Thursday, July 14, 2011

wildlife rehab

Just as I was missing my big girls who are spending a week with their grandparents, and my chicks just outgrew their super cute stage and hit their gangly heads-too-little-for-their-bodies stage, divine providence (or my naughty puppy, Carly) brought an orphaned newborn bunny into my house.  I must nurture, you know?

She (he?) had a small wound on one of her back legs, thanks to Carly, no doubt, but was otherwise warm and calm with her eyes shut tight and a little covering of fur on her body.  I think she must be a cottontail as jackrabbits are not born blind, and probably around 2-5 days old.  Since I have no idea where her nest is, her chances of making it in the wild are about zero.  She may not make it with my help, but of course I have to try anyway.  I made her up a little box with a receiving blanket, a small towel, and a bit of soft wool roving.  I read many online variations of How to Care for an Orphaned Wild Newborn Rabbit, they all preface their advice with leave it alone or bring it to a wildlife rehab specialist, but if you insist on helping it yourself, here's what to do...  I decided to try to feed her with a small eye dropper.  Until my husband picks up some kitten milk replacer after work today, I have been feeding her a mixture of organic heavy cream, a dab of greek yogurt for the probiotics, and, um, breastmilk.  Rabbit milk has the highest caloric content of any mammal, did you know? She only swallows a tiny amount per feeding so far, but she is eliminating so I'll take that as a good sign.  I'm going on a combination of research and gut instinct.

If I can get her to the point of being able to care for herself, I will introduce her back into the wild, so I'm trying to handle her minimally.  But her extreme cuteness makes that difficult :)  If anyone has experience or advice to share, feel free.

7 comments:

  1. Oh, Nikole, I am sending waves and waves of "Hang in there little bunny!" and "You'll make it!" vibes to your newest arrival. She/He is gorgeous. I LOVE what you are feeding her (especially the last part—so generous, and it makes so much sense!).

    I haven't any advice but what you're already doing—loving her up so hard and so fine, she won't be able to help but survive. :)

    Thank you for being such a softie, Nikole—dear bunny rescuer!

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  2. hey mom its me camille i love the tiny bunny i relly hope its alive wene we get home its so cute if it is alive wene i get home can i please please please please feed and take care of it i cant wait to come home i relly hope i get to meet it i alredy said this but it is soooooooooooooooooo cute love you mom

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  3. @ Camille. Of course you can help, love. And I think the bunny is a he. Do you have any ideas for a name? Even if he doesn't make it or we plan on releasing it, I think he needs a name.
    @ Helena. Thanks for the vibes :)

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  4. Hey mom i dont relly know wat his name shood be how do you know it's a boy did i do the it's right i my birthday is in 6 days love you

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  5. @ Camille
    How about Potter? (for Beatrix or Harry). You come up with the middle name, and yup, it's is right with the apostrophe :) He has little fur-less patches on each side of his genital area that I believe are his testicles. So, yup, boy rabbit. Love you, lookin' forward to seein you soon , and yay can't wait for your b-day! (hey, it's weird talking to you in my blog comments ;-)

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  6. i bet the girls are sad they're missing the bunny!

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