How long can a baby go without milk?

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grumpybabies

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Following on from my other thread, i'm not 100% if one lot of babies was fed by mum, one seems slightly round, and one seems flatish at the sides and the runt is skinny as before, he doesn't have the strength or the body function to fight for the milk. Anyway, as i'm not sure if these guys have been fed, do i leave them with mum tonight still and just hope she is feeding them? There are very lively at the moment, but i'm worried mum may have abandoned them because i've stressed her out too much with baby moving and checking too much, and with trying to hold her to feed the runt. Has anybody have a usually good mum abandon their babies because of inteference? I really wish i'd never tried to put daughter back in now, everything would be fine now if i hadn't :tears2:
 

bunnybunbunb

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It sounds like the runt has no chance really. Your hard struggling is just stretching out the poor baby's pain. I am not saying let it starve or kill it, but it is really stretching out is sad start to life.

I doubt she has abandoned them. I have had does skip days of feeding due to stress. Just leave her be for a while. if you plan to have the runt feed hold the daughter over him and see if that works.
 

grumpybabies

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Well thanks for the reassurance about the feeding, she normally feeds in the late evening but i was checking every half hour practically until 1 am and she hadn't fed, but on checking again after my post the flattish sides one didn't look too bad, so maybe i was just stressing for nothing, but to be on the safe side, shall i swap the babies over tonight so last night's fed ones go with mum and the ones i'm not 100% sure about get to be with daughter who definitely did feed? It's just if mum's ones weren't fed last night i don't want to risk them not being fed again tonight, hence the title of this thread. Neither mum nor daughter will let me hold them above the babies to feed they kick so hard when i put them near that they could seriously hurt the babies :(And as for the runt Felix, he passed away in my hands earlier today :tears2:But i know he probably was in pain so i'm relieved for him. Binky free Felix.
 

bunnybunbunb

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I am sorry about Felix :( It seriously sucks(that sounds so childish, but it is true) because you get so close to the ones struggling the most. You spend so much time with them trying to pull them through, only to be crushed when they die.

They may not be feeding because you are constantly bugging them? You think? xD Just leave them be a bit, if they do not feed them there is nothing you can do if you can not hold the does over the babies. Unless you could find a breeder willing to foster and that is slim due to disease. You can not raise them on KMR either.

Have you tried a box JUST big enough for the doe to be in? Put the babies under her and either cover it so she can't get out or move much or food? I have raised a litter this way and it was so amazing because I was so close to the babies.
 

grumpybabies

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Well it looks like mum fed the babies while i was at work, i'm hoping it's not just my imagination, but i'm pretty convinced! I checked them for the last time tonight at about 8 so i will check them as soon as i can wake up lol
 

aurora369

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It's always good to check the babies regularly, but not hover. You want to give mom the freedom to create her own feeding schedule, and many moms don't feel comfortable nursing in front of people.

If the babies are looking fed (somewhat round) and they are active (sqeaking/wiggling when touched), then they should be doing fine.

--Dawn
 

grumpybabies

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Well i checked them all at 630am and daughter's have been fed but not mum's. Mum's still look healthy, two still look slightly podgy but one looks less podgy but all are active and again they don't squeal when i put my hand in the nest so they don't seem like they are starving, but i'm sure they haven't been fed. I'll hope she feeds them in the day again, but if she hasn't fed them by the time i get back from work shall i put them with daughter who does feed hers? I really don't want to do that because mum has been a great mum in the past and i've messed it up and i'm mad at myself for it, but i did think i was doing best.
 

BlueGiants

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I'm sorry you lost the little one. The mother may have known something was wrong with it and rejected it because of that. If the babies are active and moving about, leave them til tonight. Check them late, before you go to bed. If they have round bellies, mom is doing what she should. Some does take a couple of days to get on a schedule.
 

grumpybabies

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When you say leave them until tonight, if they aren't fed by the time i go to bed, what should i do? Mum has had a litter before and wasn't set to a feeding time, but it was the evening i think, so i don't want them going another full day without food. Sorry this isn't making too much sense. If she hasn't fed them while i'm at work now it will be Monday during the day since possibly they got fed last, and so if i leave them tonight, (tue) in case she feeds but then she doesn't, it means it will be late wed night they will get fed by daughter, is that not too long? Or after mum's usual evening feeding time tonight should i give them to her daughter? Will daughter reject 3 new ones? She didn't reject the 4 when i first gave them to her so hopefully she won't.
 

BlueGiants

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If they don't look like they have been fed tonight, take the whole nestbox out and put the daughter over them (in the box) for a few minutes. Hold her gently and make sure she doesn't hurt them. See if they nurse willingly. If they nurse and look well, remove the daughter and put her back with her kits and put the boxback with the momma. IftheMommadoesn't feed them by tomorrow evening, I'd put them all together with the daughter's litter. She can't count and should be able to take care of all of them. The extra demand will cause her to produce more milk.

