How Much Formula Can A 2 Day Old Baby Have Baby Bunnies That Just Fade Away

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Baby Bunnies That Just Fade Away

What are ‘Faders’? I can hear you all asking, so now I’ll try to describe them to you from my own experience. As the name suggests, a bunny that is a “Fader” literally fades away until it has no energy left and dies. We, along with many other breeders, have tried numerous methods to try to save these boys with only a small percentage, if any, making it to three weeks. You first notice a “Fader” when the babies leave the nest at around 2 weeks of age.

This is the stage when babies start biting everything they see their mother biting. “Fader” appears to crouch as close as possible to the mother or other siblings with ears flattened against the head and fur tucked in to conserve as much energy as possible. You won’t see them trying to nibble on anything, run around the cage full of energy, or get into a feed with their siblings when mom feeds them. Their eyes also seem to open later than normal around day 11) and usually have to be bathed in warm water to release them, not just once, but several days in a row.

We have tried numerous strategies ourselves and documented the treatments used. When the next fader comes in, we use the parts of the previous treatments that seemed to have had a positive effect on the “Faders” and livened them up a bit. We have been very fortunate to have only had six ‘Faders’ since we started raising rabbits almost five years ago now. We found that the most important things to ensure a positive outcome for the ‘Fader’ were warmth and sunshine, keeping them with their family rather than isolating them as this only made them die faster, and the addition of additional vitamins in the form of Penta-vite® added to its formula. We also noticed that these boys couldn’t nurse like their brothers, but they could lick off warm formula when it was put on their tongues. So when Ellie gave us two of these boys, we were determined to give them the best possible care in an effort to save them.

As soon as they left the nest and it was clear they were ‘Faders’ we immediately started supplementing them with the modified formula, we put heating pads under the bedding (we placed heated wheat bags under the our cooler frames for you to do). become a tasty snack for mom and the other siblings) and made sure they got a couple of hours of sun each day (vitamin D) by placing them inside in front of the window so that they were in direct sunlight, but kept. warm and free from drafts. We weighed them before and after feeding using very accurate scales and found that they were consuming 4 grams of feed per feed at first and ended up consuming 12 to 15 grams by the time they were paraded four weeks later. The little baby Siamese Smoke who is a buck weighed only 82 grams, while his REW sister weighed 94 grams. His brother (a sooty fawn) who was a normal, healthy baby weighed 146 grams, so we used him as a reference. It has taken almost two weeks of three feedings a day and constant monitoring to see a positive change.

By the time they were four weeks old, these two boys started behaving normally and are making a good recovery. The REW now weighs in at a healthy 142 grams and the little Siamese smoke now weighs in at 129 grams. Its soot brother weighs 190 grams. When they see me coming they get very excited as if to say: “Come on two legs, already”. Their mom, Ellie, still cleans and looks after them so we don’t have to worry about that side of things and their ears are starting to droop. Note that his sooty brother is just cutting off his ears as well.

So it looks like we’ve got a winning treatment to turn these guys around. How happy are we? As you can imagine, we feel great and it’s wonderful to sit there and watch the boys run. We will keep the REW Doe to see how it develops and also do further studies along the way (such as will it produce normal or fader babies, will its health be affected along the way, etc.) and will also keep an eye on little Siamese Smoke to see how develops We hope this information helps those of you out there raising bunnies.

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