help!!!!! baby bunnies

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Rosy

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hi, i have rescued 5 baby bunnies and their mom from someone who was incapable of caring for them. apparently, the bunnies were born about a month ago. they were left in a garbage bag since they were assumed to be dead. When i arrived, i found them in the bag and the mom and dad walking on top! i separated the mom and dad and now i have the 5 babies and their mom in my possession. attached are pictures of them now. they do not look a month old. will their mom feed them? do i have to feed them? please help!!!!! i put them in a cage together with their mother. was this the right thing to do?? also, they are all moving, and wriggling...
 

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Preitler

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They are not one month old, more like a week. 12 days if the eyes are open.
I would give them something to crawl under since there is no fur nest, like cotton wool, dryer lint, etc. to keep them warm, depending on what the bedding is and room temperature. But better too much insulation than not enough, they need body temperature for digestion and wiggle to their comfort zone anyway if it gets too warm.

If the doe wouldn't feed them they would be dead by now, and they look well fed and cared for. I think the doe does a good job there.

Keep the doe in a rather small cage with the nest for now, enough place to stretch out, eat and poop, but not a pen or something. Give her rest, lots of food and privacy. I would screen her cage off if she hasn't a room for herself. If you are not sure if she realizes that this is her nest you can dunk her nose into it, but I wouldn't stress her if she's not cool with being handled.

There'll quite likely be another litter in 2-3 weeks if dad was around, you'll have to seperate this kits then.
 
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Rosy

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thank you! the women was quite insistent that they were born a couple of weeks ago... it is a huge relief to hear that they look ok.
 

Preitler

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If there was a litter more than a month ago it died off unnoticed and this is already the second. More likely, dates got mixed up.

Feed the doe really a lot of what she's used to, when nursing they need about twice or more of what they normally eat, unlimited hay anyway.

Being moved is a big stress for a doe, so really give her quiet and privacy, some of my does do not nurse if someone is around.
 

Rosy

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thank you @Preitler! i will do that. how do i ensure the babies are warm enough? They are currently in my basement which tends to be a bit chilly. i set up a radiator near their cage to try and warm up the area. the bedding they are on is paper bedding. are they supposed to be covered with it? as of now, they are uncovered for safety reasons as i don't want them to suffocate. also, they don't stop moving and wriggling. is this normal?
 

zuppa

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Hi, you'd need to make a nest to keep them warm. Here's a short video, surely you don't have a proper nest box but you can use just washing up basin put some absorbing stuff then lots of hay, make a little hole and cover with something soft and fluffy, ideally if mother will let you do that you can pull some fur off her belly around the nipples or else her furr should come off easily now, and line the hole with fur (use cotton wool or what you have at hand there), then put babies in there, they will burrow inside and will staywarm because they will warm each other moving, but of course you can warm this nest a bit with hair dryer or placing a hot bottle for a few minutes to help them. Then all as Preitler said already make a small space for mother and babies for one-two weeks and provide with lots of hay, lots of water, unlimited pellets (she'd eat up to 4 daily portions to produce milk), if you feel she's hungry or worry if she has enough milk give her about a tablespoon of rolled oats daily.
If father was around you will possibly have another litter in 3-4 weeks but for now just separate father from them all and just make nest they will stay warm in it, make sure that whatever box you will use the sides are high enough so babies can't escape as they won't be able to get back into it and mother won't be able to bring them in so they can die of cold.

Good luck and keep us updated any question just ask and take pics of your nest and all setup we'll tell you more.

Babies look less than one week imo.


Here's another 2 mins video
 
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Preitler

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thank you @Preitler! i will do that. how do i ensure the babies are warm enough? They are currently in my basement which tends to be a bit chilly. i set up a radiator near their cage to try and warm up the area. the bedding they are on is paper bedding. are they supposed to be covered with it? as of now, they are uncovered for safety reasons as i don't want them to suffocate. also, they don't stop moving and wriggling. is this normal?
They cannot suffocate, no way, on the other hand low temperature can be a life threatening problem. They can't keep their body temperuture up when out in the open, with low temperature digestion doesn't work. They wriggle when they try to find a comfortable warm spot, not too cold or hot, and when they get disturbed. Normally you don't see anything of the kits until they leave the nest.

