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Rabbits/How to care for the runt kit


Our doe just gave birth to four kits on Tuesday. We discovered that there is a runt. I looked up some info online and read that feeding the runt goat milk mixed with heavy cream will be the same as if the mother were feeding it. We tried that today, but the runt doesn't seem too interested in feeding. It would lick the milk off its mouth, but didn't try to suck. I'm sure it's not getting feed because its stomach doesn't look full; but I can't get it to suck. What should I do? (We've been using a medicinal dropper of sorts to feed it.) And is there anything else we need to do to take care of this runt?

Hi Jenna

How is the runt doing? Unfortunately rabbits breed for quantity and not quality and runts are common, their survival is low however.

It may be that there is something wrong with this little guy which is why he is showing no interest in feeding, and why the mum isn't feeding it properly either. You can continue how you are letting it lick milk but with its reluctance, it may not be successful. We recommend kitten milk available from vets, not dairy though.

Good luck!


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I can answer questions around the welfare of pet rabbits, basic health queries including gut stasis, diet worries, bonding questions and the proper welfare standards around housing rabbits (i.e. no wire floors, no small cages and they should be kept in properly bonded de-sexed pairs in very large enclosures). I cannot answer showing questions nor complex breeding issues as I do not agree with either, seeing the other end of the story in the world of rabbit rescue.


I have two 7 year old rescue rabbits and volunteer for a well established rabbit rescue here in the UK, both physically doing cleaning out etc and I am also their events and awareness co-oordinator, helping educate the general public on proper rabbit keeping, this means I have to ensure all information I give is correct and matches current welfare standards.

I belong to the RWAF (Rabbit Welfare Association & Fund) and volunteer for a major rabbit rescue.

I have no formal education on this subject, however read everything I can to keep up to date with current welfare standards and health problems. Both my rabbits have sensitive guts and constantly keep me on my toes.

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