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post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
Anyone know anything about hand raising orphaned baby rabbits?!
The mother is usually a great mom, but this time she decided to let all her babies die. This is the last one, and we are trying to save it. I have read that using kitten milk replacer to feed them works pretty well. Do you have to use a wet cotten ball like with kittens and help them go to the washroom??? I would appreciate any and ALL information. We've never had an orphan before!!
post #2 of 17
I don't know anything about baby rabbits, but I found this site that may help:


Good luck with the baby
post #3 of 17
I got some info- and I just need to translate it into english- that will take me couple min. Sorry, just one sec and I'll post it!
post #4 of 17
Here is info:
It is very important to try to get back mother to baby rabbits! They have to get mother ( or rabbit) milk first two-three days of their life. So, you have to make sure-there are no other MOTHER-rabbits around that would "adopt" pure babies. TO FEED BABY
Sit dawn on a floor or even lay dawn, have a towel handy or even under the baby. It is really very important to be very carfeull with baby rabbits- if they will fall dawn from even 5 cm height- there is a risck of diyng! You can get a special bottle for feeding baby animals, but remember when you feed baby- do not press on bottle because he can try to breath and milk will instantly kill him.
The recepie for milk is : cat milk powder- 5 ml per day
Lactobacillus acidophilus Powder - 1 pill will be good enough for 2 ml of water.
Mix 1 ml of water with Lactobacillus acidophilus with 5 ml of cat milk
or also you can use wipped cream 0.25 ml- just add it to cat milk.
This is feeding dose per day- you will probably have to feed him with a little bit per day. At the end of the first week- you should encrease that dose to 15-25 mls per day, 2d week- 25-27 and 3d week- 30-35. After they will get used to feeding bottle- they will start to suck more milk than their stomach can fit- so be carefull- do not let him overeat!
You also have to simulate them to go the bathroom- you cat use cotton ball, just wet it with warm water and, after you feed baby, keep cootton ball on his lill butt for 15/20 sec or untill he'll do his thing!
You have to pay attantion to how he looks- if his stomach is round and he feels warm- then everything is great-but if you see a lot of rinckles - he probably got cold. So you need to warm him up with blanket. After three weeks baby rabbit could sart to try all kinds of dry food- but it doesnt mean you have to stop feed him with milk formula! After 6-8 weeks start adding more drinking water to his milk formula and during next two three weeks he will loose his intereset to it and will move to dry food! And here is a link also I hope it will help!
post #5 of 17
Yes, KMR or even the kitten glop is good to use. You will need to stimulate his bottom until his eyes open. Bunnies begin weaning much earlier than kittens and you can start introducing him to solids like oats, alfalfa or rabbit pellets not long after his eyes open.

Also here: http://www.rabbit.org/care/orphan.html
post #6 of 17
Also, http://www.orphanedwildlifecare.com/rabbitandhare.htm

Good luck with the little one.
post #7 of 17
Here's a recipe for the kitten glop

1 envelope Knox unflavored gelatin
1 12 oz can of either full fat evaporated milk or goat's milk
12 oz water
3 tablespoons plain yogurt
3 teaspoons clear karo syrup
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 egg yolk (optional)

Boil water, mix in gelatin. Add other ingredients and mix with beater or blender. Serve warmed.

Will keep in the fridge for up to four days. The mixture is jello-like in consistency in the fridge and you can just scoop out as much as you need and warm. It can also be frozen in ice cube trays and defrosted as needed.
post #8 of 17
Thread Starter 
Thanks everyone!
I went out and bought him KMR, and just fed hgim about 1.5 ml. I don't want to overdo it in case he hasn't had any milk in a while, and it looks as if he's dehydrated a little.... So I don't want his stomach to suddenly get a ton of food. I'll feed him a little more in a couple hours.
Also, before I fed him, and now a lot after I fed him, he is kind of twitching and making a raspy noise... It almost looks like he has the hiccups?!? Can rabbits get the hiccups? Also I did use a cotton ball to wipe his bum, and he did go to the bathroom, but did not pee... oh... he's stopped doing his little "hiccups" now. I'm not sure what is going on though... He seems happy to be held and up close... And he settles at the vibration of the keyboard tray as I type(he's sitting wrapped in a blanket on it )
post #9 of 17
The twitching may be because his blood sugar was low and he was dehydrated but it should resolve as you feed him. If it looks more like hiccups, yes, all fluffy baby animals can get the hiccups after feeding for a few minutes. The raspy noise could be a kind of baby rabbit purr or it may be that he has an infection such as an URI. Lung infections may be caused by the milk going into the lungs instead if the stomach. That's why it's so important to feed carefully. Some of those links say to only feed the kit twice a day. IMO that's not enough. Feed the kit every 4 to 6 hours, depending on how well he is feeding.

