Last Updated on April 4, 2022
Rabbits have a life duration of 8 to 9 years. In this period a female rabbit gives birth every month which means 12 times a year. A rabbit’s diet normally consists of greens and vegetables. Rabbit babies start getting their food or nutrients from their mothers’ milk right after getting born. Rabbit babies are called ‘kitten’ or ‘kit’. They are quite dependent on their mother as babies. As soon as they grow up their food habits change. Between the first to the sixth month, they are considered to be babies or kittens. We’ll know about ‘how do rabbits feed their babies’ in the upcoming part of this writing.
The food kittens get in the early stage-
How Do Rabbits Feed Their Babies
In this section, the baby rabbits and their food behavior will be discussed by the weeks.
First 10 days:
Rabbit babies are born with their eyes closed and with no body hair. In this period, they only get whatever their body needs from their mother’s milk. And this is considered to be very rich in nutrients. Their eyes start to open around 10 days. Rabbits normally spend 6 to 8 hours of their day eating only. But baby rabbits get fed once every day. And this is enough for the baby rabbit. Rabbit babies need calcium and protein on their diet to grow strong. They need to get their mother’s milk until they turn 3 to 4 weeks old.
Next 3-4 weeks:
Rabbits do not hunt and this is why they do not have any meat in their diet. Their diet is completely herbivores which means they live on plants only. When baby rabbits get to the age of 3 or 4 weeks their diet shifts to solid food. This is when they start to move as well and also start to walk. They get fed hay, fresh grass and water while continuing to have their mother’s milk. They do not start eating the solid food, they take small bites of the solid foods.
After the Rabbit babies turn 6-8 weeks old:
Once the baby rabbits turn 6 to 8 weeks old or so, it is safe to start feeding the rabbit babies solid food. Their diet should be consistent, whichever it is. Because the immediate change in their diet can upset their stomach which is not very good for the kittens. Till this time they should stay with their mother. Unlike cats, rabbit mothers do not go away from their babies after they feed them. They stay near the babies until it is time to feed them again. In between this time, baby rabbits rest and their digestive system start working. During this period, they drink a lot of water. They need access to unlimited fresh water and clean water. Even though they get the hydration from hay, they eat. But drinking fresh and clean water is still essential for the rabbits.
After turning 6 months old or the starting of adulthood:
A rabbit baby is considered to be an adult when they cross the sixth month. Before a rabbit baby turns six months old, they should be fed alfalfa pellets and alfalfa hay. After a baby rabbit turns six months old, they can start eating fresh grass, carrot top, fresh leaves, spinach, and kale.
However, wild rabbits and pet rabbits do not have the same food habits. Wild rabbit mothers feed their babies differently as they have access to wild plants and greens. Let us see how the wild rabbits feed their babies.
Diet of wild baby rabbits:
In the early stage of their lives, wild rabbits almost have the same diet as pet rabbits. But when they start having solid food, their diet starts to differ from the pet rabbits. They eat all kinds of hay, leafy greens that too slowly. Once wild rabbits become adults, they start adding more solid food to their diet. Interestingly, wild rabbits have a whole different kind of diet for winter and summer. For Summer, their diet consists of weeds, grass, wildflower, clover and plants. In winter they normally eat small leafless branches of trees, the bark of the trees and sprouts.
In case, rabbits are fed as pets, it is important to keep in mind that, while introducing young rabbits to greens, it is best to not feed them any fruits. As they grow old, fruits can be introduced as treats. Also, carrots are high in fibre and nutrients but they are also high in sugar as well. So, carrots should be given to the rabbits in small amounts, and also can be given as treats.
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Final Words About Rabbit babies feeding
Even though rabbits are cute, they are very fragile. They should be kept with care. Until they become old, they should not be taken away from their mothers. Because how rabbits feed their babies is best known to their mothers. So, keeping the babies with their mothers is the best way a rabbit baby can be kept safe, sound and healthy.