For most people, rabbits are the most favourite kind of animals to keep as domestic pets. If you are a lover of rabbits, and by some stroke of bad luck, you encounter a rabbit’s nest and you find yourself in a situation where you are required to feed a baby rabbit, don’t fret, just follow these simple instructions and you will do just fine.
The first thing to note is that baby rabbits are soft, furry, and small and they need you to handle them with care, and their feeding diets depend upon the age of the baby rabbit. These baby rabbits need a lot of care, irrespective of how or where you may have gotten them from. Feeding these rabbits is a very delicate issue and you must use caution.
The best option you have to feed these baby rabbits without a mother is with formula milk. Your diet plan or chart for the baby rabbit should take into consideration the age of the rabbit. Always remember to dilute the formula milk before feeding these baby rabbits. Your feeding routine matters a lot because this can either save lives or end the life of your baby rabbit.
How often should you feed Baby Rabbits?
Normal healthy rabbits are only needed to be fed twice daily, specifically once in the morning and once in the evening. The daily diet of these rabbits should consist of;
1. Full supply of hay or grass
2. Small amounts of fruits, vegetables or leafy plants, excluding avocado.
3. Little quantities of good quality commercial rabbit mix or pellets (up to 25g per kg of the rabbit’s body weight)
You can also add a variety of rabbit treats to their diets. These rabbit treats are normally sold in pet shops and your pet rabbits practically relish them. However, these rabbit treats should not form a major part of your rabbit’s diet. They should only be given occasionally, as these treats can cause various health complications like obesity when they are given in huge quantities.
Just like a human, each rabbit has its own taste when it comes to food especially treats. Not all rabbits like the same thing but nevertheless it is still important to know the kinds of food that your pet rabbit should eat so as to stay healthy and live a fulfilled life.
Keep in mind that a rabbit also eats their faeces in order the optimize the nutrients from their food. If you notice this feeding habits in your rabbits, stay calm, it is perfectly normal.
How can I give artificial feeding when the rabbit does not feed her babies?
Rabbit mothers are the best feeders for their rabbits. Humans can not simply replace them. But that does not mean your intentions are any less noble and you are more than welcome to help your baby rabbits. But before feeding them, make sure that the mother rabbit is no longer taking care of her little ones.
When mothers don’t feed their baby rabbits it is probably due to three reasons; It can be that the mother rabbit has rejected her own babies and refuses to feed them, or the mother rabbit has died either killed by predators or fallen prey to disease, or it could be that the mother rabbit has become a danger to her own babies. Sometimes mother rabbits can be very aggressive towards their little ones, they can even begin to eat them. Reasons, why this happens, is still not clear.
In any of the above situations, you can decide to take these baby rabbits into your care and attempt to feed them in the proper way to save their lives.
Using a nozzle or syringe is the best way to feed baby bunnies without a mother. If you are going to feed these baby rabbits with their proper diet which is the milk formula, then you must follow these simple instructions and be very careful while doing so.
The first step is to lie down the baby rabbit into your hand while feeding the baby do not turn the baby rabbit with the stomach facing up. What you need do is to imitate the stance of the mama rabbit while they feed them. Just raise their head up a little during the feeding process. They must assume that they are in the same position they normally take while feeding on their mother.
Fill up the syringe with the right amounts of the milk formula needed to feed the baby and place the tip of the syringe close to the mouth of the baby bunny. Do not force the syringe inside its mouth.
Then squeeze the syringe very carefully while making sure that the nozzle is not in the baby’s mouth, then also push out little amounts of the milk formula out of the nozzle and place it close to the baby’s mouth. This will allow the kitten to sense the milk formula. The baby will then start to feed on the milk formula when it senses the milk near its mouth. If you notice the baby has started to feed, then squeeze out a little more milk from the syringe. Never squeeze the syringe while its in the baby’s mouth.
Always ensure that you squeeze out small amounts of the formula, if you squeeze out huge amounts at once, it may get into the lungs of the rabbit which can lead to pneumonia or any kind of fatal injury. If you want to know if your baby bunny belly is full it will look round, if it isn’t looking around then you have to continue feeding them.
Note you are only allowed to increase their meal size when they increase in age and body size or weight.
What should I do if I found a nest of baby bunnies without a mom?
If you have stumbled upon a nest of rabbits that is been disturbed, first check out the conditions of the baby rabbits. If the little ones are not visibly injured, for example, they don’t seem to show any signs of bleeding or have any non-functioning limbs, the best thing to do will be to live the nest of rabbits alone, don’t touch or move the nest.
People who have compassion for animals, most especially lovers of rabbits, may think that the nest has been deserted because the mama rabbit is nowhere to be found, but sometimes it isn’t always like that. Mother rabbits are smart creatures, they only visit the nest when it is absolutely necessary, so as to avoid attracting the attention of predators and vile humans to the nest.
The best-case scenario is that the mother rabbit is probably somewhere nearby, and will go back to the nest when it is time to groom and feed the rabbits, usually in the morning and in the evening.
If it so happens that you or your child touches the baby bunnies, don’t panic. Just cover the nest and walk away from the baby bunnies. Handling the babies might lead to injuries for them if they are not handled with care.