Kit (Baby Bunny) Care

Here are some things that should be known if there is a litter born or on its way.

Can kits be handled and touched right after they are born?
Yes, babies can be touched from the moment they are born. It is a complete myth that the doe will reject the babies because of your scent.

The kits can and should be handled and looked at right after they are born to make sure there are no problems with the babies, etc.

Sometimes a kit or even a whole litter may have to be handfed because either the doe died, or there is no other foster doe to foster some kits from a bigger litter to a doe with a small litter. If a doe has died from a sickness I suggest that the kits do not be fostered to a healthy doe and her litter to safe guard their health. When handfeeding a kit there are things that should be known before doing it. 

The kit should be kept warm (not too warm in hot weather) and dry.

It is not uncommon to loose kits from handfeeding them because the kits can aspirate some milk. Therefore, caution must be taken when feeding the kits because they can get aspiration pneumonia. This is when they get milk into their lungs and it causes pneumonia or drowning. Some breeders do not even try anymore because of the problems they have had when handfeeding. We have handfed several kits with no problems and they have survived.

When handfeeding, a bottle or a dropper can be used. I have heard of someone who has used a dropper and the kit made it all the way through adulthood. We have used both a dropper and a bottle. A dropper may work better since you have more control of the flow of the milk that is coming out. With a bottle once the kits have gotten used to it they latch on the nipple and really suck hard.

When handfeeding do not hold the kits in the position that they nurse on the mother (they flip over on their backs). Hold the kit securely in a upright position hold so that the kit feels secure.

When handfeeding a kit, it is a good idea to place a towel under the kit so that the milk does not get everywhere. It is also good to have a paper towel or something to wipe the milk off of the kit when the feeding is done.

Since the milk that is handfed is not like mother's milk it is best to feed the kits 4 times a day. A doe feeds the kits only once maybe twice a day for about 5 minutes or less. Here is a formula we have used when handfeeding kits. The first is the original recipe. The second is a variation of the original recipe.

1/2 cup evaporated milk
1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon Karo corn syrup
1 egg yolk

1 cup whole milk
1 egg yolk
little bit of Karo corn syrup (a couple teaspoons)

Mix it all together and feed it to the kits. This can be warmed up for the kits but it does not need to be, unless the kit absolutely refuses to drink it cold. We have never warmed it up. We have kept it in the fridge and the kits that we have fed did not object to it being cold (they guzzled it down!).



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