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The rabbits They are animals that are gaining popularity as pets. Therefore, whether you have just adopted a newborn or if you have rescued them to take care of them for a while, you should know that at each stage of their lives they require a series of specific care, among which the type of diet stands out. it agrees.
The correct feeding of a baby rabbit should be based on something more than a random selection of green foods or commercial feed, since this is where its general health and life lie.. ¿Do you want to start raising your rabbit correctly from the beginning? Well, keep reading this AnimalWised article about what does a baby rabbit eat and find out about everything.You may also be interested in: Food for baby iguanas Index
- Milk, the first food of the baby rabbit
- How to make milk for baby rabbits and how to administer it?
- Hay in baby rabbit feed
- Do I think or pellets for rabbit?
- Initiation of the rabbit to solid foods
- How to feed a wild baby rabbit?
- How to feed a motherless baby rabbit?
- How to feed a domestic baby rabbit?
- What do adult rabbits eat?
Milk, the first food of the baby rabbit
The only food for a baby rabbit during its first days of life is breast milk. The most advisable thing would be to consume it from the moment of birth until the seventh week of life, but we know that in all cases this is not possible. Thus, if you have to take care of feeding a small newborn rabbit, you should use a goat milk formula, administering it with a small bottle in the afternoon, just as the mother would.
Never try to administer food that is not suitable for the age, since the rabbit would suffer from diarrhea and at this early stage this would bring death from dehydration in a few days.
How to make milk for baby rabbits and how to administer it?
Homemade milk for the baby rabbit has to provide the same nutrients as the original breast milk, while not causing discomfort, gas or diarrhea. Therefore, it is recommended to prepare a special milk formula for baby rabbits using goat's milk, the yolk of an egg and a teaspoon of corn syrup. If you cannot find it, the formula prescribed for newborn cats is also suitable for rabbits.. Never give him cow's milk.
Before starting to feed the little one, warm the milk a little and put it in a dropper or bottle with a small mouthpiece, try that the temperature does not burn. Then to find out how to give milk to a baby rabbit, follow the next steps:
- Take the rabbit in your arms with its legs down, never belly up, and try to raise its head slightly, always in a way that feels comfortable and calm. The intention is to simulate the natural posture that the kitten would adopt if it consumed its mother's milk.
- Insert the tip of the bottle to the side of the mouth, never from the front. When you have inserted it, you can turn it forward a little.
- Squeeze gently so that a little milk comes out; upon feeling the taste, the rabbit will begin to suck on its own.
- When your belly looks round it means that it is full.
As you can see, it is very easy. Although rabbits feed their young once or twice a day, since they do not have real mother's milk, it is likely that you will have to attend to them more times, so watch their behavior so you can notice when they are hungry..
The amount must gradually increase, starting with only 3 milliliters for each meal during the first week of life, twice a day, until reaching 15 milliliters for each meal in week 6 or 7. Of course, the amounts are indicative, since each kitten has a few different nutritional needs based on their size, so again we recommend you examine the newborn and establish the exact amount that his small body requires to be satisfied.
Hay in baby rabbit feed
Eating hay has multiple benefits for both the rabbit's teeth and its digestive system, in addition to helping it eliminate dangerous hairballs. In the wild, baby rabbits nibble on the grass near their nest, but at home it is better to use hay..
The most ideal thing is that you provide hay, either alfalfa or grass, although during this early stage alfalfa is more recommended, as it contains a greater amount of nutrients and calcium. However, it is contraindicated for rabbits older than six months..
Now, if you are wondering when to start giving hay to your baby rabbit, you should know that from the third week of life you can start to introduce it, while still providing milk. As with all puppies in the animal kingdom, the best thing to do is make a change in diet progressively, gradually removing the milk and introducing more and more hay. Later we will offer all the details about the change.
If your rabbit does not eat hay, we encourage you to read this other article about My rabbit does not eat hay.
Do I think or pellets for rabbit?
