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Anna, Pet Expert/Biologist
Category: Pet
Satisfied Customers: 11540
Experience:  40 yrs.: herps, pocket pets, rabbits, poultry, dogs, horses. Biology degree. Vet assistant.
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Second opinion] i have a 5 day old newborn bunny and its not

Customer Question

second opinion] i have a 5 day old newborn bunny and its not getting any bigger . im raising it and freding it myself because the mother isnt . shes eating and going to the bathroom just fine . shes just still the same sizeas when she was born
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. What is the bunny's name?
Customer: i dont have a name for her yet . ive just been calling her baby
Submitted: 2 months ago.
Category: Pet
Expert:  Anna replied 2 months ago.
Hello and welcome. My name is ***** ***** I'm a biologist with over 40 years of experience raising and showing rabbits. I'll be glad to help you today. Some additional information will help me determine the best steps for you to take.What breed of rabbit is this?How did the mother rabbit act toward her baby that caused you to believe she wasn't taking care of it?Is the mother producing milk? If you're not sure, you can squeeze a nipple to see.What are you feeding the baby,mand how often?Thank you.
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
the father is New Zealand and the mother is Satin Angora ..
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
she was eating the rest of the litter but i saved two .
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
ive feeding them KMR with a little bit of karo syrup and some pedialyte
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
they are eating everything couple hours , or whenever their tummies look sunk in .
Expert:  Anna replied 2 months ago.
Thank you for getting back to me. I'm working on some information for you now, and will post it as soon as I have it typed up. I appreciate your patience.
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
oh nd i mix a little of this in their food too
Expert:  Anna replied 2 months ago.

Thank you for waiting. It is very difficult to raise newborn baby rabbits with handfeeding, so I was hoping we might be able to return Baby to the mother, but when the mom kills and eats babies, obviously that's not possible. If this was the doe's first litter, you could try a second time because some young does will do this the first time and will raise their babies well after that. If she has killed other litters, then I wouldn't breed her again.

I'll give you a link in a moment that has very detailed instructions on caring for orphan babies. For now, I'll summarize. The acidophilus is fine. Goats' milk is the closest substitute for rabbit milk. You can often find it in health food stores. It is usually combined with some other ingredients, such as KMR to make a formula. If you've been feeding from one of the tiny bottles they sell for orphans, you might get better results by using a syringe. That's good news that the baby is going to the bathroom on her own. This site has detailed instructions on all aspects of raising orphans, including a recipe for the formula:

Since this little one doesn't seem to be growing, you might want to add a little cream to the formula. Too much is dangerous. Add about one tablespoon per can of KMR.

Overfeeding is one of the most common causes of losing orphan rabbits. Mother rabbits only feed their babies once or twice per day. With very young orphans, it may be necessary to feed more often, but after the first few days, it's best to go to a more natural schedule. At one week of age, the babies should consume 5-7 cc/ml at each feeding (two feedings per day). You don't want the stomach to distend too much. When feeding more than twice per day, divide the amount up between the feedings.

At two weeks, you'll go with 7-13 cc/ml each feeding. When their eyes open, start giving them timothy hay, pellets, and water, but do continue the twice a day feedings.

From three to six weeks, they'll need 13-15 cc/ml at each feeding. After six weeks, if they're eating solid foods well, you can wean them.

Sometimes there are babies that just fail to thrive, whether the mother is feeding them or we are. It seems they are born with a genetic defect that causes this. If the other baby you are raising is doing well, that may be the case with this smaller one. But I wouldn't give up. I would read the information on the site I gave you above, add the small amount of cream to the formula, use a syringe to feed so you can measure the amount, and make sure she is eating the proper amount at each feeding. You will be doing all you can, and then you'll just have to see what happens.

If you have more questions, just let me know. I hope both babies will thrive.


Customer: replied 2 months ago.
shes the one with the brown back . they are barley reaching 5 days old .
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
this is after she ate this morning with her belly full .
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
i just thought she would be bigger in size by now
Expert:  Anna replied 2 months ago.
I apologize for the delay- I had a power outage due to weather, and was just able to get back online now. Thank you for the pictures.The two look pretty close to the same size, but the only way to be sure would be to weight them. If you have a scale that woukd measure such small rabbits, that would also be a good way to monitor how well they are growing. They are both growing plenty of fur, and that is a good sign. Orphans usually grow at a slower rate than do bunnies fed my their mother. Sometimes they don't reach full growth, even at adulthood, but can still be healthy.I raised dozens of litters of rabbits, and most litters have a runt. It's common for at least one baby in a litter to die. I don' think your baby looks that small, but only time will tell.I woukd go ahead and add a little cream to their formula, and measure how much they eat. Beyond that, all you can really do is wait and see what happens.
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
well i tried to save three . but the other one died on day three and he was definatly the runt of the litter
Expert:  Anna replied 2 months ago.
It's so hard to hand raise baby rabbits. I am fortunate in that when I have a mother who won't or can't care for babies, I usually have another doe who can foster them. Most females will accept another doe's babies along with their own. I didn't think your baby looked like a runt, and the fact that you had another one that was confirms that.You are doing a good job with a very difficult task. Here is a site that has photos of babies from one to six days old. You may want to look at it:'ll see if I can find more sites that have anything that might be useful to you.
Expert:  Anna replied 2 months ago.
Here is one that has pictures and weights up to 8 weeks old. The breed in the photos would be similar in size to yours: you have more concerns, don't hesitate to ask.AnnaMy goal is to provide you with excellent service – if you feel you have gotten anything less, please reply back, I am happy to address follow-up questions. Please remember to rate my service after you have all the information you need. I will greatly appreciate a positive rating as that is the only way I am compensated. Thank you!
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
one weighs 39 grams and the other weighs 37 grams
Expert:  Anna replied 2 months ago.
They are both underweight then. Baby rabbits from these breeds usually weigh about 30 grams at birth. We would expect there weight to double by one week of age. But don't try to feed them a lot more to make up for it - overfeeding kills. Instead add the cream and begin measuring the amount you feed to be sure they are getting what I recommended above. Weigh them regularly to see how much they are gaining.
Expert:  Anna replied 2 months ago.

Hi again,

How are the bunnies doing? Do you need any additional information?