If you are a newbie rabbit owner and the baby bunnies you brought home are a few months old, you need to know the answer to what do baby bunnies eat. Baby rabbits need a special type of pellet diet. Bunnies also have sensitive digestive systems, so there are certain ways to transition a young rabbit to a new adult diet or fresh foods.
What Do Baby Bunnies Eat?
When a bunny is around six or seven weeks old, pellets make an ideal diet. A 16% protein level in a pellet feed is appropriate for a growing rabbit between seven weeks and six months. The overall anatomy and physiology of a rabbit are much different than a pet parent may think and impact the overall diet of these pure herbivores. Bunnies between four and seven weeks are still on mother's milk.
Simple Feeding Guidelines for Young Rabbits
Daily nutritional requirements are simple for young rabbits. With that in mind, there is a difference in the pellet feed's protein levels.
- 16 percent protein
- Between two and three percent fat
- Between 20 and 27 percent fiber
What to Feed Baby Rabbits
Young rabbits of both sexes until six months may eat an alfalfa-based pellet of 16% protein. Grass hay and alfalfa are the other essential ingredients in a young rabbit's diet. Don't feed greens to young rabbits under three months as this may give the youngsters diarrhea. Wait until a baby rabbit is close to three or four months old before introducing fresh foods like lettuce. Always watch for an upset stomach.
Alfalfa and Grass Hay
Baby bunnies may enjoy alfalfa hay as it is higher in calcium and protein than grass hay. Alfalfa is typically too rich for adult rabbits. Grass hay is also an excellent and essential food your baby rabbit needs to eat. It is also easy for baby bunnies to digest.
Pellets contain alfalfa hay, special protein sources, necessary vitamins, phosphorus, calcium, and essential trace minerals. Many manufacturers offer a junior version, and pet parents need to research the best brands available at a local feed store. Try Oxbow, a popular brand in the U.S.
Babies need plenty of water. Rabbits do not eat if the water supply is not clean and fresh. Baby bunnies also do not eat if thirsty!
How to Feed Baby Rabbits
A rabbit's unique digestive system easily digests grass. After seven weeks, an unlimited amount of pellets and hay is fine for baby bunnies. Rabbit owners need to observe the mealtime behavior of the bunnies at least once a day. The rabbit's anatomy and physiology play a large part in the overall diet.
- Any pet parent with young rabbits needs to watch the babies closely at feeding time.
- A rule of thumb is to run your hand over each rabbit, and any skinny babies may need more pellets.
- Rabbits always clean up the pellets, so leftover food may indicate there is a health issue.
Rabbit teeth grind and crush plant food. These small pets are always chewing food! Bunnies must chew grass for what seems to be endless amounts of time. Through intensive chewing, the upper and lower molars grind each other. If the rabbit's teeth are too long over time, a vet may need to file down the molars.
Baby Rabbits' Digestive System
Babies with sensitive digestive systems may need special care when you plan to introduce anything new. Always be on the lookout for a bunny with diarrhea.
Bunnies Eat Many Times Throughout the Day
Rabbits eat up to 80 times a day, and this is quite normal. The goal is to feed your baby rabbits an appropriate diet. The rabbit's physiology is what makes this beautiful creature so unique.
Baby Bunnies Need a Vet Check-Up
A vet is an excellent resource for newbie rabbit owners. If your baby bunny is ten weeks or younger, it is essential to visit the vet as these rabbits do not tend to live very long at this age. The caretaker needs to continually observe the baby and bottle feed goat milk or kitten milk replacer. A vet may help demonstrate the proper way to bottle feed if this is your first time.
What Do Baby Rabbits Eat?
A rabbit younger than six months eats a special pellet diet. When your rabbit turns at least seven months, it is time to transition over to adult pellet food. Pet parents may also decrease the alfalfa hay and increase grass hay as an essential part of the overall diet. Baby rabbits grow quickly, so observe your bunny and keep a journal of the overall health.