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Hand feeding newborn kits

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: Hand feeding newborn kits

Post Number:#46  Unread postby Homer » Tue Mar 28, 2017 1:36 pm


I used the formula as I wrote it all the way through the hand feeding process. One thing I forgot to mention is I used fresh chicken eggs from my neighbors hens.

The water I started adding at day 15. Just want to make sure everyone's eyes are open. I only filled it once a day at first so if it got spilled or one of them got in it they weren't all getting real wet. I can't find then right now but know they came from wally world. I'll take a picture tonight and post it for you. They are more like a saucer as far as what they will hold. Maybe 2 oz. and 3" around.
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Re: Hand feeding newborn kits

Post Number:#47  Unread postby 2CrazyFools » Thu Mar 30, 2017 4:03 pm


I added a little bit of pure heavy whipping cream to their formula this morning to try and fatten them up just a tad, I had seen that recommendation somewhere else when discussing formula feeding for kits, however if I recall it was in addition to kitten milk replacer. I suppose we'll just have to see. :) I have plenty of heavy whipping cream as it's a very regular part of our diet, I put it in coffee, sauces, desserts, etc...

Here they are this morning, black one is Gaston with his thick skull (doesn't look big on it's own but it's very noticeable when I feed a different kit and then pick him up, "Dude. Where's this head come from??") and the blonde one is... I'm not sure, she's got a name bouncing about in my head but it hasn't settled into reality yet. It's something like Cricket, or Thistle.... but probably not either one of those. I'll think of it. :love: She is the little kit that had her chin scratched open from one of Momma's claws, and while it's healed up completely, she does have a bulb of scar tissue under the left side of her jaw, poor dear.

Once their eyes opened up I stopped trying to wrap them in the towel for feeding, they'd just concentrate on working their darndest to get out of it before trying to eat so I gave up on that, lol.




Homer wrote:The water I started adding at day 15. Just want to make sure everyone's eyes are open. I only filled it once a day at first so if it got spilled or one of them got in it they weren't all getting real wet. I can't find then right now but know they came from wally world. I'll take a picture tonight and post it for you. They are more like a saucer as far as what they will hold. Maybe 2 oz. and 3" around.


Today is day 14 for them so when I switch out bedding and rearrange it so it's harder for them to climb out I'll also add a small bit of water and see what happens.
Last edited by 2CrazyFools on Thu Mar 30, 2017 4:05 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Hand feeding newborn kits

Post Number:#48  Unread postby jeannie » Thu Mar 30, 2017 4:03 pm


I just love your videos !!
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Re: Hand feeding newborn kits

Post Number:#49  Unread postby 2CrazyFools » Thu Mar 30, 2017 4:13 pm


Awe, thanks Jeannie! They are just in the cutest stage right now! Moving around but still in a very clumsy way, ears starting to open up so they start perking up and moving around on their heads... just bloody adorable. It's a mixture of being easier to feed because they can suck it down themselves, and being harder to feed because they wander off, lol. "No! Come back baby, it's over here... where are you going???"
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Re: Hand feeding newborn kits

Post Number:#50  Unread postby Nymphadora » Thu Mar 30, 2017 5:49 pm


:rotfl:

Oh goodness your little ones sure look to be a handful! But the videos were too cute. :oops:

That little blonde bun sure is an adventurous little gal! Such a little jumping bean... :lol:

I'm glad they're still doing well, I love seeing your updates. :popcorn:

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Re: Hand feeding newborn kits

Post Number:#51  Unread postby alforddm » Thu Mar 30, 2017 6:21 pm


I wonder if it would be ok to start adding oatmeal soaked in formula and leaving it for them?

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Re: Hand feeding newborn kits

Post Number:#52  Unread postby 2CrazyFools » Fri Mar 31, 2017 12:26 pm


Nymphadora wrote::rotfl:

Oh goodness your little ones sure look to be a handful! But the videos were too cute. :oops:

That little blonde bun sure is an adventurous little gal! Such a little jumping bean... :lol:

I'm glad they're still doing well, I love seeing your updates. :popcorn:


They are way too fun! -and you're not kidding about being adventurous, they are now in a more enclosed box due to hopping out and exploring the guest bedroom while I was away. :roll: "We're going to go find momma! She's probably hiding in the closet..."

alforddm wrote:I wonder if it would be ok to start adding oatmeal soaked in formula and leaving it for them?


