How to feed baby rabbits without a mother guide
Do you know how to feed baby rabbits without a mother? There are events when rabbits are orphaned and how to take care of them becomes a problem.
While the problem could be solved when there is another female mother, sometimes, you need to learn to know how to feed baby rabbits with a mother.
In order for you to learn to know how to handle baby rabbits without a mother, you have to understand to feed at every point or phase of the rabbits’ lives.
You should pay attention to the age of the rabbit and find ways to feed it the right ratios. When it comes to baby rabbits, carefulness, and experience are important.
How to feed baby rabbits without a mother with ease?
Choosing the proper diet for baby rabbits
Sometimes, a mother may not want to feed her litter. This means that you have to do the job for her. You should know the diet to purchase for the litter.
The diet of the rabbit should be based on its age. When these rabbits are between the ages of 0- weeks, they require liquid diets.
How to prepare formula milk for baby rabbits?
Do not make use of cow’s milk to feed the baby rabbits because they are not much nutritious. You can make use of goat milk.
If you want to formulate milk at home, you can make use of a glass of milk, one teaspoon of honey, and one egg in a bow.
You should mix them thoroughly. This formula stands as a good replacement for the rabbit mother’s milk.
People who cannot make this milk at home should make use of those in the pet store. Some people mix a tablespoon of 100% whipping cream.
This increases the caloric content. You should know that the intestinal bacteria of rabbits are sensitive. You should know the type of milk formula to give these babies.
How to feed baby rabbits without a mother: Replacement milk formula
You start feeding the baby rabbits immediately up to their six weeks. During this period, you should learn how to feed the rabbits the right diet.
You should feed them according to their ages, and feed them twice a day. Here is know how to feed baby rabbits without a mother:
You should divide the following into equal halves for the baby rabbits.
- Newborn to one week – 4 to 5 cc Formula
- From 1 to 2 week – 10 to 15cc formula
- 2 to 3 weeks – 15 to 30 cc formula
- 3 to 6 weeks until weaned – 30 cc formula.
You have to feed the baby rabbits with small syringes because they are small to make use of bottles. However, the syringes have to be sterile.
Feeding the Babies
How to feed baby rabbits without a mother: Formula and feeding supplies
You will need to get these:
- A plastic sterilizing steam bag
- A very small nursing nipple
- A nursing bottle or syringes
- Remember that the
Are you thinking of a formula recipe?
- Fresh, whole goat milk – 1/2 cup
- KMR (Kitten Milk Replacer ) – 1/2 cup
- Lyophilized (freeze-dried) colostrum – contents of 10 capsules, or 1-1.5 Tablespoons
- Heavy cream – 3 cc- equal to about 1/2 teaspoon
You should mix ingredients together in a lidded container. Then, you have to shake very well until the colostrum is dissolved.
You have to mix the formula a few hours in advance so that the colostrum has time to soften and suspend easily.
The next thing you have to do is heat the formula to about 105 Fahrenheit and keep it warm in a water bath while you feed the babies.
When it comes to how to feed baby rabbits without a mother, you should void inhalation or aspiration of formula.
The smallest drop of your formula in these babies can cause them fatal pneumonia.
You should steam disinfect all nipples, syringes, and bottles as per instructions on the disinfecting bag.
The next thing is to lie on the floor or sit to feed them. You can make use of a towel as a lap cushion for the baby being fed.
Do not forget that these tiny creatures are unpredictable and wiggly. They can jump when you least expect them.
You should keep them on the ground to avoid them being injured. Learn to hold the rabbits horizontal in one of your hands and use the other for the syringe or bottle.
You can wrap the bottle in cotton pads or washcloth and allow the fold to drape over your hand, while the nipple protrudes.
This allows the baby to paddle with its front feet while feeding. These creatures could resist feeding at the onset.
Do not force-feed them. It requires patience and a creative way of ensuring that they feed. You have to be gentle and persistent.
You should not squeeze too much milk or formula into their mouths. You should be cautious about trying this.
Most baby rabbits do not take time before they can start feeding freely. You should apply pressure on the syringe plunger.
However, if the baby refuses to suckle, you should be careful not to increase the risk of aspiration. Talk to your vet about your feeding process.
How to handle aspiration?
If there is an accidental aspiration, it could cause the rabbit to pass out because of the blocked airway from the formula.
Do know how to feed baby rabbits without a mother? A wrong feeding habit or position can cause aspiration to happen.
You should do this to save the rabbit:
You have to hold the baby rabbit very firmly between your palms, one on each side of the rabbit
You should stabilize the back and neck firmly to avoid movement . Raise the baby above your head with its nose pointing skywards.
Use a firm, downward motion that is not too fast, and start swinging the baby downwards towards your feet.
