Help! Baby rabbits and I have no idea what to do!

Discussion in 'Rabbits' started by Suzanne_Tyler, May 19, 2017.

  1. Suzanne_Tyler

    Suzanne_Tyler GreenTGoats

    Jul 19, 2014
    Pinnacle, NC
    Long story short we now have two wild baby rabbits that don't have a mother. Eyes are open, they are pretty furry, but they are really small.

    I'm guessing they still need milk? Is goat milk ok?

    What about feed and water?

    Do they have to be a certain temperature?

    I'm planning to put them in a plastic storage bin with shavings. In the house. Would that work?

    Anything else I need to know? I literally know nothing about rabbits so all advice is welcome!

    TIA. Photos soon :)
     
  2. Suzanne_Tyler

    Suzanne_Tyler GreenTGoats

    Jul 19, 2014
    Pinnacle, NC
    One weighs 80 grams and the other weighs 100 grams.
     

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  3. spidy1

    spidy1 Well-Known Member

    Jan 9, 2014
    AZ
    Ok, I have lots of experience with rabbits, unfortunately, there is a 99.999999 percent chance of the babies not surviving if they are still needing milk, goat milk, cow milk, replacers, or any milk we humans can get will not work, they need rabbit milk, you can try to give them hay and keep them in a warm, safe, quiet place and see if they can survive, you can also try to give them probiotics, as there digestive systems are similar to goats. good luck, I have never had any with wild bunnies, but I hope yours do ok.
    water in a dish only, it will stress them if you use a licker.
    I can answer any other questions you have as well.
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2017
  4. cheyenne

    cheyenne Junior Member

    363
    Aug 20, 2011
    MO
    Try to find a wildlife rehab... you can Google it for your area. Are you certain that they are orphans? A mother wild rabbit only visits the nest 2 times a day, usually early in the morning and late in the evening. You won't see her around the nest any other time. How did you find them?
     
  5. Suzanne_Tyler

    Suzanne_Tyler GreenTGoats

    Jul 19, 2014
    Pinnacle, NC
    We tilled the garden today, there was a nest in one of the beds. Not sure how we could return them to the mother. Any ideas?
     
  6. MoonShadow

    MoonShadow FancyDay Farm

    825
    Mar 1, 2015
    here's some info I've had stored away about baby rabbits.
    Ideally, a wild bunny/rodent rehabilitation center or Rabbit vet is your best bet for them

    Kitten milk Replace(KMR) or goat milk should be fine. Because rabbit milk is the most caloric of all mammals, you can add in one tablespoon of 100% heavy whipping cream (no sugar) to each can of KMR. Rabbit mothers nurse their babies for approximately 5 minutes a day.The milk is very rich and the babies should “fill up” to capacity within minutes.
    If you find a nest and it's been disturbed, do all you can to restore and protect it.


    Age + Amount (This WILL vary SO MUCH depending on type of rabbit so this is only approximate.) Use KMR kitten or KMR kitten plus Goat milk, regular not low fat. Add a pinch of acidophilus (aka Probiotic) to the formula to promote healthy gut flora. Formulas vary depending on region. Avoid Esbilac and any puppy formulas! FEED TWICE A DAY ONLY for healthy babies. It may be easiest to start with a 3 cc/ml syringe or an eyedropper. Feed only with the bunny sitting UPRIGHT, and point syringe down towards bottom or side of mouth, so if too much comes out, the baby does not aspirate. At first, they may only take a few drops at one feeding until they are not stressed and used to this.Newborn to One Week: 2 – 2+1/2 cc/ml each feeding (two feedings per day).
    1-2 weeks: 5-7 cc/ml each feeding (two feedings per day). (depending on bunny..may be much LESS if smaller rabbit!) Newborn babies (if eyes closed) all need to be stimulated to urinate and defecate prior to or following feeding until their eyes open. (Except Jackrabbits do not). *See how to below.
    2-3 weeks: 7-13 cc/ml each feeding (two feedings). Domestic eyes open at about 10 days of age. Start introducing them to timothy and oat hay, pellets and water (always add fresh greens for wild ones).
    3-6 weeks: 13-15 cc/ml each feeding (two feedings–again, may be LESS depending on size of rabbit! A cottontail/brush bunny will take so much less!! Half this at most.) Cottontails wean and release about 3-4 weeks and jackrabbits much later (9+ weeks), whereas domestic rabbits are 6 weeks.


    After each feeding it is important to make the bunny defecate and urinate (brush bunnies/cottontails only..if the eyes are not opened yet) to keep the intestinal and urinary system running smoothly (just UNTIL their eyes open). No need to do this for jackrabbits; they go on their own. Use a cotton ball moistened with warm water after eating, and gently stroke the anal area until the bunny starts producing stool and urine and keep stroking until the bunny stops. You are reproducing the behavior of the mother rabbit who would lick her young to stimulate them to go to the bathroom and to keep the nest clean. Handle a wild rabbit only during feedings as excessive handling can be extremely stressful/potentially fatal. Wild rabbits don’t need heat if furred and healthy.

    -------------------------
    It will probably be difficult to restore the nest after it's been tilled but here is instructions on how to do it anyways.

