Hand Feeding

Discussion in 'Rabbits' started by kell, Nov 6, 2004.

  1. kell

    kell Well-Known Member

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    Has anyone ever hand fed their kits with success? What would I feed them? I heard you have to milk one of your rabbits and use that. Is there any formula out there that works? I have a doe about to give birth that has snuffles, but I want to keep her kits, she has good genes. What do I do!?! :confused:
     
  2. Pat Lamar

    Pat Lamar Well-Known Member Supporter

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    The older the kits are, of course, the better your chances of success at hand feeding. Hand-feeding newborns is very difficult and most often unsuccessful. Using goat milk would be advised if you want to give it a try. The small animal nursing bottles don't work for rabbit newborns (the nipple is too large). You would have to use either an eye dropper or syringe without the needle. The danger with using an eye dropper is in forcing too much milk into the lungs and drowning the kit.

    A better option would be to let the doe raise the kits until they can be successfully weaned and separated from her. Cull any that show signs of Snuffles as it occurs, even before weaning. Weaning can successfully and carefully be done at 3-1/2 to 4 weeks of age. Be sure to keep both doe, litter and weanlings away from your other rabbits until you are certain they don't have Snuffles.

    Pat Lamar
    President
    Professional Rabbit Meat Association
    http://www.prma.org/
     

  3. Rosarybeads

    Rosarybeads Well-Known Member

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    Hey Pat, didn't they also come out with a shot that you can give the doe while she is due, and this innoculates the babies against snuffles? I have been out of the business for a few years, but I know they were talking about it...
     
  4. Pat Lamar

    Pat Lamar Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Some years ago, there was a research project sponsored by the ARBA. Unfortunately, and to the best of my knowledge, they were unsuccessful in developing this due to problems in how to administer it. Apparently, it worked well in the test tube, but not in the practical application. Injection, nose sprays, etc., were attempted but had only minimal success.

    Pat Lamar
    President
    Professional Rabbit Meat Association
    http://www.prma.org/
     
  5. Rosarybeads

    Rosarybeads Well-Known Member

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    Okay... that's too bad...