Most people often wonder how to care for the babies of a rabbit. The new – born rabbits seems to be so tiny and helpless but you must know that nature is a good provider and the mother will take best care of her babies. If you want to help them then here are few tips that will surely help you :-
1. TAKING CARE OF THE MOTHER :-
The mother rabbit takes care of her babies until they’re old enough to eat pellets. You must always remember that needs extra nutrition and special care as she already has her babies so that she can feed their babies milk. Also don’t be concerned if the rabbit is not spending much time with kits. They do not sit with their babies like dogs and cats do. They go into the nest only once or twice a day to feed the babies.
2. MAKE SURE THAT YOU HAVE A NEST BOX :-
Providing a nest box to your rabbit for the babies to be born in, is very important. If you simply let the mother rabbit to have her babies on the cage’s floor, then they will die so be aware of this situation. You should filled the nest box with timothy hay or grass hay and shavings in the box. Do not fill it too high, also make sure the nest box does not have any holes, otherwise the babies might escape. However the mother rabbit will not move the litters, so even if one litter escape then you will have to put it back. well, do not worry as the mother rabbit will keep taking care of that baby, even if you touch it. The nest box can also help you to know if the rabbit is going to have babies, how? well, it is easy, she will pull her fur from her chest or belly area in order to keep her warm. She might also rearrange the things which you kept in the box in order to be safe.
3. CHECK FOR DEAD RABBITS :-
After all the babies arrived, check if any dead rabbits are there. However i am pretty sure that the mother rabbit will not let you to touch the litters initially, so you can give her a treat in order to keep her busy. Make sure to give the treat away from the cage. Now, look through all the fur and check if there are any dead kits, and then you can remove that dead one. While looking out for dead kits, do not bother even if you touch the live rabbits, as the mother will not be upset about the scent of yours on the young. But even if you are worried about your smell on the babies, then you can just put a dab of vanilla on the nose of doe. Domestic rabbits are used to our scents and being around us, even though some mother rabbits might feel annoyed if you touch her babies but she will still take care of them.
4. FOSTER THE RABBITS IF THERE ARE MORE THAN EIGHT :-
If the rabbit has more than eight litters, you may want to consider to foster one or two babies to another mother rabbit that has kits of under eight. Also if your doe has only one litter then you may want to add more babies to the nest as this will keep all the babies warm. You must always foster the both litters which are of the same age.
5. HANDLING THE KITS :-
As i already said above the the mother rabbit will not mind if you touch her babies so do not worry. However before handling them, wash your hands with the hot water and disinfected soap. Your hands are always covered with bacteria, no matter how much clean they seemed to be. And these bacteria can really harmful to the litters as their immune systems are not mature enough yet, which can control the bacterial growth. Once you clean your hands, rub your hands in some of the fresh, clean hay and on the mother’s fur in order to scent your hands.
6. FEEDING :-
Feeding nutritious and healthy food to the mother rabbit is quite important so that she, too, can feed milk to the babies. As a warning, i am telling you to feed the mother rabbit regularly, otherwise, they will eat her babies.
They don’t feed the litters often, they usually come into the nest once or twice a day only and then the feeding time will also be for very short time, usually few minutes at most. And that portion of milk, which will be taken in by the babies will be quite sufficient for them for the next twenty four hours. They will start to eat pellets at the age of three weeks around, and can be weaned at the age of six to eight weeks. so good luck in taking care of them!