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Published on Oct 19, 2011
This litter of 8 Dumbo Rat babies, were separated from their mother when they were 1 week old, because she had begun eating them. Hand-rearing these babies was only done as a last resort to leaving them with their mother, and when another doe refused to foster them. Feeding in this way is risky, especially if the babies are newborn, as they can easily end up with the milk in their lungs. A sign of this being about to happen, is bubbles coming out of the baby's nose whilst suckling. If possible, (if there is no danger to the babies) they should be left with mum, especially in the first 48 hours, when the colostrum from their mother's milk is needed, to provide the babies with antibodies. At 1 week old, I am feeding the babies every 3-4 hours, depending on how much I can get them to take at one time. I have been using the teat on the bottle, every other feed, and using a syringe on the other feeds, so that I can better monitor how much the babies are taking in. I alternate also to try to stop the babies' mouths becoming sore from using the hard-edged syringe.