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Old 06-18-2017, 01:10 AM   #1
Rosietheriveter
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Default How to handle massive litter

Hi. I'm new here, but I have come across an issue I need another opinion on.

My momma bunny had a litter of 17 babies. At day 2 she is starting to discard some. Same ones each time. I would expect that she may struggle to feed a lot of them.

As of right now I am keeping the discarded ones rounded back up and hoping to get them past day 3-4 so they get colustrum. If not, where would I buy such a product or what would I be looking for product wise? Could I use a heat lamp to warm a separate nest?

I have goats milk culturing with keifer that I can mix with kitten replacer and supplement some feedings or bottle feed. Does this sound like a decent food for them? I find varied suggestions for ratios of milk replacer to water. Does anyone with experience know better?

Or would it be better to find a person with a rabbit who could potentially foster some to her nest?

I have one other rabbit, but her babies are at a week and she had 11 for her first litter so I doubt she wants more.

They are all healthy babies. I do t mind so much when one or two dies to help lessen the burden on the mom but it seems a little sad to let so many go.


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Old 06-18-2017, 12:45 PM   #2
UFCreel
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Kitten milk replacer. Try to find the smallest nipple you can or use an eye dropper. Good Luck. Goats milk in a pinch. https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=...wJZYwcQQQf4kgw


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Old 06-18-2017, 02:43 PM   #3
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The mom who had 11 (down to 8) I ended up bottle feeding two. I put them back in the nest after so there is a chance they can get some mom milk too, but they are half the size because they missed a lot of feedings from the new mom.
Would this practice of hand feeding 2 day old bunnies and returning them to the nest work or will she discard them? There is 5 obviously underfed babies. They still look like newborns and the rest are starting to get some fluff.
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Old 06-19-2017, 12:16 PM   #4
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Tough call. I expect the mom separated the weaker kits since she knew she couldn't feed all of them. Best thing is to foster to another doe. If not yours, to someone else with a nursing doe. We've done this, but we never had that many kits in a litter! You can try doing the hand feed part of the time. Mom shouldn't reject them unless she doesn't think they'll live.
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Old 06-24-2017, 12:58 AM   #5
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Well, she lost three right away and discarded 5. They all it hand fed and returned. She lost another (it had diarrhea) and returned all her babies to the discard pile that were there before. She stepped on one that was starting to look good and killed it... I hand fed them again and she took back one more. She lost one at day 4 and 3 were very skinny. I was pretty sure they would die, but I hand fed them anyway and the next day she fed them!

So she has 11 left and is feeding them all. There is a size difference though between the ones that were underfed before.

I have another nest were I hand fed some skinny babies. They were smaller too, but they opened their eyes now and started hopping around around. The weight difference is narrowing now that they can eat on their own so I think the littlest bunnies have a fair chance

If I had this problem again, without a foster mom, I would hand feed babies sooner, at day 1. I think some of them died from dehydration because they didn't get enough to begin.

I also didn't mind her losing a few because I know it was too much for her, but she seems to be undisrupted by the hand feeding. I think the keifer mixed in also helped. I have used straight Kitten Replacer before which had a 100% mortality rate.
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Old 06-25-2017, 02:19 AM   #6
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Hopefully your doe won't have more than she can feed next time. Straight KMR isn't the best choice for hand feeding. There's a formula on this forum that includes goats milk that seems to work better if you want to search for it.


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