Emergency! Newborn rabbit care? Please help!!!

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GigiRabbits

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Hello!
So a 1-eyed rabbit gave birth on our cold, concrete driveway, and then ran away. She didn't come back. We took the babies inside before a crow could eat them, and to help keep them warm. (a crow already ate the placenta) They are now in a plastic 'brooder box' (a plastic tub that is the same kind as one I have used to raise newborn lovebirds in), in a dark room; there is a hot water bottle (in a sweater) in the box, and then on top of that is a puppy-pee pad, and then some CareFresh on top. I took the babies (while wearing gloves, of course), and put them right in the, and they burrowed into the carefresh. There is also a towel on top of the box, with just a corner left open for oxygen. We made up a formula (RABBIT HEALTH: Care and Feeding of Orphaned Domestic Rabbits), and are going to feed them soon. They were born exactly 4 hours ago.
So am I doing anything wrong?
How can I improve their setup?
I just need any advice I can get!
(all of the animal shelters are closed in my area due to Covid, but I have experience with guinea pigs, and I have raised 1-day-old birds before, so I know I can do this, but I just need advice!)
Thank you!
 

zuppa

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Hi. Please contact wildlife rehabilitator, here's a list

>>How to find a wildlife rehabilitator

Even if the babies will survive you will have to let them back to the wild and if you keep them home they will have very slim chances to survive in the wild, so they need to be trained by a specialist. //You won't be able to keep them when they will grow up (if they survive) because it is illegal.

I understand the pain that you can't leave them to die when you saw them but they will be in a great danger when you let them go into the wild in a few weeks.

So contact them as soon as possible and talk to them what they suggest to do.
 

GigiRabbits

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I'm sorry, but I cannot do that. I am not comfortable sharing my location online, so I will just say that I am not in the USA. Again, all of the places where I live are closed. But yes, I know that I should not keep wild animals, which is why I will be releasing them as soon as they are old enough. I at least want to increase their little bunny lives by a few weeks. So if someone could please help me to do that, I will again ask for advice for taking care of the bunnies!!
 

Watermelons

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You need to contact a wildlife rehabber asap. Is there is reason you don't want to? Most will get back to you the next day if you leave a message.

If you want to give them a fighting chance that is the best thing to do. Rabbits do not do well being bottle raised. Chances of survival are very low regardless of advice given.
 

zuppa

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I'm sorry, but I cannot do that. I am not comfortable sharing my location online, so I will just say that I am not in the USA. Again, all of the places where I live are closed. But yes, I know that I should not keep wild animals, which is why I will be releasing them as soon as they are old enough. I at least want to increase their little bunny lives by a few weeks. So if someone could please help me to do that, I will again ask for advice for taking care of the bunnies!!
I am sorry but this is very naive. If you will manage to hand raise them until they are 4 weeks so they can be released to the wild, you realize they will be sentenced to die then, maybe same day or hour, because they won't have skills needed to survive in the wild. There's very cruel life there, rabbits are prey animals and there are so many predators, because you will be ''taking care'' of them, will feed them and will protect from cold, they won't be able to hide from predators, find suitable food, they will be there alone in the night scared to death by all the sounds and wild life around. They will have no chance. And all this because you just want to keep them for a few weeks to play nurse. This is very cruel.

I swear I saw California as your location, if you are not in the US you can just use your local search engine and contact similar services in your country. You need to get professional advice from rehabbers. They don't even have to be open, lots of people work from home online now, there's many ways to try if you really want to save the babies.
 

GigiRabbits

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The one place that I know of that could take in the rabbits is already overwhelmed with animals. I do not want to burden them with more creatures when they are already far too occupied. But thank you for your help; I already tried all of that. Have a lovely day!
 

Mariam+Theo

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The one place that I know of that could take in the rabbits is already overwhelmed with animals. I do not want to burden them with more creatures when they are already far too occupied. But thank you for your help; I already tried all of that. Have a lovely day!
Maybe see if a worker would take the babies? They will know how to raise them so the babies can eventually be released into the wild. And, you will not be overwhelming the rescue but still helping to save the bunnies.
 

JBun

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If you are not in the US or Canada, but are in Europe or another country, and/or these aren't wild cottontails but are wild or feral domesticated european rabbits, the laws are different concerning the public being able to care for these rabbits, which it would be legal for you to continue to care for them and either raise them for rerelease, or raise them to keep as pets. If you're in Canada and they are feral domestic rabbits, I would recommend raising them as pets and either keeping them or rehoming them, as these rabbits shouldn't be rereleased to the wild. If you're in Europe, you can do either, raise for release or to keep as a pet.

It sounds like you have the care part under control. The biggest risk is possible aspiration occurring from hand feeding. So great care needs to be taken when feeding them. Also making sure they stay warm, but have a cool place to crawl to if they get too warm so they don't over heat. Then making your plan for either raising as a pet or raising for release. If you raise for release, you'll need to start to teach them about foraging when the appropriate age. This link has info on raising baby cottontails for release, so might have some helpful info for you.

 

GigiRabbits

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Thank you, that is a great website! It had some very useful information! I am not in the US or Canada, so I will continue to raise them. But I am going to release them, as I feel like they would would be happier in nature rather than shut up in some cage with me (although they are very cute, and I would love to keep them as pets!) Thank you so much for that website link!
 

TreasuredFriend

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I'm encouraged that you'll give them a chance. Newborns are difficult to raise from early on as colostrum from mom's milk jugs are needed for their gut to safely convert.

Yes, wildlife rehab humans get overwhelmed and certain groups have much lower respect for patiently tending to cottontails. Or even caring about them.

Speaking from experience during the years I rehabbed. I still keep in touch with a friend who will care for as many as possible, and give the infants or orphans a fighting chance to survive.
 

GigiRabbits

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Don't worry - I made sure to add some colostrum tablets/powder to the formula (and I gave it a couple of hours to fully mix in and dissolve). I know that they are very difficult to raise, but I want to give them a chance at life!! Thank you for the link to that website!
 

GigiRabbits

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Hello! Sorry for digging up an old thread, but I wanted to share some good news! All 3 of the Baby bunnies survived!! We raised them, weaned them and released them! They are doing great and they come by our yard daily :) No, we could not find a rehabilitator who would take them, so yes, we did raise them. But they are alive, healthy and wild once more! :) here’s a pic of one of them, taken a few days after their release.
 

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zuppa

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Well done! Let's hope they will survive in the wild
 

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