If you have to hand rear a baby...

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Flashy

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What, in your opinion, is the best formula to feed?

And what methods need to be used to help that baby thrive?

(This is all presuming there is no way to foster the baby to somebunny else, or get mum to feed it).
 

hillrise

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The most commonly recommended formulas are goat's milk, and Kitten Milk Replacment (KMR brand). I've never had to hand rear kits, myself, but one lady I know says she was most successful using goats milk mixed with baby formula (and optionally whipped cream to make it more rich like rabbit's milk).

Use an eyedropper to give it to the baby (let him lick/suck it--don't squeeze it in). Make sure the baby is upright when feeding it so it doesn't drown. Fill to round, but don't overfeed (the mothers will usually only feed them once a day). Use a warm wet cloth on it's bottom to help it relieve itself (they can't do it on their own initially). Keep it in a warm nest box (preferably with its siblings...if not, try a heating pad on /very/ low heat...they make nestbox heaters). Warm water bottles can also be used, but you have to keep an eye on it, because if it goes cold, you'll be working backwards. You can stop giving it formula about a week after it shows itself capable of eating solid food (usually will start nibbling a few days after its eyes are open).
 

irishbunny

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I had reared two week olds on a formula of kitten milk, cream and goats milk. They really thrived on it and gained an ounce every two days. I was lucky though they had been getting their Mother's milk for two weeks which gave them a great start.
 

naturestee

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I don't have the time to look up my old thread on Dora (actually, I think my hubby Mr. Stee started that thread, in case you wanted to look), but my vet had us do KMR or Esbilac puppy milk (after reading the puppy milk seemed to be a better choice) with some half-and-half mixed in. A second vet recommended adding a little goat milk to the mix, but I stuck with what we started with.

Also: Probiotics! Keep an eye out for any of your older, healthy bunnies that tend to leave cecals laying around because you may need to force-feed one to a baby with diarrhea. It's probably what saved Dora's life. She and her sibling (RIP) were likely about 7 days old when I got them and very emaciated and had lost another sibling and the mom earlier that day. Dora will be turning 3 very soon. :)
 

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