orphan bunny

Discussion in 'Rabbits' started by mamajohnson, Mar 14, 2004.

  1. mamajohnson

    mamajohnson Knitting Rocks! Supporter

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    My dh's dog got mamma bunny. Our rabbits are in a pen, not just cages. (thank God) The ones in the cages (all but one) died. The loose breeders ran into the holes and all but 3 survived. My breeding male, a pg doe and nursing doe died. :waa: Today I found a little tiny baby, eyes not even open, but fully covered in fur. It had to have wandered out of the nest hole. (I think there are 3 more in there, mom had 4 very well nursed tits) What milk is best?
    I have heard to feed them twice a day, I have heard every 4 hours. Which is best? This bunny is almost old enough to survive on its own. I just need to get it past the next week or two. What is the best milk to use? kitty replacer or evaporated milk??
    Help!
     
  2. wynterwren

    wynterwren Active Member

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    I'm so sorry to hear about your bunnies Mama... :(

    Wow...I've fostered two and only two kits successfully...but I'll tell you what I did based on the advice of my rabbit mentor and my vet...

    A few years ago this is the formula that was posted in Domestic Rabbit, the quaterly magazine published by the American Rabbit Breeders Association-ARBA..

    1 pint cow's milk
    2tbs powdered milk
    1/2 t. bone meal
    2tbs karo syrup
    2 500 mg tetracycline tablets.

    Warm a small amount until just barely lukewarm---I use a kiddie medicine spoon in a cup of hot water--Feed with an eye dropper...about 12-15 drops, every three to four hours. You can check to see if they're getting enough by looking for the little milk spot on their tummy.

    I use goat's milk myself and I don't add the bone meal....but that's just my personal preference. Other folks, including a few top breeders use Kitten Replacement Formula...

    After you feed the baby be sure to stimulate him to urinate...after everything he's been through you sure don't want him to die of urine poisioning.

    I'll be keeping my fingers crossed for you and that baby...

    Suzi
     

  3. chickflick

    chickflick Well-Known Member

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    I once had a friend I started out in rabbits and she bottle fed an orphaned baby. It was always so fat it looked like a light bulb.. We actually have that on video.. she called it 'Butters'!!! It was so fat... it was HORRIBLE.. but really funny.....!!!!!

    Hope you do well..... she just used kitty milk replacer.
     
  4. mamajohnson

    mamajohnson Knitting Rocks! Supporter

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    Thnx so much. I ran out last night and got some kitty milk. The bunny only took a few little slurps last night, about 1/4 of a tablespoon. I fed it to him lukewarm. While I was holding him I think he peed on me. :confused: (felt like it!) how long to you have to stimulate them to urinate?? I think I have bunnies that are about 2 or 3 weeks old. Oh,,, my son found another one, the older buns pulled it out of the hole and were harrassing it. I guess because it was without it's mom to protect it. So, this morning early I got to start trying to feed another one. He is much bigger and more alert. I keep looking for a couple more to pop up. At least these two won't die in the hole... My big question is, how often do you feed?? I have only seen my does hop in once or twice a day, so I really am confused... So far these two babies look real good. Hopefully they will keep looking good.
    Thnx for the encouragement and advice.
    Unfortunately my Rex is missing. She just weaned a litter (they are soooo cute) and I was hoping to breed her again. Now she is nowhere to be found... :no:
     
  5. wynterwren

    wynterwren Active Member

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    Wow another one! This is good! I'll keep my fingers crossed for your Rex...maybe she'll show up...never can tell...Critters have been known to do some pretty bizarre things...

    Baby bunnies have to be fed every 3-4 hours...I know...it's a pain. But rabbit milk as opposed to cow milk has more fat...something like 90%--it's just huge...Kitten Replacement Milk, (KRM) has cow milk in it and doesn't stick to the ribs long enough...You can tell if they need more by checking to see if they're sunken in behind the ribs...and they look wrinkled...a well fed kit will have a round tummy and a milk spot just below the rib cage--you can find it on the underside of the bunny...Just be sure not to overfeed....If you start getting a runny green poop--you've overfed and for a baby bunny, that's big trouble. Just look for the milk spot and you'll be fine.

