It is crucial to learn How to take care of Baby Bunnies before actually bringing them home. Baby bunnies are fragile and need too much care. Usually, the mother of a rabbit does most of the work when she gives birth to the baby rabbit, but there are other things that you need to know. You must provide more care and attention when you decide to take care of a baby bunny. Doing the preparation earlier will make you confident enough to take care of that vulnerable and fragile baby. We will walk you through all the necessary things you must know “How to take care of baby bunnies.” Stay tuned and keep reading and get all your answers.
Things you should know about Baby Bunnies
The baby rabbits are known as kittens. Mother rabbits feed their kittens only once a day. The female rabbit is called a doe, and the process of giving birth is called kindling. The mother rabbit feeds her kittens only 5 to 10 minutes per day, and it is enough for their whole day’s milk supply. Mostly, the first nursing will occur the night after kindling. So, you don’t have to do anything while the mother is pampering her kittens. If you bring a baby rabbit into your home, you need to prepare the next box.
Don’t forget to check the kittens every day to ensure they are gaining weight and fine. Rabbit mothers are good at looking after their young ones. But now, it’s your responsibility to take care of these kittens and make sure that they are healthy. Baby rabbits spend almost two weeks living exclusively inside their nest. After that, they start exploring the outside world. So, you shouldn’t rush anything and let them take their time.
How to care for newborn Rabbits without a mother?
Taking care of a newborn animal is a difficult task because you can’t take any chances with the life of that newborn. Generally, a newborn’s mother does all the care and feeding. If the rabbit’s mother has abandoned the kittens or is dead, then you need to be cautious enough to take proper care of them. A mother rabbit doesn’t constantly pamper her kittens. However, she feeds her babies only twice a day, and after that, she leaves them alone. It is perfectly normal to leave these kitten’s like that as the mother rabbit goes away from the nest to avoid attracting predators to her babies. When you bring a kitten home, then you must take care of the baby as her mother. Here are some tips that would help you to keep the baby rabbits safe and healthy.
Make a bed for a baby Rabbit
The first thing an adult or a baby rabbit would require is a place to live. In the wild, these baby rabbits stay in the nest, and mother rabbits make sure that the other animal does not harm them. Just like that, you need to choose a place that is safe and comfortable for kittens. Apparently, baby rabbits spend their first two weeks after birth living exclusively inside their nest. So, prepare their nest keeping this thing in mind. It would be best if you prepared the nest box ready at least three days prior. This way, the mother rabbit will have time to prepare it to her liking. Here are some tips for doing so:
- Choose a large wooden box with a size of 9X15 inches. Make sure the walls of the nest box are at least 5 inches higher. Higher walls would stop the babies from falling out of the nest.
- Add a paper pulp bedding to the bottom of the box and line the bottom with the newspaper.
- Give your rabbit a supply of hay and let her do customization to it.
- The mother rabbit will start pulling out fur soon after giving birth. To help the mother, you can grab up loose fur that you find around and place them into the nest box. It helps to keep the babies warm all the time.
A mother is also in a vulnerable situation when she gives birth to her kittens. So, don’t forget to take care of her as well. She will take care of her babies quite efficiently if she is healthy. Suppose you are individually taking care of the kittens, then it will require utmost sincerity, and the first two weeks might be quite stressful. It is easy to take care of kittens when their mother is around to feed them and pamper them. But when you are doing it alone, then you need to be extra careful.
Feed them properly
Food and water are the contributory factors that would help the kittens to survive. If the mother of these baby rabbits were around, then she would feed them twice a day and then leave them alone for the whole day. However, if the mother isn’t around, you can feed the rabbits yourself with a syringe. Do the same as a mother rabbit would do and feed the kittens twice a day. If the baby rabbit has low weight, then you can increase the diet. You should feed the baby rabbit sitting upright. Don’t worry if the baby rabbit is taking only a few drops at first. It would take time to learn and get used to it. Feed according to the following instructions-
Newborn to one week: 2 or 2+½ cc/ml each feeding.