I've got hay and pellets in the bottom of the nest for them to nibble on and I'm about to add the shallow water dish like Homer suggested and probably wait on the oatmeal/formula soak until they are 3 weeks old. That's a really good suggestion though! Instant or old fashioned oats? I looked in my cabinet and apparently I have both.

So I just ask the local rabbit breeder I'm going to be trying to get some Rex off of if I can have some of her rabbits cecotropes.... :shock: talk about a weird conversation. "Hey, can I have some of your rabbits poop please? K, thx."
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Re: Hand feeding newborn kits

Post Number:#53  Unread postby Homer » Fri Mar 31, 2017 1:54 pm


Use "Old Fashioned" only. Never give them instant. I didn't bother mixing it with any formula when I started giving it to mine. I just sprinkled it on and around their hay and it disappeared! :P I think it was around day 21 when I started too.
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Re: Hand feeding newborn kits

Post Number:#54  Unread postby Nymphadora » Fri Mar 31, 2017 2:45 pm


2CrazyFools wrote:"We're going to go find momma! She's probably hiding in the closet..."

:o :cry:
(did you unintentionally make a skeletons-in-the-closet joke? Although I'm sure they see only you as "Mom" :lol: )

2CrazyFools wrote:So I just ask the local rabbit breeder I'm going to be trying to get some Rex off of if I can have some of her rabbits cecotropes.... :shock: talk about a weird conversation. "Hey, can I have some of your rabbits poop please? K, thx."

:P
Good idea, trying to help them establish good gut flora, right?

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Re: Hand feeding newborn kits

Post Number:#55  Unread postby 2CrazyFools » Fri Mar 31, 2017 5:01 pm


Say hello to greedy baby Gaston and teeny Twilla.

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I'm pretty sure I've figured out why my babies always look so dang oily, it's because I'm using DOG FUR for their bedding! My dogs have really lovely, healthy shiny coats with plenty of natural oils keeping it that way. To be perfectly honest I do not give my dogs bathes even though they are inside/outside pups, if they get muddy they stay outside until the natural oils shed the muck within a few hours.

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I do not think rabbits tend to have this much natural oils on their fur and I'm seeing this manifest in the kits. So I'm going to take half of their fur bedding and hand wash it, then mix the fibers that have been stripped of their oils in with the unwashed fur and hopefully that should help lessen the "dripping" appearance, lol. I wasn't expecting this when I decided to use the undercoat shedding from my pups...

It's funny, my husband keeps asking, "Why are they all wet??" They aren't sweetie, they just have a CRUD TON of healthy oils.... from the dogs... :slap:

Nymphadora wrote:
2CrazyFools wrote:"We're going to go find momma! She's probably hiding in the closet..."

:o :cry:
(did you unintentionally make a skeletons-in-the-closet joke? Although I'm sure they see only you as "Mom" :lol: )

Lol! The reason I mentioned the closet is that the two blondies after jumping ship immediately realized their mistake and I found them huddled next to the nesting box, "We regret this decision, please put us back," and the two black ones split up, one heading north and one heading south. Gaston ended up crawling under the closet door (coldest part of the house! Silly baby boy) and wedging himself next to the wall and a plastic crate. Hence the whole "closet" comment, poor kid.

Nymphadora wrote:
2CrazyFools wrote:So I just ask the local rabbit breeder I'm going to be trying to get some Rex off of if I can have some of her rabbits cecotropes.... :shock: talk about a weird conversation. "Hey, can I have some of your rabbits poop please? K, thx."

:P
Good idea, trying to help them establish good gut flora, right?


No, I just like collecting it. I'm a cecotrope collector. Some people like stamps, others old coins....... :roll:

Yeah, I think the healthy gut flora is pretty important and this is the time to start introducing it, if I can't find any local I may ask the forum if anyone will send me some in the mail. :lol:

Homer wrote:Use "Old Fashioned" only. Never give them instant. I didn't bother mixing it with any formula when I started giving it to mine. I just sprinkled it on and around their hay and it disappeared! :P I think it was around day 21 when I started too.

I figured instant would break down quicker (there's nothing else added, just quick oats from quaker) and might be easier for a baby to digest, but it probably doesn't matter that much in this case, lol. I'll try sprinkling the oats in there.

