surrogate mothers

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doug

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hi i am a new member, and i was wondering if some one could help me with a problem i am having with my rabbits.

i have a rabbit in a pen that lost her litter about 3 weeks ago, and ihave a rabbit outside of the pen running freely, and she had babiesabout 3 days ago, and tonight my dog found her nest, and tore it allup. we saved the babies, but don't know if the mother survived. willthe mother in the pen raise these babies? we don't know if she stillhas milk or not, but she is sitting with them and she is letting themnuzzle her, what should we do? will the mother come back to the nest tofind her babies, if she survived?
 

Carolyn

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Hi Doug,

I know more than a few breeders that have had a neglectful mother orone that died and put the babies with another rabbit and the otherrabbit took over the care of the babies.

Rabbits tend to feed their babies once a day and it's usually early inthe morning at dawn, around 5:00. It's of course best if the mother isstill around in which case, the babies can be returned to the nest.

If in the morning, the babies bellies are round and warm, she fed them.If not, then they'll need some help in getting fed. KMR and a littleheavy cream at the proper dosage is what many people give the babies.The dosage must be correct because overfeeding them is harmful to them.

For now, I'd let them spend the night with the other bunny and see whatthe morning brings. If the real mother's around, I'd put the babiesback in the nest.

In the meantime, just keep them nice and warm, and mimic the nest asbest as you can. The mother's fur and the hay usually provide forprotection against a chill. Some people have used heating pads turnedon low, but that can turn bad because they have been known to get toohot for the babies. I'd use some hay and if you have a bit of fur thatyou could take from the nest, it might be a good thing just to get themthrough the night.

-Carolyn
 

doug

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carolyn,

thanks alot, we'll try that. appreciate you getting back to us so fast.
 
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