The problem of how to feed a rabbit without a rabbit, raised by us is not by chance. Due to the lack of awareness of young rabbit breeders in this topic, there is no chance for survival of the newborn eared babies. After all, if the female dies during childbirth or refuses her duties, you do not have time to fill in the gaps in knowledge. Having studied the materials of the article, you will understand how to act in such circumstances than to replace nutritious milk and learn how to care for babies.
Causes and Solutions
Let's take a look at the situation when the little rabbits don't feed the little rabbits what to do and why this can happen. The first reason is stress. Females who have undergone severe childbirth, frightened by loud noises or experienced for other reasons, will not feed babies. This can be solved by creating comfortable and calm conditions for it.
The second reason why the rabbit does not feed babies is her illness or death. Ears have a highly developed maternal instinct, but due to health problems, the female may not be able to provide offspring with food. In this situation, you can put the cubs to another mom.
But it so happens that the rabbit does not feed the rabbits, and there is no other varnishing female in the farm. In this case, you will have to take care of the babies yourself. This is artificial feeding, which will be discussed further. In order for the young to survive and develop normally, it is necessary to put a lot of effort, be prepared for this.
If the bunny rabbits do not feed, but there is another female in the household experiencing lactation, you will not have problems with nursing babies. You just have to put the abandoned cubs to another mom, but you need to do it right.
Rabbits easily accept someone else’s offspring and don’t worry about the smell of their babies from people. But the procedure of substitution should be carried out so as to avoid excesses. First of all, remove the female from the cage. You can distract her with your favorite delicacy so that she does not strive to return to the cubs.
"Podstavny" rabbit placed in the center of the nest and cover with fluff. After that, the female is returned to the cage and watched for her behavior. Most likely, the replanting will go well, and the newly-made mother will take care of the babies as if they were her own. If this does not happen, go on to artificial feeding.
Replacing natural nutrition: requirements for breeders
Let's talk about whether it is possible to feed the rabbits without a rabbit, and what this will require from the rabbit breeder. We have already mentioned above that the loss of a wet nurse is not an unsolvable issue, but significantly adds to the work of the breeders, as their task is to replace the mother as much as possible to the babies.
When the rabbit feeds the rabbits, the babies get all the necessary nutrients and vitamins from her milk. Ushastik on artificial nutrition may develop more slowly if you do not follow their diet. Be prepared for the menu to be changed regularly, depending on the age of the young.
Artificial feeding is a time-consuming process, requiring strict adherence to techniques and extensive knowledge. It is not enough to be able to make up the menu, it is important to imitate the process of natural nutrition, provide the kids with comfortable living conditions and take care of hygiene.
Milk substitutes from other animals
To feed the newborn rabbits, goat milk is best suited. The reason for this is very simple: their composition is as identical as possible. This allows kids to get all the necessary nutrients and vitamins. True, this product lacks a little fat, but this fact does not bear critical problems for development.
However, goat milk is difficult to get, and if you do not have a personal goat, it is easier to give newborn rabbit food from a cow. Of course, this product is not so perfect, as it has significant protein differences in its composition. But it is easier to buy, and there are enough nutrients in it for the development of babies.
But remember that ordinary cow milk lacks carbohydrates, and they are extremely important for the normalization of internal processes in the body of rabbits. Therefore, for feeding babies use a mixture consisting of three parts of the milk itself and one part of unsweetened condensed milk. Such nutrition can completely replace maternal feeding.
Feeding baby rabbits can be a difficult process, but if you understand what makes rabbit milk different from all the others and analyze its composition in detail, then you will simplify your task.
Dry substances make up 30.6%, fats - 10.5%, casein - 13.5%, globulin and albumin - 2%, milk sugar - 2%, mineral substances - 2.6%. The caloric value of 100 g of rabbit milk is 170 kcal.
We see that the product excreted by the rabbit is enriched with proteins and fats. At the same time, there is practically no lactose in it - milk sugar, consisting of glucose and galactose. In milk from a cow, horse or person, on the contrary, it is abundant. Keep this in mind when choosing a substitute for raising baby rabbits.
The problem is that if children have high levels of lactose, then it is difficult to digest in their stomach. This leads to diarrhea, dehydration, leaching of beneficial bacteria and, often, death. Therefore, giving a rabbit milk with a large percentage of lactose is detrimental.
Artificial feeding of baby rabbits is based on dry mixes. You can buy them at a pet store or a veterinary pharmacy. If there is a possibility, then you should choose rabbit milk substitutes directly. But suitable and options for dogs or cats.
Infant formulas for feeding are suitable for rabbits less, but they can also be used if there is no other way out. The main thing is to give the kids the ones that contain the minimum amount of sugar. The advantage of this option is a wide range.
Unfortunately, lately it is very difficult to meet high-quality foreign milk substitutes for babies, and there are not so many domestic options. Therefore, rabbit breeders prefer infant formula, as they can be purchased at any store.
Method of serving food
We have already determined what to feed the rabbits, now we will analyze how to feed the newborns and what is required for this. The first thing to do is buy or make a pacifier. In the first days of life, the babies gently pour the milk through a syringe. In the future, you can use small bottles for baby food.
Newborn rabbits are practically not susceptible to artificial nipples, so before feeding their mouth smeared with milk, so that they feel its taste. At one meal, the cub consumes 1 ml of the mixture., The ration further increases.
Make sure that in the process of feeding their tummy is not overfilled, as this is fraught with indigestion and breathing problems.