At this point (2 weeks old) they are eating about 5-6ml of formula 3x a day each, which is roughly 15-18ml per day. This is the last week I think that I'm going to be able to cut the formula recipe in half, I'm having less and less to toss at the end of the day.

Oh! Homer, you mentioned using farm fresh eggs and that gave me the kick in the rear to find some locally and I met a lovely lady yesterday named April about 15 minutes down the road. Not only did I find tasty fresh eggs for us (and the kits) I think I found a new friend, or at least a very friendly acquaintance ^_^ My husband was incredibly pleased with breakfast this morning, lol. "These taste amazing!"
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Re: Hand feeding newborn kits

Post Number:#56  Unread postby Nymphadora » Sat Apr 01, 2017 10:49 pm


Well it sure sounds like it's been an exciting week for you, Crazy!

I don't think I would've guessed that it was the dog fur, but the babies do look well oiled. A little more and you could probably give Gaston a slicked-back 'do. :P

And Twilla is a very cute name... where'd it come from? :popcorn:

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Re: Hand feeding newborn kits

Post Number:#57  Unread postby 2CrazyFools » Tue Apr 04, 2017 11:27 am


Nymphadora wrote:I don't think I would've guessed that it was the dog fur, but the babies do look well oiled. A little more and you could probably give Gaston a slicked-back 'do. :P


Right? He would have made a great Danny Zuko. :P They do look less oily now that their bedding has been washed with dawn dish soap, lol.

Nymphadora wrote:And Twilla is a very cute name... where'd it come from? :popcorn:
2CrazyFools wrote: and the blonde one is... I'm not sure, she's got a name bouncing about in my head but it hasn't settled into reality yet. It's something like Cricket, or Thistle.... but probably not either one of those. I'll think of it.


I had 'something' floating around in my head every time I'd pick her up to feed her but I hadn't figured out what it was until Friday morning it hit me. Twilla! No idea where it really came from but it's stuck on her. To be honest Gaston is the only one who I think is a boy without sexing, because he's just got this big 'ol head! But Twilla is probably the largest kit out of the bunch so the likelihood of her being a doe isn't large enough to be jumping the gun and naming her such a light feminine name at this point... cross your fingers she's not a he! :lol:

So far I've been pretty accurate with sexing kits at a very young age so I could probably give it a go right now and have a decent idea where we stand, I just haven't gotten around to it yet. I suppose since I'm starting to name them I should probably sex them...

Oh, due to them becoming quite active I'm feeding them two at a time, pull two out and feed one dropper to the first one then set that one on the ground to feed the second one a dropperful. By the time the second one has eaten their dropper the first kit has found his/her way back onto my lap and is trying to steal the dropper. So I put the other kit on the floor and feed the first kit again. This way they get a brief break between sucks and get to hop around to help digestion. Twilla is the hardest to do this with because as you saw in the previous video, she's a jumping bean and apparently my legs aren't thick enough to be much of a problem. The other kits have to wander towards my ankles to hop up onto my lap but Twilla just chooses a spot and BAM. Here she is. Stealing the dropper from Gaston. :roll:

-- Tue Apr 04, 2017 11:26 am --


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So they aren't as clean and cute as Aurora's litter, but apparently cotton ball and water just isn't the greatest replacement for mother's tongue at cleaning these cuties... and I draw the line at licking pets. :lol: I've got a few cute videos uploading that won't be ready until this evening but I'll share them when I get around to it, Twilla the little jumping bean went swimming... Silly goose.

Oh! I picked up the cecotropes from the rabbit breeder down south, very sweet lady and I look forward to purchasing some rex from her in the future, and the kits HATE it. "Poopy formula? GROSS!" I mixed some into the formula and they refused to eat it, so I made another dose of the formula and mixed it with the cecotrope-formula so it'd be watered down and they still despised it. So they've definitely got some in there but at this point I'm making some pure formula and mixing a tad of the cecotrope-formula into it and then feeding it. That way the kits get some in their bellies but also get fed. I'm also leaving some scattered around the box for them to nibble on if they want to, though from the way they reacted to the formula I doubt that will happen. I'm keeping the excess cecotropes in the lower part of the refrigerator, next to the tons of penicillin I have. :roll:
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Re: Hand feeding newborn kits

