How Much Formula To Give A 2 Week Old 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 will try to explain my own experience. As the name suggests, the ‘Fader’ rabbit literally disappears with no energy left and dies. We, along with many other breeders have tried many methods in an effort to save these little guys with only a small percentage if anything making it past three weeks. You first see the ‘Fader’ when the babies leave the nest at around 2 weeks of age.

This is the stage where babies begin to absorb everything they see their mother tormenting them. The ‘Fader’ appears to be bent as close as possible to your mother or other siblings with flat ears and fluffy fur to save as much energy as possible. You won’t see them trying to whine about anything, running around the cage full of energy or climbing into the feeder with their siblings when mom feeds them. Also their eyes seem to open after the usual time around the 11th day) and they usually have to bathe in warm water to relieve them, not just once, but several days in a row.

We have tried many methods ourselves and documented the treatments used. When the next fader came we used the parts of the previous treatment that seemed to have a good effect on the ‘Faders’ and they lifted it up a bit. We have been lucky to have only had six ‘Faders’ since we started raising rabbits almost five years ago. We found that the most important factors to ensure a good outcome for ‘Fader’ were warmth and sunlight, keeping them with their family instead of separating them as this causes them to die faster, and the addition of additional vitamins in the form of Penta-vite® added to their formula. We also noticed that these little guys couldn’t nurse like their siblings but they could mix warm formula when it was placed on their tongue. So when Ellie gave us two of these little boys we were determined to take care of them in the best possible way in an attempt to save them.

As soon as they were out of the nest and it was recognized that they were ‘Faders’ we immediately started feeding them with a modified formula, we put heat pads under their beds (we put hot sacks of wheat under our cooler frames so it wouldn’t be a tasty snack for mum and your other siblings) and made sure they were in the sun every day for hours a few (vitamin D) by placing them inside facing the window so that they are in direct sunlight, but kept warm and free from drafts. We measured them both before and after their feeding using very accurate scales and found that they ate 4gms of food per feed at first and ended up eating 12 o 15gms by the time they were weaned four weeks later. The little Siamese baby Msi buck weighed 82gms while her sister REW weighed 94gms. Their brother (sooty fawn) who was a normal healthy baby had he weighs 146gms so we used him as a measure. It took almost two weeks of three meals a day and constant monitoring to see positive changes.

By the time they were four weeks old the two boys were behaving normally and were healthy and well. The REW now weighs a healthy 142gms and the little Siamese Smoke now weighs 129gms. Their deer brother weighs 190g. When they saw me coming they were very excited as if they were saying, ‘Mama both legs are coming, huh’. Their mother, Ellie still cleans and takes care of them so we don’t have to worry about that side of things and their little ears are now starting to crack. You see, their deer brother is just pricking his ears.

So it looks like we’ve succeeded in transforming these little guys. How happy are we? As you can imagine, it feels good and fun to sit there and watch the little guys run around. We will keep REW Doe to see how he develops and conduct further studies down the track (as he will produce normal babies or faders, will his health be affected down the line and so on) and we will keep an eye on the little Siamese Smoke to see how he develops. We hope this information will help those who breed bunnies.

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