    You'll have to stimulated them for a few more weeks...generally after the eyes open and the ears pop up, they don't need as much stimulation...I've been pee'd on too....yuk...matter of fact happened today with a baby Angora doe...eeesh :rolleyes: ...so ladylike!! NOT!!!!

    Hang in there...so far so good!!! :)

    Suzi
     
  6. mamajohnson

    mamajohnson Knitting Rocks! Supporter

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    Well, today baby #3 showed up above ground, tormented by the other bunnies. My son saw #4, but couldnt catch it. It took this one a bit to get the hang of eating, but he was soooo hungry! We have eyes open and ears popped, and poop and pee in the box. I think we are doing really well.... Maybe I should switch to goat milk? I started to use goat milk in the first place, but didnt. So far, so good. Still no sign of my rex. but, I have renewed hope with the babies! They all snuggle together immediatly, licking each other, almost as if to say "hi"!
    sooo cute babies!
    :)
     
  7. wynterwren

    wynterwren Active Member

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    Yea! Another baby! Sounds like things are progressing well! Way cool!!! :D

    I wouldn't change to goat milk since you're having success with the KRM...

    And you're right...baby bunnies are certainly on the "Cutest Stuff In The World" list!!!

    I just noticed you're in Texas too!! :cool:



    Suzi
     
  8. mamajohnson

    mamajohnson Knitting Rocks! Supporter

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    And now we have #4! The last two we found are ok, except one is "wheezing" a bit. I think perhaps he inhaled some milk. They are doing fairly well, I hope they keep getting better every day. It is funny how the other rabbits pulled them out of the burrow to "get rid" of them. I am sorta glad they did, that way I was able to rescue them and keep them alive. A new learning experience in the world of "pened" rabbits instead of "caged" rabbits.

    Yep, Suzi, Northeast Texas! So glad it is spring!
     
  9. chickflick

    chickflick Well-Known Member

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    So.. mamajohnson... I noticed in your post you mentioned no cages. Would you mind either telling me what your doing or direct me to other posts where you may have explained this?

    I've always wanted to try 'pit' raising.. but can't ever find enough instructions. I think this is done in 'third world' type countries?? Anyway.....

    Thanks!
     
  10. mamajohnson

    mamajohnson Knitting Rocks! Supporter

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    Well, I have 6 cages. mainly for the culls. (because sometimes it takes me awhile to dress them out lol!)
    But, overall, yes, I have a rabbit "pen". Works wonderful. We built a pen with welded fence wire, 4' tall. It is buried about 6" into the dirt. We have lots of trees and sand, so I didnt add anything to have a burrow for the bunnies. It actually took about 4 months for them to figure out - or for their instincts to kick in - about digging burrows. The females go into their hole and make a nest, birth the kits, and we dont see them until they come above ground to nibble on feed. I have an automatic waterer (like for a dog) and some bottles hanging around the fence. I did have to go back and put 1" chicken wire on the bottom of the pen, the little ones were hopping out and my dogs were getting in the habit of chasing them. (hence - two bad dog attacks, by our dogs)
    As a result I now have two farrel bunnies, one california and one black bunny (rex mix) I will have to get a live trap to get those two back in the pen, they have grown up on the lamb :rolleyes:
    For me this is perfect. My rabbits pretty well come up, especially when I call "here bunny bunny bunny" :D They love to take range cubes (be sure it is the kind you can give a horse) from my hands, a special hi-protein treat for them. We often toss in the tree trimmings from our heavily wooded acreage. They love to chew on the bark/leaves. Especially sweetgum trees. Anyway, they have chewed the bark off all the trees in the pen for about 1 1/2 feet up and I will probably have to go cut a bunch out. I do release the male for breeding. The only problem I have is, if I dont get the babies up fast enough and sex them, the males will neuter each other. (makes nice fat bunny-roast tho!) I will put in three links, one of the first "old" way that we kept rabbits. We had a dog destroy the cages and kill all but 3 rabbits. (we had 15 at the time - two large litters) So, we then built the "pen" and have only lost a few rabbits at a time when dogs attack, the rabbits run to the holes and hide, they have learned to dig real deep.
    the pictures load slow, they are large. also, the cage and topper you see in pic#1 is now installed in the pen for our "culls" .
    hope that helps!

