Formula feeding baby bunnies *PICS & VIDS*

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Zass

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Miss M":17mvvnfq said:
Oooooooooooooh... I think I prefer my formula with the canned goat's milk.

Me too Miss M.

If you step back and look at it, the composition is very similar. They use a lot of cows milk products instead of goats milk. They use vegetable oil and minerals instead of the egg yolk. The corn syrup remains the same.

Artificial flavors are totally unnecessary, unless their finished product was just plain unappetizing to animals.
 

Richard & Tresa

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Miss M,

THANK YOU for your formula, how to and advice!

We just had a litter of 9 kits 6 days ago. One WAS a runt and we were concerned but not panicked. He's still small, but growing. We had two others that were a little on the small size. We are doing EVERYTHING possible to support and nurture the very loving doe. Tresa mixed up a "regnant Doe Tonic" (a formula of different herbs, garden greens etc... Echinacia, Blackberry leaves (for increasing circulation to help manage the heat) and more. Her strengths (as a teaching master gardener are in this field, I'm the technical one with double shade (space in between the upper shade tarp and lower, disperses the heat so it doesn't transfer down to the main hutch roof. individual 8" waterproofed fans on all cages and a set of misters that get turned on when the temps reach over 85 (There's also a thermometer in each cage! LOL! Yeah, I go a little overboard, but I figure they didn't choose to live in cages and as long as I'm responsible, they all deserve the very best we can give (including lots of rubbing, gentle talk and intermittent green snacks from the garden.

We found that by placing the eye dropper between their lips, but not past their front teeth and wetting them, they taste and slurp it up... No fears of choking at one drop at a time. We just keep going and a rhythm builds up... We set up a heating pad on the bed with a towel over it and half of the nest box on it so that they can choose to get warm, or move away from the heat. Loose bunnies are laid on the heated towel.

First time feeding, the runt took one eye dropper full and then made it known that he was done... LOL! Last night, he went through 3 eye droppers! We've also fed two of the smaller ones this same way with attention paid to when they didn't want any more...

It does take a while for the process (heating up the bed, heating the formula etc...), but we think it's worth it and watching the little guy grow sure makes us feel better!

Thank you again to all of you! So comforting knowing there's a place like RT to come share, ask questions and get positive support!

Richard & Tresa

Here's some photos of our first new bunnies: <br /><br /> -- Sat Aug 09, 2014 1:05 pm -- <br /><br /> Took some photos during feeding time... Been so crazed with all the "Urban Homesteading" projects I'm building (several aquaponics systems, Chickens, Quail, raised beds with irrigation for Tresa, client prototype projects... Sheesh! It just goes on and on... I don't "go to sleep"... I somehow make it to the bedroom and fall down. LOL!

Anyway, I didn't think of taking pictures of the large, medium and runt photos to share and see what you think...

But here are some photos of the big one and the runt in Tresa's hands being fed...

I'll make a point of taking photos of the three together (Maybe even with a tape measure), for size comparison. Last night the little guy took 3 eye droppers worth... None of the other smaller ones seem interested, so we didn't push it... They're doing pretty well.

These photos are at 10 days old (last night). Today, several have opened their eyes and the big grey one found his way out of the nest box! Yesterday, I got a brick and a 2X4 on end to create "steps" for them to get back in. The "Group Shot" was taken at 5 days old and the little guy is at the upper right hand section of the photo.

Thanks again from both of us!

Richard & Tresa
 

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Miss M

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Richard & Tresa":16dpigcb said:
Miss M,

THANK YOU for your formula, how to and advice!
You're welcome! :) I'm so glad it was all helpful!

Richard & Tresa":16dpigcb said:
We found that by placing the eye dropper between their lips, but not past their front teeth and wetting them, they taste and slurp it up... No fears of choking at one drop at a time. We just keep going and a rhythm builds up...
Yeah, it depends on the bunnies. I tried putting the eyedropper there, and they would just jerk their heads around so I couldn't do anything. So I tried putting it behind the front teeth. After a few times, that sort of force isn't necessary anymore. :) Maybe I just have stubborn bunnies.

They're fun to feed, aren't they? :lol: Three eyedroppers sounds about right for his age. He'll get to the point at which he's sucking it out of the eyedropper in a few seconds, and all you do is refill. :roll: And keep him from eating the eyedropper. :lol:

As long as you're seeing nice, round tummies on the others, they're just fine.

Those are great, great pictures!
 

CONEJO

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Could i replace the goat milk for evaporate cow milk? I don't think can find any goat milk in my area. This is great for my given situation if i could to help my does...I have all time in world to hand feed... :roll:
 

Miss M

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CONEJO":3l608pp9 said:
Could i replace the goat milk for evaporate cow milk? I don't think can find any goat milk in my area. This is great for my given situation if i could to help my does...I have all time in world to hand feed... :roll:
Unfortunately, no. Cow's milk is difficult for rabbits to digest, and usually gives them the runs -- which can be fatal. Goat's milk is much better tolerated.

Evaporated goat's milk can be found with the evaporated cow's milk in many grocery stores, and Walmart. If that fails you, perhaps you can find goat's milk replacer (basically goat formula) at a feed store?

KMR (kitten milk replacer) is cow's milk based. Some have used it with baby bunnies with success, others' bunnies have gotten the runs.

If all else fails, you can order stuff like this online, but the cost may be :x .

:)
 

Twobirdsfarm

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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
- TBF
 

Miss M

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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. :)
 

Wheels

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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.
 

Bandits Bunny Farm

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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
 

Zass

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Bandits Bunny Farm":1rz42zkr said:
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.
 

Susie570

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Bandits Bunny Farm":2uwdthhz said:
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.
 

Galadriel

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Wheels":317baycn said:
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:
 

Bandits Bunny Farm

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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
 

ladysown

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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.
 

Bandits Bunny Farm

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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
 

Miss M

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ladysown":1oe4mx20 said:
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":1oe4mx20 said:
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":1oe4mx20 said:
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:
 

Susie570

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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.
 

Bandits Bunny Farm

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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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