View Full Version : Mama Rabbit stopped feeding babies after three days?

29-07-2012, 09:35 PM
Hello there,
I really need some help of experienced rabbit breeders. Two weeks ago, I took in a stray rabbit, only to find that she bore 5 little worms 4 days ago. I weighed them every day, and the first two days seemed to be fine, then I noticed two babies did not get any milk on the third day. I decided on hand feeding them otherwise they would have died (very wrinkly and the bellies were all empty). Usually, the mom fed her children in the mornings, but unfortunately she hasn't resumed feeding any of her babies since I fed the runt babies. My concern now is that she will abondon them and no longer care for any of them. However, I handled them since day for weighing and she never minded my presence, so now I would be really surpised if she would abandon them all of the sudden after she started out so great! Does anyone know if she will resume feeding?
Also, the nest box was pretty big and the babies scattered all over. I made it half the size, still big enought for mom to fit in easily, because I thought that the ones far away may accidentially not have gotten any milk and if they are closer together, all of them would get some. I'm wondering if this may have scared her away?
Any help/advice is much appreciated! I'm extremely worried she won't feed her babies anymore and it's very difficult to syringe feed these babies. I'm so afraid they will die.. please help!
Kind regards,

29-07-2012, 10:33 PM
I have a feeling that you interfering with the babies by weighing them (which wasn't needed) daily and always disturbing her has caused her to abandon them, sorry :( But she doesn't know you, you're always at the nest and the babies smell of you, and the nest isn't safe to her so her instincts are probably telling her they're a lost cause, plus if she's a new mother then she won't be as confident with them, it's usually new mothers who abandon babies.

Not all rabbits would abandon them but most sources would tell you not to disturb the nest until they're weaning, but if she's stopped feeding them this early on, I don't know how you can get her back to feeding them. There's an extremely low chance of hand raising them successfully. :(

I'm sure someone with more experience can help in that regards. You could try putting her in a small cage or a smaller hutch (2 foot maybe) so she can't leave her babies as much and leaving her for 24 hours and look for a foster mum with similar aged litter.

Good luck.

Edit: Put the old nest box in, and put hay and her fur closer around to cover the babies and make a dip in the middle. Make it smell of her and only use gloves with her scent on them IF you need to move the babies. You shouldn't change the nest until they are 2-3 weeks old. All these changes and touching and interference has probably stressed her out.

29-07-2012, 10:37 PM
Can you hold mum then put the babies 1 at a time on the teats so that they are getting some milk

05-08-2012, 09:13 PM
How's mum and babies doing?