What do you feed wild rabbits babies
Caring For Orphan Baby Rabbits
Wild Baby Bunnies – Orphaned or Not?
Wild baby bunnies are most often not orphaned! Many people mean well when they contact HRS after discovering an “abandoned” nest of wild rabbits. Often they wish to “rehabilitate” them with some advice from others. The reality is fewer than 10% of orphaned rabbits survive a week, and the care that people attempt to provide can be illegal, unnecessary, and potentially harmful.
The best thing you can do is put the bunny right back where you found him, in the general area, as the mom will only come back at night to call and find him. Leave the area. If injured, please contact a wildlife rehabber or rabbit vet immediately! You can search Google for your state/country and wildlife rehabber. Also search your state + wild rabbit rehabbers. You can call your Humane Society for referral and also check here: http://www.owra.org/find-a-wildlife-rehabilitator If you find a baby with eyes open, and he appears healthy, leave him be.
I/My Dog/My Cat Found a Rabbit Nest! What Do I Do?
Rabbits hide their nests in plain view, often putting them in the open, sometimes in the middle of the lawn, as well as in brush piles and long grass. If you find a nest that has been disturbed, do all you can to restore and protect it. Do NOT bring it inside. If a dog has discovered the nest, keep your dog away from the area and reconstruct the nest with grasses. If need be, you can move the nest a few feet away where safer, even up to 5-6 feet away. A moved nest should always be covered with string in a tic tac toe pattern and monitored to be sure the mother found it and came back to the babies. She will scrabble away the surface area to feed her babies beneath her and then scrabble the earth, grass, leaves, back over the nest to hide it again so it’s pretty easy to see if the string has been disturbed and if the babies are warm.
Baby jackrabbits wait like this for mom
Babies should never be put back into a nest that has been flooded with water, has bugs/ants visibly crawling in and out, or if a baby has been killed and there is blood in the nest. Use common sense. Baby bunnies who have fleas are compromised and should be immediately taken to a wildlife rehabber or humane society, rabbit vet.
Rabbit mothers nurse their babies for approximately 5 minutes a day. Both wild and domestic mothers will be in the nest early in the morning and then again in the evening. The milk is very rich and the babies “fill up” to capacity within minutes. Mother rabbits do not “sit” on the babies to keep them warm as do some mammals and birds. They build a nest with fur and grasses which helps to keep the babies warm in between feedings. For domestic/pet rabbits, do not force a mother rabbit to sit in the nest box. You can pick up the babies and see if they are feeding by checking the size of their stomachs (should not be sunken in), the pinkness of their skin and activity level (they should not be blue in color or sluggish in movement) and the amount of time that you hear them crying (baby bunnies should be quiet most of the day…. if they are crying constantly then they are not getting fed). If you come across a nest of wild bunnies, and the mother is nowhere to be seen, please DO NOT disturb them.
If your dog disturbs a nest, or you find a wild bunny with his eyes open, please put him back if not injured. Mom will be coming back at night to call and feed him only once in the middle of the night. Do not take the bunny inside or feed him! IT IS A MATTER OF HIS/HER SURVIVAL AND UP TO US AS HUMANS TO LEAVE NATURE BE AND LET THE MOM CARE FOR HER YOUNG. We often hear of mothers moving their babies and their nests, and have seen moms come back every night for up to a week to look for her missing baby. Do not take the baby from the mom or she will be frantic. Many call or write saying, “… but it is raining, etc., ” but remember, these are wild bunnies and belong out there.
I/My Dog/My Cat Destroyed a Wild Rabbit Nest! What Do I Do?
Remake the nest as best you can with grasses, hay, straw in the same place. Nests can be moved to a safer place up to 10′ away from the original site and can be reconstructed if necessary. To make a new nest, dig a shallow hole about 3″ deep and put into it as much of the original material as you can recover, including the mother’s fur. Add dried grass as needed, and put the young back. Mother rabbits return to the nest to nurse only at night, staying away as much as possible so as not to attract predators. To determine if the mother is returning, create a tic-tac-toe pattern over the nest with straw, grasses or tiny twigs. Wait 24 hours to see if the twigs have been disturbed. She may be able to feed them without moving the twigs much, so double check–If the babies look healthy, are warm, then the mother is coming back. If they are cold, dehydrated, get them to a professional; do not care for them yourself. Please contact a Wildlife Rehabber or rabbit vet or Humane Society immediately. Google your state and wildlife rehabbers. Also check http://www.humanesociety.org/animals/resources/tips/find-a-wildlife-rehabilitator.html and http://www.owra.org/find-a-wildlife-rehabilitatorA healthy jackrabbit waiting for mom. Leave him be.
How Do I Know If the Wild Baby Bunnies Need Help?
Very young wild baby bunnies with eyes closed and ears back rarely survive in captivity, even given the most expert human care; and so it is very important to determine whether they really need help. Try to assess whether the infants seem warm and healthy or cold, thin, and dehydrated. One test for dehydration is to gently pinch the loose skin at the back of the neck. If it does not spring back in one second, or stays in a “tent,” the bunny is SEVERELY dehydrated and needs rehabilitation IMMEDIATELY by a professional rabbit vet or rehabber. Another test is to stroke the genital area to stimulate elimination if the eyes are closed. If the pee is brown and gritty, the mother rabbit has not been there to help the bunnies urinate. The brown, gritty urine is toxic, and the infant bunny must be cared for by a professional. Please contact a Wildlife Rehabber or rabbit vet immediately. Google your state and wildlife rehabber, call your Humane Society, and also check http://www.humanesociety.org/animals/resources/tips/find-a-wildlife-rehabilitator.html and http://www.owra.org/find-a-wildlife-rehabilitator.
