Under Weight Nursing Rabbit
About 2 weeks after I rescued two rabbits I was surprised with 5 little kits. The buck and doe had been kept in the same cage before I got them, and both rabbits were very under weight. The buck has since made a full recovery,and all the kits (now 4 weeks old) are very active and healthy with round little bellies.
The female, however, has not gained any weight at all. I feed my other rabbits who are about the same size 2/3 cup of high quality pellets, unlimited timothy hay and a handful of fresh greens each day. As I did not know she was pregnant this is what I fed her as well. Since her giving birth I have increased her pellet intake to unlimited pellets, as the babies are starting to nibble them too, unlimited timothy hay, two handfuls of alfalfa hay, kale, and other greens. She has still not gained any weight at all and I am starting to worry for her. She is still active, bright and alert. She drinks well and eats most of what I give her. She is currently being kept with her litter in a large pen indoors. Her stool and urine look normal. What can I feed her to help her gain weight?***** Karen Sez *****
You're doing the right thing, Jason. The doe's milk production will peak when the kits are 3 weeks old, and then subside. She may begin to put on conditioning at that time. The fact that she is able to support very healthy kits is a good thing.
Try adding black oil sunflower seeds to the doe's ration (don't cut back anything else, just add). Or, you could coat the day's ration of pellets with a teaspoon of olive oil. Meaning, the amount you know she'll clean up for sure, and then add uncoated pellets to her feeder for the rest of the day's snacking. I'm confident this will help.
When did you say you separated the buck and doe? Before or after you found the surprise kits? If after, then it could very well be the doe has a new litter 'in the oven.' All the more reason to be feeding her well, as you're capably doing.One last observation:
You said you 'rescued' these rabbits. Jason, I don't know you from Adam. Perhaps these rabbits did need help, especially if they were underweight. But, generally speaking, I'm no longer willing to assume that a 'rescue' occurred simply because the word was used.
To our readers:
Not including Jason, we at Raising-Rabbits have begun questioning the use of the verb 'rescue,' and here's why. Because the vast majority of 'rescues' have become robberies, not rescues, at the hands of animal rights organizations and their animal control officer puppets, neither of whom understand livestock rabbits (it is rabbit farmers they target, not pet owners, generally). These organizations SAY there is neglect or cruelty, but it is a lie. In fact, some organizations have been caught sabotaging a situation in order to make their case. See www.raising-rabbits.com/200-rabbits.html.
Why their charade? Ideology. Religion. They believe humans should all be vegans, and no one should be allowed to keep any pets whatsoever. This has nothing to do with animal welfare, and everything to do with turning animals into little people (pantheology, or animal worship).
We're taking this post as a general-purpose opportunity to encourage all our readers to ask the deeper question the next time you read a story about any sort of animal rescue -- did the animals need help, or was this thievery? CLUE: The media story prolly does NOT carry the salient facts; you'll need to dig for the truth.
And IF you dig, and really listen
to the words the animal rights folks say, and set aside the rhetoric and the smoke screens, we think you'll see what we mean...
Thanks for listening.