Feeding Wild Rabbits
If you find wild babies rabbits in your yard, you may what to know the steps in feeding wild rabbits. However, the first step is to be sure the babies are abandon. Their mother will only nurse them once or twice a day, usually at dawn and at dusk.
Otherwise, the mother is lying nearby keeping a watchful eye over her young. She stays away from her babies to keep predators away from them.
If you are not sure if the babies are abandoned, put some string or small sticks across the nest. Then check the nest in twelve hours, if the string/sticks have not been disturbed then you can assume the mother has not been to the nest to feed her babies.
Another way to tell if the mother has not been around to feed her babies is the babies will be crying and their stomachs would be sunken it.
If the mother rabbit is coming around leave the babies where they are. Keep pets and children away from the nest so they will not scare off the mother
However, if there are no signs of the mother, put the babies in a box with a lid and soft bedding. If the babies are cold, put a heating pad, set on low, or a hot water bottle, under a portion of the towel to keep the babies warm. Make sure there is a place for them to move to if they get too warm.
Then take them to a wildlife rehabilitator in your area. They are trained to handle wild rabbits and know how to feed them. Wild rabbits do not make good house rabbits. They will not become docile like a domestic rabbit. They are a wild rabbit and should be returned to the wild when they are old enough.
A feral rabbit is not a wild rabbit. It’s a domestic rabbit that someone has released it in the wild to fend for itself. If you find a feral rabbit, please take it to a shelter where it can be properly cared for and hopefully adopted.
If you are experienced in feeding baby rabbits and have decided to nurse the abandoned wild rabbits, here are some guidelines I found that may help you. Please keep in mind that when feeding wild rabbits, you will be returning them back into the wild. They will not become your pet, no matter how cute they are.
Feeding Wild Rabbits
This guideline is for a daily amount for an average adult rabbit, 5 to 6 pounds. If the baby rabbit does not eat the full amount in one feeding, you can give the balance to him later. However, DO NOT feed the rabbit more than twice a day
| 1 week
| 2 weeks|
| 3 and 4 weeks, until weaned
| 10-15 cc
| 26-30 cc
| 30 cc
| 1 /2 cc
| 1 /2 cc
| 1 cc
| 1 cc
Look at your local health food store for the acidophilus, GNC carries it. You will want to buy the capsules that are granular inside because they are easier to mix than the powder. Mixing the acidophilus with the KMR will noticeably increase the baby chances of survival, because it helps to keep the bacteria in their stomachs balanced.
When feeding wild rabbits, the babies usually eat while lying on their backs. Try wrapping the baby rabbit in a soft cloth and lay him on your lap. If he does not like this position, then feed him however is best for the baby.
Do not try and force feed the baby rabbit; let him eat at his own pace him. If you are feeding the wild rabbit with an eye dropper and squirt the formula too fast, you can get the liquid into his lungs and he could suffocate.
Remember, after each feeding to “burp” the baby rabbit by using a moistened cotton ball or cloth with warm water and gently stroke from between the front legs all the way to the anal area until the rabbit starts producing urine and stool, and keep stroking until the rabbit is stops.
This is very important; it keeps his intestinal tract and urinary system running smoothly. The mother rabbit would do the same thing by licking her young to make them go. The stool will be soft and will vary in color of shades of green and yellow. You will also need to wipe the baby’s mouth with a soft cloth so the formula will not dry on the hair
The baby’s eyes will open around 10 days of age. Start feeding wild rabbits pesticide-free greens and timothy or oat hay in small amounts. Do not feed a wild rabbit pellets. You are going to be releasing this baby back into the wild when he is ready. Pellets are high in fiber and in the wild he will not be getting the same and the change in his diet could kill him.
Try and handle the baby only when necessary and when you are not feeding him, keep him in a quiet place. You are trying to keep him wild, remember, a wild rabbit is not a domesticated rabbit.
When your guy is around five inches long, and he is eating and drinking well, and voiding properly, then he can be released into the wild. He will be small, but the longer you keep him, the less chance he has to make it in the wild. He may become more agitated and difficult to feed. He may become more skittish and afraid of you.
Release your rabbit in a safe place; locate an area that is quiet and suited for a wild rabbit. If you find an area where other rabbits are, then you can release your guy near them. Just make sure you leave a few days’ supply of hay and water. The best place is to release him near some cover so he can hide in away from predators. The best time to release him is at dawn or at dusk. That is usually when his cousins are out and about.
Feeding wild rabbits may be difficult and they may not survive. Wild rabbits have a high mortality rate in captivity and die easily from stress. Hopefully, this information has given you some guidelines to help you.
Feeding wild rabbits and more
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