Older baby bunnies who are found outside of the nest may not be orphaned or in need of assistance. This is most often the case. Baby cottontails are born without fur but develop a full coat in a week. Their eyes open in 10 days, and in three to four weeks they are weaned. At this age, they may explore the world outside of the nest but return there to sleep. They are not ignored by the mother but stay with the family group until four or five weeks of age. To determine whether a bunny of this age needs assistance, first see if the bunny feels cold to the touch; perform the dehydration test. Also look for bleeding, convulsing, fly larvae, broken limbs; if any, get to a rabbit vet or emergency vet immediately. If he is just out and about, leave him be. He is discovering his world, waiting for mom to return at night when we humans are asleep. Don’t assume because he is letting you pick him up, he needs help. They are prey animals, taught to freeze when a predator (or human) approaches. Leave him be!
What if the Baby Bunny is Injured?
Either call or take him to your local rabbit vet, humane society or animal shelter/animal control. Call first as often they will come pick up the baby. If after hours, contact a local emergency rabbit vet or rabbit vets found here and also here. The best thing you can do for an injured wild baby bunny is to get in touch with a skilled Wildlife Rehabber by searching your state/country and wildlife rehabber, or calling your Humane Society, and or trying this link http://www.humanesociety.org/animals/resources/tips/find-a-wildlife-rehabilitator. html and http://www.owra.org/find-a-wildlife-rehabilitator
Is there anything I can do to avoid orphaning wild baby bunnies?
The harsh reality is that many of us who care about wild baby bunnies may be contributing to the suffering and death. House cats who roam outside will kill about every other time they go out. And unlike feral cats who hunt because they are hungry, and kill immediately, house cats maul and torment their prey, sometimes skinning baby bunnies alive. Cat owners need to provide managed outdoor habitats for their cats – such as window boxes or pens. Providing a bell on your cat will help warn the wildlife if you cannot keep him inside. Keep your dogs on a leash with you if you see a rabbit nest.
Lawn chemicals can produce convulsing death in baby rabbits. According to the Poison Control Center for Animals, lawn applications that contain herbicides are not directly toxic to small animals; but they may make toxic plants more palatable to them and may make the animals sick for a few days. Products which contain insecticides, such as Dursban or Diazinion, which are added to many lawn products to control fleas or grubs in the lawn, are toxic.
The Bunny isWild and Really Orphaned – How do I care for it?
Again, make sure you KNOW for sure the mom was killed and the bunnies are abandoned (not warm, etc.). You will not see the mom. The mom will only come back in the middle of the night to feed her babies. If the mom was killed, the best thing you can do for a wild orphaned baby bunny is to get in touch with a skilled rehabilitator. In the meantime, call your local humane society or animal control and one of these vets for a wildlife referral: Rabbit Vets and Pet Bunny Vets. Google your state and wildlife rehabbers, and also try http://www.humanesociety.org/animals/resources/tips/find-a-wildlife-rehabilitator.html and http://www.owra.org/find-a-wildlife-rehabilitator
How much formula should I feed a Wild Orphaned Bunny until I get him/her to a rehabber?
The following is a guideline for the daily amount to feed a TRULY orphaned wild bunny (mother was killed, etc. ) Remember with wild bunnies, the mom only comes back at night to call and feed him once or so for 5 mins; please put him back for her if just found and healthy. She leaves them alone between feedings. Don’t assume they are abandoned! Wild rabbits NEED a skilled wildlife rehabber. You should not feed at home or the chances of their surviving is extremely low! Most die from bloat, wrong feedings/stress. These feedings are NOT meant to take place of an actual rehabber, but for someone only who may live too far from a rehabber and is faced with a wild mother, killed, for example. All others need to call your humane society, local rabbit vet, or google your state and wildlife rehabber. You can also check here http://www.humanesociety.org/animals/resources/tips/find-a-wildlife-rehabilitator.html and http://www.owra.org/find-a-wildlife-rehabilitatorFeeding of True Orphans
Age + Amount (This WILL vary SO MUCH depending on type of rabbit. It is impossible over the Internet to see your particular rabbit, so this is only approximate.) Use KMR kitten or KMR kitten plus Goat milk, regular not low fat. Add a pinch of acidophilus (aka Probiotic) to the formula to promote healthy gut flora. Formulas vary depending on region. Avoid Esbilac and any puppy formulas! FEED TWICE A DAY ONLY for healthy babies, three times if low weight. It may be easiest to start with a 3 cc/ml syringe or an eyedropper. Feed only with the bunny sitting UPRIGHT, and point syringe down towards bottom or side of mouth, so if too much comes out, the baby does not aspirate. At first, they may only take a few drops at one feeding until they are not stressed and used to this.
Newborn to One Week: 2- 2+1/2 cc/ml each feeding (two feedings per day).
