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Question
8 month old rescue bunny quite shockingly had 2 babies!
One was WAY out of her pen on floor, still alive, partly warm. Found another baby in bunch of hay she had gathered up. It was dead unfortunately. The 1 baby I put in a nestbox in her pen w/some of our other rabbits' furs. I rubbed them on her fur 1st but this 'foster' fur had been sitting in a baggy for months (I collect fur for our canaries nesting times).

I put a hot water bottle (rubber kind) under a towel & put the baby on top within this fur I had.
The mom is a very nervous type of bunny. When do I know if I should place this baby in with another bunny we have that's still nursing 4 - t week old kits? I don't want this baby to die but I want to give the mom a chance too.

I can't find any info on this & because it's only ONE baby.
She never did pull fur either.

Thanks so much

Answer
Dear Paula,

Mama is young and inexperienced and stressed.  Triple whammy for unfortunate births like this.  :(

I hope the information in these articles will help:

http://www.bio.miami.edu/hare/orphan.html

This includes feeding instructions for the "orphan":  you can take over feeding if mama is unable (which is not unlikely, seeing as she didn't pull fur; her oxytocin and prolactin levels might be too low for her to successfully produce milk for her baby.

Please also see:

http://www.bio.miami.edu/hare/surpriselitter.html

and:

http://www.rabbit.org/faq/sections/orphan.html

I hope this will help with the situation.  Good luck!

Dana

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Dana Krempels, Ph.D.

Expertise

I've lived with companion rabbits for more than 35 years, and consider them members of my family. I can answer any questions about the biology and health of rabbits, from the commonplace to the unusual. But please note:

RULE #1:
THE INTERNET IS NOT THE PLACE TO SEEK HELP IN AN EMERGENCY.

...it is an EMERGENCY.

Find a rabbit vet at www.rabbit.org/vet for immediate help, and don't risk your bunny's life by spending time asking questions online! If you can't get in touch with your vet, read these Emergency Sick Bunny Instructions.

If you have found a wild baby rabbit, please read these EMERGENCY INSTRUCTIONS FOR WILD BABY RABBITS and then use this link to FIND A LOCAL WILDLIFE REHABILITATOR who can give you the right advice.


RULE #2:
Help me help you! Please make your subject line informative if you have an urgent question. then LET ME KNOW IN THE SUBJECT LINE so I can give your question highest priority over non-urgent questions. If you don't do this, then I can't guarantee timely assistance!

For all the best, most accurate rabbit health, care and behavior information, visit The House Rabbit Society.

Experience

I have been rescuing and rehabilitating domestic and wild rabbits for about 30 years. I have written articles for many rabbit rescue publications, as well as for the veterinary journal, Exotic DVM. I own EtherBun, the internet's largest listserve dedicated to health, care, and behavior of domestic rabbits.

Organizations
Houserabbit Adoption, Rescue, and Education, Inc. (H.A.R.E., Inc.) president National House Rabbit Society (Board member)

Publications
Exotic DVM
Warren Peace (Journal of the House Rabbit Society of Miami)
Various newsletters of the House Rabbit Society, nationwide

Education/Credentials
Ph.D - Biology
B.S. - Biology
B.A. - English

Awards and Honors
Lightspan Academic Excellence Award for web site on rabbit health and biology
(http://www.bio.miami.edu/hare)

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