Wondering how to care for baby bunnies? Well, that is what this page is about. While we probably wouldn’t recommend that you just dive right in and look after a newborn bunny babies without owning a different rabbit in the past, we are sure that the information on this page will help you out.
It is worth noting that a lot of the tips on this page will also apply to a wild baby rabbit. So, if you find a bunny baby in the wild that doesn’t seem to have a mother in sight (you should always check!), the tips on this page are going to help you out too.
Although, of course, you should never touch wild bunny babies unless you absolutely must.
It is also worth noting that looking after bunny babies isn’t as difficult as you may think. Obviously, it is going to require some knowledge about rabbits on your part, but in the wild, rabbits can be fairly self-sufficient.
Not as self-sufficient as hares, but enough that after a few weeks, they should be running about on their own.
We are going to try and break this article down into the order that you will be dealing with the bunny babies. However, we do encourage you to read through every single word here. Do not just look for a single section and get your information from that. You need to read it all.
Preparing for the Bunny Babies
To be honest, there is not much that you need to do to prepare for the coming bunnies. Perhaps the best you can do is build a nest for the bunny babies.
Tip: Immediately after breeding, record the date and set your calendar for nesting box in 28-29 days.
You can make one out of a shoebox, but it is likely that you want to give the rabbits the best start in their life. So, save yourself a lot of hassle (and boost their comfort), by opting to buy a proper nesting box. You can get one from nearly every reputable pet retailer, so they shouldn’t be too difficult to track down.
Next, you will want to put some cedar shavings into the box. You must make sure that these are rated for use with rabbits. You can’t just shave a cedar tree and get some shavings from that.
They will not have dried out properly, and this can be toxic to the bunny babies. You don’t need much in the way of cedar shavings in there. It should measure about a quarter of the way up to your hand, and maybe a little bit more if it is the winter.
The rest of the nest should be filled up with hay. You should make a small little hole at the top of the hay. This will provide the mother with a good starting point to burrow.
The nest should be placed in the hutch 5-10 days before the bunny babies are scheduled to be born. Make sure that you are swapping out the hay if the mother is eating it, but she probably shouldn’t.
Wait for the Birth of the Bunny Babies
Now, you need to do nothing but wait for the birth. The mother of the bunny babies has this, so you just need to check the box every so often to see if the bunny babies are there (they could be buried very deep)
Sadly, it is likely that you will have the unfortunate task of removing stillborn bunny babies from the nest. It is important that you do this as quickly as possible. If you o not, then it will make both the other bunnies and the mother very sick.
It is important that you leave any placenta in the nest. The mother will need this for nutrients.
Don’t be Afraid to Handle the Baby Bunnies
Right at the start, we want to tell you that you shouldn’t worry about handling the babies. Unlike other animals, rabbits tend not to care too much about whether a person has touched their babies.
They are still going to be caring for them in exactly the same way. It is unlikely that a rabbit will ever abandon its babies. The only time this happens is if the rabbit giving birth is still fairly young, or if it isn’t producing milk for whatever reason.
So, if you do find wild bunnies, it is vital that you check that they have been abandoned. It is really, really unlikely that they have been.
That being said, you probably wouldn’t want to handle them too much. You should only do it if absolutely vital. Some mothers have been known to eat their bunny babies if they think there are predators in the vicinity. It is unlikely if the mother knows who you are, but sometimes you do have to deal with that behavior.
You can read more in our article How to handle a rabbit.
Remove the Male Rabbit From the Situation
It is generally quite fine to have a male rabbit in the hutch with the rabbits…that is assuming that you want more bunny babies (you probably don’t!).
The father won’t do anything to harm the bunny babies, although it will probably start to play with the males as they get a bit older. The reason why you want to have them removed from the hutch is that the female will be ready to be fertilized the second they have given birth.
Believe us when we say that the male rabbit is going to be more than happy to make that happen. You can’t let it happen. The bunny babies would barely have grown up before the new ones have popped out.
Frequency of Feeding the Baby Rabbits
Here, we are talking about the frequency that the mother will feed the newborn rabbit babies. At most, it will be once or twice per day. Because rabbits are prey animals, the mother will unlikely come anywhere close to the bunnies unless it is time to feed them.
The only time that you should be concerned about the mother and the baby bunny bond is if there seems to be no feeding whatsoever. This is when you may need to step in.
It is easy to tell if a baby bunny is not eating, or not processing their food well. Their stomachs will be very wrinkled. In colder weather, it won’t be a case of the rabbits getting enough food, it is more of a case that the bunnies are not warm enough.
The best way to remedy this is to fill up a hot water bottle with warm water. This can then be placed under the cedar shavings. This should provide enough warmth for the babies.
Feeding the Baby Bunnies – What do Baby Bunnies Eat
While it is rare, there is a chance that you will need to feed the baby bunnies on your own. Thankfully, this should be pretty easy to do. While you can’t go to a pet store and get newborn bunny milk, you can get kitten milk.
Ask your pet store if you are unsure as to what you are looking for. This should be rich enough in nutrients for your baby bunnies. You can feed it to them using a bottle designed for kittens too.
Some people will also attempt to up the fat content of the milk. To do this, add a small amount of sugar-free whipping cream into the milk. This should give the baby bunnies enough fat to plump up their stomachs a little (this is a sign of a healthy baby bunny!)
The baby bunnies won’t need much milk during the first few weeks of their life. In the first 2 weeks, you probably won’t need to give them more than 5CC of milk per feeding (this is twice per day). Every couple of weeks, you can add 10CC to the milk. Of course, your rabbit will know when it is consuming enough.
It is important that you do not ‘force’ feed the rabbit. Let them take the milk on their own (they should be laying on their back)
Before you feed them, you should stimulate the genital area with a warmish cloth. This will allow them to pass a stool or urinate. It is important that you look at the consistency of this. You do not want the urine to be brown.
This would indicate serious dehydration. You can’t deal with this on your own. It is important that you take the baby bunny to a vet.
Baby Bunnies at the 6-8 Week Mark
At the 6-8 week mark, your baby bunnies will no longer be taking the milk. Instead, they should be handed specially-formulated pellets and some hay. You may need to show them where this is. Do not feed them any fruits or vegetables at this stage.
After this, the rabbits should start to be a little bit more self-sufficient. After a few months, you can start to feed them fruits and vegetables. Although, you may want to read some of the articles that we have put together on this website to get a rough idea for how much they should be eating.
So, there you have it., It isn’t too difficult to raise bunny babies. The mother will be doing most of it. The only thing you really need to do is help with the nest, and then check whether the bunny babies are getting the nutrients that they need.
See also: How to tell if a rabbit is pregnant.