Just like any other newborn mammal on the planet, rabbit kittens are dependent on their mothers for survival as their source of nutrition comes from the milk of the mother. If the kitten is somehow separated from its mother, then it is in a risky situation as not feeding on its mother can be dangerous as it leads to malnutrition and inhibits growth. So, how does one overcome this problem where the mother of the kitten is not available to feed the kitten? Do not fret, we will be talking about it in this article.

Wild Rabbits

There may be instances where you would found a wild rabbit kitten and do not know what you should do. Except for southern South America, the West Indies, Madagascar, and the majority of the Islands southeast of Asia, they exist in the majority of the world’s landmasses.

Wild rabbits conceal their nests in plain sight, sometimes in the middle of your yard, trees, or other areas where they can be seen. If you come across a nest that has been disturbed, try to repair it as much as possible while leaving the babies in place. 

If a dog finds the nest, try to repair it (with grass, leaves, or whatever the mother rabbit used), make sure the kits are safe, and find a way to keep the dogs away from it. 

The mother rabbit will return for her children, and removing them will significantly reduce their chances of survival. If you don’t see the mama, don’t be alarmed; they just feed their babies for a few minutes each day and then leave to avoid attracting predators to the nest.

If a kitten is injured or an animal carries you an injured infant, please do not attempt to care for it yourself; instead, take it to a rabbit vet or a wildlife rehabilitator. As a result, the best thing you can do for wild babies is to leave them alone (restored to the nest) or get them to a rabbit vet or wildlife rehabilitator if they are hurt.

Domestic Rabbits/ Pets

Moving on, for domestic rabbits, you must handle them differently from wild rabbits as they are your pets and you must be responsible for their well-being. The first problem is where should you place the newborn kittens? Make a cozy nest area for the babies in a box with clean towels. 

We like to place one folded towel on the bottom and another bunched on top so the babies can snuggle in. You can also place fluffy nesting wool on top of the towel, which you can get from a pet shop. You can also use whatever nesting material they come in and drop it in the box. Cover the box almost entirely with a thin blanket, ensuring that there is enough ventilation to prevent the babies from suffocating. It’s normally enough to leave a one-inch gap at the end. Place the babies in a quiet, out-of-the-way location, such as an adult’s room.

If the room temperature is between 68 and 72 degrees, no additional heat is required; however, if it is colder than that, additional heating is required. Use a low-heat heating pad and position it under one half of the box only. We do it this way so that if it gets too hot, the babies can switch to a cooler area. DO NOT place babies directly on a heating pad, as this may cause severe burns. 

If the babies are with their mother, but she is not caring for them (and you are certain she is ignoring them), you will need to detach her from them to protect them. Rabbit milk is high in calories, and kittens (baby rabbits) just nurse for a few minutes per day, so don’t assume she doesn’t care for them just because you don’t see them eat.

If you believe they are being ignored, you may look into the following: Is it cold in there? Are they crying for more than a few minutes prior to (or during) feeding time? Is it true that they are blue? Is there any shriveling of the skin? Pinch the skin at the nape of the neck gently together to check for dehydration. They are dehydrated whether if they remain together or linger in a tent.

A healthy kitten has a round belly, is warm, gains weight daily, and cuddles with its littermates. Something must be done if they are dehydrated, freezing, losing weight, or becoming hurt.

What Should I Feed Them?

Kitten Milk Replacer (KMR) or goat milk, which can be purchased at pet stores or even a nearby veterinarian’s office, can be fed to baby rabbits. We add one tablespoon of 100 percent heavy whipping cream (no sugar) to each can of KMR because rabbit milk has the most protein (15%)  and high-fat content too of all mammals. 
The majority of kits will not nurse from store-bought baby animal bottles. Use a sterile oral syringe instead, which can be found at most pharmacies. These nipples, which come with a syringe, are a safer option, but you may not be able to find them locally/right away. It’s best to feed baby rabbits no more than twice a day, but it can take a few more feedings, particularly at first, to get a sufficient amount into them.

Go to your nearest health food store and get a bottle of ACIDOPHILUS to help the kits maintain healthy gut bacteria. Request the capsules with the “grainy things” within as they are much easier to mix than the powdered form, and mix a small amount into the formula with each feeding.

Feed the newborns twice a day separately by using these measurements.

Newborn – 1 week

  • 4-5 cc formula
  • 1-2 weeks
    • 10-15 cc formula
  • 2-3 weeks
    • 15-30 cc formula
  • 3-6 weeks, until weaned
    • 30 cc formula

How Do I Feed It?

Baby rabbits lie on their backs and eat from their mothers. You may wrap a soft face cloth or hand towel around the baby and put it on your lap or in the crook of your arm. If the bunny refuses to eat this way, do the best you can. It is essential that you allow the baby to eat at its own rate, particularly if it is not willingly sucking from the syringe, and do not force it down their throat. If you squirt the liquid in too fast, it will get into the rabbit’s lungs, causing it to suffocate.

Conclusion

To conclude, taking care of newborn rabbits whether wild or domestic takes careful attention just like any other newborn animals like kittens or puppies. Any form of negligence or carelessness can have a negative impact later on and may even result in death. Be sure that you are prepared and have done enough research to become a responsible and loving owner of your pet bunny.

https://www.rabbitproducersassociation.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/What-To-Feed-Baby-Rabbits-Without-A-Mother-1.jpghttps://www.rabbitproducersassociation.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/What-To-Feed-Baby-Rabbits-Without-A-Mother-1-150x150.jpgNetherland Dwarf RabbitUncategorizedJust like any other newborn mammal on the planet, rabbit kittens are dependent on their mothers for survival as their source of nutrition comes from the milk of the mother. If the kitten is somehow separated from its mother, then it is in a risky situation as not feeding...All you need to know about Netherland Dwarf Rabbit