My dog alerted me to the fact out bunnies had babys last night! (we thought they were both girls) The mother rabbit did not prepare a nest and when I found them all about the cage they looked dead. I brought them in and warmed them up and all 6 are active now but I am not sure if mama bunny is lactating. Any ideas and advice is most welcome!
Its easy to see if mama is feeding them. Put her in the box with them. They should all be looking for a teat. Mama will stand over them while they turn belly up to eat. First time mama bunnies can be crappy moms so I always watch to make sure she knows what she is doing. With 10 minutes she should be done. Babies (kits) will have big round bellies. Sometimes you need to cover the box so mama will settle down. If she doesn't feed them, keep trying. Sometimes you have to help and I can explain that as well, should you need to help her. Mama rabbits only feed their babies once a day, sometimes twice if the litter is large.
One more thing, if you the parents housed together, please rmember that rabbits can breed back within 12 hours of giving birth. Unless you want more babies, it's best to separate them.
I forgot to add, you can try expressing milk from a teat to see if she's lactating. Also, if you need fur, you can alway pluck some from the mama's underbelly, it makes it easier for the babies to find their food. That is where rabbits take fur from to build a nest. All rabbit babies born here (Minnesota) in the winter, are kept in the house and brought out to mama to nurse until they are about 3 weeks old and can handle the weather.
We made it threw the night, I have been bring the mother in and holding her wile the kits nurse. If I don't she hops all over them and they cry:( Lucky they only have to eat 2 times a day! Thanks for the advice!
Oh, I'm happy to hear you are getting her to nurse them, even if you have to hold her. I've had to actually hold the mama on her back and attach each kit to nurse. Hopefully she'll catch on soon and it won't be so difficult. Once you have her on a routine, she'll be more then happy to feed them because she will be heavy with milk. Make sure she is cleaning their bottoms. That is very important to the health of the kits. IF she isn't doing it, you must clean their bottoms to stimulate them. I just use a cotton ball soaked in warm water.