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It's not often that one comes across an orphaned fawn, so weak that it can hardly stand and so thin you wonder when it last drank milk from its mother. You know in your heart that the fawn has been abandoned and is close to death because it hasn't suckled for a long time. Help a little creature survive despite the odds by finding out how you can bottle-feed an orphaned fawn.
Buy milk replacer. Goat milk replacer works well, so buy it from your local feed store and read the instructions carefully. Make sure you know the amounts to mix by heart. Buy two or three goat or lamb nipples that will fit most pop or water bottles and there is no need to buy a bottle. Dribble a little warm milk from the bottle onto the fawn's lips and he will soon take the nipple and drink ravenously.
Feed the fawn regularly. Feed your fawn at regular intervals to get him into a good routine; every three or four hours is fine until you figure out how much he needs to drink and his approximate age. Your fawn will sleep, defecate and urinate between feedings and will seem quite well-adjusted to his new environment.
Watch the fawn's bowel movements. Watch for loose stools or diarrhea as fawns can die of dehydration very quickly. Cut the ratio of milk replacer to milk as much as one part milk replacer to twenty parts water. Treat with Pedialyte and Pepto Bismol until its cleared up.
Bottle feeding an orphaned fawn is a lot like suddenly having a newborn baby in the house. Don't undertake the job unless you have the time, energy and patience.
- Photo: V.Ries