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Orphaned Cottontails. URGENT!!!!

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: Orphaned Cottontails. URGENT!!!!

Post Number:#16  Unread postby Single-rabbit-mom » Sat Apr 18, 2015 2:05 pm


Thank you all so much for your help! I have another question. How do you groom the babies? I've noticed one doesn't like to eat very much and he's also very messy with dried urine and feces stuck to his fur. Also when he eats he spits the formula all over himself, and the stuff i couldn't get off him has dried around his mouth and I believe it's causing him discomfort. Once again, thank you for your help
I'm not serious about anything except rabbits

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Re: Orphaned Cottontails. URGENT!!!!

Post Number:#17  Unread postby the reluctant farmer » Sat Apr 18, 2015 2:24 pm


I'd "spot clean" them by wetting down a washcloth/old rag with warm water and wiping off any of the dirty areas. They really shouldn't need anything else at this point. Hope it goes well!

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Re: Orphaned Cottontails. URGENT!!!!

Post Number:#18  Unread postby Thorn » Thu Sep 13, 2018 1:00 pm


Rather than making a new thread Im reviving an old one. My father was mowing and ran over a nest. We've recovered one baby rabbit, looks about two weeks old.

Anyways we have a goat in milk so that shouldn't be a problem,im more concerned about how to collect Cecotropes?(My rabbits eat a lot of greens) And how do you mix in the eggs? It also seems like a waste of egg for one rabbit. Most would get thrown out, would whipping cream work?

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Re: Orphaned Cottontails. URGENT!!!!

Post Number:#19  Unread postby MaggieJ » Thu Sep 13, 2018 3:21 pm


Are its eyes open and its ears up? If so, it should be already eating some greens. Consult the Safe Plants sticky for the kinds of weeds they eat. Plantain (Plantago major and similar species) is particularly safe.
safe-plants-for-rabbits-list-t55.html

You can also offer it large-flake, old-fashioned oatmeal. It could be moistened with goat's milk.

If you plan to feed formula, see the updated recipe in the stickies for handfeeding.
updated-hand-feeding-formula-t27372.html

Make sure it has a shallow dish of water as well.

Chances are that it will soon be ready for release back into the wild. Cottontails do no do well in captivity. In fact, if it has its eyes open and ears up, it may well do better if you release it into some bushes near where the nest was. Mama will likely find it.
Sojourning in 1894 . . .

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Re: Orphaned Cottontails. URGENT!!!!

Post Number:#20  Unread postby akane » Sat Sep 15, 2018 3:08 pm


If the eyes are open and the area is relatively safe it's better to just set them back nearby. They are already wandering, eating plants, and fairly independent by then so better chance in the wild. If their eyes are closed but the nest is intact enough and not going to be disturbed again for at least a week depending on age it's still frequently better to just put them back in it. The mother will care for a partial litter in a previously disturbed nest if she thinks she can safely get to it and if they can still stay warm enough with a reduced number.

My issue was usually a nest somewhere we'd keep running into every few days or the cats and dogs on the farm finding one. Once they know where it is they won't leave it so nothing put back out there will be safe. If we disturbed it in the field or yard ourselves and then were done with the area we just put them back.
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