A Rabbit’s Stages of Life: Facts & Care Tips

Rabbit Stages Of Life

It can get exciting once you find out your rabbit is pregnant with their first baby. Like any rabbit, this baby will go through stages and need proper care from you. You might also be wondering some facts about them, like when do baby rabbits start to leave their nest? How long will they live? And many more.

After the litters (the term for baby rabbits) are born, they become dependent on their mother. Oxbow Animal Health also added that until they reach the adolescent stage of life, they start to explore and be curious about their surroundings. But watching them during this time is important because they are still weak and prone to different risks. 

To better understand the rabbit’s life, let us first talk about the stages of their life. 

Rabbit’s Stages of Life

1. Newborn Rabbit

Newborn rabbits are like any species. They are small, vulnerable and dependent on their mother. Since rabbits are classified as mammal animals, they will give birth through delivery and not hatching an egg, like birds and snakes. 

This stage of a rabbit’s life is from day one until they reach two months. They also require a special diet: milk from their mother’s breast. According to the MT Martha Veterinary Clinic, the mother’s milk can feed her litter all day. So the babies mustn’t be separated from the mother. 

2. Young Rabbits

As your rabbit develops their body and starts to walk, it will also become curious about the world outside its nest. The young rabbit stage of life starts from two months until six months. 

Young rabbits’ diets also start to change. You must gradually introduce them to their primary diet, like grass and hays. But remember that since they are still young, they shouldn’t have unlimited access to food. You must also look for signs of a digestive-related problem like diarrhea if they eat new nourishment. This will help you identify if the food is suitable for their stomach.

This is also the best time to train your pet because they have yet to learn many things. Young rabbits are also very engaging with playtime, especially with their owners. 

3. Adolescent Rabbits

Six months and above is when the rabbit becomes mature. Their diet is much more different because they are now introduced to various foods. It’s also ideal for giving them vegetables and fruits for additional nutrients in their body. 

Some doctors would even recommend getting them spayed/neutered, especially if you don’t plan to get them pregnant. Caring for adolescent rabbits is also a challenge. They need proper care, like having a balanced diet and ensuring that you provide them with an active lifestyle. This will ensure your pet that they will love a long and happy life with you. 

How Long Do Rabbits Live?

There are many factors on how long rabbits can live. But typically, a rabbit’s life stage is 5-10 years. You also need to consider their breed, size, and health condition because these all affect their life expectancy.        

Like in other animals, smaller breeds tend to live longer than large breeds. Moreover, domesticated rabbits have more chances of survival than wild rabbits. Since they are prey animals, wild rabbits are in constant danger from predators; hence they live shorter. 

Kindly look at the table for the different lifespans of rabbits depending on their size.

Rabbit SizeLifespan
Small Breed Rabbit8-12 years
Medium Breed Rabbit6-10 years
Large Breed Rabbit5-8 years

When Do Baby Rabbit Leave Their Nest? 

As the rabbit reaches 2 months of their age, they will also start to leave their nest. They become curious and want to be dependent to explore the world outside. You will also notice that the mother rabbit will not give the same attention to them as when they were still babies.  

Utah State University claims that teaching to be independent is an important process in wildlife, especially since there is a tough world outside the nest. 

Although rabbits are known  to be social animals that live in groups, having an instinct is important for survival. If they don’t develop this, there is a chance that the group will not acknowledge their presence, and they will eventually become a lone rabbit.

Newborn Rabbit Facts

Having a newborn can be exciting, but it can also be scary once you start to care for one. Newborns are much more delicate because they depend on their mother. This stage of their life is also critical because they need the right nutrients to develop a strong body to fight common diseases. But you don’t need to worry because we have listed some newborn rabbit facts

  • A newborn primary diet should come from their mother, which is milk. Their digestive system is not yet suitable for hard foods, and milk provides all their body’s nutrients.
  • A nest is important when a mother shows signs of giving birth. This also allows the mother to have her territory when tending to her litter. Avoiding different threats from other animals.
  • Mother rabbits can eat their litter. But this rarely happens. Cannibalism is unsuitable for rabbits, so their diet mostly consists of grass and hays. They do this in their babies if theft suspects that it is weak and has few survival chances to protect the other litter.
  • Removing the father or any male rabbit near the newborn rabbits is recommended. During this time, the mother will be very protective, and if the male goes near them, they can start fighting.    

More On Rabbit Facts: Rabbits Facts: The Common Question About Your Rabbits

Caring Tips For Rabbits

Once you have a rabbit to care for, you next must know its basic needs. Food is an essential part of their body. It keeps them fit and full daily. But you need to be careful with this matter because it is a fact that rabbits have very sensitive stomachs. 

Rabbits should consume fiber-rich food for them to digest well. If you add non-nutrient food like chocolate, potato, and avocado, they will experience health problems.

Moreover, you also need to consider the environment where they live. Rabbits get easily distressed, so their bedding and cage should always be clean and away from loud noises. 

And lastly, while the rabbit is young, have them vaccinated. In that way, you also ensure they are away from contagious diseases that could potentially end your pet’s life.  

Key Takeaways

  • Like any species, rabbits also have different stages in their life. Every owner needs to have this knowledge so they can better understand how rabbits live and what things they need. 
  • Rabbit’s Stage of life is divided into three, Newborn Rabbits (0-2 months old), Young Rabbits (two to six months old), and Adolescent rabbits (Six months and above).
  • Rabbits typically live around 5-10 years. But, there are many factors to consider, like the breed, size, and health condition. 
  • Small rabbits live longer than larger breeds. In addition, domesticated rabbits also have a better chance of survival to live longer than those wild animals. 
  • When a rabbit gets to two months of age, this is where they start to get curious about everything. They also start to leave their nest and explore the world outside. 
  • Like any rabbit, you need proper care to ensure you will be with your rabbit for a long time. Part of rabbit care of providing fiber-rich foods, safe space, and a vaccination plan.        
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