In this article, you’ll discover how much pellets to feed a baby rabbit.
The digestive system of baby rabbits is more sensitive and complex than that of an adult.
A baby rabbit needs to eat 1/2 cup of pellets per 6 lbs. of body weight. You don’t need to overfeed your baby pellets with high calorie pellets, which can cause overweight and health risks.
Truly, a baby rabbit’s feeding requirements are complex.
According to Rabbit-hole-hay, from the time of a rabbit’s birth, till it gets to eight weeks, its digestive system will be in it’s formative stages.
It can be easily damaged if exposed to certain food types too early, or too late.
Pellets are an important part of any rabbit’s diet.
Once a rabbit is 3 weeks old, pellets are to be introduced to its diet. This article will discuss how pellets are to be administered to baby rabbits.
Do Baby Rabbits Need Pellets?
Yes, baby rabbits need pellets in their diet! According to Pet Coach, pellets are essential for the proper growth, and development of baby rabbits.
It is possible to offer a pellet-free diet to kitties, but this requires a balance of nutrients from different types of vegetables and hay.
In the absence of a variety of vegetables, and hay, it is important you feed your kitties pellets.
Nutritional Benefits of Pellets to Baby Rabbits
1). Discourages selective eating
Just like humans, rabbits develop life-long eating habits when they are young. A pellet combines all the nutrients needed for the development of rabbits into capsules.
The fact that these capsules contain every nutrient, prevents the kitties from developing a preference for one nutrient source over all others.
2). Pellets are a cheaper source of essential nutrients
It’s possible to raise baby rabbits with a pellet-free diet, but this will demand a careful balance of numerous vegetables and hay. Pellets are a cost effective source of essential nutrients.
Compared to vegetables and hay, pellets are easy to pack, store and transport.
As a result, they are more cost effective.
Pellets contain all the essential nutrients baby rabbits need for rapid growth and development.
3). Increased immunity and growth
Pellets contain essential nutrients required for the proper growth and development of rabbits. They also aid the proper function of the rabbits immune system.
Pellets improve the efficiency of the digestive system of baby rabbits. Thus, improving their growth rate and immunity.
4). Shorter eating periods
The inclusion of pellets in the diet of kitties, reduces the amount of time they spend eating.
This is due to the fact that the size of the essential food types needed for their growth and development is reduced into smaller capsules.
It will therefore take the bunnies a shorter amount of time to consume these substances.
5). Feed efficiency
Pellets contain the essential nutrients needed for the growth and development of kitties.
A pellet is an efficient feed source. Achieving this level of feed efficiency without including pellets is very difficult.
How to Determine How Much Pellets a Rabbit Needs
It is common knowledge that baby rabbits need more pellets than adults. Including excessive pellets to the diet of adult rabbits could lead to obesity.
However, an excessive supply of pellets is recommended for baby rabbits.
Just like humans, rabbits go through different stages of growth.
The amount of pellets a rabbit needs at any time depends on the weight of the rabbit at that point in time. The heavier the rabbit, the lighter the pellet requirements.
Pellet Feeding Charts for Baby Rabbits (3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 Weeks Old)
Once a baby rabbit becomes 3 weeks old, the nutrients of the mother’s milk will not sustain the continuous growth of the rabbit.
As a result, supplements will have to be included in the baby rabbit’s diet.
Breast milk is meant to be part of the diet of a baby rabbit till it becomes eight weeks old.
It is important to note that although pellets are recommended in unlimited quantity, you should not do this until the rabbits are at least 7 weeks old.
