Use a fairly big cage, say 4ft x
2 ft, lined with newspaper and
Keep in a quiet room in the house and let the leverets get used to
their new surroundings for about 5 days before moving the cage into a
shed or outbuilding.
Do remember to keep check of the temperature as
wooden buildings can get very hot or very cold.
With 2 or more
leverets, use a dab of liquid food colouring on the inner ear to
After their morning feed, put them outside in a small run or grassed
area so they can graze.
An upturned open-fronted wooden box (no base)
should be provided for shelter during the day, then they can be
returned to the indoor cage after the evening feed.
bark-covered log or tree stump for gnawing and a large piece of
weathered stone or brick for them to lick for their mineral content.
This is essential, as it will indicate
if they are receiving sufficient
milk. At first, weigh daily at the same time of day.
Once they have
settled into a feeding pattern, weigh every two days.
They may lose a
few grams initially but should soon settle into a daily weight gain of
5 – 20 grams.
When changing a feeding pattern, weigh them daily to see if they are
ready for the change. A
s the amount of feed taken increases their
weight might well remain static for a day or so before it begins to
If the leverets lose weight for 2 days running, you will need to
re-introduce the dropped feed for 2-3 days before trying to change
Esbilac milk substitute works well with
leverets. Give in a 1 ml
syringe with the smallest Catac teat.
You can increase the size of the
syringe gradually as they require more feed, as long as you remember to
press the plunger more slowly with the larger sizes.
For the first 10 days give 1 ml a day of warm Avipro micro-encapsulated
water-soluble probiotic to help the gut to digest the feed properly.
full, round but not taut tummy and steady weight gain is a good
indication that the leveret is getting the right amount of food.
A room free from disturbance and noise is essential.
For the first 3 – 5 days feed at 8am,
2pm and 8pm. Mix up enough
Esbilac for the day.
Following the quantity instructions on the tin,
mix the Esbilac to a paste with warm boiled water. Not hot or cold, it
will make it curdle.
When smooth, add the remaining amount of cold
water. Whisk well and store in the fridge in a sealed clean container.
Warm up just the amount needed for a feed and throw away any that’s
Try to keep the milk at a constant temperature with a baby
bottle warmer or similar.
Always check the temperature before feeding.
Do not re-heat the milk; use within 24 hours of mixing and keep the
opened tin of Esbilac in the fridge.
Here is an example of one of a pair of
leverets that have just been
His sibling was a little lower in weight and food intake;
they were 3-5 days old.
Amount:15-25ml over 3 feeds, + 1 ml
Avipro. Weight103g. Gain 0
Amount: 25-40ml over 2 feeds AM/PM +
Avipro Weight158g Gain 55g
Amount 40-55ml, 2 feeds AM / PM + Avipro. Weight 248g. Gain 90g
Amount 55-65ml over AM/PM feeds. Outside run during day. Caged
overnight. Weight 331g. Gain 91g
Amount 55-65ml over am/pm feeds outside run during
day, cage overnight. Weight 423g. Gain 92g
Amount 65-90ml over 2 feeds. Dry &
fresh grasses. Outside run in day, cage
overnight. Weight 514g. Gain 52g
Amount 65-90ml over 2 feeds. Dry & fresh
grasses. Outside run in day, cage overnight. Weight 566g. Gain 52g
Amount 55ml in 1
feed am. Dry/fresh grasses etc.Weight 524g. Gain42g
Amount 85ml in 1 feed pm.
Dry/fresh grasses etc. Weight 627g. Gain 96g
Amount 90ml in 1 feed pm. Dry/fresh
grasses etc.Weight 680g. Gain 60g
Amount 70ml in 1 feed pm. Dry/fresh grasses
etc. Weight 714g. Gain 34g
After the pm feed this leveret inhaled some milk. It
left him distressed and feeling unwell. I took him to the vet first
thing next day.
The vet said his lungs sounded clear but as a
precaution gave an injection of Rimadyl and Baytril and prescribed a
course of antibiotics:
Once daily for 5 days: 0.4 Baytril syringe fed;
2 drops Metacam in the mouth.
Amount 40ml in 1 pm
feed lapping + dried & fresh grasses etc.Weight 765g Gain 51g
The leveret was quite large now and prone to guzzling. I felt it
wise to encourage lapping from a shallow dish while sitting on my lap.
They were moved to an outside hutch and run. Secured one of the
doors open so leverets have access at all times.
Amount 30 ml in pm, lapping. Dried & fresh grasses. Lots of
dandelion leaves. Weight 902g. Gain 137g
Amount 20 ml in pm, lapping. Dried &
fresh grasses. Lots of dandelion leaves. Weight 910g. Gain 8g
Amount 10 ml in
pm, lapping. Dried & fresh grasses. Lots of dandelion
leaves. Weight 930g. Gain 20g
Amount: No milk feed. Dried & fresh grasses. Lots of
dandelion leaves. Weight 945g. Gain15g
As aboveWeight 997g Amount 52g
Days 45-46 amounts As
above. Weight 1050g. Gain 53g
Days 47-48. Amount As above. Weight 1120g. Gain 70g
Days 49-50. Amount As above. Weight 1140g. Gain 20g
After obtaining permission, the leverets were released in good hare
habitat at the Tring nature reserve in Herts.
To transport the hares,
use a wire mesh pet carrier with a lining of hay.
Do not use a pet
carrier that makes a dark, enclosed space, it will frighten them.
Foodstuffs and Suppliers
Esbilac: Perky Petfoods 01522 696467
Alfalfa Nibbles: Petlife International Ltd 01284 761131
Excel natural Dried Grass: Burgess Supafeeds 0800 413969
Dandelion leaves, flowers, roots, clover leaves and flowers, parsley.
Enclosed grassy area for grazing
Occasional treats: very occasional small amounts only, corn on the cob,
Information courtesy of Susan McClure
Harebells foster home/rehab centre. 01296 662989
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