Sunday, April 29, 2012

Goat milk for bunnies

Two and a half days ago I went to feed the rabbits and discovered the second mama bunny had either kicked her kids out of the nest or somehow some had squeezed through the holes of her cage and fallen on the floor.  She didn't use the nesting box I gave her and had them in the corner of the cage.  There were a few tiny dead ones in there which I think had been dead for a few days because they were teeny tiny and skinny, while others were plumper and at least 2 inches bigger.  I was able to save 2 of the bigger ones who were still warm but not very lively. 

I took them indoors and put them under a heat lamp in a cardboard box with a towel.  I got a syringe and filled it with warm goat milk and gave them just a few drops once they had warmed up.  That's all they'd take.  I really didn't think they'd survive a day but they're still alive and eating more.  Today one of them peed in my hand and it seemed like way too much fluid for a bunny that size only drinking 5 or 6 drops of milk 3 or 4 times a day.  Their eyes aren't open yet but they're getting more lively.  They want to slip out of my hand like a slippery bar of soap when I hold them for feeding.

The first 8 bunnies that were born a week earlier are doing great and have grown a lot.  They're so much cuter when their eyes open.  I hope I can raise the tiny ones as well as this mama has so they look like this in another week. 
Today I relocated chickens.  I had 17 in one coop but had 9 other younger ones who needed to get out of our basement and into that coop so I moved both groups to new homes.  I have eggs in the incubator that should hatch tomorrow or the next day who will move to the basement.  I haven't heard any peeping from these eggs so I don't know if any will hatch or not. 

After disbudding some goat kids today for a friend he gave me some red and gold pheasant eggs so they'll go in the incubator once these others come out.  I hope they hatch.  The boy pheasants are so pretty.  The girls are rather plain.  Here's a picture of a male.


  1. So sweet! I have used cow's milk to save puppies, and I know goat's milk would be even better for little orphans! Good Luck!

  2. From what I've read about the nursing habits of rabbits (I made a rhyme!) they would only nurse for seconds. It seems the Mom super-nurses twice a day with her rich milk and other than that the babies are on their own. Goats milk is most likely super-rich as well and would do as a great substitute. I hope all goes well, foster mom!

  3. I decided I should probably feed them more often than their mom does because they were taking so little from me at each feeding. Today they were much more eager to eat. So far so good. I see little slits like their eyes are opening.

  4. They are so cute! I can't wait for the boys to see this post. That is a very beautiful bird. I hope the eggs hatch!!