Need Ideas on What to Feed Baby Rabbits?
What do baby rabbits eat may seem a difficult question. If you find yourself in this new role of taking care of a young rabbit and you have no idea of how to feed him or how to take care of him in general, we have good news for you. Young rabbits eat, you guessed it, almost the same kinds of food as adult rabbits do.
However, there are a few dietary needs to consider. Their bodies are growing and their fragile and developing digestive system is a bit sensitive to big changes: environment, food, or even attachment.
Until 3 weeks: only milk
Until 3 weeks old, feed your baby rabbit only with his mother’s milk or other replacement milk (the most caloric milk from the pet store). There are more things to consider when you have such a little bunny, therefore, you better contact your vet.
After 3-4 weeks - What to feed baby rabbits?
If you happen to have in your care a baby rabbit of 3-4 weeks old or more than, things are quite clear for you. From this age until 7-8 weeks old you will still be feeding your baby bunny with milk, but you will also add alfalfa (higher in calcium and protein – ideal for growing rabbits but too rich for adults) and pellets (young-rabbit pellets, higher in protein). So, you should try a mix of milk, water, alfalfa, and pellets. Keep it simple!
Because pellets are extremely tasty rabbits often prefer them to hay. Starting from the 5th week you can mix up his usual food with some grass hay (meadow or timothy). Your baby bunny will get used to its taste for his later diet.
But don’t forget, start with baby steps. At the beginning, the little bunny will start nibbling on them so feed him just a few straws and pellets.
After 12 weeks, you can start feeding vegetables
From 12 weeks on you can introduce vegetables, one at a time. Gut bacteria needs time to adapt. Check the rabbit’s droppings and if you find them changing stop feeding him that vegetable. Normally you should not have problems with carrot tops, kale, spinach, and herbs such as basil and parsley. The number one thing to avoid is lettuce.
If your rabbit is changing the environment, try to feed him the same food as before. Consistency is king. Then you can make some step by step changes to healthier habits.
After 4 months, things get easier: cut pellets and alfalfa
Never forget that a healthy adult rabbit should eat food in these proportions:
- Permanent access to fresh water;
- Hay – 80%;
- Pellets – 10%;
- Fresh veg – 10%.
At four months your baby rabbit is already big enough, therefore, you should begin reducing pellets. If you are still feeding higher protein pellets (for growing rabbits) it’s a good moment to change them with adult pellets. Reduce alfalfa and feed more hay.
Now that you've just found out what to feed baby rabbits all you need to do is to show him your affection. Bunnies can have quite affectionate personalities. Don't forget that rabbits prefer smooth changes, therefore, offer him this “luxury”. Dedicate him a lot of time and warmth, particularly during this growing period. Everything will work just fine for your growing buddy.