1-2 weeks: 5-7 cc/ml each feeding (two feedings per day). (depending on bunny..may be much LESS if smaller rabbit!) Newborn babies (if eyes closed) all need to be stimulated to urinate and defecate prior to or following feeding until their eyes open. (Except Jackrabbits do not). *See how to below.
2-3 weeks: 7-13 cc/ml each feeding (two feedings). Domestic eyes open at about 10 days of age. Start introducing them to timothy and oat hay, pellets and water (always add fresh greens for wild ones).
3-6 weeks: 13-15 cc/ml each feeding (two feedings–again, may be LESS depending on size of rabbit! A cottontail/brush bunny will take so much less!! Half this at most.) Cottontails wean and release about 3-4 weeks and jackrabbits much later (9+ weeks), whereas domestic rabbits are 6 weeks.
6 weeks-9weeks for Jackrabbits only, continue up to 9 weeks with formula, gradually changing to a dish for the warm formula, replacing the formula after 9 weeks slowly, continue adding more of their natural greens and hay (dandelions, oat hay, timothy hay, Italian parsley, carrot tops, small carrots cut up) and a small water bowl. Most markets will sell these greens. They need a rehabber before release!
Wild rabbits NEED a skilled wildlife rehabber. These feedings are NOT meant to take place of an actual rehabber, but for someone who may live too far from a rehabber and is faced with a wild mother, killed, for example. Please call your humane society for referrals to rehabbers, or your rabbit vets, or google your state or country and wildlife rehabbers. You can also try here: http://www.humanesociety.org/animals/resources/tips/find-a-wildlife-rehabilitator.html and by state here: http://www.owra.org/find-a-wildlife-rehabilitator or http://www.owra.org/find-a-wildlife-rehabilitator
*After each feeding it is important to gently make the bunny defecate and or urinate (brush bunnies/cottontails only..if the eyes are not opened yet) to keep the intestinal and urinary system running smoothly (just UNTIL their eyes open). No need to do this for jackrabbits; they go on their own. Use a cotton ball moistened with warm water after eating, and gently stroke the anal area until the bunny starts producing stool and urine and keep stroking until the bunny stops. You are reproducing the behavior of the mother rabbit who would lick her young to stimulate them to go to the bathroom and to keep the nest clean. Again, ONLY if the eyes are still closed. Handle a wild rabbit only during feedings as excessive handling can be extremely stressful/potentially fatal. Wild rabbits don’t need heat if furred and healthy. Wild rabbits should not be fed at home, but get them to a professional rehabber as it IS CRITICAL for their survival and to be with their own kind. Most die from overfeeding and/or stress.
As soon as the wild bunnies’ eyes are open, you may introduce them to plain alfalfa pellets, hay, such as oat hay, timothy, alfalfa and veggies such as carrot tops, Italian parsley, dandelion greens. Dandelion greens and hay (timothy and oat hay) are extremely important for wild rabbits. You can add whole oats from a feed store, and some grated carrots. The greens must be fresh, rinsed, and replaced if not eaten in a few hours. You can place them in a cup of cold water with just the tops sticking out to keep them fresher. (For a domestic rabbit baby, see section under the Domestic heading). Wild cottontail and brush bunny rabbits should be released as soon as they are eating hay and greens and are approximately 5 inches in body length and run from you. This varies with the area, so size is not easy to say. They will be small, but the longer you keep them, the more agitated and difficult to handle they will become and the less likely their chances for survival in the wild. Release ONLY at dusk or dawn. Jackrabbits (hares) are not ready until 9+ weeks.Make sure they get exercise daily. Jackrabbits mature much slower than the brush/cottontails and need to develop strength. If they are ready, earlier, they will let you know.
WARNING: Jackrabbits really NEED a skilled wildlife rehabber as they can run from you, throw themselves into walls to get away; many have died or severely injured themselves in captivity as they are so very wild. Please DO NOT raise them if you are not a skilled wildlife rehabber. This is vital. Noises and sounds easily frighten the jackrabbit and they are not able to be handled after 9 weeks. Often, sadly, we get reports of how a well-meaning person who tried to raise a wild rabbit, only to find it literally died of fright or got injured inside the cage. They are wild and belong with their own kind, out in the wild.
Jackrabbits really enjoy being raised together, whereas cottontails/brush bunnies may fight and do fine alone. Give them a carrier as their place of privacy (line with thick towels) with plenty of fresh hay and greens described above and water bowl. Again, wild rabbits need a skilled wildlife rehabber; it is critical to their survival.
The Bunny is DOMESTIC (i.e., pet rabbit, NOT wild) and Really Orphaned – How do I care for a domestic baby?Baby Domestic Agouti Bunny Baby Domestic/Pet Agouti rabbit baby
Remember that both the domestic pet rabbit and wild bunny moms only feed their young usually once in the middle of the night. Don’t assume the mom is not caring for them if you don’t see her nurse them. Check their tummies to see if they are round and the babies are warm in the morning–this means she is caring for them. In the rare situation that you have an orphaned domestic bunny, such as when a domestic rabbit mom is sick or refuses to care for her young, you will need to feed the babies. Overfeeding is a leading cause of death in these youngsters which results in fatal intestinal disease.
