Caring for newborn rabbits, or any baby animal, is a challenge. But nevertheless, At first they would not have to consider major complications, since rabbit mothers are usually quite careful with their young. Under normal conditions, it will be enough to give logical care to the family, but it can also happen that the mother rejects them and you have to feed them in another way. We talk about them.
Before the newborn rabbits arrive, take care of their mother
If you have a pregnant rabbit, You should know that pregnancy in these animals lasts between 20 and 30 days. Does your rabbit have been pregnant longer? Go to the vet! The rabbits could be dead.
It is very important to take great care of the feeding of a pregnant rabbit, You have to keep it healthy and well fed so that your children can develop in the right way and be born strong and healthy. To achieve this, do not feed your rabbit only with pellets, also give it a variety of fruits and vegetables that are very fresh. Also, try to always stay well hydrated.
Even taking all the care in the world, some complications may arise. The most frequent are:
- Toxemia: caused by improper feeding, causes discomfort, weakness and even convulsions in the rabbit, can even become mortal.
- Mastitis: excessive swelling of the breasts and infection.
- Rejection of the young: Sometimes mothers can even eat their babies. To avoid this, ensure that the nest conditions are the most appropriate and remain attentive to their behavior.
Prepare the nest for newborn rabbits
The little ones They will need a warm and comfortable nest in which to sleep and rest. The rabbit will know how to prepare it herself, but you will have to give her the necessary materials:
- A cardboard box will serve as a burrow
- Newspaper for background. Another option is the towels, but they will get dirty soon, the paper is more recommended because it is easier to discard and change to maintain good hygiene.
- Coconut fiber
In addition, the mother may use her own hair to make the bed softer.
Place the nest in a place away from strong lights and unpleasant currents and temperatures. During the first days, rabbits will be really fragile and vulnerable, try not to manipulate them!
Bunnies are coming! Prepare the delivery and care
In a birth can be born between 1 and 6 rabbits or bunnies. The best thing is that when you think that the birth is going to occur, leave some food and fresh water to your rabbit and leave her alone. After a while, when you think everyone is already born, you can go to see how it went, If a dead rabbit was born, remove it from the nest without manipulating the other babies or their mother.
After 12 or 24 hours, you can monitor how everything is going, if your mother is taking care of you and feeding you well. But remember! Do not burden either the mother or the newborn rabbits, they are very fragile and stress could kill them. The rabbits are born without hair, blind and deaf completely.
As usual, a rabbit feeds her children a couple of times a day, the rest of the time moves away from them to rest on another side of the cage.
What to do if the mother rejects her young
Have you detected that your rabbit does not feed her babies? This does not usually happen, but it is a possibility and in that case you will have to feed them in another way.
You need a very small bottle, you can use one for newborn cats. You will have to take the rabbits very carefully and let them suck themselves, do not force! The ideal milk temperature is around 39º.
If you have decided to take care of the rabbits, It is very important that you ask the veterinarian for advice and follow-up. It will tell you what are the most appropriate milk doses and how often you should give it. Also, it should never be cow's milk! Use of kittens or special for rabbits. Do not forget to always follow his instructions, nobody better than the veterinarian knows what to do.
Anyway, keep in mind that Puppy survival is not assured. It is really important that you drink breast milk, since it contains the nutrients and fats that you need to begin your development. If your bunnies have never taken their mother's colostrum, they may die.
You should stimulate your anus and genital region with a damp cotton so that they make their needs. Under normal conditions, this is done by his mother, since rabbits cannot do it themselves.
With the veterinarian’s follow-up, From the third or fourth week you can start gradually introducing pellets and vegetables in your diet, alternating them until the sixth week still with milk.
To make sure you're doing well, weigh your rabbit often! You will check if it is growing correctly. Good luck taking care of your bunnies!
Information on rabbit pups
The rabbit pups, are also known as rabbits, and also the first weeks of life are very vulnerable. A positive aspect is that the rabbits are very good mothers and they will do everything possible so that their young are well cared for at all times. In the case that the mother I rejected them you have to bottle feed them and keep them warm in a safe place. As the days go by, newborns will gain strength.
Tips before the rabbit pups are born
For all be in order both before and during the care of newborn rabbits several aspects have to be taken into account, especially with the mother.
- We have to keep it well fed, with abundant and quality food, where protein and fiber is present, you also have to keep in mind that your food should have the least fat possible. During pregnancy and after delivery you can supplement your normal diet with some alfalfa strips.
- Must separate the female from the male for the reason that just when the baby is born, she can get pregnant again before weaning the previous litter.
- Create a nest when the young are born, since they need a warm place because they are born without hair. It is the rabbits themselves who make the nest just before giving birth. However, for the rabbit to do so, it will be necessary to deposit coconut fibers, goat hair and hay, it will even place part of her hair To make the nest.
- The rabbits are very sensitive to light when they are born, it will be necessary to put the cage in a dimly lit place before it is brought to light.
Indications for cu> Avoid giving lettuce and other vegetables to rabbits during the first months
Tips for taking care of a gazapo
It is necessary to take into account a series of aspects to take care of the gazapo if it is wanted that everything goes well, although still complications can arise.
- No need to worry if a mother it moves away of the litter and does not spend time in the hedge. Being its habitat and comfort zone Rabbit mothers will only go to see their young once or twice a day to feed them. It's not like when a dog or a cat gives birth.
- Always try to revive a baby even if it is cold or dead.
- Rabbit pups do not open their eyes until past 10 or 12 days.
