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BINKYBUNNY FORUMS > DIET & CARE > 3 1/2 week old Holland Lop. No mother
Last Post by Sarita at 9/27/2012 9:17 AM (8 Replies)
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User is Offline Posey Bunny
3 posts Send Private Message
9/26/2012 12:30 PM

I found a woman who was selling holland lops in my area and she wants to sell one of two to me tomorrow. The rabbit is 3 and a half weeks old and has been separated from its mother for 4 days. She's eating hay and pellets on her own and the breeder said she's ready to go. The mother has already rejected her. Though I really do want a young young rabbit I don't want to put her in danger. That being said, she's going to sell the baby at this age either way and I'd rather her be in my responsible hands then someone who gives it to their 4 year old.

I know this is not an ideal situation, you do not need to tell me the average weaning age for a baby bunny is 6 - 8 weeks. I talked to a vet who said she know that bunnies can technically be weaned by 4 weeks but I want to get some advice on how to best take care of this rabbit when I get her tomorrow. Anything will help. She is already eating Timothy hay, drinking, and eating.


User is Offline Sam and Lady's Human
2007 posts Send Private Message
9/26/2012 12:48 PM
I've never heard of a bunny 'technically' being able to be weaned at 4 weeks, so I would be extremely weary of that vet, for starters.

I also wouldn't get a rabbit just to save it from a bad breeder I have that rule specifically to keep myself from having 6000 bunnies.

Try to find a exotic vet, check for a list of reputable vets. Call and talk about the issues that come along with an abandoned bunny, it honestly might cost you a LOT of money in vet bills as well as heartache. It could be fine, btw, some buns are resilient, but 4 weeks is just so.stinkin.young

User is Offline bmt87
309 posts Send Private Message
9/26/2012 3:36 PM

I wanted to echo SamandLady's sentiments on the "it might cost you A LOT in the long run". It's a really sad situation but you are looking at getting a rabbit who was weaned entirely too early and not getting the needed vitamins and nutrients from momma's milk. I'm telling you this from personal experience having worked with plenty of animals that have been weaned too early and had a whole load of expensive, and some time unfixable, issues the rest of their life because of it.

ETA - I read your post again and it sounds like you are definitely getting her?  If so, I would take her *immediately* to a vet and ask if there is some sort of supplement she can be on that would make up for the early weaning. Also, at that age I know the House Rabbit Society and most of the rabbit savvy vets I have spoken with recommend that they be eating alfalfa hay NOT timothy hay.  So, that's another question to ask your vet. Here's the link to the recommended diets:


User is Offline Memarie
93 posts Send Private Message
9/26/2012 4:30 PM
I was in a similar situation with the woman I got my Luna from. She wanted me to take her at four weeks as they were "pretty much weaned and eating all sorts of grass and greens". Plus she supposedly always sold them that young and "as far as she knew" they had all survived. I called my vet office and gave them the situation. They confirmed that this was indeed too young, gave me some the reasons why, and told me to try and convince her not to sell them so early. Then I went back to the original owner, told her all the stuff from the vet (plus my own obsessive research), and asked her to hold my bunny until she reached 8weeks. We compromised at 6. It still wasn't ideal but, like you, I figured if she was going to sell her to just anyone it might as well be me because I'm experienced.

So maybe you can try to talk to her? Though I do see now that you mention the mother is rejecting her babies. I assume that to mean that she isn't feeding or caring for them? In that case your situation is a tricky one..

User is Offline Beka27
Cleveland, Ohio (USA)
16043 posts Send Private Message
9/26/2012 4:45 PM
It sounds like this person isn't the breeder. She received two rabbits from the breeder who separated them at 3 weeks, and now she's trying to rehome one of the babies.

I'm not sure if the vet would recommend Kitten Milk replacement at that age, but it's worth asking.
Meadow..... Photobucket ...... Max, my angel bunny

User is Offline Elrohwen
Hudson Valley, NY
7322 posts Send Private Message
9/27/2012 8:43 AM
Rabbits are typically weaned by 4-5 weeks, which means they are eating solid food and not taking much nourishment from their mother. The extra weeks spent with mom and littermates is mostly for social development and the continued immunity from the bit of mother's milk, but they spend much of that time getting their calories from solid food. (eta: By this I don't mean that rabbits should be separated from mom before 8 weeks, just that they are physically weaned, by mom, around 4-5 weeks. That isn't a good reason to take them away from their litter early)

If they are eating solid food and the poop looks normal, I don't think supplementing with KMR would be recommended. They will just need to be watched very closely and taken to the vet until they are at a more stable age to be on their own.
- Elrohwen

User is Offline Malp_15
British Columbia, Canada
601 posts Send Private Message
9/27/2012 9:07 AM
We have dealt with a few orphaned rabbits at the clinic, that were aroung that age & younger. We haven't had much luck, only one has survived. Your vet should have a couple of recipes for making a rabbit formula. There is nothing commercially sold for nursing rabbits and we never recommend KMR. I can't remember the recipes off hand, or I would share.

If you are going to take the rabbit, and its eating regular food, I would still supplement with a "homemade rabbit formula" or at least some critical care for a week or two. And please go to a rabbit-savvy vet right away! They will be your best resource on proper care of a rabbit this young.

User is Offline jerseygirl
Forum Leader
20751 posts Send Private Message
9/27/2012 9:08 AM
If these rabbits are with the breeder still, is there another lactating Doe that they could be put with?
Whoever says "It's only a rabbit" has obviously never loved a rabbit.

User is Offline Sarita
18886 posts Send Private Message
9/27/2012 9:17 AM
Rabbits this age should not be weaned even if they are eating on their own - they still need to get milk from their mother which is the absolute best rather than any supplement. Really 8 weeks is the best, not 4, 5, 6 or 7.

I feel if you are getting them from a breeder then this breeder does not have the rabbits best interest at heart and "rescuing" one will not stop this breeder from continuing this practice.
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BINKYBUNNY FORUMS > DIET & CARE > 3 1/2 week old Holland Lop. No mother

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