Bunny nursing

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Janellek

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My bunny kindled supposedly 12 hours ago and I am wondering when she will feed them! I don’t want to be stressing her constantly checking. Could really use some advice:)
 

Madelyn L.

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rabbit moms only feed their kits throughout large time spans during the day. Just make sure she starts nursing within the next 2-3 hours. If you have left her, it is possible she nursed them while you were gone. Check the babies for milk bellies (round, full white stomachs) which will tell if she’s nurses them or not
 

Janellek

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It says online between 12 and 5 they like to nurse them... can I wait? Yes I just checked in the babies I was also wondering if I should flip my bunny over and put the babies on one at a time to nurse? I think she can produce... her nipples are longer than my other bunnies nipples. Should I try that?
 

Janellek

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Also there still active so there not starving:) which is good 👍 but is anyone able to flip there bunny over and send a pic of what the reg nipples look like lol 😆 I am paramours and I can find a pic of normal nipples online:(
 

Janellek

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I don’t have kitten milk so if I need to feed them tonight it might be cow milk... will that work for just the night if all doesn’t go well?
 

Mariam+Theo

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I would hold each baby up to her so they can nurse. DO NOT give them cow milk. Go ahead and plan on a trip to the store in the morning to get KMR kitten milk, fresh goat milk (you will need to go to a farmers market for this), and heavy whipping cream. Good luck! I hope the babies are okay!
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Janellek

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I am just wondering how you keep mom still while your doing that... also how do I know she can produce milk?
 

Janellek

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Well good news she fed the babies but some didn’t get quite enough so I am gonna go get some goats milk and KMR luckily we already have heavy cream
 

JBun

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It would be much better to try and carefully hold the babies that didn't get enough, to her belly for a little extra milk. There is an extremely high risk of aspiration when attempting to hand feed kits from a syringe. And if this happens, they almost always will die from aspiration pneumonia. It's always better to not intervene with a mom and kits unless it's absolutely necessary.

 

Preitler

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Handfeeding is a last resort, the odds are high for making things worse if done unnecessarily. If she's feeding them in the first 24h that's fine, it can take up to 48h for the milk to drop in rare cases.
If she did feed them already, even when it was not much, I definitly would not handfeed them and risking to upset their little bellies with stuff that's a far cry from .the real thing, rabbit milk is something rather special.

Give mom lots of food, way more than normal.
 

LadyGrey

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Eye dropper has been a real life saver for me. I use wholemilk and powered goats milk, ive found kits are more likely to reject the taste of kmr.
Milk need be kept warm 90deg.
Kits should be warmed up prior to feeding.
Newborn kits should be fed 1 drop at a time. Just eye drop it on their fuzzy lips and should lick it up. As they grow accustomed to the milk you'll find they might start latching onto your eyedropper and feeding speeds up.
 

zuppa

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My bunny kindled supposedly 12 hours ago and I am wondering when she will feed them! I don’t want to be stressing her constantly checking. Could really use some advice:)
Hi, you better stop checking on her you only stressing her. It can be up to 48 hours after giving birth when she will have milk, and babies will survive, but more often she will nurse in the first 24 hours (that is if she is feeling safe and undisturbed). You better cover her area over the nest with a blanket or something and let her be.

You can check on the babies once a day in the mornings if their bellies are nice and round, and best do it when she is not there, because some mothers can even abandon kits if you show too much attention to the nest. I understand it is your first litter and you are overexcited but please don't try hand feeding them or 'saving' them right now, rabbits are excellent mothers and will take care of their kits if you will not disturb them.

We've seen in this forum cases when girls tried 'to help' raising the babies and in fact made more harm than help, and babies can die so please please do not kill them, keep her space private and make sure she has unlimited high protein food, lots of fresh water and hay available all the time, and stress-free environment. If you will keep watching her she will not feel safe and won't be feeding while you are watching, only rarely some super relaxed rabbits would do that in your presence, most will wait until no one is watching them.
 

zuppa

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You can offer mother rabbit some rolled oats if you worry if will help with producing milk. What food is she getting right now? What pellets, can you tell us what brand, ingredients, percentage of protein, calcium, fiber? How much she is getting, what else you feed her, what greens/vegs, does she have enough fresh water? What hay?
 

Janellek

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She is doing well the runt died I haven’t been checking on them often but this morning I found 2 dead bodies🥺 but the rest were still fine:) I have been trying to stop thinking about them. Mom is getting unlimited pellets and hay (obviously) and gets her veggies Doubled. She has been doing a god job. I didn’t try feeding them that formula because I wanted to wait (didn’t use it) but thing have been going pretty well other than the sick ones passing away.
 

Preitler

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How many are there? If you notice that some get less milk than the others you can take the fatter 3rd of the litter out for one feeding, that doesn't hurt when they are well fed and gives the others a good meal, which can make a difference.
 

Janellek

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Sadly the other babies have died I think they weren’t healthy:( thanks for your help and support. I didn’t end up using any formula or anything. The babies were just not healthy.
 

LadyGrey

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Were they outdoor bunnies? They may have froze. I have a feeling she didnt actually feed them otherwise they should have lasted a good 72 hours after the first feeding. My "Nini" just had 5 babies and she hasnt fed them in 24 hours so I eye dropper fed them for 4 hours ,1 drop at a time. Hopefully she will get over this Anxiety spell and feed her babies soon.
 

Janellek

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They were 3.5 days old when they passed away. They had round bellies. The temperature in the cage was 23 Celsius so they had something wrong with them:(
 
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