Feed the rabbits several times a day when they get hungry. You can determine this by restless behavior, as well-fed kids sleep. Before the infusion of the mixture, the animals are placed vertically on the palm, slightly holding, but not squeezing. Food should always be fresh and heated to a temperature of 37-38 degrees.
Nursing system from birth to month
In breeding rabbits rarely, but you have to face artificial feeding. The basis of proper nutrition is methodical. Starting lure should be with one drop of milk, introducing it 5-6 times a day. On the second day, the frequency of meals is reduced to 4-5 times. By the fifth day, babies are fed no more than 4 times.
How many times you would not give food, rabbits will consume it, so kids need a strict regimen. From day 6 until the end of 2 weeks, they are fed 3 times a day. During this time, the kids should dial 200-260 g. From 15 days until the end of the month they give the animals to eat 2 times a day. If there is not enough food, increase the size of servings.
By the end of the month, the weight of rabbits reaches an average of 500 g (depending on the breed). Weaning babies from the nipples start from the end of 3 weeks, but early-maturing species can eat "adult" feeds from 20-25 days. This can be determined by the number of molars - the more of them, the more likely the young will try new food.
From the second month of life, rabbits gradually begin to give solid feed. Some breeders leave milk in their diet, others completely exclude them. We recommend leaving this product only if babies are stunted. Hay is introduced into the diet since 3 weeks, putting it in small portions.
When changing the diet, be sure to follow the chair rabbits. If you notice even small diarrhea, stop complementary foods, otherwise their digestive system will suffer. If all goes well, then the menu gradually include weed, animal feed, carrots. Make sure that the animals always have clean water.
The basis of the diet of the monthly rabbit take granulated mixtures, hay, greens, oatmeal, vegetables and roots. The size of the portion depends on the weight of the baby and is 3% of its mass. Carrots and cabbage are ground before serving. Potatoes, beets, turnips are given 1-2 times a week, no more. More information about the menu for the younger generation, read the article "What feed the little rabbits."
Mandatory dressings for mixtures
The milk of lactating females contains all the necessary vitamins. But, if the food rabbit consists of mixtures and substitutes, they must be given top dressing. Already on the first day of life, fish oil is added to the food - a source of vitamin A. On days 5-6, oatmeal or sprouted oats containing components E, B, PP are added to food.
Already in the second month of life, the animals will give germinated grains in the amount of 50 g per day. In the diet of rabbits from a month and up to a year include oatmeal and salt, 0.5 g per day. From about the 20th day, babies need bone meal and chalk, 1-2 g. You can use a powder mixture and grinding stones.
The source of vitamin C are the branches of pine, spruce, birch. From the second month of life, their number in the diet is 150 g. Before this age, 1-2 small sticks are given to rabbits so that the cubs can scratch their teeth. You can change the trees for acorns, but only from 3 months.
Useful mother's litter
There is one secret we want to share with you. A nursing female gives the rabbits a cecotropha - its droppings in the form of balls in the mucous membrane. This is a soft night feces cecum. Such feces are very useful for babies, as they contain a large amount of protein, fiber and vitamins K and B.
If the rabbit feeds the young, then she will give them cecotrophs when they go out. But the babies left without a mother also lose this feeding, which leads to a lack of nutrients. To prevent this, you need to give this component to the animals themselves.
Giving tsekotrofy need for 10-15 days of life rabbits. Adult females take several peas and dissolve them in the milk mixture 1 time per day. When young are transferred to a full-fledged diet, 3 peas are added to the hay and vegetables. Such feeding is practiced until the animals have a normal chair.
About the disadvantages and opportunities
Artificial feeding of small rabbits is an extreme measure, applied in the absence of other possibilities. The biggest problem with such nutrition is the lack of macronutrients that are important for their development. In addition, substitutes are only close to natural milk, but are not a complete balanced meal.
The disadvantage is that the use of artificial nipples slows down the formation of a swallowing reflex, so it is difficult for rabbits to start eating on their own. In addition, babies may suffer if you do something wrong. The disadvantage is that you must have a permanent presence with the cubs.
But not everything is so sad. Artificial feeding of rabbits provides several advantages:
- unpretentiousness in food;
- quick addiction to a new diet;
- easy assimilation of dressings;
- power regularity;
- ability to regulate vitamin balance.
Therefore, it is not necessary to consider artificial feeding of evil, just prepare for this process.
In babies growing on artificial feeding, immunity is less developed, therefore such rabbits require specialized care. Special attention should be paid to two factors: lighting and heat. The recommendations below are suitable for both decorative and tribal eared animals.
Be sure to provide the cage with a darkened place where rabbits can hide from the day's rays. At night, the room should not be light, and during the day it makes muffled. Direct sunlight is especially harmful to kids, so their houses are kept away from the window.
To save heat, you can cover the floor with large sawdust. In addition, they facilitate cleaning. To create the necessary atmosphere in the cell, you can use a special rug or heating pad. The normal temperature is the one at which you feel warm, but not hot.
Failure to comply with sanitary norms is detrimental to the newborn rabbit, because any infection can cause his death. Therefore, all the dishes are washed with soda solution and rinsed with hot water. After washing, the bowls, nipples and other utensils are carefully wiped.
Products should be stored in a dark and dry place, in sealed containers. Milk stored for more than 3 days is not suitable for consumption by rabbits. The mixture is discarded after 24 hours.
Before feeding, the inventory is sterilized. Before approaching newborn rabbits, you should wash your hands thoroughly with household soap or baby soap. Having finished with food, babies are wiped from its leftovers and feces.
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