1-2 Weeks: 5-7 cc/ml each feeding and feed twice a day. It also depends on the baby bunny, and it may take less or more.
2-3 Weeks: 7-13 cc/ml each feeding. Generally, the eyes open at about ten days of age. Now, you can also introduce them to hay, timothy, pellets, and water.
3-6 Weeks: 13-15 cc/ml each feeding. You can feed twice a day like before. Rabbits may consume less; it also depends on their size. Cottontails wean and released after 3-4 weeks. However, jackrabbits take more than nine weeks.
6-9 Weeks (Jackrabbits only): You need to continue with the formula upto nine weeks in the case of Jackrabbits. Later you can change it to a dish slowly after nine weeks.
These instructions would help you to feed your baby rabbit properly. It’s important to take care of the diet of a newborn because it would help him grow. You must take a closer look at the points we are discussing as they will help you keep the baby rabbits safe and healthy.
Take them to the vet
A veterinary doctor understands the animals more than you. So, avoid taking any chances and consult the vet immediately. They would also suggest what you should do to ensure the baby’s baby’s healthy growth. A kitten without a mother needs to be supervised all the time. Consulting a vet would be a great option to know whether the bay is doing okay or not. So, if you also have a newborn rabbit, connect with a veterinary doctor and ask all the relevant questions.
Handle baby Rabbit carefully
Newborn baby rabbits have a fragile health condition at first. So, handling them can be a difficult task. You need to be gentle while holding them to feed them or pamper them. Otherwise, you might end up hurting them. It is best to handle the baby rabbits as little as possible. You can hold them often when they are old enough to leave their nest.
The way of dealing with babies of rabbits is quite different from dogs and cats. So, if the mother rabbit leaves the nest, you don’t have to worry about anything. Additionally, avoid letting your kids hold a newborn rabbit. Not intentionally, but they might end up hurting them, and that’s not good. Keep the kittens most of the time in the nest as it is the best way to keep them safe.
Keep the Rabbit away from your other pets
The other animals threaten even an adult rabbit. Apparently, rabbits are prey animals, and other animals can hurt them badly. Considering the baby rabbits, you will have to be observant all the time. If you have other pets as well, then keep them away from the nest box. We know that Rabbits are docile and playful. So, it would be best to supervise all your pet animals so that neither one of them gets hurt.
Can newborn baby Rabbits survive without their Mother?
Yes, newborn baby rabbits can survive without a mother. The mother rabbit leaves their baby rabbits after feeding them once or twice a day. She doesn’t stick to them all day. The mother rabbits stay away from the nest to keep the attacking animals away from the kittens. If you take proper care of the baby rabbits, then they can survive without their mother. You must keep them safe and in a comfortable state. If you see any signs of bad health or injury, then you can go to the vet. Let them know what happened, and they will take care of the rest.
How do you know if a baby Rabbit is dying?
Observing the behavior of the baby rabbit would tell you how they are doing. If you read any signs of bad health and injury, you should immediately consult a veterinary doctor. The baby or adult rabbits refuse to eat when they are in bad shape and unhealthy. The average lifespan is 7-10 years if you have properly taken care of them. Negligence can cost the life of your pet rabbit. Here are some of the symptoms you would absorb when your rabbit is near to death:
- Refusing to eat food
- Unusual level of lethargy
- Skin Conditions
- Change in Vital Signs
- Difficulty in breathing
- Unusual Noises
- Drooling and shivering
- Change in Urine or Feces
- Involuntary Spasms
If you see any of these signs, take your rabbit to the vet and let them know all about it. They would help to improve the health of the pet. Knowing the signs before will prepare you for the worst, and you can also look out for other alternatives to improve your beloved pet’s health.
How long do baby Rabbits need to stay with their mother?