Given below is a detailed feeding chart for rabbit’s aged (3 weeks – 8 weeks).
|Number of weeks||Recommended feed||Remarks|
|3 – 4 weeks||Mother’s milk with the inclusion of small amounts of alfalfa and pellets.||At this age, kitties will begin eating the same food as their mum, but still need milk in their diets.|
|4 – 7 weeks||Mother’s milk, and access to a higher quantity of alfalfa and pellets||Their digestive system begins to develop and they crave more solid foods. Hence, you will have to increase their access to solid feed, while simultaneously keeping milk as a part of their diet.|
|7 – 8 weeks||Access to unlimited Timothy hay and pellets.||At this age, their digestive system is fully developed. It is okay to put them off mother’s milk at this age, as they won’t need it anymore.|
Consistency is the key to a successful feeding program for baby rabbits. The digestive system of these kitties is more complex and sensitive.
A baby rabbit which is below 3 weeks old, may die due to overfeeding.
Adherence to the chart above will help your kitties transition into juvenile rabbits.
How to Feed a Baby Rabbit (or Bunny) With Practical Steps
If a baby rabbit is orphaned at birth, or before it gets to 3 weeks of age, you will have to feed the kitty formula milk or attach it to another mother to ensure it survives.
Feeding a baby rabbit formula milk is quite tricky. It is much better if you attach it to another mother.
To accomplish this, you simply have to slip the baby into a different doe’s net. This should be done in the late hours of the morning when the doe is away from the nest.
Rub the kitties bodies together in order to transfer the scent of the mother to the newly introduced kitty.
It would also help if you increase the flow of the doe’s milk by altering her diet. Ensure you do not overwhelm the doe by adding many baby rabbits to her nest.
If a replacement doe is unavailable, you will have to feed the baby bunnies yourself. According to Ms Kenyon’s summarized instructions, the best formula for orphaned babies is the Pet Ag’s Goat’s Milk Esbilac.
Once you get the formula, use a syringe or an eye drop container to administer the formula.
Use the size of the baby’s abdomen to know when to feed and Gauge the size of the belly to know when to stop the feeding session.
Avoid over-feeding babies. This could lead to their death. Also try to stimulate defecation after every meal.
Once the babies get to three weeks, it is expected that solid foods are introduced to their diet. You don’t have to feed 3 weeks old bunnies directly.
Once they get to three weeks, they will come out of their nests and start trying solid feed.
At this stage, you simply have to place alfalfa, and pellets within their environment, and simultaneously observe their feeding habits.
How Often to Feed Baby Rabbits Pellets
It’s often suggested that you should make pellets constantly available to rabbits.
Some sources use the word “unlimited supply” to describe the rate at which you should feed pellets to baby rabbits. That means, you are to feed baby rabbits pellets all the time.
However, The rabbits’ house, had a contrary opinion.
According to this source, the inclusion of unlimited pellets in the diet of rabbits is good at the initial stages of development but this could cause issues at the latter stages of the rabbit’s life cycle.
According to the Rabbit’s house,” As with people, good habits are often formed when young, and it is very important for your rabbit’s future health that they get into the habit of eating lots of hay.
It’s much more difficult to introduce hay to an adult that has not grown up eating it.
Pellets are extremely tasty and rabbits often prefer them to hay, so having unlimited pellets available can mean young rabbits eat little or no hay, a habit that can cause dental problems and make them more prone to digestive issues.”
In other words, do not give unlimited pellets to baby rabbits. Rather, you should combine pellets with hay.
The reason for this is that excessive pellets in the diet of adult rabbits lead to obesity and digestive complications. Pellets were designed to make baby rabbits grow faster and healthier.
The focus of pellet producing companies was on sales, not longevity of the life, or health of rabbits.
Hence, when baby rabbits grow into adults, the amount of pellets in their diet will have to be reduced.
In essence, it would be beneficial in the long run if you limit the amount of pellets available to baby bunnies.
If you fail to limit the supply, it will be difficult getting your adult rabbit to switch when necessary.
The amount of pellets you feed baby rabbits depends on the age of the rabbit.
A pellet is an important part of a baby rabbit’s diet because it aids their growth and immunity to disease.
Pellets are meant to be introduced into their diet, in small quantities, once they become three weeks old.
However, they should not have access to pellets in large quantities until they get to 7 weeks of age.