How to feed orphan rabbits without a rabbit and keep the livestock
Newborn rabbits are left without breast milk when the female dies or develops mastitis. How to feed bunnies without a bunny? It is important to know what to do at home so that the young do not die and do not lag behind in development..
How to feed bunnies without a one-week-old bunny
The digestive tract of the rabbit is formed by the age of four weeks, the first 14 days the baby feeds only on milk. If the mother dies during the birth and the rabbits do not have time to get colostrum, they are doomed. When the bunnies stop receiving milk due to mastitis or the death of the bunny, try to keep the droppings. On large and medium-sized farms, the cubs are added to other females. If you do not have such animals, transfer the rabbits to artificial feeding..
It is important that the newborn baby rabbit receives milk, which differs little in chemical composition from the mother’s.
Amateur rabbit breeders report the successful feeding of orphans with infant formula or goat milk. The table will tell you what kind of milk you need to feed the rabbits.
Chemical composition of milk of a rabbit, cow, goat, woman, cat%:
The better to replace breast milk
Rabbit milk replacer is not available everywhere, so breeders are considering other options. Formulas for babies disappear immediately. They are not suitable for baby rodents due to the unequal amount and ratio of proteins, fats and carbohydrates. Cow and goat milk is closer in composition to rabbit milk, but contains a lot of water and carbohydrates. The load on the kidneys increases, energy is expended to utilize excess lactose. So what to feed the newborn rabbits with? Livestock breeders claim that they managed to give goat milk to the babies. Some of the rabbits do survive, but not because of feeding, but in spite of it. Some of the cubs die, others lag behind in development.
For feeding babies in the first week of life, use a substitute for rabbit, cat or lamb milk, which more than other products meet the physiological needs of newborn rodents..
Before drinking, heat the milk mixture to a temperature of 38-40 ° C. Keep the body upright, do not squeeze the liquid out of the pipette forcibly, so that it does not enter the lungs. Spread the formula around the corners of the mouth so the bunny licks it off. In the early days, feed two to three times a day. When the little ones are comfortable with sucking with a pipette, increase the number of drinks to 5. Do not overfeed to avoid digestive upset or milk from entering the respiratory tract. In the first feedings, remove food debris, do not allow it to dry out. Examine the anus and wipe it: the rabbit does it with her tongue.
There is no fiber in milk, which stimulates the peristaltic movements of feed through the intestines. The rabbit licks the bellies of the cubs, pushes the chyme along the alimentary tract. You do the same, massage the abdomens with a damp cloth until emptying occurs..
How to feed rabbits without a rabbit from 7 to 14 days
How to drink bunnies without a bunny if you run out of cat milk replacer? From the tenth day of life, gradually switch to goat or cow milk. Rabbit breeders have reported the successful use of a nutritional formula made from equal amounts of natural milk and condensed milk. Replace no more than a day ¼ old feed.
The eyes of rabbits open when they reach the age of 10-14 days. At this time, the babies crawl along the nest and stumble upon the mother’s soft night feces and eat it.
If the rabbit dies, collect feces from adults and offer it to babies. Night feces resemble bunches of grapes or mulberries. You can easily distinguish them from daytime excrement, which is excreted in the form of dense balls..
Rabbits are coprophages. They pass food through the stomach twice. At the first passage, the microflora of the cecum processes the roughage and enriches it with protein and vitamins. Newborns do not have such microbes, they get them from swallowed feces. Beneficial bacteria help to digest food, secrete lactic acid, which inhibits the development of putrefactive microflora.
How to feed orphan rabbits at 2-4 weeks
How are rabbits fed if they were left without a rabbit when they were two weeks old? At this age, babies have teeth, they begin to gnaw hay and granulated feed. Livestock breeders believe that by the age of three weeks, young animals switch to solid feed, but continue to consume milk. Gradually reduce the amount of liquid feed every day and stop by 28-30 days.
If the rabbits have not gained enough body weight for this age, continue to feed them milk for up to six weeks..
In young animals less than a month old, the development of the digestive system has not yet been completed. Therefore, avoid giving juicy food – fresh grass, cabbage, carrots, to prevent fermentation..
From two weeks of age, put water in the feeders and add granulated feed. Rabbits eat 30 or more times a day in small portions, so the feeders must be filled at all times..
Granular feed mixtures have the following advantages over loose feed:
- they are balanced in nutrients and energy;
- are not scattered;
- do not deteriorate;
- contain digestive enzymes;
- during the granulation process, pathogenic microbes are destroyed;
- when eating hard croquettes, teeth are grinded evenly.
You can give grated carrots to babies from 17 days of age..
Keep in mind that vegetables are a treat for rabbits, so keep them dry and in small quantities. Hay, like pellets, should be in the trough all the time.
How to feed rabbits older than a month
The digestive system of one-month-old rodents is fully formed. They can eat the same foods as adults. Some breeders continue to feed the rabbits with milk up to six weeks of age if they are stunted. Don’t count grass and hay as the staple foods for rodents..
In order for the young to grow up quickly, and the females are distinguished by high milkiness, concentrates or granular feed should make up to 70% of the dry matter of the diet..
Pre-wilt vegetables and greens. Remove the leftovers after an hour. Grass rabbits digest poorly, the best green food for them is clover.
Sometimes a young rabbit simply refuses to feed her babies and can kill them. To prevent this from happening, it is best to take the rabbits from a careless mom and at first try to attach them to the nipples, holding the female. True, it is very difficult to feed this way for a long time, but this will give babies an opportunity to try colostrum. This will strengthen their immunity and in the future it will be easier to nurture them..