Post Number:#58  Unread postby SarniaTricia » Tue Apr 04, 2017 2:18 pm


2CrazyFools
I am so happy to see you have gotten these little guys this far!!
WOW ... I have to admire you
Maybe there is a family cat who could help with grooming? I know my two would be right in there to help... (the good kind,, not the I'll eat those for you)
Also, if you can't get them to eat the poop soup.... there is a jell Pro-Bios that I have been using for my weaning age kits that they seem to really like....
(I had two that had diarrhea, and they perked right back after a dose)

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Re: Hand feeding newborn kits

Post Number:#59  Unread postby 2CrazyFools » Thu Apr 06, 2017 1:20 pm


SarniaTricia wrote:2CrazyFools
I am so happy to see you have gotten these little guys this far!!
WOW ... I have to admire you
Maybe there is a family cat who could help with grooming? I know my two would be right in there to help... (the good kind,, not the I'll eat those for you)
Also, if you can't get them to eat the poop soup.... there is a jell Pro-Bios that I have been using for my weaning age kits that they seem to really like....
(I had two that had diarrhea, and they perked right back after a dose)


Awe, thanks a ton Sarnia! I couldn't have done it without all y'all lovely people giving me support on this forum! :grouphug2: I wish we had a cat, but my husband is against indoor cats and one of my dogs is a small animal murderer so... no outside cats either. Eventually when we are out living on a chunk of land with a barn, he said I can have as many barn cats as I want! :D I will say the kits are starting to "puff out" and look less oily since I've cleaned the fur they sleep under and they are at the age they are starting to clean themselves. I still wipe off their formula covered faces with a damp cloth but they take care of the rest.

Pro-Bios? I'll have to check that out. Thanks!


So I weighed them last night and at three weeks old they are 2.9-3.5 oz, so yeah, definitely small! I usually start weighing my regular kits at 4 weeks old so that's the only standard I have to go by and my other litters at 4 weeks old are about 11-14oz sooooooo..... we've got some massive catching up to do! But they are happy active critters so I'm not worrying, just observing. Cutie patooties. :in_love: Any thoughts on added some meat and fat to their little bones?

Also, I normally leave the kits out with momma full time at 3 weeks of age (when I shelve the litters inside) but I simply don't feel these guys are anywhere near being big enough to live outside in the hutch, even with the nice big nest boxes. I mean, they are itty bitty! Those little feet would slip right through the 1/2"x1" wire unless I put down a screen on the bottom of the hutch that would allow fluids to pass through. But still, at this size I'd be worried sick so I'm probably going to push it back a few weeks until they are at least the size of normal 3-4 week old kits.



Twilla goes swimming, poor little girl! Twilla is now the biggest (& greediest) of the bunch, and we're toying with the idea of keeping her. She doesn't fit into our plan going forward (2 meat mutts -buck and doe, 3-4 standard rex) but if I build a new hutch.......... :roll: We'll just have to see if she ends up growing up to normal size, it really wouldn't benefit our plan if I keep a runty pipsqueak for a meat rabbit, no matter how cute!


Hungry and hopping! "Let us out! Let us out!"


Oh, they went to college with me yesterday, lol. My multidimensional calculus instructor wants one and he asked if I could bring them to class and I figured, why not? So both he and his wife (also a professor there) got to play with them and go "ooh" and "ahh" and in class he said, "Once you finish your quiz you get to see a baby rabbit! No, seriously, she has baby rabbits, I'm not joking!" :lol: He asked if I named them yet, like "Taco Dinner" or "Casserole." After his class I usually drive straight home to feed them lunch so they were quite active by the time his class rolled around and kept thinking it was lunch time.

EDIT:

Just found this video of my previous litter at 3 weeks old... Goodness, the size difference is dramatic. :(
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Re: Hand feeding newborn kits

Post Number:#60  Unread postby shazza » Thu Apr 06, 2017 1:23 pm


hey, they're alive and thriving! it was likely the hand-rearing that caused them to be small. they may grow full size, they may not, but i can guarantee once they are weaned onto pellets they'll have a huge growth spurt and really start to pack on the weight. i wouldn't worry about it too much! even if they turn out small they can still be good producers for whoever buys them, since the small size it's not genetic :)
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