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I have a couple of surviving baby standard rex rabbits, and they look very premature to me. I have seen newly born rabbits of a mixed breed rabbit of around the same size or smaller, and their kits were a lot larger, stronger, and the skin wasn't so red and opaque. Looking at these two kits of mine, is like looking a VERY premature human baby, how the skin is red and see through. They are both small, and the others that I found dead in the cage were even smaller!

I have the 2 babies wrapped in some cloth on top of my chick brooder. There's a soft heat coming from the top of it, and it seems to be keeping their temperatures up at the moment. I have another doe that I bred that should have babies soon, and I really hope she does so I can stick these two in with her, if she is a good mother. The rabbits are first time mothers, and I hear that this is a normal occurrence for rabbits when they have never had a litter before?

If my other doe has no babies, what should I do? Has anyone had any luck here bottle feeding baby rabbits?

-What milk works the best? (I have goats milk formula, as I have 3 bottle fed goats at the moment)
-What to use for bottle?
-Do you think they will survive?
-Their skin sticks to things easily and is very thin :(

I am very sad about this, and would love to keep these babies a live.
 

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I was interested in your post cause I am in the same boat on bottle feeding!! Found 2 orphan kits. I made up a kitten formula and they both seem to be taking it so far (just started a couple hours ago). I am just using a syringe without the needle of coarse and putting it in their mouths drop by drop so far. Hoping to get a bottle made for kittens from the store maybe tomorrow if I can keep them alive thru the night.
 

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The skin of baby rabbits is normally thin. The color also is greatly dependent on what color they are genetically - black and blue rabbits being dark and innately harder to 'see through', red being reddish and white being very pinkish. So their genetic color and natural pigmentation can play a large role in their appearance as newborns.

I usually build a nest and leave it with the dam in hopes she takes care of them. Rabbits only nurse about 1x per day and ignore their kits the rest of the time, are you *sure* she is *actually( ignoring them? They do NOT care for their young like dogs and cats do, if you're familiar with other species. After birthing, most of the nesting behavior is actually the responsibility of the kits, not the dam. Was there any nest built at all or fur pulled? Again, it's common for first time does to fail at this, and if they have live kits you can steal fur from other does or even the dam herself and line the nest. Other things that work well are lint from your dryer, feathers etc. I would avoid anything that is a stringy fiber as those tend to get wrapped around legs and necks quickly.

As often stated, first time dams are often not the best mothers. If there are survivors, you can very well build a nest for them and even pluck some belly fur from the dam to line it. Two kits this time of the year should be able to thermoregulate just fine by themselves if properly bedded. I usually used hayor straw, and of course the actual central nest is lined with fur. If hot the kits will move up layers, and if cold they will usually move down. I just made sure my wood boxes with wire bottoms had a layer of cardboard stapled to the bottom in very cold weather until they were a few weeks old. In warmer months, the kits seemed to do fine without. I would leave them in the nestbox for the dam to feed, and monitor. Intervene by feeding only if necessary. Rarely do rabbits go out of their way to harm their kits unless they are overzealous cleaners of birthing materials and kits while giving birth. If they do, you just try again. If she repeats that behavior, she's not a breeding candidate anyway. They're livestock, they should be working FOR you, not you for them.
 

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I usually build a nest and leave it with the dam in hopes she takes care of them. Rabbits only nurse about 1x per day and ignore their kits the rest of the time, are you *sure* she is *actually( ignoring them? They do NOT care for their young like dogs and cats do, if you're familiar with other species. After birthing, most of the nesting behavior is actually the responsibility of the kits, not the dam. Was there any nest built at all or fur pulled? Again, it's common for first time does to fail at this, and if they have live kits you can steal fur from other does or even the dam herself and line the nest. Other things that work well are lint from your dryer, feathers etc. I would avoid anything that is a stringy fiber as those tend to get wrapped around legs and necks quickly.

As often stated, first time dams are often not the best mothers. If there are survivors, you can very well build a nest for them and even pluck some belly fur from the dam to line it. Two kits this time of the year should be able to thermoregulate just fine by themselves if properly bedded. I usually used hayor straw, and of course the actual central nest is lined with fur. If hot the kits will move up layers, and if cold they will usually move down. I just made sure my wood boxes with wire bottoms had a layer of cardboard stapled to the bottom in very cold weather until they were a few weeks old. In warmer months, the kits seemed to do fine without. I would leave them in the nestbox for the dam to feed, and monitor. Intervene by feeding only if necessary. Rarely do rabbits go out of their way to harm their kits unless they are overzealous cleaners of birthing materials and kits while giving birth. If they do, you just try again. If she repeats that behavior, she's not a breeding candidate anyway. They're livestock, they should be working FOR you, not you for them.

Agree!!! Some Newbie's feel being the mother is not in there with them she is ignoring them and the newbie's put their self to a lot of "work" that is probably not needed---"most" of the time. I been raising rabbits a Looooong time and I admit I do not stay in the rabbitery for hours per day but a lot of raised Kits I have never seen them being fed. If they got fur pulled and are covered---if its cold----if they are warm---they are probably Good. I check mine early in the morning to see if their belly is filled/being fed. After a few checks for the first couple days----I do not bother them any more----well have to keep taking one or two out to smell their nose---LOL. The Doe takes care of them most of the time. In the summer on hot days they be uncovered some times, that night they are covered.
 
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