    http://mamajohnson.com/main/pics/bunnies.jpg

    http://mamajohnson.com/main/pics/bunniepen3.jpg

    http://mamajohnson.com/main/pics/bunniepen2.jpg
     
  11. mamajohnson

    mamajohnson Knitting Rocks! Supporter

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    Also - just for an update. If anyone is interested that is -
    We had two of the four orphans survive. I think two of them just couldnt cope with the pretend milk. Or they were too weak when we finally caught them. They got "raspy" and sounded actually like they had pneumonia. However, the two that survived are out in the pen, although I do have them in a cage. I wasnt sure how the other rabbits would do with them, since there is no mother to protect them. I have seen the larger rabbits be really really mean to the little ones that dont have their mom taking care of them. So, when they get bigger I will have a new breeding male and a new momma to carry on.
    I think a 50% survival of these was pretty good. :)
    Thnx to everyone who encouraged me and gave me some good advice.
    I would do this again if I needed to.
     
  12. wynterwren

    wynterwren Active Member

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    50% is awesome Mama J!! :D I've been wondering how your hand fostering adventure went...I'm glad to hear you were successful!!

    Suzi
     
  13. rwaynec

    rwaynec Guest

    Need some help. I found a rabbit nest in my yard while cutting the grass. Some of the babies were killed by the lawn mower but three were unharmed. Their eyes are not yet opened but are active. I check about 10 time later that day, night and early in the morning and did not see the mother. I may have just missed her and would like to see if she comes back but I'm afraid that it may be to late to save the babies if I wait too long. I place an X with twigs over the nest this morning to see if it gets disturb but the mother may not come back until tonight and that may be too late. How long could the babies go without nutrition? Should I intervene? Is Isomil a better feed than whole milk or would the KRM be better?

    Thanks for any help!
     
  14. wynterwren

    wynterwren Active Member

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    I'm so sorry to hear this! But you know, sometimes bunnies will chose the darndest places to build a nest...You still have time...

    You can try fostering...While Isomil is a good soy based product, it doesn't have the crude protein and other nutrients in it that KRM has. Don't use whole milk. I use goat milk, but I also have a formula I mix up and since my bunnies are Angora and require a tad bit more protein, I do things a little different for them. However, with our Mini Lop herd, we use the KRM.

    If you scroll back up you'll find instuctions on how to feed the babies...

    I wish you the best of luck!!! Let us know how it goes! Maybe the Mama bunny will come back...

    Suzi
     
  15. mamajohnson

    mamajohnson Knitting Rocks! Supporter

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    Be sure to get more than one kitty bottle to feed them. My babies chewed the nipple in two on mine, and so it was tough on the next bunny to feed!
    I had to force feed for awhile, especially the last two babies we found. They had been without their mother for 24+ hours. One of the first two survived, and one of the last two survived. Just MAKE them eat until they get the hang of it. be sure to rub them down after. The first bunnie I found I didnt rub down good and she got all congested/stopped up and even got diarrhea. I dont know if that had anything to do with it, but the others were ok. I used a washcloth to sorta rub them with after they nursed.
    Good luck. Wild bunnies are suppossed to be harder to foster.
     
  16. wynterwren

    wynterwren Active Member

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    I tried using the kitty bottles my first few rounds with fostering--I gave up and went to eye droppers because the babies chewed the nipples up too fast!! I have a better idea of how much I'm feeding with the eye dropper and the little rascals can't chew them up...My pharmacist gave me a bag full of odds and ends droppers I'm still working on! I guess my patience level ends with trying to keep them from eating rubber!

    Suzi
     
  17. mamajohnson

    mamajohnson Knitting Rocks! Supporter

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    wow! wish I had thought of that.
    hmmm,,, may be I need to visit the pharmacy, in case of any future fostering events.
     
  18. chickflick

    chickflick Well-Known Member

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    I've always preferred to use plastic syringes.. that way you KNOW how much they're getting:)

    OH>.. and thank you SOoooo much for those pics and your 'explainaiton' of your set up!!! :D
     
  19. mamajohnson

    mamajohnson Knitting Rocks! Supporter

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    your so welcome on the pics, etc. I have had so much fun with this pen,
    Love to sit and watch the bunnies hop around. It is always neat to see little bitties come out for the first time too!
    :D