Kit Care for Orphaned Kits
Kits can be left to fend for themselves alot of times. The most popular are, the mother refuses to care for them, mastitus, or death of the mother.
When this happened to me, I didnt even have a proper nest for the babies. (I am talking about the first time it happened to me.)
I had to care for a litter of 4 minirex. They
were 3 days old when I was able to tell that the mother wasn't feeding
them. Also she had made a bad nest, and they were scattering all over the
nestbox and weren't warm to the touch.
I removed the box from the mother and brought them inside. I removed some of the hay and put a mircowaved towel in the box with them for them to get up agaisnt and stay warm. This also made it very hard for them to wander around, since they couldn't walk through a towel and dig through it.
I went to Food Lion and was able to get some baby milk. I didn't know what else to get, because this was my first litter of baby rabbits, but it wasn't my first time hand feeding a baby animal. I got milk without iron and used that. I think I was lucky in using that, and anyone else who has to raise kits should use kitten milk, which they can get from a vet, or a petstore.
I used eyedroppers as bottles for the babies. I don't remember how we mixed the baby milk for the rabbits, but the kitten milk should work fine, just read the directions. I know we had to make the baby milk weaker then for a real baby. The milk also has to be heated up, for those of you who didn't know. Baby rabbits enjoy warm food too ;)
I fed these babies every 3 hours. Feeding time was 6AM, 9AM, 12PM, 3PM, 6PM, and so on. Feeding this many times a day ensured that they were getting enough to eat. This almost seemed like I was caring for 4 real babies because of the hours I kept. I made sure the babies had atleast one dropper full of milk per feeding. You also have to be VERY careful about this. Milk could get in the babies nose, and it could give them pneumonia. They could also drown themselves that way. It is always very hard to hand raise baby rabbits because pneumonia happens so often. So keep a paper towel handy to wipe away any milk that gets into their nose.
When they turned 10 days old, their eyes opened. I removed any hay left in the box, and put in a fresh clean towel to lay in. I also changed feeding times to every 4 hours, thus only feeding 4 times a day now.
At the age of 2 weeks, I introduced rabbit pellets and oatmeal and water. By now they were hopping around and were at that cute age where they "pop" up real high for no reason. I had this huge cardboard box. I fixed it up like a little bunny play house and put them inside to live. Looking back on that now it was really fun to be able to play with them like that. Also at this age I changed feedings to every 6 hours, thus feeding 2 times a day.
At the age of 4 weeks, I fed them once a day. Which was usually any time I had time to. I usually fed them at 12 noon. By now they were eating alot of rabbit pellets and oatmeal, and also drinking well.
They lived in that giant box in our living room till they were about 6 weeks old. I had to keep it very clean because it would be soiled everyday, being that they lived there. I began to wean at this age and removed them outside to their own cage.
I know this is more of a story then instructions on caring for orphaned kits, so if you need any help, email me and I will help you the best I can.