    Remake the nest as best you can with grasses, hay, straw in the same place. Nests can be moved to a safer place up to 10′ away from the original site and can be reconstructed if necessary. To make a new nest, dig a shallow hole about 3″ deep and put into it as much of the original material as you can recover, including the mother’s fur. Add dried grass as needed, and put the young back. Mother rabbits return to the nest to nurse only at night, staying away as much as possible so as not to attract predators. To determine if the mother is returning, create a tic-tac-toe pattern over the nest with straw, grasses or tiny twigs. Wait 24 hours to see if the twigs have been disturbed. She may be able to feed them without moving the twigs much, so double check–If the babies look healthy, are warm, then the mother is coming back.
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2017
  7. Suzanne_Tyler

    Suzanne_Tyler GreenTGoats

    Jul 19, 2014
    Pinnacle, NC
    Thanks! Do you think the dam will relocate them if I put them out next to the demolished nest? There is a Wildlife Rehab somewhat near us, I will look into that if returning them to the dam doesn't work out.
     
  8. NyGoatMom

    NyGoatMom Shady Acre Homestead

    The doe will likely reject them if they have been handled.
     
  9. goathiker

    goathiker I'm watching you

    Apr 13, 2011
    Oregon Coast Range
    Those are either already or very close to weaned kits. They need put back in a make shift nest within ten feet of the old one with a small dish of alfalfa pellets nearby. Cottontail kits start eating solid food as soon as their eyes open and leave mom at three weeks old.
     
  10. Suzanne_Tyler

    Suzanne_Tyler GreenTGoats

    Jul 19, 2014
    Pinnacle, NC
    Ok, thank you! Will do :)
     
  11. Jessica84

    Jessica84 Well-Known Member

    Oct 27, 2011
    California
    I agree I would put them back. I thought I was being a good person one time when a baby bunny came out of a burn pile and I took it home and treated it's burns. That thing was insane and couldn't handle being kept in a cage and chewed its own leg off and killed its self. The foot was not stuck in anything it had no reason to do that. I learned that I just won't mess with wild animals after that and still feel so very bad about it. I should have just turned it loose after I treated its burns (which really were not bad)
     
  12. luvmyherd

    luvmyherd Active Member

    Apr 9, 2011
    NorCal
    Wow, they are so adorable. I would probably try to raise them; but I know the advice you have been given is sound. I have no experience with wild rabbits. Only a few of our own. They did well on goat milk and mulberry leaves.
    Letting nature take its course is generally best but I have raised many little birdies. Just can't help myself.
     

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  13. Suzanne_Tyler

    Suzanne_Tyler GreenTGoats

    Jul 19, 2014
    Pinnacle, NC
    I guess we'll see how it goes tonight. If mom doesn't relocate them I might just raise them myself. They definitely can't stay in the garden. The lettuce has been disappearing for quite some time, lol.
     
  14. luvmyherd

    luvmyherd Active Member

    Apr 9, 2011
    NorCal
    I didn't want to mention that around here; uncaged rabbits are vermin. They can devastate a garden in no time.
     
  15. Suzanne_Tyler

    Suzanne_Tyler GreenTGoats

    Jul 19, 2014
    Pinnacle, NC
    Ok, the garden dictator (my sister lol) says they absolutely will not be going back into the garden. To put them near the garden but not in it would be 15+ feet away. :sigh:

    On a happy note, they seem a bit better with human contact and they've had some water and a nibble of grass. :)
     
  16. MoonShadow

    MoonShadow FancyDay Farm

    825
    Mar 1, 2015
    Good that they are eating and drinking a bit. They do look pretty close to being weaned, I hope they make it for you!! :smile:
     
  17. cheyenne

    cheyenne Junior Member

    363
    Aug 20, 2011
    MO
    Not true! Last year we were cleaning the goat shed that was deeply bedded with hay and my husband disturbed a nest we didn't know was there. There were 6 babies. He came and got me and told me he found one... I was like no way there was only one! So I started looking for them in and around where he found the one. Sure enough there were several already in the wheelbarrow ready to be dumped and a couple more near where he was using the pitchfork. Not knowing it, I accidentally stepped on one underneath the hay. Unfortunately that one didn't survive.

    I couldn't believe she had put that nest right under the goats mineral feeder! To make a long story short, we tried to figure out what we were going to do with them. Finally we made the decision to put them, with what was left of the nest, in a box until we finished cleaning the goat shed. Then we would try putting them back. It had to be cleaned that day.

    After getting the nest back about where it was, we put a piece of plywood over them so they wouldn't get stepped on again. I worried she would reject them, but every day I would make sure they were ok. You could tell she was coming back to feed them even tho we never saw her. They were lively and thriving and they all grew fast and left the nest. :D
     
  18. GoatGirlInTraining

    GoatGirlInTraining Member

    223
    Mar 26, 2017
  19. Suzanne_Tyler

    Suzanne_Tyler GreenTGoats

    Jul 19, 2014
    Pinnacle, NC
    The bigger one isn't doing well. :( Isn't hopping around and eating and drinking like the other one, just sitting still and not moving. It did come out from under the shavings sometime during the night though, so that is good.
     
  20. goathiker

    goathiker I'm watching you

    Apr 13, 2011
    Oregon Coast Range
    Sitting still when they are in danger is what their mother taught them to do.
    I know you're trying to help but, what you're doing is kind of cruel. The mother will come back for about a week calling and looking for them.
    They are not domestic rabbits and they won't survive in captivity.