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Formula feeding baby bunnies *PICS & VIDS*

Addressing the special needs of the breeding doe and her kits. Includes nutrition, gestation, nest boxes and materials, and tips to ensure survival of the young.
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Re: Formula feeding baby bunnies *PICS & VIDS*

Post Number:#46  Unread postby Twobirdsfarm » Tue Sep 09, 2014 9:12 am


Thank you for this thread Miss M!!!

We had two litters born in June and one didn't make it. Unfortunately, the litters were born too far apart so we couldn't give them all to the lactating doe. We tried hand feeding with KMR but no luck. The kits didn't grow, they never looked full, and they couldn't maintain body heat, no matter what we tried.

The doe has a habit of going off her feed a week or so before kindling and I'm wondering if they just weren't developed enough. That was her first litter and she's due again this week, but I've been keeping a closer eye on her eating. She's been getting a bunch of kale, carrots, alfalfa cubes, BOSS, two different kinds of pellets (she seems to prefer the 16% maintenance pellet right before kindling) and lots of hay in her cage (she no longer wants to pull it through the hay rack) and she's eating!!!

Both our does are due the 12th....crossing my fingers that all goes well!!!

Thanks again Miss M. You have renewed my faith that it can be done! :D
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Re: Formula feeding baby bunnies *PICS & VIDS*

Post Number:#47  Unread postby Miss M » Tue Sep 09, 2014 5:12 pm


I'm sorry about your one litter, but it's great to hear that your one doe is still eating! Fingers crossed for two healthy litters and two healthy does! :D

Hopefully, you won't need the formula, but if you do, you should have success with it. :)
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Re: Formula feeding baby bunnies *PICS & VIDS*

Post Number:#48  Unread postby Wheels » Mon Feb 02, 2015 9:58 am


Thanks for this - I've got a litter of 6 that the mother never started to lactate ... or if she did it was only a few days. I've been feeding them over the weekend.. I didn't have an eye dropper but I have been using a 1cc syringe. The hardest part is how much they struggle! I've been able to feed them 1 sometimes 2 cc's at a time but they sure are hard to keep still long enough to get the tip in their mouth!

I hope that part gets better.


I was reading in a pdf. (thedomesticrabbit.pdf BY TE REED) the general make-up of rabbit milk at birth was 68% water, 13.5% protein, 1.6% Lactose, 14.5% fat, and 1.6% Ash. it changes in 14 days and then by 30 days the make-up was different. the major change being int the fat content where it dropped to 9% and then rose again to 17%.

Anyway I understand all but the ASH. What exactly is ash in this? Anyone have an idea. (just curious - the goat milk formula seems to be working just fine )

The formula in this book was similar although it used a mixture of 2% and powdered milk and the addition of bone meal.

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Re: Formula feeding baby bunnies *PICS & VIDS*

Post Number:#49  Unread postby Bandits Bunny Farm » Mon Mar 16, 2015 7:04 pm


How often am I supposed to feed them? Ine of my does didn't feed her 3 day old litter and they wouldn't latch on to her when I tried. How often do I bottle feed them? I know your recipe said goats milk but I actually used regular milk (didn't have goats milk and my mom was out, but she got some now) and that seemed to work but I'm making some formula now. My mom also got a cute little bottle for them
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Re: Formula feeding baby bunnies *PICS & VIDS*

Post Number:#50  Unread postby Zass » Mon Mar 16, 2015 7:12 pm


Bandits Bunny Farm wrote:How often am I supposed to feed them? Ine of my does didn't feed her 3 day old litter and they wouldn't latch on to her when I tried. How often do I bottle feed them? I know your recipe said goats milk but I actually used regular milk (didn't have goats milk and my mom was out, but she got some now) and that seemed to work but I'm making some formula now. My mom also got a cute little bottle for them


Most people say that they do not properly latch onto a kitten bottle.

With Miss M's concentrated goats milk formula, I was feeding twice a day.

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Re: Formula feeding baby bunnies *PICS & VIDS*

Post Number:#51  Unread postby Bandits Bunny Farm » Mon Mar 16, 2015 7:17 pm


I'll try it and see, and if it doesn't work I'll keep the bottle for another day and go back to the syringe. And ok
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Re: Formula feeding baby bunnies *PICS & VIDS*

Post Number:#52  Unread postby Susie570 » Mon Mar 16, 2015 8:11 pm


Bandits Bunny Farm wrote:How often am I supposed to feed them? Ine of my does didn't feed her 3 day old litter and they wouldn't latch on to her when I tried.


