and ears back rarely survive in captivity, even given the most expert human care; and so it is very important to determine whether they really need help. If it does not spring back in one second, or stays in a tent, the bunny is SEVERELY dehydrated and needs rehabilitation IMMEDIATELY by a professional rabbit vet or rehabber. 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.
Wild cottontail and brush bunny rabbits should be released as soon as they are eating hay and greens and are approximately 5 inches in body length and run from you. WARNING: Jackrabbits really NEED a skilled wildlife rehabber as they can run from you, throw themselves into walls to get away; many have died or severely injured themselves in captivity as they are so very wild. Often, sadly, we get reports of how a well-meaning person who tried to raise a wild rabbit, only to find it literally died of fright or got injured inside the cage.
Give them a carrier as their place of privacy (line with thick towels) with plenty of fresh hay and greens described above and water bowl. Also good is to sprinkle a pinch of acidophilus powder, also called Probiotic from human capsules in the milk a little each time for healthy flora for both wild and domestic bunnies.
If you find an “abandoned” bunny nest, the first thing to do is not disturb it. Many people do not know that mother rabbits only attend to their bunnies once a day during the early hours of the morning.
The anal area should be gently swabbed with a warm water-soaked cotton ball to stimulate defecation and urination.
Step-by-Step: How to Feed a Baby Rabbit
When youThen, you’ll need to mix your baby formula from this recipe, courtesy of Doctor Dana Krempels of the University of Miami Biology Department:Be sure to mix this in advance so the colostrum has time to fully dissolve into the formula. The combination of nutrients in this formula most closely resembles rabbit mothers’ milk, making it an almost-perfect match for feeding orphaned babies.
Wild Rabbits – Orphaned or Not?
Wild babies are most often not orphaned! Many people mean well when they contact HRS after discovering an “abandoned” nest of wild rabbits. Often they wish to “rehabilitate” them with some advice from others. The reality is fewer than 10% of orphaned rabbits survive a week, and the care that people attempt to provide can be illegal, unnecessary, and potentially harmful. The best thing you can do is put the bunny right back where you found him, in the general area,
What if the Baby Bunny is Injured?
Either call or take him to your local rabbit vet, humane society or animal shelter/animal control. Call first as often they will come pick up the baby. If after hours, contact a local emergency rabbit vet or rabbit vets found here and also here. The best thing you can do for an injured wild baby bunny is to get in touch with a skilled Wildlife Rehabber
The Bunny is
Again, make sure you KNOW for sure the mom was killed and the bunnies are abandoned (not warm, etc.). You will not see the mom. The mom will only come back in the middle of the night to feed her babies. If the mom was killed, the best thing you can do for a wild orphaned baby bunny is to get in touch with a skilled rehabilitator. In the meantime, call your local humane society or animal control and one of these vets for a wildlife referral: Rabbit Vets and Pet Bunny Vets.