A baby rabbit needs to stay with its mother for around eight weeks. However, the baby rabbits start nibbling hay and pellets after two weeks. If the mother rabbit is around, you shouldn’t wean the baby rabbits before eight weeks because mother rabbits take care of their pets better than us. Baby rabbits need to receive gut flora and antibodies from their mother. The mother rabbits nurse their rabbits only once or twice a day. It doesn’t mean she is neglecting them, but if the babies are scattered or cold, you can intervene to make sure they are warm enough.
At what age can you take baby Rabbits away from their mom?
As mentioned earlier, baby rabbits need to stay with their mom for at least eight weeks. After that, you can take them away. After eight weeks, the rabbits can roam around and eat properly. But if you take away the rabbits earlier than you should, you will have to face difficulties in taking care of them. Mother rabbits contribute a lot to keep their babies alive and safe. That’s why you should take the babies before they are ready to explore the world.
When do baby Rabbits get fur?
Baby rabbits start getting fur after seven days of their birth. When they are 12 days old, they will have a thick layer of fur on their body. Usually, rabbits lose their soft and cottony baby fur between 3 to 12 months. You don’t have to worry if something like that happens. But later, their sleeker adult coat will grow. Being curious about the baby rabbits and their development day by day is also normal. Absorb them from a distance and avoid touching them constantly. All rabbits are born without fur, and later they get their fur slowly. Rabbit’s fur keeps them warm and regulates their body temperature. It significantly increases the chances of their survival.
What does a three-week-old Rabbit look like?
Baby rabbits get out of the nest after 15-20 days. When they turn three weeks old, they are on their own. The size of the baby rabbits after three weeks is just like a softball. However, there are best survival chances only if their owner or mother takes care of them. So, you shouldn’t leave them alone. Instead, you can supervise them while they are exploring things.
What to feed baby Rabbits?
Baby rabbits can take Kitten Milk Replacer or goat milk. Both are easily accessible at a pet store, or sometimes you can find them at the local veterinarian office. You can use a sterile oral syringe instead of a baby animal bottle. The syringe to feed the baby rabbit must be available at a pharmacy. You don’t have to feed the kitten more than twice a day, but if the baby rabbit’s condition is vulnerable, you can give an adequate amount.
Can baby Bunnies drink water?
You shouldn’t give water to the baby rabbit right after their birth. However, baby bunnies will start drinking water when they turn 3-4 weeks old. When they start drinking water, you can give them a shallow bowl of water to drink from. Please don’t give a large bowl of water because they are small in size. It would be best if you supervised them while they were eating, drinking, or playing. Kittens are at high risk during their initial stage.
How long can baby Bunnies go without food?
Baby rabbits can go without food for 3-4 days. However, if the baby rabbits are starving, you can give them Kitten Milk Replacer or goat milk. Mother rabbits usually feed the kitten once or twice a day. Unlike other animals, mother rabbits don’t nurse their babies after they are born. Their mother feeds their newborns the following night after their birth. If the mother rabbit isn’t around, they should feed the baby rabbit twice a day. You can increase or decrease the diet according to the baby rabbit’s health.
How to feed a baby Rabbit with a syringe?
To feed the baby with a syringe: you can feed a baby rabbit with a syringe, but you need to do it sincerely.
- Remember that mother rabbits stand over the nest.
- Hold the baby upright and take the syringe downward and slightly to the side of their mouth.
- Gently squeeze it into their mouth and go slow.
Please don’t rush while feeding your rabbits. You might end up hurting them. Don’t overfeed or feed less than required and supervise them regularly to see the changes.
That was all about How to take care of baby bunnies and what changes they go through while growing. If you have a baby rabbit, then you should also pay enough attention so that their health doesn’t compromise in any way. I hope you found this article helpful. If you have anything to add, please let us know. Additionally, feel free to drop your suggestive words in the comment section. It would be nice to hear from the readers, and your suggestion will also help us improvise.