When we think of the cuddly, timid creatures that are baby rabbits, our first instinct is to protect them and feed them wholesome, home-prepared meals. But it’s not quite that simple. In the wild, baby and young rabbits must rapidly grow in size to survive their first few months.
They do this by feeding on high-caloric grasses and other fibrous plants. This is something that pet rabbits also need to eat in order to stay healthy; but it’s not so simple of feeding them just any old rabbit food.
Even though adult rabbits can survive on a diet that is mostly home-made or commercial pellets for the first 6 -12 months, baby and young rabbits require a different kind of diet from what adults do.
What is the Best Diet for A Baby Rabbit?
Baby rabbits, like human babies, are born with a soft, delicate digestive system that doesn’t process fibrous foods very well. This means that rabbits under 4 months old should not be fed home-made food or commercial pellets. Instead, they should be fed a special baby rabbit food.
Baby rabbit food is available in either pelleted or mashable forms. Pelleted food is similar to the commercial pellets that adult rabbits eat, but is formulated for growth and development in young and baby rabbits. Mashable food, on the other hand, is more like a thick oatmeal, but with added vitamins and minerals. Mashable food is suitable for baby rabbits over 2 weeks of age.
What is the Best Diet for A Young Rabbit?
When your baby or young rabbit is between the ages of 4 and 8 months, it is considered a young rabbit, or juvenile rabbit. During this time, your rabbit should be fed a diet that is high in fiber and protein.
This means that, like baby rabbits, commercial junior pellets and home-made pellets are not sufficient as a diet for a young rabbit. Instead, young rabbits need to be fed a more fibrous diet like commercial pellets for adult rabbits (carefully adjusted to the smaller size of your young rabbit).
The problem, however, is that young rabbits may not be able to process these high-calorie commercial pellets. So, you may need to blend them with water, or mash them with a fork, to make them easier to digest. As with baby rabbits, young rabbits should be fed a special mashable or pelleted diet.
What to Avoid Feeding Baby and Young Rabbits
As we’ve seen, baby and young rabbits need a diet that is high in fiber, while adult rabbits need a diet that is high in protein. This can lead to some confusion in what to feed baby and young rabbits.
But, as long as you understand how to adjust the diets of the two, you should be able to feed all your rabbits properly. For instance, adult rabbits should not be fed a diet that is high in fiber because they need more protein.
This can lead to health problems as your rabbit struggles to process the fiber in the diet. Likewise, baby and young rabbits should not be fed adult rabbit food because it is too high in protein for them.
Raw Food Diet for Baby and Young Rabbits
We’ve seen that baby and young rabbits require a higher fiber diet. So, for many rabbit owners, the idea of feeding their baby or young rabbits a purely protein-rich diet might seem counter-intuitive. But this is exactly what a raw food diet is – a diet that is high in fiber and low in protein.
Some pet owners swear by a raw food diet for baby and young rabbits because it is full of fiber and nutrients while also being low in fat and easy to digest. It can be difficult, however, to find the right commercial rabbit food or rabbit pellets to feed your rabbits raw.
You need to find a supplier who either mashes or crushes their food, and then mixes it with a high-fiber, low-protein source like corn or oats. Doing so would allow your rabbit to get the right vitamins and minerals while still getting the fiber it needs.
Special Dietary Needs For Younger Rabbits
As we’ve seen, baby and young rabbits have specific dietary needs that are different from that of adult rabbits. But, even then, there are likely to be specific dietary needs for each individual baby or young rabbit. For instance, some baby and young rabbits may have allergies.
The best way to manage an allergy is to feed a rabbit food that is free of the allergens that trigger it. If your baby or young rabbit has an allergy, you would need to feed it an allergy-free commercial rabbit food. Other baby and young rabbits may have a digestive issue that requires them to eat a special diet.
You can find out if your baby or young rabbit has any special dietary needs by taking it to see a vet. They can perform a basic health check and determine if your rabbit has any dietary issues that require special attention.
It’s important to understand how to properly adjust the diets of adult rabbits to accommodate the needs of baby and young rabbits. It’s also important to make sure that your rabbit food is fresh and kept away from moisture to prevent spoilage.
You can feed your baby or young rabbits commercial pellets or mashable food. You can also feed your baby or young rabbits a raw food diet. Be sure to consult with your vet to determine the best diet for your baby or young rabbit.
Hi! I’m Lala, and I’m the owner of RabbitLala.com. When I’m not writing about rabbits, I enjoy traveling, trying out new recipes and enjoying my hobbies.
I’ve always loved animals, so it was no surprise when I started a website devoted to one specific animal: rabbits! Rabbits are amazing creatures, and there’s so much to learn about them.
I love traveling and trying out new recipes, and my hobbies include crocheting and painting.