How to help the runt survive
Hi!! I'm a first time bunny grandma. My Ruby gave birth to 4 kits. 2 of them were pretty big, one was a bit smaller, and the 4th was much much smaller. We're on day 5 and three are the same size and the runt is still tiny.
What's worse, he seems to have his leg hurt. I imagine its from the other 3 jumping on him or his mom. Will it repair itself? Also, I decided to remove him from the nest and build another nest for him. He's on his own, but with lots of hay and fur. I want to make sure his leg heals and that I can control his food intake.
I'm putting him on Ruby 4 times a day to make sure he's getting enough food, but he's still pretty scrawny.
Any advice??***** Karen Sez *****
I admire your creative ways to help this little runt...I hope they work!
I'm concerned however for a couple reasons. First, if you separate the runt into its own nest, it no longer has littermates to snuggle with and help him keep warm. He may freeze overnight, especially being so runty.
Second, if in a litter of only 4 one is very small, I strongly suspect this bunny could actually be a double-dwarf called a 'peanut.' Read more at https://www.raising-rabbits.com/dwarf-rabbits.html
. If I'm right (and I don't know that I am, since you did not say the size of the parents), then this little 'runt' will die no matter how hard you try to keep it alive.
I just want to make sure you're aware of all the possibilities. In the meantime, the best of luck to you.
Helping Runts of Litters
by Joanna Courage
We helped a runt from a litter, by feeding it electrolytes, as well as warmed, watered down goats milk, through an eye dropper,
The runt seemed to be sick at the time, and its poo was runny, after feeding it electrolytes for about 3 weeks, the poo was back to normal and the kit seemed to be doing much better, and with the extra goats milk it survived.
It always stayed smaller than its sisters, but fortunately it survived.
Congratulations on successfully nursing your runt! Other rabbit breeders will be very encouraged to hear about this. That is a great story. Would you share more details?
What breed is it?
How did it compare in size to the other kits from the litter?
How much did you feed it per day?
How much was electrolytes, and how much was watered down goats milk?
What was the ratio of goats milk to water?
Did you try having the runt nurse by itself, then once he was full, let the other kits nurse?
(You can answer these questions by using the comments section below.)
We have 2 books that have information about helping runts survive.
Our paperbook, The Rabbit Raising Problem Solver, is a great question and answer style book, which covers everything from habitats to health. This great book is autographed by the author when you buy through us, and the straightforward format helps you find what you want quickly and easily.
Our digital book, Rabbit Reproduction, covers everything about how big rabbits make little rabbits, from the first thump of love to mama doe weaning her kits. It goes into depth for what rabbit owners and breeders need to know about rabbit romance and family life. All of our ebooks are 30% off!
Our policy is to always OVER-deliver
which is why your purchase is fully covered by our
Go ahead - take any of our e-books
for a test drive. Peruse our detailed informational and educational e-books. Examine
our plans for building rabbit cages, runs, or metal or PVC hutch frames. Check out the Rabbit Husbandry info e-books.
If you aren't completely satisfied that your e-book purchase is worth at
least double, triple or even quadruple the price you paid, just drop us a note
within 45 days, and we'll refund you the entire cost. That's our Double-Value
Note: When you purchase your
e-books, they will be in PDF format, so you can download them to any device that
supports PDF format. We advise making a back-up copy to a drive or cloud
account. If the books are lost, you can also purchase another copy from Raising-Rabbits.