If truly orphaned, use KMR KITTEN powder formula (can also use Meyenberg Regular Goat milk found at Safeway in the milk section or Whole Foods until you can find the KMR KITTEN formula), and follow the directions on the can. It may be easiest to start with a 3 cc/ml syringe or an eyedropper. Some use pet nurser nipples on the end of a luer lock syringe, or a teat cannula on the end of a syringe. Feed only with the bunny sitting UPRIGHT, and point syringe down towards bottom or side of mouth, so if too much comes out, the baby does not aspirate! For those who are slow to learn nursing, SC fluids may be necessary to prevent electrolyte imbalance or dehydration (check with a vet on this only!!). Domestic buns with closed eyes should be fed 2 x a day, and the number of feedings gradually decreased until they are weaned. If their eyes are still closed, you need to stimulate their bottoms with a warm moist towel after feedings to help them to pee. (Domestics are weaned about 6 weeks compared to wild bunnies who are weaned about 3-4 weeks for cottontails and 9+ weeks for jackrabbits). Bloat is commonly associated with too frequent feedings and too much at one time.
Feeding Amounts for DOMESTIC/PET Orphaned babies*: Feed twice a day up to these amounts: Newborn– 2.5 cc/ml each feeding. One week old: 6-7 cc/ml each feeding. Two weeks old: 12-13 cc/ml each feeding. Three weeks to six weeks: Up to 15 cc/ml each feeding (a.m. and p.m.). Note this is for DOMESTIC, NOT WILD bunnies. Each bunny varies. If this is a smaller rabbit, he will consume much less. Do NOT overfeed! Contact an HRS contact, rabbit vet, to be sure.
*After each feeding it is important to make the bunny defecate and urinate (if the eyes are not opened yet) to keep the intestinal tract and urinary system running smoothly (only UNTIL their eyes are open). Use a cotton ball moistened with warm water and gently stroke the anal area until the bunny starts producing stool and urine and keep stroking until the bunny stops. You are reproducing the behavior of the mother rabbit who would lick her young to stimulate them to go to the bathroom and to keep the nest clean.
Provide a soft nest area in a box with clean towels, and cover the babies so it is dark until their eyes are open. Do NOT provide extra heat if the room temperature is at least 65 to 70 degrees F because excessive heat can be fatal. If the room is cooler, then you may place a heating pad on a low setting under no more than HALF of the nest so the bunny can move to a cooler area if it gets too warm, and be sure there is no way the mother rabbit can get to or chew the electrical cord!
For domestic rabbits, if you have a healthy adult rabbit at home and you can collect cecotropes (the soft, chain-like droppings that the rabbit usually eats) then these can be mixed with the KMR to give the baby bunny normal bacteria for its intestinal tract. Only one cecotrope per day for 4-5 days is needed. This is particularly important for rabbits under one week of age. Also good is to sprinkle a pinch of acidophilus powder, also called “Probiotic” from human capsules in the milk a little each time for healthy flora for both wild and domestic bunnies.
As soon as their eyes are open, you may introduce the bunnies to plain alfalfa pellets, hay, such as oat hay, timothy, alfalfa. Please refer to the handout Care of Rabbits for more information on diet for domestic, pet rabbits. You may reach [email protected] for domestic/pet rabbit questions. Below is the email for wild rabbit questions: [email protected] (wild) (If links above did not answer your question).
(See above for wild rabbits). For all rabbits, avoid ANY regular milk, puppy formulas, etc. Use KITTEN formulas like KMR. Avoid Esbilac. Feed only upright. Less is better than more! Overfeeding will cause bloat and pain and possible death. Please get to a rehabber.
Sources: Caring for Cricket – What Not To Do When You Find a Wild Baby Bunny by Julie Smith and Handout by Midwest Exotic Animal Hospital, and additional wild bunny info by M. Wilson (HRS educator and rehabber). For questions not answered about wild rabbits above, email: wildbunnyrehab at gmail.com
Below content was merged from: /caring-for-orphans/
Rabbit mothers nurse their babies for approximately 5 minutes a day. They will be in the nest or nest box early in the morning and then again in the evening. The milk is very rich and the babies “fill up” to capacity within minutes. Mother rabbits do not “sit” on the babies to keep them warm as do some mammals and birds. They build a nest with fur and grasses which helps to keep the babies warm in between feedings. Do not force a mother rabbit to sit in the nest box. You can pick up the babies and see if they are feeding by checking the size of their stomachs (should not be sunken in), the pinkness of their skin and activity level (they should not be blue in color or sluggish in movement) and the amount of time that you hear them crying (baby bunnies should be quiet most of the day…. if they are crying constantly then they are not getting fed). If they are warm, mom is most likely feeding them, but again, she only comes back in the middle of the night.
If you come across a nest of bunnies in the wild and the mother is no where to be seen, please DO NOT disturb them…this is normal. By removing them from the nest you are greatly reducing their chances of survival.In the rare situation that you have an orphaned bunny, such as when a mother rabbit is killed by another animal or in the road, or when a domestic rabbit refuses to care for her young, you may try feeding with Kitten Milk Replacer (KMR) or Meyenberg Goat Milk (for wild rabbits, but they need a professional reahabber–do not feed at home). Remember though, that both wild/domestic bunny moms only feed in the middle of the night, so don’t assume she is not caring for them! For true orphans, remember to feed ONLY TWICE A DAY. Overfeeding is a leading cause of death in these youngsters which results in fatal intestinal disease. Provide a soft nest area in a box with clean towels, and cover the babies (if eyes are closed) so it is dark.