In nature, the nest is in an hole in the earth, consists of lots of hay with a ball of fur where the kits are in, and that hole gets sealed off with hay, grass and dirt except for a few minutes twice a day when the doe comes feeding. Most nestbox designs more or less simulate such a short tunnel (which keeps the kits from crawling out too), but most domestic rabbits lost the instinct to seal the nest of (only one of mine does it vigorously)

Since quite probably you don't have a stash of fur the cotton wool, dryer lint, or fur you can comb off other rabbits (if you can't pluck some from the doe, or if that would stress her) would come in handy. Anyway, as been said above, make a nest of soft hay, lots of it, it is a good insulator too. Also, the first thing kits start to nibble on is the hay in the nest, but that's not the concern for now.
You don't really need a nest real nestbox, an open cardboard box with about 4" walls will do. Check regularily after feeding (normally around dusk and dawn) that no kits are outside of the nest, they can be dragged out while latched on a teat.
 
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Augustus&HazelGrace

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I have used a cardboard box for a nestbox. If it was chillier then I would use a $2 blanket from Walmart cut in half folded in there. You can use the whole thing if you think that its too cold down there.
 

Rosy

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thanx everybody for responding! ur posts r really helpful. i made them a nestbox made out of a litter box. the bottom later is an old sweatshirt and t shirt. then is hay with cotton balls. ill post a pic of it as soon as i can.
im worried about one the kits. it is laying on its side weakly waving all four paws. he opens and closes his mouth from time to time. what can i do to help it? the others are way more active, burrowing through the nest box.
 

Rosy

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a small issue has developed regarding the nest box. the doe seems to think that it is her litter box and is relieving herself in it... is this harmful? the cage they are in now is kinda small as receiving these rabbits were so last second. it is the cage i used when my other rabbit was much younger. there isn't enough room for a nest box and litter box in it. what size cage should i purchase for them? @Preitler, u mentioned that i should not put them in a pen. what is the reason for that?
 

Rosy

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here is a photo of the doe in the nest box with her kitsbunny in nest box with kits.jpg
 

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For the kit in distress, does it look like it was being fed? You said you found the parents walking on the bag the kits were in? It may have internal injuries from being stepped on. It doesn’t sound good though.

You don’t want the doe peeing/pooping in the box the kits are in. You may need to provide another box for the kits or move the box out of the corner she’s peeing in.
 

Rosy

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@majorv how do i know if its being fed?
yes thats where i found them. yikes. i hope it will be ok. i will keep you guys updated.
the cage they are currently in is not that large. i dont think the doe was ever litter trained. i dont know if i will have room for two boxes.
 

majorv

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If it hasn’t been fed it will be thin and wrinkly. You can try to hold mom and see if the kit will suck but it sounds like it may be too weak.

Do you have an exercise pen you can place around the cage they’re in? This would allow the doe to get out of the cage, and you can place a litter box out there.
 

Rosy

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yes it is a bit wrinkly. it is not doing well. it is moving less and less. it is separate from the others for some reason. the other kits are moving a lot and clumsily climbing over each other
i have an exercise pen but my other rabbit ( a buck) currently occupies it. i will try to get another one. what size do you recommend i get?
 

zuppa

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You can try hand feeding as majorv suggested just be careful hold her tight

 

majorv

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I suspect there may be something wrong with this little one, especially if it’s apart from the others.

The pen doesnt need to be real big...maybe an area about 3-4’ by 4-5’ would give her extra space to run around and put a litter box in. Below is one we temporarily used when we had to house a rabbit inside.
IMG_1581227055.467647.jpg
 

Preitler

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The reason for a rather small cage was that the doe learns her surroundings and the position of the nest quickly - that point is moot now, she has figured it out already. Good girl.

About using the nestbox as litterbox - you can try to put a sheet of cardboard or whatever over it to create a cieling, at a height that is appr. at her neck when she sits up. If she peed in there replace the hay and any wet stuff, and wash the box. Some poos don't hurt.

About the weak kit, there could really be something wrong with it, that happens. If it were mine I would keep putting it back to the others. You can try to give it a feeding by holding the doe if she's not stressed out by that. (what I did was: towel on my lap, kit between my legs, doe on top - careful about her hind claws, if she struggles she can hurt the kit), there are other ways like putting the doe on her back.
 

Rosy

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sadly, the little one passed away last night.
when i came down this morning, i found a different kit separated from the others in a similar position! im really worried about it. it has been pretty active until now.
i brought the whole cage upstairs where it is warmer. i also got a different cage which is bigger. unfortunately, i had to go to college this morning and i wont be back until much later.
 

Rosy

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i would like to try hand feeding. i cant seem to find a local place that sells milk replacer for bunnies. would kitten (for cats) milk replacer work?
 
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