The type of food items that you feed your rabbit has a very significant impact on the well-being and health of your pet bunny. That is why feeding baby bunnies with the correct diet can support their growth and can help them in forming good eating habits. This method will soon be very effective as it will help these animals avoid any form of diet-related problems once they reach adulthood.
Although young rabbits eat the same kind of food as matured rabbits do, it is still important to know account the different nutritional needs of their growing bodies and the important sensitivity and development of their digestive system.
What Is In A Baby Bunny’s Diet?
Like all other types of mammals, the rabbit’s initial diet is the milk of their mothers. They drink this from their birth until they reach 6 to 8 weeks old. At first, they will try nibbling on solids, which usually is hay from their nest when they are at 2 to 3 weeks old. When they are 3 to 4 weeks old, they will be open to the same solid foods as the adults, but they still go crazy over drinking milk.
While they are still between 6 to 8 weeks old, the baby bunnies are still weaning, so they will be dependent on milk and their digestive systems will still be adjusting to everything. This is a very sensitive time so it is important that a bunny will still be provided with exclusive close time with the rabbit’s mother for a minimum of 8 weeks.
The Value of Consistency
One thing you should take note of young rabbits is the value of being consistent. Digestive systems of baby bunnies are much more sensitive to changes in the food that they consume, and they can become much more susceptible to digestive diseases and it can all go downhill quickly, especially if they do get sick.
As a rabbit keeper, you should remember that movement into a new environment, from being from the wild to a new domesticated being. It is bad for your pet rabbit to get food changes and home changes at the same time as it might feel too overwhelmed.
When you acquire a rabbit, you should identify what type of food it exactly needs. Know what it has been fed when it was born and make sure that you get the same exact brand of food it has been consuming. In most cases, it would do them less harm to continue temporarily with some basic type of rabbit foods, regardless of the quality is actually bad.
If you are unsure what the rabbit was fed with before you got hold of your baby rabbit, the safest bet would be to focus solely on just hay and water. Then, you can eventually go for introducing other components to your snake’s diet gradually.
The Ideal Diet For Young Rabbits
Just like adult rabbits, young rabbits are also dominated by hay. Hay is the most important component in a rabbit’s diet, and this is just usually supplemented by other food options. You can go for grass hay, like meadow or timothy. This is the best type of hay to be used as a starter for your rabbit. This is the gentlest type of food you can provide for your rabbit as it will provide the right amount of fiber that your little fluffy bunny will need for its digestive process to function.
Young rabbits can also have alfalfa, which looks a bit like chopped up hay. But this is not grass, but it is made from lucerne. It is higher in protein and calcium if you can compare this to grass hay. This is why this is ideal for growing and maturing rabbits.
If you are feeding your rabbits some alfalfa, it can be a good idea to mix it up with some grass hay. This can stop your rabbit from getting too hooked into consuming alfalfa that it can be difficult to make the transition to grass hay when they reach adulthood. When the rabbit reaches 4 to 5 months old, it is about time to phase out feeding your young one with alfalfa.
Baby rabbits have higher protein requirements that will stimulate their growth. So, while an adult rabbit requires eating about 12 to 14 percent in their regular diet, baby rabbits require a protein diet of about 16 percent. You can purchase rabbit food to help you with this.
One important factor to consider is the fact that young rabbits should not be given unlimited access to pellets as this can create issues later on in life. As with people, good habits are often formed when rabbits are still young. Therefore, it is very important to balance out how much pellets you give to young bunnies. Pellets can become very tasty and rabbits can go for them more compared to hay. If you give them an unlimited source of pellets, they might go crazy, which can lead to digestive issues and dental problems.
Pellets were also designed for commercial breeders who would want to accelerate the growth of their rabbits, so you might want to watch out on that. It is always best to restrict pellets to a certain extent even in young rabbits, although they can have more compared to what they should have while they are still young.
But how much dry food should you give? It can be difficult to measure the exact amount of bird food that you should go for. Take note of the nutritional content of the dry food that you provide in relation to how old your rabbit is and what other types of food it consumes. It can be difficult to estimate if you are a first time owner, but one thing that you can use as a guide is to use 25 grams per 1-kilogram weight of your rabbit.
Years ago, the rule of thumb was to start giving fresh foods to rabbits once they reach 6 months old. But, this is not really is the case, and there is no basis for it. Some easy rules that you can go for are that you can give your rabbit access to fresh food if the mother was fed fresh foods when she was raising the litter. If your rabbit has never had access to fresh food before, do the introduction two to twelve weeks after the rabbit has settled into your home.
The best options for fresh food that you can provide is leafy greens except for lettuce, carrot tops, kale, spring greens, spinach, dandelion leaves, raspberries, blackberries, basil, and parsley. For young rabbits, make sure that you do not give fruits, and wait until they become adults before you feed them treats.
Rabbits can grow quite quickly in the first three months of their life. This is why it is very important to be very careful in providing them the best care that you can provide as they are still in their formative years. Focus very much on the things that your rabbit will need and trust your gut so that you can give your rabbit the best life.