DO NOT provide extra heat if the room temperature is at least 65 to 70F because excessive heat can be fatal. If the room is much cooler, then you may place a heating pad on a low setting under no more than HALF of the nest so the bunny can move to a cooler area if it gets too warm.
For a wild bunny, you need to get him to a wildlife rehabilitator if he is TRULY orphaned (mom was killed). Remember with wild bunnies, the mom ONLY comes back at night to call and feed him; please put him back for her if just found and healthy. With domestics, the mom only feeds once or twice a day for only 5 minutes. Leave babies with the mom. For wild orphans, first google your state and wildlife rehabber, and call your humane society, also try http://www.humanesociety.org/animals/resources/tips/find-a-wildlife-rehabilitator.html and http://www.owra.org/find-a-wildlife-rehabilitatoror as it is illegal in most states to keep a wild animal, and they really need a professional as this is critical. Local rabbit veterinarians or humane societies may also know of a rehab facility.
The following is a guideline for the daily amount to feed a TRULY orphaned bunny (mother was killed, etc.) that will be about 5 lbs as an adult. It is impossible on the internet to be exact. Please find rehabber.
GENERAL FEEDING OF ORPHANS
Age + Amount (This WILL vary depending on type of rabbit.) Use KMR (Kitten Milk Replacer) for domestics and Meyenberg Goat Milk, regular not low fat for wild ones,or KMR. Add a pinch of acidophilus (AKA Probiotic capsules) to all formula to promote healthy gut flora. Other formulas vary depending on the region of the country. Avoid using Esbilac or any puppy formulas or cow’s milk. Do not add Karo syrup. FEED TWICE A DAY ONLY unless baby is low weight, than three times.
Newborn to One Week: 2 – 2+1/2 cc/ml each feeding (two feedings).
1-2 weeks: 5-7 cc/ml each feeding (two feedings).
(depending on bunny. .may be much LESS if smaller rabbit).
2-3 weeks: 7-13 cc/ml each feeding (two feedings). Bunnies whose eyes are still CLOSED need to be stimulated to urinate and defecate before or after each feeding. Again, seek a professional on this. Domestic eyes open at about 10 days of age. Then start introducing them to timothy and oat hay, pellets and water (always add fresh greens for wild ones–dandelion greens, parsley, carrot tops, grated carrots, all fresh, watered down). See below for detail.
3-6 weeks: 13-15 cc/ml each feeding (two feedings–again, may be LESS depending on size of rabbit! A cottontail will take so much LESS–about half of this!.)
Domestics are weaned about 6 weeks. Cottontails wean and release about 3-4 weeks and jackrabbits much later (9+ weeks). Feed only twice a day up to these TOTAL amounts. You may find an eyedropper or syringe easiest to use. Feed them upright, and go slowly watching them lick and swallow so they do not aspirate. For domestic rabbits, if you have a healthy adult rabbit at home and you can collect cecotropes (the soft chain-like droppings that the rabbit usually eats) then these can be mixed with the KMR or goat milk to give the baby bunny normal bacteria for its intestinal tract. Only one cecotrope per day for 4-5 days is needed. This is particularly important for rabbits under one week of age. Acidophilus capsules for humans, opened and sprinkled some in formula, works well too.
After each feeding it is important to make the bunny defecate and urinate (until their eyes are open) to keep the intestinal tract and urinary system running smoothly. Use a cotton ball moistened with warm water and gently stroke the anal area until the bunny starts producing stool and urine and keep stroking until the bunny stops. You are reproducing the behavior of the mother rabbit who would lick her young to stimulate them to go to the bathroom and to keep the nest clean. No need to do this for jackrabbits or if bunny’s eyes are open.
As soon as their eyes are open, you may introduce the bunnies to hay, such as oat and timothy hay, some alfalfa, and pellets, and for wild ones, add dark leafy veggies such as dandelion greens, carrot tops, parsley, grated carrots, etc. Keep the greens fresh, moist, and stand them up in a heavy mug of water. Change greens often. If this is a wild rabbit, you do not need to introduce pellets. If this is a domestic rabbit baby, then you may introduce plain alfalfa pellets at 2 weeks of age (please refer to the handout Care of Rabbits for more information on diet). Wild rabbits should be released as soon as they are eating hay and greens and are approximately 5 inches in body length (for cottontails) and are afraid of you (about 3-4 weeks). Jackrabbits are released much later (9 weeks up). They will be small, but the longer you keep them, the more agitated and difficult to handle they will become, and the less likely their chances for survival in the wild. They may be easily injured in your care as they attempt to get free. For wild bunnies, please do not raise them yourself, but take them to a rehabber! Google your state and wildlife rehabber or see links above.
Modified from an original document from :
Midwest Bird & Exotic Animal Hospital
Do You Know What to Feed a Wild Baby Rabbit?
Written by The Rabbit Hole Hay Team
Let’s start with the basics about rabbits in general. Baby rabbits are only fed from their mother a few minutes a day. A mother’s milk is packed with the necessary nutrients that feeding once is more than enough for the little bun.