It is advisable to administer feed and pellets moderately, although making sure they are of good quality. Do not get carried away by the advertising that accompanies them and look carefully at the ingredients. Many claim to be the best for your rabbit, but when you look at the labels you quickly notice large amounts of fats, sugars and even protein. Discard everything that contains nuts, seeds and the like.
The quality feed and pellets are made up of ingredients that are pure fiber, which will be much more suitable for the health of your rabbit, giving it the right nutrients and avoiding obesity, constipation, fatty liver and sugar addiction problems. Thus, from the fifth week of life you can begin to incorporate this food into your diet, in the following sections we explain how.
Initiation of the rabbit to solid foods
The stomach of these small mammals is very sensitive, so it is recommended to test with different vegetables little by little, without suddenly offering a great variety. Otherwise, you will cause diarrhea and stomach problems..
The most recommended vegetables for your rabbit they are:
- Carrot (in small quantities)
- Spinach (in small quantities)
- Mustard leaves
- Oats flakes
Try small pieces of one of these ingredients each day and watch the baby rabbit's reactions. You can also add small pieces of fruits What:
In this other article, you will find more information about Fruits and vegetables recommended for rabbits. Now that you know what the food suitable for a baby rabbit, We will explain how to manage them according to each case.
How to feed a wild baby rabbit?
If you have rescued a baby rabbit or a litter of rabbits and you don't know how to feed them, here we will show you how. It is not the same to adopt one of these little animals as a domestic companion than to rescue one to help it and then return it to nature. Therefore, if you want to take care of the baby rabbit until it can defend itself, follow the following recommendations:
- Administer formula milk during the first week following the procedure already explained.
- Handle the rabbit as little as possible, so that it does not get used to you or depend on your care.
- In the second week it begins to offer you fresh herb and let him eat it on his own, alternating with the formula milk. Place a small container of low water next to him to avoid drowning in it.
- At the beginning of the third week add small pieces of vegetables to the diet and see that they do not harm the baby rabbit. Make sure I always have water.
- When you notice that he can eat calmly and walk well, place the cage that you were using in the garden so that in that way get used to being outdoors.
- Under your supervision, let him roam the garden on his own.
- When he is able to defend himself, choose a good spot to set him free. Make sure there are other rabbits in the area.
How to feed a motherless baby rabbit?
There are several reasons why a baby rabbit can be left without a mother, such as that she has died or even that she rejects it. If a newborn rabbit has been left without a mother and you adopted her, follow this calendar to feed her:
- Week 1 and 2: only formula milk, at noon and then in the late afternoon.
- Week 3 and 4: formula milk at the same time. Place alfalfa hay in large quantities so that he can eat it whenever he wants.
- Week 5 to 7: formula milk at the same time, reducing the ml per feeding. Alfalfa hay and quality feed in small quantities.
- Week 8: weaning, after this week no more milk should be given. Alfalfa hay, feed and start of raw solid foods, in the form of vegetables and fruits.
Remember to increase the milliliters of milk during the first weeks as indicated above, and reduce its quantity again until it is completely suspended at the time of weaning..
How to feed a domestic baby rabbit?
From the eighth week and up to seven months, the final growth of the rabbit occurs, going from a baby to a young or adolescent rabbit. Up to three months, feed, alfalfa hay, occasional pellets, and small portions of vegetables and fruits will make up the largest amount of feed.
From the fourth month on, the portions of raw food increase, to gradually replace the feed. Upon reaching the seventh month your rabbit can already be fed as an adult. If you offer a diet varied in vegetables and fruits, processed feed or vitamin supplements will not be necessary. However, if you consider that its diet requires the incorporation of this food, or your veterinarian has recommended it, in our article on feeding the rabbit you will find the appropriate amounts. Also, that same month you should start substituting alfalfa hay for grass hay, much healthier for adults..
Never forget offer fresh water at all these stages, as well as observing all the reactions of your rabbit to different foods.
What do adult rabbits eat?
By the time your baby bunny grows up, you may not know how to continue feeding him. Therefore, we encourage you to read these other articles where we explain all about rabbit feeding
- Feeding the dwarf rabbit
- Belier rabbit feeding
- Amount of daily food for rabbits