Help! My Holland Lop Doe has 7 babies and She cant feed them all!

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Maple Buns Rabbitry

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I'm looking for a good rabbit milk replacement because my first time rabbit mom had 7 babies and usually 2 or 3 aren't being fed. We have tried holding them up to her and nursing but she is running out of milk and is getting very stressed when we do that. They are 4 days old and already starting to grow fur and wiggle around in our hands. This is my (and Hazel's) first litter so I really don't want any to die! please help me find a good replacement!
 

Preitler

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.... usually 2 or 3 aren't being fed. We have tried holding them up to her and nursing but she is running out of milk and is getting very stressed when we do that.....

My approach in such a situation is to take the fattest third of the litter out for one feeding to give the others a better chance at the milk buffet. One good feeding can make a difference.

Personally, I don't try to hold the doe, mine are stressed by that and that, apart from the risk of injury, doesn't help. What a nursing doe needs is peace, food, food, and food. No stress. Imo, too much meddling can drone out their instincts, and stress costs energy.

You know that you can pretty much free feed the doe, about triple her amounts of pellets, you can also add about a Tbsp. kitchen oatmeal per day to give more energy.

Feeding formula, well, I tried a few times with no luck, it can easily upset the digestion. Others with positive experiences might be able to help there, but usually it's a last resort with high risks. Rabbit milk is something rather special.

There are a lot of very informative threads already here, use the search. Use the term "formula" and select "thread titles only"
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MaggieJ

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Thx. I've also seen that kitten formula is a good replacement, but how often would you feed them it?
Preitler has given you excellent advice. It won't hurt the stronger kits to miss a meal and it will give the weaker ones a boost. The formula posted in the attachment is also excellent. You may have trouble finding colostrum for it, but since the kits have had some milk from the doe, they should be okay without it.

A doe typically feeds her kits twice a day. Depending on how the kits take to the formula, that may be enough. If they want it, perhaps offer a third feeding. Mother's milk is always best, so as they get stronger it would be good if they also get a chance to nurse. Don't use cow's milk for the formula -- goat's milk is far more digestible.

Good luck with them. It's tricky hand-feeding, but some people have had great success with it.
 

Maple Buns Rabbitry

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Thank you guys so much! We are getting some goat milk now and will try taking out several of the largest kits! I'm hoping all the kits will survive thanks to y'alls great advice!
 

SoftPawsRabbitry

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I'm looking for a good rabbit milk replacement because my first time rabbit mom had 7 babies and usually 2 or 3 aren't being fed. We have tried holding them up to her and nursing but she is running out of milk and is getting very stressed when we do that. They are 4 days old and already starting to grow fur and wiggle around in our hands. This is my (and Hazel's) first litter so I really don't want any to die! please help me find a good replacement!
I use 1 part KMR with 1 part water 1 part cream, feeding them with a syringe, dropper or rabbit specific nursing bottle once In the morning once in the evening, depending on how bad or good they're doing, I adust the feed amounts I do a day, some just need a little snack in the evening for a few days and they're fine!
 

MuddyFarms

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I know this probably won't help right now, but something I have used successfully is the Wombaroo rabbit milk replacer. It says it has been formulated specifically for rabbits. I got it from All Things Bunnies online and used it on three kits from a litter of ten. They had no trouble at all eating it from the little rubber syringe tips that came in the nursing set, as long as I kept it warm (the instructions say to have it at 95 degrees F). I made sure to feed it to them at their pace, so they could swallow it alright and not aspirate it. The kits were a few days old when three were not getting fed enough. One kit only needed two meals to get strong enough to compete with the others. One needed to be fed morning and evening for a few days before he was good to go. The last one needed to be fed for about a week, but then he did well getting fed only by the mom.

The Wombaroo milk replacement formula also has a chart to show you how much you should feed based on their weight. The chart can be seen on All Thing Bunnies' website. I think the amounts could change depending on what you are feeding them, but it could give an idea?

I plan to try some of the recipes I have found here on RabbitTalk with powdered goat milk next time, since that Wombaroo formula is kinda-pricey. But I am glad I had it on hand and that it worked so beautifully!
 

northernnevadahollandlops

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You've already gotten a lot of great advice, just know you don't have to feed them every couple hours. Mama rabbits feed babies twice a day usually, morning and dusk.
 

arachyd

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For a bit of peace of mind when she's more experienced, most does have no problem feeding 7 kits. I agree with Preitler's advice. Just take out some of the biggest during a feeding so the little ones have a chance to catch up.
 
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