She said she knows a rehabber is best, but in the past they have refused. She has looked for the nest but cannot find it. She thought it was odd this one is just out in the yard by itself.The eyes are barely open. There have been foxes relentlessly pursuing her pets lately.She presently has five cats missing due to the onslaught of the foxes.Thanks for the replies and links.
It's hard enough trying to keep domestic kits alive without Mom, but it's harder still with wild ones. She could try using goat's milk with a dropper a few times a day, but her chances of keeping it alive are very slim. Sorry
Thank you majorv. She said she did in the past, but it was many many years ago, before internet. Then her vet told her to use kitten replacement, and it worked fine. She was wondering if there was a better alternative or advice was different.I told her I was a member here and would ask.She is in Ohio.
I appreciate your sentiments about leaving wildlife alone. You do not have to tell me, really I am no child. I understand and agree completely. But some people have different outlooks on things, and you cannot sway them from what they will do. To her, at least trying, vs leaving it to the foxes...well she believes it is worth giving him a chance. It sat in the same spot all day. Earlier after the first reply to this thread she went back out to look and she could not find it. Hopefully momma came along and herded him back to the nest. Thank you again.
I understand. I would find it hard to not want to help one that young, especially if there are predators about. We've used KMR on domestic bunnies but I know of others who recommend goat's milk. Since it's not that easy for us to get goat's milk, we use KMR.
Goats milk replacer is best and seems to be the easiest way to ensure they are getting the fats and nutrition they need. There is a wildlife rehabilitater locally she uses it with high success. Its called Does Match. Just double the amount of formula that is mixed with the water KMR doesnt have enough fat in it for baby bunnies. Once their eyes open you can offer them grasses. If the bun doesn't have any white on its head it doesn't need milk, I have ended up with some pretty young ones that I took from my barn cat and fed up a little bit. They did okay with grass hay, and a warm box / cat crate. Make sure the bun can't see out. I had a jackrabbit once I took from some kids that killed itself running into the sides of the cage. In all honesty I used to worry a lot about the wild bunnies my cat was hunting until I understood the reality of it. Most wild bunnies don't survive six months in the wild, there is a reason they reproduce so quickly. It really is a big commitment, and with such a low mortality rate heart breaking.
Thank you all for your help. She never did find him, but her dog seems to think there is something back there in the high grass, so hopefully it is the family of buns. She has been keeping her out of there.
Aside from it being difficult to hand raise wild rabbits, it's best not to bring them in the house if she has other pets. Wild animals can carry all kinds of illnesses or worms that they may be relatively immune to, but would wreak havoc on our domestic animals. That may be something good to let her know of for the future.
Also, wild rabbits never become "unwild." Their instincts are much different than our domestic rabbits. They are likely to injure themselves in confinement, potentially fatally. If they do survive until she feels it's okay to release, there is also the risk of them being too wild (nervous/skittish/afraid) to be kept domestically, but too domestic to survive in the wild. Usually that means something will catch it within days.
Generally speaking, by the time we find wild rabbits out and about, they are ready to be on their own. The exception may be if you mowed over a nest of babies with their eyes still closed. At that time, a wildlife rehabber is the best option. But once their eyes are open, they're often leaving the nest on their own.