- It is normal in rabbits lose your first litter, even in the second or third time.
- If the rabbit starts digging in the same point and the cover is possible that has given birth, and makes those movements to keep their young safe.
Prepare the n>
Once the rabbits are born, they will need a safe place to keep warm and sleep at ease. Rabbit females make their own nests days before giving birth.
Deposit coconut fiber, goat hair and hay for the rabbit to build the nest. You will also use part of your hair to do so. If it is shaped like a burrow, the rabbit will love it since it will feel safer. You can use a cardboard box.
You can put some towels or a blanket on the base but keep in mind that it will get dirty quickly. Newspaper as a base may be easier to clean. Remember that you must maintain the maximum possible hygiene in the cage and the nest.
The first days of life are very sensitive to light to the rabbits. Try not to give them the direct light or drafts. Temperature changes can be very harmful. In these first days of life it will be important not to manipulate them.
Delivery and cu>
After 20-30 days gestation The female is ready for childbirth. Rabbits are excellent mothers so it is best to leave her alone during the process.
When you think the time has come, place half a serving of food and water in abundance for the mother and leave. After a few hours you can see how it goes, if someone is born dead remove it from the nest. See if the delivery is over but don't manipulate the little ones or bother the mother. In each birth they can have between 1 and 6 rabbits.
After 12 or 24 hours you can see more calmly how the rabbits are. See if the female takes care of them and feeds them. It is advisable don't manipulate the little ones In the first days of life. They are very delicate. They are born without hair, blind and deaf.
Rabbits usually feed their little ones twice atday. The rest of the time you may leave them alone, and find yourself somewhere else in the cage. You should not worry, as long as they have a warm place and their mother feeds them correctly, they can leave them alone.
What bottle do I use?
The bottle must have a very small nipple. You can use a bottle for kittens. Remember that all material must be properly sterilized before each use. To feed them you must take them carefully, preventing them from moving. Let him suck on his own, never force him. The milk should be at a temperature of 39 ºC.
If the rabbit has never drunk from his mother, it is likely that even if you feed him, he will not survive. This is because the mothers in the first days of life of the rabbits produce a special milk, the colostrum. This milk contains very necessary antibodies for the little ones. For this reason breast milk is always better.
With a wet cotton in warm water, your anal and genital region should be stimulated. It is something that their mothers do naturally to urinate and defecate. Gently massage the region. With another cotton you can clean your eyes and face to keep it clean.
The first weeks of life the little ones only drink milk but from the 3-4 week we can introduce hay and pellets in the cage. If they have access to maternal food they may start eating it themselves.
They will drink milk until 6-8 week. If you are feeding him with a bottle, dilute the milk with water during these last weeks until he no longer wants to.
Gradually introduce new foods, fruits and vegetables in small pieces that eat easily. It is important not to introduce them before, because your digestive system is not yet prepared.
It is convenient to carry a growth control from the first week of life. Weigh it to verify that you gain weight correctly. Depending on the rabbit species its growth will be more or less rapid. Find out about the proper weight of your rabbit at all stages of its life.
What does a newborn rabbit eat>
The digestive system of newborn rabbits is very susceptible to changes in their environment. A drastic decrease or rise in temperatures or an abrupt variation in your diet can affect your health negatively.
Therefore, it is advisable to follow a series of temporary guidelines regarding the diet of our animal.
- Up to 3 weeks oldIt is advisable to feed your rabbit only with milk, either maternal, or one that replaces it. In the event that your mother's is not available, try to buy the one recommended by the veterinarian, which will probably be of high caloric content.
- From 3-4 weeks you must continue feeding your rabbit with milk, but you can start adding alfalfa, which will provide the calcium and proteins it needs. Adult rabbits, and especially pregnant females, usually feed on alfalfa for their valuable nutritional contribution. The best way to incorporate this plant into the diet of a rabbit in weaning process is mix it with water or milk.
- From 12 weeks You can start to include different types of vegetables. The intestinal flora of our rabbit will take time to get used to this new acquisition, so try to give it a different kind of vegetable every time and wait a little before giving it a new one.
- From 4 months Things start to get easier. The diet of our rabbit is now that of an adult specimen and, as such, will consist of high amounts of hay (80%), fresh vegetables (10%) and feed (10%), in addition to fresh water.
After four months you can move from feed to offspring to adults. At this stage you should also reduce the amount of alfalfa andincrease the amount of hay.
The care you should provide to your newborn rabbit
Newborn animals depend on their mother's presence to learn certain habits and reflexes. basic. For example, all mothers tend to stimulate the sphincters of their newborn pups to regulate their intestinal transit.
In the event that the mother of the offspring is not present, you should try to replace this care as much as possible. In the case of the regulation of intestinal transit, you should stimulate your genital area with a small handkerchief.
He environment in which you raise your newborn rabbit should be warm and welcoming. You must imitate the burrow in which his mother would have them in nature, even if he is at home, so he tries to have a bed of clean straw, under which you must put absorbent paper.
Sometimes, the mother of the young is present, but disregards her young. If you are sure that you are not interacting with them, and that this behavior does not seem to change, you should separate the offspring from the mother before your health is in danger.
Once the rabbit already eats independently its growth will be rapid. In a few weeks he will become an adult rabbit.
If you want to know more about adult rabbits, don't hesitate to read Rabbit Feeding and Rabbit Care.
If you want to read more articles similar to Care for newborn rabbits, we recommend that you enter our Extra Care section.