The feeding normally occurs at night to help protect the babies. The mother rabbit can be seen away from the nest during the day which is why it is important to leave babies in nests alone unless you are confident that the mother has either abandoned the nest for good or has died. So needing to take care of a wild baby rabbit is rare, very rare.
Orphaned Baby Bunnies: Wild
So what do wild baby rabbits eat when they don’t have their mother giving them their nutrient packed milk? Rabbit. org provides this information on what to feed an orphaned wild baby rabbit until you are able to take them to a wild rabbit rescue.
Feeding Of True Orphans
Age + Amount (This WILL vary SO MUCH depending on type of rabbit. It is impossible over the Internet to see your particular rabbit, so this is only approximate.) Use KMR kitten or KMR kitten plus Goat milk, regular not low fat. Add a pinch of acidophilus (aka Probiotic) to the formula to promote healthy gut flora. Formulas vary depending on region. Avoid Esbilac and any puppy formulas! FEED TWICE A DAY ONLY for healthy babies. It may be easiest to start with a 3 cc/ml syringe or an eyedropper. Feed only with the bunny sitting UPRIGHT, and point syringe down towards bottom or side of mouth, so if too much comes out, the baby does not aspirate. At first, they may only take a few drops at one feeding until they are not stressed and used to this.
- Newborn to One Week: 2 – 2+1/2 cc/ml each feeding (two feedings per day).
- 1-2 weeks: 5-7 cc/ml each feeding (two feedings per day). (depending on bunny..may be much LESS if smaller rabbit!) Newborn babies (if eyes closed) all need to be stimulated to urinate and defecate prior to or following feeding until their eyes open. (Except Jackrabbits do not). *See how to below.
- 2-3 weeks: 7-13 cc/ml each feeding (two feedings). Domestic eyes open at about 10 days of age. Start introducing them to timothy and oat hay, pellets and water (always add fresh greens for wild ones).
- 3-6 weeks: 13-15 cc/ml each feeding (two feedings–again, may be LESS depending on size of rabbit! A cottontail/brush bunny will take so much less!! Half this at most.) Cottontails wean and release about 3-4 weeks and jackrabbits much later (9+ weeks), whereas domestic rabbits are 6 weeks.
- 6 weeks-9weeks for Jackrabbits only, continue up to 9 weeks with formula, gradually changing to a dish for the warm formula, replacing the formula after 9 weeks slowly with a a dish of cup-up tiny banana or apple pieces.
To read more on how to take care of an orphaned rabbit, read the full article from here.
A wild rabbit’s diet varies on the temperature they are living in. When the temperature is warmer, their diet consists of: clover, flowers, grasses and other plants that grow in that temperature. When the temperature is cooler, their diet becomes more sparse including: twigs, bark and remaining greens. Sounds very different from the Timothy Hay and Orchard Grass that a domesticated rabbit might eat right?
Not sure if your momma rabbit is feeding your new baby rabbits? Do you need to know how to feed your baby rabbits by yourself? Download our Human's Guide to Feeding Baby Rabbits to learn about what to look for in your baby rabbits, feeding techniques, a feeding schedule and more! We pride ourselves on supporting a community of small pet owners who care deeply about providing happy and healthy lifestyles for their pets.
Wild rabbits - What do they eat and how to feed?
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many They think that wild rabbits are the same in their nature as the domestic rabbit. When buying such an animal for home, you need to know its features, because it can die from food for a domestic rabbit. They live in all areas. Avoid dense forests. They love to walk on farm plots and eat up bushes and crops. Some farmers even shoot them. nine0019
Now rabbits are common both in rabbit breeding and as a pet.
Despite their pretty appearance, they can harm the environment. Rabbits compete with sheep and other herbivores by stealing food from them. So in Australia they multiplied so much that they numbered about 20 million rabbits. Then they began to import predators, ferrets, ermine, fox to even out the situation. Then they began to use biological weapons. As a result, 90% died, the remaining 10% developed immunity. nine0019
The wild European rabbit is famous for its speed of reproduction, it adapts very quickly to the terrain. The main thing for him is that there is fresh grass, and the land where he will dig minks. They have a light brown color, sometimes change the color of the coat.
Even the wild rabbit was domesticated. The European rabbit has 20 subspecies.
It is worth mentioning the African wild rabbit, it has 13 subspecies.
- Florida is distinguished by whimsical nutrition, has a very soft fluffy tail. Color gray or brown. nine0004
- River. The name is due to the agility and ability to swim. As you enter the rabbit hides from danger.
- Pygmy. The ears are of medium size, even smaller than those of its brethren. The wool is softer than the rest.
- Teporingo. Quite a rare sight. It lives most often in Mexico.
Rabbits breed frequently, up to 6 times. Pregnancy takes about a month. The rabbit brings up to 12 rabbits.
If the rabbit lives in the wild, he tries not to move more than 100 meters from the hole. In summer, they eat green plants, if they live near fields, then they eat everything: cabbage, lettuce, cereals and root crops are also included in their diet. In winter, they have a harder time. They begin to actively look for the roots of plants. They eat tree bark and some dry branches and leaves. If the wild rabbit fails to find anything, then he starts eating his own feces. nine0019
If you have bought a rabbit for yourself and can't figure out what kind of rabbit it is, how it lives and how it is fed, then contact MosVetHelp. Our experts will provide all the necessary information about what wild rabbits eat. We are ready to help you at any time, because we work around the clock. We have only high-quality and proven medicines and effective treatment.