Stay calm and don't get upset. They can read your apprehension and may interpret that as a threat.You are doing a great job looking out for them and I'm glad they have you. (It's a great thing that you had 2 does kindle at the same time!)
 

grumpybabies

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I will try that but i have tried so hard before with daughter and mum holding them over babies and they just kick so hard and it stresses them out so much that i really don't want to try it really, that's why i am so desperate, because if mum hasn't fed them then she has abandoned them because of the stress i caused her trying toget her to feed the runt using that method, and because of the stress of putting daughter back in i guess. Either way it means i don't want to touch the mothers let alone stress them again. I am actually just trying to find the post about the animal communicators, i'm not a beliver but i'm so desperate!
 

BlueGiants

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If you are that stressed over it and feel that the rabbits are stresed too, take the babies away from the Mother doe and put them in with the daughter's litter. And leave them alone. If you are worried about her rejecting the new babies, put a TINY smudge of vanilla extract on her forehead, and them touch each of the babies too. They will all smell the same and she won't know the difference.
 

grumpybabies

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Well i put the remaining babies in with daughter and she's doing a great job, they all seem to be getting fed, and she's very aggressively looking after them, if i don't move my hand quick i will actually get bitten, not just warned! Anyway my one remaining concern is that the babies are now 7 days old, and most have their full fur, but the 2 smaller ones that i left with mum so they could get more exclusive feeds are still quite pink. Is this because she didn't feed them they are developing slower or does every litter grow at slightly different rates? The 2 babies have their darker coloured fur, but not all of their white bits so they are getting there. Also the smallest baby is about 2 thirds of the size of the biggest baby, is this quite natural? It may be because they are from the different mums, one being a lot larger than the other? My main concern though is the lack of full fur at this age. and if that's ok i can just finally enjoy having the babies and not stressing all the time!
 

BlueGiants

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It is possible that the smaller baby is a runt, just smaller or less developed than the others. And not being fed as soon as the others may contribute to slower growth. They should catch up.

You really have to stay calm. Take a deep breath... and let the Daughter raise them the best she can. You have done everything possible to help them along. Now you have to sit back and relax. Check the nest once a day. Try removing the Doe to a safe place (maybe with a specialtreat!). Do a quick head count, put them back, put the Doe back. (Honestly, no one can promise that they will all live... this is part of breeding/raising rabbits. We all do the absolute very best we can. But don't blame yourself if something happens.)

Once their eyes are open, they will be a lot of fun! They will start coming out of the nestbox around 19-21 days of age.
 

grumpybabies

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Bluegiants thanks again for your words of advise, hopefully if is nothing to worry about then, i know i've got to accept some may die but i blame myself for not doing more, or doing too much lol I actually brought mum and babies into my room last night because it was meant to be cold, but she seems still to be looking after them so she must be a great mum, i'll just sit back and enjoy now!
 

BlueGiants

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That many babies in one nest and such an attentive mom... they would probably be just fine outside as long as the temps are above freezing. And leaving them outside might be less stressful on the mom, than bringing them inside.

You're doing a great job with them! (DO NOT blame yourself for anything! You're doing FINE!)
 

grumpybabies

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Shall i take them back outside then today? It is a warm day, but will yet another change stress her more? In 7 days she's been ripped away from her babies, 2 days later put back with them and her mum, fed her babies, taken away for another day, attempts at force feeding babies, next day given 3 babies, next day given 3 more, next day moved into the house, then next day put out again?!!! I don't want her to abandon them like her mum did!
 

BlueGiants

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Where ever you are most comfortable with them, leave them. If you are going tokeep them indoors, they will probably all have to stay indoors for the rest of the winter, because they won't grow thicker winter coats. (That's a major committment for the next 5-6 months).

If you usually keep them outdoor and it's above freezing, you can safely put them outside and leave them there. They will get a lovely coat of fur to keep them warm. Once they reach 10-14 days of age, they can even handle lower temperatures. But you really should pick one spot and let her raise them. Yeah, they've been through a lot in the last 7 days... but it sounds like she is being a good mom and should handle it well enough. That may be why she is so protective of them. They've been moved around a lot.

Honestly, I've had babies born outdoors at -4 F (-20 C) with no complications. Rabbits handle the cold temperatures very well. Heat (above85 F) is much worse!
 

grumpybabies

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Well i moved them outside last night, i think i was panicing about everything because of all the problesm i've had. My first litter was born in December and i left them outside. I probably didn't even say they are in a shed outside. So they are outside, i tookthe opportunity to clean the toilet area, checked them this morning and they are all fed and happy, one still slightly pink though! That's it i'm leaving them alone now i promise. Onecheck each morning for full tummies and that is it! Thanks for everyone's help talking me through the stress. Now i just had to decide what i am going to do with the babies, i was getting my numbers down and this happens lol
 
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