If suddenly you have a newborn rabbit in your arms and you don’t know how to feed it due to the absence of its mother near it, or if it does not want to feed it naturally, do not rush to give up. There are several excellent ways to keep such offspring and grow them healthy and fit for household needs.
In this article you will find information that will help you figure out what to feed the little rabbits, what is the methodology for feeding them and what are the age-related features of the menu of furry animals.
Is it possible?
If your bunny does not feed the bunnies, there are several ways that you should do further in order to preserve the offspring. The rabbits are very caring mothers, so it will be useful to sort it out, which led to such consequences. If the female has stopped feeding her cubs due to illness, then she should be completely removed from this duty.
Everyone knows that rabbits are very shy creatures. Fright can also cause the cessation of feeding, so new mothers should not be subjected to excessive stress.
Protect them from excessive noise, try to drop into their cage as rarely as possible, and prevent too much light from entering the cage.
There are two methods that are equally well used to preserve a newly minted brood: this is rabbits being reared to another female, who recently gave offspring, or artificial feeding.
Throwing to other rabbits
Rabbits, unlike many other animals, do not react aggressively to those of their cubs that take on the smell of a person after contact with him.
Therefore, you can safely transfer offspring from one rabbit who has given birth to too many rabbits or has stopped feeding them, to another – which is able to properly feed additional “children”.
After that, you can run the rabbit, however, it is worth some time to observe its behavior. But since the rabbits are rather caring mothers, this manipulation should be painless for litter.
If you have not found other rabbits in your household who have recently acquired litter, then it does not matter. You can apply another, slightly less popular, but no less effective method – artificial feeding of rabbits.
This technique will require a lot of effort from you, as you will have to carefully monitor the rabbit’s diet, their degree of saturation, and change the composition of the nutritional mixes depending on the age reached by the rabbits.
Basic feeding rules
The survival of the litter and the process of its development directly depend on the correctness of this manipulation, therefore we recommend that you pay special attention to this issue. You must know all the biological features of the structure of delicate rabbit organisms and as accurately as possible copy the natural feeding process.
Below is information on how and how to feed newborn rabbits without a rabbit.
What to feed?
Despite the fact that all mammals, including rabbits, feed their babies milk, not every milk is equally well suited for feeding newborn rabbits.
Goat and cow’s milk
Goat milk is best suited for feeding small rabbits, since it is most similar to rabbit milk, although it lacks fat content.
Herbal and milk formula
If you did not manage to find milk for litter – it does not matter, you can feed newborns using a whole range of different milk mixtures. Any specialized mixes for rabbits are suitable, although you can also use milk powder and even dry mixes intended for babies, such as Baby.
Herbal inclusions should be added to the diet of rabbits when they reach the age of 3 weeks. The inclusion of such additives in earlier periods is fraught with stagnation in the intestines of small animals. The weight of the herbal supplement is directly proportional to the weight of the rabbit and is in the region of 3-4% by weight of the cub.
How to feed?
For the smallest, syringes with needles removed, or bubbles from under the drops, are used. In addition, in veterinary pharmacies you can buy special syringes with nozzles that mimic the nipples, with which you can feed rabbits without a rabbit.
As your pets grow, the nozzles are replaced with standard pipettes, then nipples, and ultimately, when the rabbits reach a month of age, they are replaced by saucers, of which they perfectly lap.
Food from the syringe should be applied with a thin layer around the entire perimeter of the animal’s oral cavity and wait until it licks everything on its own. Similarly, the procedure is repeated until the rabbit is completely saturated. During manipulation, the body must be kept upright. At first, the rabbits may be anxious, but soon they will get used to this method of feeding, and the problems will noticeably decrease.
At different stages of litter development, a different amount of feed is required and, accordingly, its different composition.
A newborn rabbit requires about 4-5 milliliters of the mixture or milk per day, which is better to divide into 2-5 feedings. The number of feedings directly depends on the rabbit itself – watch the intensity of their saturation, accordingly adjusting the diet.
It is also worth remembering that little rabbits can not defecate themselves, their mother is actively contributing to this process at first.
In order for the animals to die as a result of a rupture of the intestine, it is worthwhile after feeding to lightly stroke their tummies in the direction from the neck to the tail, until the animal is empty.
Up to two weeks (5-14 days)
To the question of how to feed rabbits without a rabbit after they reach 5 days of age, there is a very simple answer: exactly the same as before.
The feeding composition should not undergo any changes, especially if you see that rabbits respond well to this menu and develop correctly (the process of wool formation begins, the mass doubled from birth and motor activity increases).
Remember only that you need to gradually increase the quantitative indicator of feeding. So, by the end of the first week, young animals require widowed more milk from the original volume, and by the end of the second – already three times as much.
Do not forget to also massage your pets’ tummies after feeding. At the end of the 2-week period, the need for this procedure will gradually disappear, as the rabbits will get used to self-emptying.
Up to a month (14-30 days)
Starting from this age, animals can gradually begin to offer various green food and dry rabbit food by placing containers with the latter in the cage where they are kept. Finely chopped vegetables, such as carrots, turnips or cabbage, are well-suited.
Feeding with dairy products should continue, gradually increasing its amount. When the rabbits reach the age of one month, their daily diet should include at least 60 ml of dairy food.
During this period, they already perfectly milk milk from saucers, so you can no longer use special devices.
You can add special grass granules to your feeding mixture in an amount of 3% by weight of a young rabbit.
After a month
Starting from the age of 30 days, the volume of milk feeding is gradually reduced and more and more various plant foods and specialized feeds are added to the diet of young animals. The most developed representatives of the litter can already be deposited in separate cells and stop the milk diet for them.
Upon reaching 45 days of age, young rabbits completely stop consuming milk food, they have a complete replacement of their teeth and their internal organs are already completely ready to consume solid food. During this period, it is recommended that the rabbits be weaned from their mothers if they are fed naturally.
Young rabbits are transferred to an adult diet consisting of various plant foods.
Remember cleanliness and sterility
Newborn rabbits are creatures with rather delicate organisms, and given the fact that they do not receive the immunoglobulins necessary for protection from various harmful environmental agents with their mother’s milk, keeping the cells clean and sterile feeding devices become one of the dominant factors contributing to the survival of young animals.
It is recommended that all pipettes, nipples and dishes in which the mixtures are prepared are thoroughly boiled. It is allowed to store milk in the refrigerator for no more than 3 days, and before giving it to rabbits, warm up to a temperature of 38–40 ° С.
When preparing the mixture, adhere to all the rules that are indicated in the instructions, and do not store it for more than 1 day. Before starting the feeding procedure, wash your hands thoroughly with soap and wipe them with a clean towel.
So, we hope that this article will help you keep the litter of rabbits, lost a mother for one reason or another. Approach the issues of feeding and caring for them with due attention and diligence – this will contribute to the best results and help you grow a truly amazing brood that can satisfy any of your household needs.