Recipe/Formula to replace mother's milk

Discussion in 'Rabbits' started by scribbage, Jun 15, 2006.

  1. scribbage

    scribbage Member

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    I'm hoping to not need this. And i regret not making better notes when i'd viewed the information before.

    What is the recipe to use in the event that you need to nurse baby bunnies. I have 4 litters due - and i just have a feeling about one of the mothers. Hoping i can get to the kit before she stomps them.

    I had a mother stomp a litter of 8 today. She will be culled. The other mother i'm concerned about stomped her last litter. Thought i'd give her one more chance... Anyway if someone could reply with a recipe i'd greatly appreciate it. ON hand i have lotsa powdered, canned (cow) milk. I wonder if i could use some of that + corn syrup????

    thnx in advance
    Scribble
     
  2. scribbage

    scribbage Member

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    Well - I checked on her before leaving for work - lo and behold 2 dead - stomped flat and three more hanging on. I have the three - they are on my desk here at work. Wrapped up in a wash rag and in a feed bowl. I gave them each a little bit of evaporated milk --- one of them was very 'happy' to have it. They are calm and 'Sleepling'.
     

  3. crystalniche

    crystalniche Well-Known Member

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    Is something scaring her? A dog or cat? We had this happen and it was our neighbor's dog running under the cages making them nervous. Some mothers will jump into their nestbox with the babies in fear and stomp on them accidently. Sometimes ordinary things become scary to new mothers even if they've had litters before.
     
  4. scribbage

    scribbage Member

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    This is her third litter. I have 10 breeding females - and she is the youngest. Her mother is superb. I have two that are stomping/not tending to their litter. The one I acquired really thru an unknown source (free at a garage sale - i think she had a bad history when i inherited her) and this young one - this is her third stomped litter. I don't think it's strange animal interference --- she didn't even make a nest.

    The three i salvaged this morning are doing great (so far) on my desk. I have 3 litters due - from experienced good mothers -- i'm planning on slipping these three into those new litters. I would like to know an ok recipe to feed them until a foster mother is available.
     
  5. MaggieJ

    MaggieJ Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Bernadette in Northern Ontario, Canada is currently hand-raising some kits. Here are the links that tell the whole story:

    http://www.homesteadingtoday.com/showthread.php?t=123473

    http://www.homesteadingtoday.com/showthread.php?t=123786

    http://www.homesteadingtoday.com/showthread.php?t=124503

    And from Rudoph's Rabbit Ranch
    http://www.rudolphsrabbitranch.com/rrr.htm
    this advice:

    Hand raising is not recommended as it is usually in vain unless the breeder has the proper skills. Puppy or kitten milk-replacer may be used to feed the kits. Alternatively, homemade formula can be made from ½ C. evaporated milk, ½ C. warm water, 1 egg yolk, and 1 Tbsp. corn syrup.

    Personally, I'd go with Bernadette's methods, as RRR admits they have never raised orphaned kits successfully. At last report, Bernadette was managing splendidly.
     
  6. Bernadette

    Bernadette Enjoying Polish Rabbits

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    Scribbage - check out the treads on my orphan babies posted here. I was fortunate in that my babies were six days old when Moma died. However, I believe it's always worth a try. Most important is to 'potty' them.

    I can tell you what I'm using right now - and 8 of my 9 bunnies are doing really well, with the 9th one struggling a bit for the last few days.

    I started with kitten milk replacer, (KMR) - the liquid, and graduallly started adding in goats milk and whipping cream. If you have access to fresh goats milk I would start out with that and forget the KMR. I measure 1 cup of goats milk and add 2tbls of 35% whipping cream. My babies are now 20 days old. I have six at home here, and a friend is feeding three at his house. He is having a bit of trouble with one and I'm just in the process of trying to figure out what's going on. (Actually, just got a phone call, and the little fellow that's not doing so well is on his way home to me - so I'll have seven).

    The thing that has been stressed to me over and over - overfeeding is worse than underfeeding.

    I hope this helps. Good luck!


    Oops! Thanks MaggieJ - looks like we posted at pretty much the same time!
     
  7. scribbage

    scribbage Member

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    thank you - everyone. I lost them this morning. They were doing good up until last nite. it was worth trying - i have three kits due - if one had delivered - maybe they could have been a foster mother. But we tried. And we learned a few things. Only doing this for 1.5 years we've learned alot and have a long way to go.

    Thnx Again
    Scribbage
     
  8. Bernadette

    Bernadette Enjoying Polish Rabbits

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    I was just at a rabbit show this weekend and all the people there use Carnation condensed milk diluted 1/2 and 1/2 with water. I'm not sure if Carnation is a Canadian brand or not - but it's just straight condensed milk - not the sweetened stuff. If they are orphaned after their eyes are open it's really easy, but as newborns you have to potty them. A warm wet cotton ball gently rubbed against their gentitals to stimulate urination, and a gentle tummy massage to stimulate bowel movements. You have to remember that you are TOTALLY replacing Momma rabbit, and these are things she does - licks their little bodies all over to keep them clean and to stimulate all systems. I was fortunate that mine were already six days old before they were orphaned, so I only had a few days of this before their eyes opened and they began doing this on their own. Fresh goats milk has worked well for me, and I'm fortunate to have a good relationship with the goat farmer down the road. (I babysit her five year old for goat milk), but keeping a couple of cans of condensed milk in the cupboard would be easier in an emergency situation and 'cheaper' - much harder to keep up with a five year old when you're 50!
     
  9. susieM

    susieM Well-Known Member

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    I use kitten milk.

    While you are feeding them, rub their little bodies all over with a warm, damp washcloth....they need to go pee, and will only do it, when their 'Mom' licks them, during feeding. If you don't do it, they'll hold, til their bladders burst...with a godawful shriek of agony.

    Put them back into an empty nest, with rabbit fur around them, they'll be okay. that's what the doe does, and she just 'visits' two or three times a day.