Fostering hares


How to feed Hare- Babies:

  • Don't feed normal milk or cat-milk!!!
  • Lactation milk for kittens
    Mix 2 tablespoons of hot water and 1 tablespoon of milk powder.
    Check the temperature of the milk on your wrist or the back of your hand, feed it when it has body temperature and keep it warm, hares don't like cold milk.
    You can either use "cat-milk" by Gimpet or "BABYKAT MILK 1st age kit" by Royal Canin. Other breeding milks for kittens are KMR or Cimi-LAC (manufacturers unknown). You can buy breeding milk either at a pet shop or at your vet. Ingredients: Milk proteins, animal fats, whey protein, vegetable oils, fish oil, minerals, lecithin, fructo-oligo-saccharides, trace-elements, DL-methionine, taurin, vitamins, aroma.

  • Don't feed additional vitamines.
    That disturbs the digestion and might lead to death!

  • Hay, grass and dandelion
    You should offer hay from the beginning on because the hares needs to train its teeth with chewing the stems. Grass and dandelion should be offered at an age of 2 or 3 weeks, when the hare weighs about 300 gramm.

  • Set of teeth
    At the age of 2 and 4-5 weeks the hare may chew a lot without reason. Don't be afraid, it only gets a new set of teeth.

  • Personal hygiene
    After each feeding you should wipe off the hares' mouth and anus with a moist handkerchief. This is a substitute for the licking of its mother and furthers the defecation and urination which sometimes happens very fast...

  • Massaging the belly
    Flatulences are a very often experienced problem of young hares. They are caused of too much or wrong food as well as stress. To prevent them, it is essential to gently massage the hares' belly in clockwise direction during and after the feeding. If you fondle the hare a bit while feeding, it will soon lose its fear and experiences no stress when you touch it. In our opinion it is better for the hare to be at first a little trusting towards man and to be estranged in time. Prophylactically you can feed the hare five Dimeticon drops once a day for a period of one or two weeks, but that doesn't replace the massage.

  • Amount of food
    Especially during the first days it is very important what amount of food the hare consumes. At a weight of ~ 100 gramm the hare should at least take up 2,5 ml per feeding (four times a day) which can last up to one hour if the hare is weak or very anxious.
    click to see larger image

  • This is what you need for feeding
    From left to right: a (glass) bowl and a whisk to prepare the milk, a funnel to fill the milk into a plastic/feeding bottle (on the right side), a tablespoon to measure water and milk powder, Gimpet and/or Royal Canin lactation milk for kittens (upper side of the pic), Bird Bene Bac (below), Kepinol and Sab Simplex, 1 ml syringe without canula for the feeding, on the right: a mug for warm water and a plastic/feeding bottle for the milk - this can keep the milk warm for about half an hour. What you need besides: lots of handkerchiefs!