Help! Almost 3 week old kits orphaned.

Suzy74

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Went out to find one of my does dead this morning. She has four kits that are almost 3 weeks old. They have not yet started eating pellets so I think I need to supplement them somehow. I assume it's too late to give them to another nursing doe? What is the best milk replacement and how often do I need to feed them? How quickly can I wean them off the milk replacement?
 

animalmom

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Are you sure they are not eating pellets? At 3 weeks my kits are in and out of the nest box and munching on pellets. You aren't going to see them hogging the dish as it is more snatch a pellet and munch... or finding one of them sitting in the food dish, asleep. I use the crocks that attach to the cage. If you use a "J" feeder just make sure it is low enough for the kits.

They are notorious for flinging/scratching pellets out of the dish so be aware of that.

Keep us posted on how your orphans are doing... and pictures when you get a spare second would be appreciated.
 

Suzy74

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No, not eating pellets yet. I put a shallow bowl of calf Manna down for them but they don't seem to have taken any yet. Started bottle feeding yesterday which is a slow and messy process. They keep biting the nipples off! Is there a better way to feed them other than a rubber nipple? I also tried a plastic syringe but that seemed to waste a lot of milk.
 

rachels.haven

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If they're biting the nipples off mommy bunny was probably weaning them. Remember, up until recently mom rabbit was the nipple:thI'd try putting down NORMAL rabbit pellets, not calf manna. Calf manna is strong stuff and should only be used in moderation. I'd also try some dry oatmeal or oats, maybe some alfalfa hay. They should be eating. They may still suffer a digestive upset after the stress of losing their mom and the calf manna and milk replacer, but those are things I would try. Four weeks is the start of when some does cut off the milk supply completely, others go for longer, but your babies are close to the minimum age.
 

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