How to Feed a Newborn Baby Bunny

With care, your orphaned baby bunny can grow into a healthy rabbit.
With care, your orphaned baby bunny can grow into a healthy rabbit. (Image: Jupiterimages/ Images)

If your rabbit dies after giving birth or isn't feeding her babies, it's time to step in and care for them yourself. The surest sign that the mother rabbit isn't feeding the newborn kits is noise in the nest box. The hungry babies make a sound similar to a kitten's meow. Another indication that the mother is neglecting her newborns is if the babies are cold with flat bellies the morning after the birth. With the proper care the abandoned or orphaned bunnies can still grow into healthy adult rabbits.

Things You'll Need

  • Kitten feeding bottles
  • Scissors
  • Kitten formula
  • Liquid L. acidophilus
  • 1-cc syringe
  • 5-cc syringe
  • 10-cc syringe
  • Warm water
  • Soft rag

Trim the hole in the nipple of the kitten baby bottle with scissors so when you squeeze the bottle a fine spray comes out.

Mix the kitten formula according to the package directions if you have purchased a dry formula.

Fill the kitten bottle with 5 cubic centimeters (cc) of formula and 0.5 cc of liquid acidophilus. Use the syringes to make accurate measurements.

Place one rabbit on a soft towel so the rabbit is sitting normally. Don't turn the rabbit over to feed it. Present the bottle and hold it upright so when the rabbit begins to suckle, it won't suck in air. Feed the rabbit about half the formula, or whatever it will take, and then feed it the rest later.

Feed the other rabbits with the 5 cc of formula and 0.5 cc of acidophilus. After each feeding, wipe the rabbit's bottom with a towel moistened with warm water to stimulate the rabbit to relieve itself.

Follow this feeding schedule:

Week 1: 5 cc formula and 0.5 cc acidophilus Week 2: 15 to 25 cc formula and 1 cc acidophilus Weeks 3 and 4: 25 cc formula and 1 cc acidophilus Weeks 5 and 6: 30 cc formula and 1 cc acidophilus

After six weeks your rabbit should be weaned onto rabbit food and hay.

Tips & Warnings

  • Keep the newborn rabbits in a 65 to 70 degree Fahrenheit room and away from drafts.
  • It's easiest to keep a bottle for each bunny so you can be sure each one is eating the proper amount.
  • Don't feed the rabbit all the formula in one sitting. Give it about half in one feeding and the rest later in the day.
  • After a couple weeks, you can leave pellets and hay in the rabbits' nest box for them to sample.
  • Do not care for an orphaned wild rabbit. If you are certain the mother has abandoned it, should you take it to a wildlife care facility.
  • Do not overfeed the newborn rabbits. Overfeeding can kill them.

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