I also found this: The KMR works ok, but it usually doesn't
have enough fat (at least for the cottontails, but i know they are similar)
since rabbit milk is so rich. I would add either Multimilk (2 parts KMR, 1
part Multimilk), or if that's too expensive, you can substitute the
multimilk with whipping cream. Use tap water, not distilled. You can add
your own acidophilus to the formula- buy the caplets and open them to pour
the powder in your formula.

Please keep this little one warm and keep us updated on how he is doing.
post #10 of 17
They are also difficult to handraise (wild ones anyway) Not sure if this is true about the domesticated breed of rabbit.

Good luck!
post #11 of 17
Thread Starter 
Kumbulu, maybe I described the noise wrong.. it's kind of like a screech, not really a raspy noise... He seems to be doing it less now... I left him for half an hour and then fed him a little bit more. I tried a kitten bottle instead of the eye dropper this time and I think he liked it. It's much different than mom though I'm sure, and I bet the taste is weird for him.. He plasys with it in his mouth a bit before swallowing.
I think the little movements he was making were probably convulsions from not having food like you said Kumbulu. They seem to be getting better as the more time passes since he ate.
What's Multimilk?? Where can you buy it?
I read that the worst thing you can do is feed a baby rabbit too often, as they only eat once or MAYBE twice a day with their mom. So I am a little hesitant to feed him every 6-8 hours. Maybe today as he's malnourished right now, but I don't think I will once his tummy looks full...
post #12 of 17
Thread Starter 
I guess I forgot to mention he is just over a week old. He was born last Saturday night.
post #13 of 17
Oh, I see. It's probably the equivalent to a kittens meow. He's most likely calling for his mum, poor sweetheart. Good luck with him, he's in such a delicate state right now. Multimilk is made by Pet-Ag, it's a formula with a high fat content. You may be able to ask a pet store or vet to get it in for you, though I think it's quite expensive.
post #14 of 17
If there is a vet or a wildlife rehab center near you, give them a call and ask them in they have a special tube feeder. All it is is an elongated nipple attached to a cap that can screw on a baby bottle, and it goes further down into the mouth when you feed and makes feeding easier. They can also show you how to use it properly so the orphan doesn't aspirate.
post #15 of 17
Thread Starter 
Thanks Hissy, I actually got one of those at the pet store. It came with the bottle. At least I think it's what you described. He is taking it pretty well, he just sloshes it around a bit before swallowing, but does less of that with the bottle than with the eye dropper I used first.
post #16 of 17
Good luck with him, and thank you for caring!
post #17 of 17
Something I have found very useful is Mary Anne’s Famous Pouch Potato Sack. You can carry the bunny around with you as it can be very reassuring for him to be close to you and hear your heartbeat.

Take an empty pillow case- start folding over the open ends down-ward, make it about half the length it was. Take a section of soft cotton rope, lay it under the fold and then drape the rope over you shoulder and around your neck. Mark it where the bottom of the bag lies right next to your heart- then cut the rope to that length.

Take it off and sew a quick running stitch to secure the rope underneath the fold (you should have a soft purse. Take some soft, clean rags or a towel and place them in the bottom of the pouch. Lay the bunny down on top of the soft bed, place the pouch over your shoulder, and then take a long sleeved loose shirt and button him up inside you. Your body heat will warm him, and your heartbeat will help to calm him.
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