How long did you try to feed them from her? You have to hold the doe on your lap with the kits in a sort of pocket under her. They will move from teat to teat without latching on for several minutes, until the doe lets her milk down. It's best to pet the doe and calm her down so she becomes relaxed. If you can get even one feeding a day from the doe, it should be fine. The kits have a much much better chance if you can nurse then from the doe. Most bottle fed kits don't survive.
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Re: Formula feeding baby bunnies *PICS & VIDS*

Post Number:#53  Unread postby Galadriel » Mon Mar 16, 2015 8:33 pm


Wheels wrote:The hardest part is how much they struggle! I've been able to feed them 1 sometimes 2 cc's at a time but they sure are hard to keep still long enough to get the tip in their mouth!

I hope that part gets better.

Sounds like ours... :lol: :lol: :lol:

It may or may not get better, it just depends on the bun's attitude :? . We've had it both ways. Some slurp it out of the dropper, others we have to wrap up in a towel to keep still! :lol:
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Re: Formula feeding baby bunnies *PICS & VIDS*

Post Number:#54  Unread postby Bandits Bunny Farm » Mon Mar 16, 2015 9:27 pm


I only did it for a little bit but she didn't like staying in my lap. The little buggers are doing good with the kitten bottle. They get more that way than they did with the syringe
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Re: Formula feeding baby bunnies *PICS & VIDS*

Post Number:#55  Unread postby ladysown » Mon Mar 16, 2015 9:58 pm


I have a litter of 10 day olds I am currently struggling with. They don't want to eat or they squirm so much I hit their noses. I switched to a pipette pretty quick as it gives more control than an eye dropper.

I am putting one in my large holland lop litter per day. I just need to keep them alive until the weekend when I have four does due. Then I'll just foster them in here and around.
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Re: Formula feeding baby bunnies *PICS & VIDS*

Post Number:#56  Unread postby Bandits Bunny Farm » Mon Mar 16, 2015 10:54 pm


I'm going to do it every 2 hours tonight and tomorrow I'm going to try the mother again. She hasn't had a litter in over eight months so I'm thinking that might have something to do with her not feeding them. They're new to her
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Re: Formula feeding baby bunnies *PICS & VIDS*

Post Number:#57  Unread postby Miss M » Tue Mar 17, 2015 6:57 am


ladysown wrote:I have a litter of 10 day olds I am currently struggling with. They don't want to eat or they squirm so much I hit their noses. I switched to a pipette pretty quick as it gives more control than an eye dropper.

Hadn't thought of a pipette. Might have to try that. :)

Bandits Bunny Farm wrote:I only did it for a little bit but she didn't like staying in my lap. The little buggers are doing good with the kitten bottle. They get more that way than they did with the syringe

I'll have to get a kitten bottle and try that, too. Anything to make it easier for them to get what they need. :)

Bandits Bunny Farm wrote:I'm going to do it every 2 hours tonight and tomorrow I'm going to try the mother again. She hasn't had a litter in over eight months so I'm thinking that might have something to do with her not feeding them. They're new to her

Maybe if you hold her in the nest over them... though you probably already tried that.

I had to do that with one doe for a few days. Took four of us to keep her in that box! :shock:
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Re: Formula feeding baby bunnies *PICS & VIDS*

Post Number:#58  Unread postby Susie570 » Tue Mar 17, 2015 9:22 am


I just want to say that I think it's likely people might give up too easily when trying to feed kits from a doe. I nearly gave up when I had to give supplemental feedings to the runt, because it was acting like it couldn't get any milk. Fortunately, I gave it some extra time and she eventually let her milk down so the baby could nurse.

It might seem like the doe is unwilling, but it can take like 5 or 10 minutes of just sitting there before she will relax and let her milk down and it FEELS much longer than that, but if you're persistent, I think in MOST situations, the doe WILL let her milk down and feed the kits. The exception might be with a doe who is not used to being handed and it MIGHT work even then, but obviously you would have to use some extra measures to confine her.
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Re: Formula feeding baby bunnies *PICS & VIDS*

Post Number:#59  Unread postby Bandits Bunny Farm » Tue Mar 17, 2015 12:08 pm


I don't think the last 3 are going to make it much longer. Even when I feed them they don't seem to get full. Last night, 2 syringe fulls of the stuff was suffice. Now I dont think there's much hope for them anymore
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Re: Formula feeding baby bunnies *PICS & VIDS*

Post Number:#60  Unread postby Susie570 » Thu Mar 19, 2015 9:24 am


:(

Are your kits still hanging on?
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