Dandelion’s litter is doing just fine this morning. It seems as if she may have fed two of the nine kits early this morning, but the other seven looked hungry. Hopefully this means that her milk is starting to come in!
I know it sounds like I’m being hard on Dandelion, but she really is a lovely rabbit. She has given me a lot of trouble in the last year or so with breeding (or lack there of) and her past litter being weaned too early by herself. She is still a calm and beautiful rabbit and I just wanted you folks to know that despite her general orneriness, she is still loved here at the Frühlingskabine.
Using information obtained from other breeders who have gone through this, I have come up with a method and formula for hand feeding kits. So if you ever have a litter to feed and the doe has died or just isn’t feeding them for one reason or another, this can be a guide for you.
Rabbit Kit Formula
Mix together: 1/2 cup canned evaporated goat milk, 1 egg yolk, 1/2 tbsp. cane syrup
Heat to body temperature by placing a jar of the formula into a bowl of hot water. You will need to change the water every kit or two in order to keep it hot.
Using an eye dropper or small syringe, feed each kit 1/2 tablespoon daily or as much as they will eat. My newborn kits are only eating about 1/2 teaspoon or 3mL twice daily. I’m sure this will slowly increase as they get older. A drop at a time is about all their little mouths can handle.
Milkstache! Wrap each kit in a warm towel so that the do not cool while you’re feeding them. If a kit stops eating, try re-warming the milk in the syringe and try again. Kits don’t like cool milk.
Then it helps to mark the rump of each kit so that you know you have fed them all. A sharpie hardly keeps 12 hours, but it works. By marking the kits I now know that #6 is falling behind and refusing to eat. He may not make it and I need to be sure to try to feed him well this evening.