You have to repeat the procedure two or three times. This offers enough pressure to expel air from the lungs, and push out the milk.
Stop immediately the baby begins to move. The next thing is to consult with a veterinarian.
You have to handle the baby as gently as you can until its eyes open at age 10 -12 days.
How much to feed?
If you know how to feed baby rabbits without a mother, the process becomes easier for you. Many people tend to overfeed these babies.
Overfeeding the baby rabbits is not good for their health.
Newborn to one week:
They require two – two and a half cc/ml each feeding (two feedings per day). You should know that newborn mammals may not be able to defecate or urinate on their own.
You need to stimulate the bellies and anogenital area since their mother is not around. This will help them release pinhead-sized poops and a stream of urine.
Make use of a cotton ball moistened with warm water for this process. You should be gentle and only stop when the abdominal muscles are tense.
If the animal refuses to urinate, you can feed it to get a response. Babies that could not urinate or defecate might suffer from a ruptured bladder.
This could lead to the death of the animal. The process of stimulating them to release waste can take a few weeks before they can take care of their waste removal.
One to two weeks:
They need 5-7 cc/ml each feeding (two feedings per day). However, this should depend on the rabbit. Some can eat better and larger.
You should be careful of how you feed these rabbits. They may suffer from pain if overfed.
Two to three weeks:
They require at least7-13 cc/ml each feeding (two feedings). Their eyes open at about 10 days of age. You should start feeding them hay, pellets, and water.
You should present their food and water in a shallow dish.
Three to six weeks:
They need 13-15 cc/ml each feeding (two feedings). The size of the rabbit determines how much you can feed it.
You can start introducing solid food when they are about three weeks. You can check stores and online for the right food.
Risk factors while feeding baby rabbits
Risks are involved when learning know how to feed baby rabbits without a mother. This should make you gentle and careful with these tiny creatures.
Death can occur in the following conditions:
When the rabbits are fed incorrect milk formula. You have to be careful of the type of milk formula you offer your rabbits.
The head of the rabbit should up to avoid pushing the milk into its lungs. This could cause pneumonia.
The syringe must be properly sterile to avoid diarrhea. The intestinal bacterial of the rabbit is sensitive and could cause death if disrupted.
If the rabbits are not urinating and defecating, their bladder may be overfilled and bust after a long period.
Reasons for switching to artificial food
Do you know how to feed baby rabbits without a mother? The following can happen before you can start feeding baby rabbits with artificial food:
- The beginning of hunting can begin after childbirth. The mother might start acting aggressively.
- You must prepare a safe haven for the little creatures to avoid such situations.
- The female may suffer from rough skin of the nipples, which prevents it from feeding its little ones.
- A female might refuse to feed her babies because of the extraneous odors in their cage.
- If a mother feels that the babies are her children, she may stop taking care of them. It is referred to as the absence of maternal instinct.
- A mother may die during or after childbirth.
How to feed baby rabbits without a mother?
When you want to feed a baby rabbit without a mother, you should consider feeding them with milk substitutes or special mixtures.
You can make use of either goat or cow milk as a substitute.
If you want to feed babies cow’s milk, you need to bred it. This is because rabbit’ milk is different from cow’s milk.
What you need to do is take 3/4 of milk and add to 1/4 condensed milk. You should warm the mixture to 70 ° C for an hour.
The mixture should be cooled to 37 ° C.
Goat’s milk does not need to be bred. This milk is in its pure form and has a similar composition to the rabbit.
Goat’s milk is perfect for baby rabbits without their mother.
You can make use of a special artificial product too. This could be in the form of milk powder. Milk powder has useful substances that can be absorbed.
You should feed the rabbits the mixture times daily for 5 ml per 1 dose. Rabbits that are more than a week old, can take 20 ml of the mixture 2 times a day.
When it comes to their monthly feeding, you should be given 60 ml 2 times a day.
We can tell you that feeding a baby rabbit might not be as simple as it looks. These creatures are fragile and sensitive.
You do not have to mix the ratio of these rabbits. Each age has its ratio and what should be fed accordingly.
Baby rabbits in their early days are extremely difficult to take care of compared to those that are older.
If you accept the challenge of taking care of these creatures, you should make sure that they eat healthy and better.
The first days may not be easy for you to handle these creatures. However, with time, it becomes easier for you to feed them.
People who find it difficult feeding these rabbits or wondering how to handle orphaned rabbits should talk to their vets.
These experts can help them with the information and support they need. You should not try to force these creatures to avoid killing them.
While you try to feed them, you have to consider their health too. A vet should be around to make sure that they survive the first few days of their lives.
If they refuse to eat for a day, you should take them for a medical checkup. When accident happens during feeding, the vet should be consulted.