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Help nursing

Discussion in 'Birthing, Weaning and Raising Young Rabbits' started by Gary, Apr 2, 2019.

  1. Apr 2, 2019
    Gary

    Gary Ridin' The Range

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    Hi. My doe had 9 kits 4 days ago. All of them except 1 were dead by day 3. Last time she lost all 6 by day 1. This morning I held her upside down in my lap and put the kit on her to nurse. Does this work ok? Are the kits able to get milk when mom is upside down. Is there a gravity issue with milk flow? Also, if this works ok, can I do this next time for all the kits so they don't starve to death?
     
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  2. Apr 2, 2019
    Mini Horses

    Mini Horses Herd Master

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    No gravity issue. It's suction. Many animals feed, laying down.

    I hope this saves at least one. But, like most mammals, if the first milk isn't consumed timely, it may be too late. So try but know it may not work well.

    Yes, you can do this if you breed her again. Does she actually HAVE milk? Was she a first time mom the last group? I'm not a rabbit breeder but, others will read and help as best they can. Some animals don't seem to have as much instinct :idunno And, sometimes once nursed, they do better. It's individual for each animal. If this continues, of course you should get a different doe for breeding.

    Sorry you have lost them :hugs
     
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  3. Apr 2, 2019
    Gary

    Gary Ridin' The Range

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    She was a first time mom with the last group. I'm pretty sure she has milk. Most of them looked pretty plump for a while but then they would flaten out and die. This one has been plump all 4 days
     
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  4. Apr 2, 2019
    AmberLops

    AmberLops Loving the herd life

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    I have done that with some of my rabbits and it seems to work just fine.
    If you have someone to help you, it's easier for the babies to get milk if the doe is held upwards.
    Just a few days ago my doe had 3 babies 10 days early...she aborted 2 dead babies and only one was alive but it was pretty small. Another doe I have just had a litter 2 days before so I held her and let the new baby nurse from her.
    It got a little plump and now it's in the nest with that doe since she has 7 others to keep it warm.
    It's still alive today and seems just fine. But you should re-breed your doe and if she does the same thing with the next litter, I would replace her. I give my does 3 strikes. It's not worth losing all those babies if she keeps it up.
    If you have another rabbit with a litter where you could just sneak that baby in, that would be best. I also have a recipe for rabbit milk replacer if you want it. You can also use Esbilac and feed it with a small bottle or eye dropper.
     
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  5. Apr 2, 2019
    Gary

    Gary Ridin' The Range

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    Yes I would very much like the rabbit milk recipe
     
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  6. Apr 2, 2019
    AmberLops

    AmberLops Loving the herd life

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    Okay!
    1 pint skim milk
    2 egg yolks
    2 tablespoons (30 mL) of karo syrup
    1 tablespoon (15 mL) bonemeal. You can get that at garden supply stores.
    Keep this mixture in the fridge!
    Use an eyedropper or bottle with small nipple. Feed the baby twice a day, until it stops drinking milk. Usually they're full after about 1/4 ounce.
    After feeding you have to stimulate them, so gently rub their belly and genitals with a cotton ball after they eat.
    After 2 weeks of hand-feeding you don't have to stimulate them anymore.
    Hope this helps! And good luck :)
     
  7. Apr 11, 2019
    Ridgetop

    Ridgetop True BYH Addict

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    I agree with Amberlops - give her another chance and then replace her if the same thing happens. Here are some questions that were not addressed. Did the doe pull enough fur to keep the babies warm? Does only nurse at night so if the kits' tummies are plump in the am they are feeding. Was the nest box dry inside? If the nest box is in the wrong place (in the spot the doe usually potties), the doe will sometimes pee in the box. This will contaminate and kill the kits. Did you check all the kits after they were born for any dead ones left in the box? This can also contaminate the kits and cause them to die. Was there a hot spell - heat is worse for kits than cold. Did you have predators, raccoons, possums, rats in the barn? That can upset the mother and she will jump in and out of the nest box, trampling her litter. Finally, some does are just not good mothers and you should replace her if she is not able to successfully raise a litter.