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Thread: Supplementing newborn kits?

  1. #1

    Default Supplementing newborn kits?

    So I'm minding a mother bun and litter of kits, 3 days old. The babies seem active and all, but they're kinda wrinkly. Their bellies are round but not as big as I'd like them to be.

    I checked the doe's milk supply and none came out, but maybe she had just fed them and I'll check again in the morning.

    The babies skin doesn't 'tent' like in really dehydrated animals, and they don't seem hungry, they act like normal healthy kits. But I'm worried.

    Does anyone have experience of this, and know if I should be supplementing them with kitten formula? Thanks for any help

    I think kitten formula would be ok, since they have their mom feeding them some bit anyway. And I know that twice a day would probably be alright? And I know how to feed baby kittens and puppies, so hopefully it's much the same. I don't know how much to give them but I'm looking it up now, probably very little . . .

  2. #2
    Wise Old Thumper
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    With my Bunny Crew


    Is mum on unlimited pellet food? as well as unlimited hay?

    I would say that adding any supplement is the last resort, and I would suggest trying to help mum feed prior to supplementing.

    Can you post pics of the kits though?

    If they have been fed they will look like they have swallowed ping pong balls (smaller or bigger depending).

    Please Remember to Advocate for your Rabbit.

    'I have the responsibility to do what I want in a world of others, but so does everyone else and it works best if we take each other into account.' (EVD)

  3. #3


    Thanks for your quick reply

    Mum has unlimited pellets, lots of fresh veg including dark green leafy veg, unlimited hay and water. She's been eating enough, last night she ate loads of dry food.

    This isn't a great photo, but you can see they're wrinkly, though they are less wrinkly at the moment, I think she just fed them recently.

    They have roundish bellies, but not as fat as they should be. I saw in a litter before that the two smallest babies had less round bellies, it's a bit like that (those two survived btw)

    I was wondering, would it help if I took the mum to the vet for a shot of oxytocin or something? Would parsley help, I think I read that that helps for guinea pigs who've just given birth . . . or more dark green veg?

  4. #4


    The babies are normal acting though, just like healthy kits. They're wriggly when you pick them up but not excessively hungry seeming. Before you wake them they're just sleeping happily.

  5. #5


    Oh never mind, I just read that oxytocin doesn't help after 2 days. I dunno if I can get her to produce more milk, cos she's been on a good diet the whole time . . .
    Last edited by ciarapatricia; 22-02-2011 at 06:21 PM.

  6. #6


    My friend says not to supplement them yet anyway, as I could do more damage than good. But to see in the morning if she has milk and how they are.

  7. #7
    Warren Scout
    Join Date
    Dec 2010


    One thing you could do is give mum a bottle of either whole goats milk or kitten milk in addition to her water bottle.

    Borage, Dandelion, blackberry, fennel, milk thistle, broccoli, nettle can all help mum

    Do not give her any of the following whilst she's feeding the babies as they can decrease milk flow mint and sage.

  8. #8


    Thanks I'll get her kitten milk tomorrow and some broccoli and I think we have blackberry leaves in the garden . . .

    I'll let everyone knows how they are in the morning and if mum has milk. Hopefully they do well, because I'd prefer to not have to handfeed them, in case that makes them sick.

  9. #9


    I know I'm posting a lot, but just to say that I did a search on here and read a few threads and they were very helpful

    I was reading about people holding the babies up to the mum, and wondering if it'd be a good idea to try that with my rabbit a couple of times a day . . . maybe it would help her to produce more milk. I know she wouldn't get too stressed because she doesn't mind me handling her or the babies.

    I hope she's producing milk when I check in the morning *fingers crossed*

  10. #10
    Wise Old Thumper Fairy13's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    The Faerie Glade


    Hiya, If your mum bun has umlimited pellets and unlimited hay and plenty of fresh water to drink I dont think she should have any problem producing milk.
    I had one litter of ten and I did supplement feed a couple of the weaker looking kits (started when they were about 7 days old) with kitten milk with a sprinkle of probiotic in. I think it was through a tiny syringe that the kits licked the milk from the end as i terribly slowly, squeezed it out. I didnt really put the syringe far in their mouth as I had heard stories about it being very easy to drown them.
    Just for you to compare this is one at 3 days old

    Though my one is stretching out where as your pic the wee one is curled up which may cause him to look wrinkley

    and in the nest

    I would maybe give your vet a call for advice as it was only on their advice that I began supplement feeding my ones. Good luck



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