Meet Elliot our orphaned Rabbit.

About three weeks ago, whilst cooking dinner with our glass french doors wide open, myself and my boyfriend heard the most horrendous scream coming from the garden! Sounding almost like a child in pain, we ran out perplexed to where the sound had come from, noticing that this huge scream had in fact come from the most tiny little baby Rabbit, who we later named ‘Elliot’.

Elliot aged 3weeks
Elliot aged 3weeks

Our four cats were preying on this poor creature, each taking swipes and playing with it back and forth, like cats do, but I ran out and scared the cats off, picking up this poor little thing and holding it tight into my chest whilst it was shivering and gasping for air.

Its always one of those massive choices you have to consider (living in the country especially) whether its better to put it in a box and see if it survives the night, or do you put it out of its misery? In this case it didn’t look too injured from what I could see, so in a shoe box it went with a little bit of water and some dandelion leaves.

The next morning I went straight into the spare room to check on Elliot, expecting the worst, but there he was alive, eaten some of his leaves, and drank some water! What worried me though was he was still gasping for air and with some research and further inspection I could see the cats had punctured either side of his nose, which was now full of white puss/liquid (rather horrid I must say) preventing him from being able to breathe properly. I immediately rubbed some coconut oil on his wounds (it works like magic!) and phoned up the vet for some ‘professional advice’.

I was shocked! The vet suggested that i release him back into a bush with the hope he would find his nest and be free (lovely idea) however my cats had taken out the whole next which was in my herb patch and had killed 2other baby bunnies and what looked like the parents! If I put him back into the wild he would most certainly die, he was too young to survive on his own without his mothers milk and he was also now battling an infection caused by my cat!

I offered to pay for him to be treated, but was told they wouldn’t do it because he was ‘wild’ and they don’t support that. This made me quite upset, he obviously wasn’t on deaths doorstep and was just in need of medication and the right care. Thats when I realised it was down to my research and animal skills to make him better, though I must admit I was thinking the worst yet again.

I alternated between coconut oil and honey on his wounds and made my own formula milk which I found online, I was shocked it was so hard to research a formula to feed a baby rabbit, its almost as if they cant survive in the wild then they have to die according to a lot of peoples blog posts and animal websites! Then I came across this formula –

  • 1/2 evaporated milk to 1/2 water
  • 1chicken egg yolk

I mixed this together and using a syringe i fed him very small amounts 3 times a day, so not to just give him a massive amount and risk his stomach getting upset. For the record wild Rabbits should only be fed milk once a day, but when introducing a new food I thought it was best to do little and often, which paid off.

I fed him his formula as well as mixed herbs such as

  • basil
  • parsley
  • coriander

and then gave him a small side of veg and fruit which consisted off

  • apple
  • dandelion leaves
  • grass
  • spinach
  • cucumber

when we found him I weighed him on the scales and also observed his features to get a rough idea of his age which in this case was 2-3weeks old.

within 4days Elliot was going strong, I would wipe out the white gunk from his nose and keep caking his wounds in honey and coconut oil, and in no time at all he was starting to heal, and then came the day he could breath normally again. 2 weeks later.

By this chance myself and boyfriend had realised he was going to be our responsibility and we would need to make sure as a wild rabbit we could provide him with the most ‘wild like’ life he could lead as he would get older, subject to him surviving the next few weeks. We live in the remote countryside and have enough land and facilities to make it work so we committed our selves to Elliot and to giving him a good life.

Elliot aged 5weeks

3weeks on Elliot is doing great, and he loves to play, we currently have him in a big dog crate in the bedroom with a little house inside for him to hide in, dandelion hay and now baby rabbit pellets which he loves nibbling every morning.

4times a day he is taken out to be exercised in the bedroom, where he goes mental, hopping and running around, always coming back though to check we are still there and then falls asleep on my lap.

I am currently looking for other ways to keep him amused when I am busy working (from home)  So If you have any advice or suggestions please let me know, and if any of you have ever homed an orphaned rabbit please tell me your story?

I am all for wild animals staying in the wild, but I won’t let a healthy animal die either.

Elliot Aged 6weeks.

Ill update you soon on Elliot,

The Girl in Muddy Boots. xx