How to feed a hare at home?
Each animal needs its own conditions for a full life. For the well-being of the animal, there are certain requirements for habitat, lifestyle and nutrition. Pets are pampered based on the natural preferences of their wild "brothers". One of the "savages" that people are trying to tame is a hare. When choosing the conditions for caring for a long-eared animal, they rely on a comparison with a rabbit, but these are completely different animals. Rabbits are more suited to living side by side with humans than hares. Years of evolution have created differences in the lifestyle, pregnancy of rabbits, the appearance of newborns (hares are covered with hair, and rabbits are born naked), which serves as a reason to approach the maintenance of eared at home in a different way. Rabbits are ready for family upbringing, special feeds are sold for them in pet stores, at home they are often treated to grains, while grain in a hare will cause gastrointestinal problems. The conditions for keeping hares should be studied by a person before he takes a forest dweller to himself. nine0019
A person's opinion of a safe place may differ from that of a hare. You should not condemn a hare who left her cubs on the site, or not far from the road. She didn't leave them forever. The mother comes to feed her offspring on average 1-2 times a day, more often at night. Therefore, you should not worry about lonely rabbits at first glance. But if something happened to the native mother of the hares, then you can’t count on another hare, because they don’t feed other people’s cubs. If a person chose to take a hare home, his duty is to properly feed the baby, pick up milk similar to hare as much as possible and later pick up food. It is required to study what is possible and what is not for the animal. nine0019
What can a hare do at home?
Cat and dog milk replacer (Royal) is suitable for the first meal, fresh goat milk can also be used. When the baby is gaining strength and weighing more than 700 grams, there is a need for complementary foods with grass, berries, fruits and vegetables.
The choice of herbs is diverse, field ones are suitable: plantain, clover, medicinal dandelion, mouse pea, nettle, coltsfoot, yarrow, chickweed, shepherd's purse. Man often seasons his food with herbs that are good for hares, and which are not difficult to find in stores at any time of the year. These include: parsley, dill, cilantro, arugula, basil, spinach, tarragon, rosemary, and melissa and mint added to tea. nine0019
The choice of fruits should not be specific with notes of exotic, ordinary turnips, zucchini, pumpkin, carrots, sugar beets, fodder beets are suitable for hares, getting to summer cottages in secret from their inhabitants. In the plots, long-eared find treats in the form of berries such as strawberries, wild strawberries, currants, mountain ash, they can be content with plums. It is not forbidden to treat, now a pet with a banana, watermelon, apricot, cucumber, orange, sweet pepper, apple.
Another food recommended for hares, more familiar in nature - sprigs of aspen, linden, cypress, pine, beech, bird cherry, mountain ash, along with fruits, wild rose, birch, larch, willow, you can give juniper branches, but the berries of the bush are poisonous. Branches are better to choose young and soft.
The slanting barley, sour and the enemy of gardeners - quinoa will be to your taste. In winter, with a poorer choice, you can pay attention to oatmeal, dried fruits, hay, dried berries, herbal granules (not biofeed).
It is important to maintain water balance when feeding any animal. Every body needs water. It should be freely available for the hare, the need for water does not depend on the juiciness of the consumed fruits and herbs.
When feeding hares at home, there may be such an inconvenience as the preference of the hare to eat at dusk and at night. If this can cause the owner severe discomfort, it is better to abandon the idea of \u200b\u200bgoing against the nature of the oblique and get another animal. It is worth remembering that even following all the recommendations for rabbit nutrition, you should not lose sight of the need for movement. For a hare, movement is life, you can’t keep him in a cage like a rabbit. Otherwise, the hare will not survive. If it is not possible to allow the hare to move freely around the "possessions", and the love for the eared knows no bounds, it is better to opt for a rabbit. nine0019
Do's and don'ts for a domestic hare
Under no circumstances should cow's milk be used from a carton. Hare milk with a fat content of more than 15% contains a lot of protein (casein, globulin), 6 times more than in cow's milk and 4 times more nutritious. Methods in the form of adding eggs or cream to milk are not only ineffective, but also detrimental to the animal. An egg can cause frightening salmonellosis and metabolic disorders, an obstacle to the absorption of vitamin B1. Antibiotics that are given in factories to birds can lead to poisoning of hares. Intoxication and poisoning are not immediately noticeable, but only for 3-4 days, however, a knowledgeable veterinarian will immediately detect malaise as a result of malnutrition of the tails. nine0019
Infant formula will not replace rabbit milk, but will only harm the animal (an autopsy shows a greatly enlarged heart, spleen, liver, and intestinal problems after baby food). Beofar dog milk replacer causes diarrhea.
Bread is a universal product that is used to feed the animals you like, but in vain. Flour will easily disrupt the metabolism and lead to the suffering of the animal.
Biofeed for rabbits, let it remain for rabbits, it is not recommended to give such feed to a hare. Coarse fibers quickly clog the gastrointestinal tract, leading to disorders and death
White cabbage, according to cartoon stereotypes, is liked by rabbits, but it is also a forbidden product for long-ears. It is better to replace cabbage with another cartoonish recommendation - carrots.
At home, hares will not refuse to gnaw on wires and furniture, so it is worth removing something useful in everyday life, but harmful to the pet, in an inaccessible place. The same goes for pills, which, if consumed by a hare, can be fatal.
A common table with an animal should be excluded, the hare does not need leftovers left after dinner. nine0019
Food for wild hares
If at home the feeding of a hare depends on a person, then in natural conditions the hare is free to choose the right food for himself, and different hares have different preferences. The white hare, known for its changing white color among taiga forage, gives preference to willow, aspen and birch. The basis of nutrition is connected with the terrain and the predominance of shrubs, so clearings are revived by birches and aspens, and it is with them that the hare living near the Karelian lakes limits itself. Depending on the geography and the predominance of species of shrubs and trees, the hare's views on food change. The closer to the north, the slower the process of regeneration of forests, and therefore less food for the long-eared. To the south, the hare no longer actively eats willow, birch and aspen; oak twigs and bark occupy an increasing place in the diet. Hare delicacy - terminal soft shoots, nutritious in their structure. In the north, a meager selection of bark makes the hare gnaw at the beavers' houses. Also in the north, the white hare prevents the partridge from being content with the ends of birch and willow shoots, buds, ahead of them in this matter. nine0019
Moose are also competitors in eating young shoots, but at the same time they help the hare by breaking trees and bushes, opening access to trees and shrubs.
Without grandfather Mazay, his wards adapt well to conditions and food resources, despite floods. Brown hares prefer open areas, preferably with nearby fields sown by humans, or in light forests with an abundance of blueberries and blueberries. Rusaki influence the spread of plants by eating seeds in late summer, not all of which are digestible. Summer herbs: clover, dandelion are essential components of the diet. In winter, finds under the snow in the form of remaining fruits, as well as shoots and bark of oak, aspen, broom, and apple trees bring joy to the hare. The hare has enough strength to search for food under the snow, unlike partridges, which come to the excavation sites after the hares, in search of a tasty and overlooked hare. nine0019
Hares often come down from the forests to watering holes, they start drinking water from about two to four weeks, but for now they do not need to feed on milk.
What a wild hare cannot do
Poisonous plants are contraindicated in nature, which the hare will not eat on its own. Mushrooms, berries that do not benefit the animal will not be in its diet. So at a juniper, a hare gnaws only twigs, leaving poisonous berries unattended. Do not doubt the choice of tailed ones. The negative human impact on the forest, waste, garbage is eaten by the inhabitants, which leads to irreparable consequences for their health. nine0019
How to feed a hare
The microbiota in cubs is formed as a result of feeding mother's milk and imitating adults: sucking on grass, or eating small amounts of soil. This is important for the health of the hare, so obliques feel great without human care. In the case when a person tries to feed a hare, it is required to follow the rules established by nature. In nature, the female feeds the hare for a short time and 2 times a day; at home, when the hare is exhausted, you can try to feed it more often, once every 2.5-3 hours. As noted earlier, the hare should be fed with substitutes for cat or bitch milk, as well as goat. The powder should be diluted thicker than for a kitten or puppy. Cow's milk and cream should be avoided. Treating condensed milk will not lead to anything good. nine0019
A hare does not always willingly take merciful milk from a person, in these cases it is necessary to take care of the cub with force. You can collect milk in a syringe without a needle for 10-20 ml, it is convenient for feeding. Gradually, you need to increase the dose, and feed less and less. Warm food, not from the refrigerator, is more useful for the digestive tract system. To avoid problems with the stool, you can massage the abdomen with a cotton swab.
In the first week, the milk teeth of hares change, if during this period the animal tries to eat grass, it may not have enough milk. The norm of milk is 100 ml per day. On milk substitutes, you should keep the hare for up to one and a half months, introducing other foods into the diet after 14 days (preference for legumes and soft branches along with leaves), but leaving the milk base. By 20 days, you should drink from coccidiosis and helminths. By a month or two, the hare should be completely transferred to adult food. nine0048 born. In addition to proper nutrition, you do not need to deprive the baby of warmth (heater).
Experts can also easily determine the age of a hare from a photo. The minimum weight for switching to more rigid food from milk substitutes is more than 600 grams.
When deciding to feed a hare, a person needs to monitor the weight gain of the animal, the norm is 30-70 grams per day. For example, at birth, a hare weighs a little over 100 grams, by day 20 600, after a month about 950 grams.
You need to understand that a hare is not a cat, even the most experienced pet lover, sometimes unable to leave a hare. The cat itself will not be able to feed the rabbits, its milk contains pathogenic substances dangerous for the eared, and the difference in the approach to feeding the offspring is significant. So hares rarely eat, quickly and a lot, kittens can lie with their mother for a long time, slowly sucking milk drop by drop. A single serving of cat's milk is not enough for a hare.
When meeting cute fluffies, it's best to walk past. The mother hare will feed them, so the animal will have more chances to survive. According to statistics, only 5 out of 100 survive next to a person. But if a person decides to take a hare home, one should approach his feeding and maintenance with special responsibility.