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What Do Bunnies Eat?

Updated on June 13, 2017
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What to Feed Baby Rabbits

I love bunnies and was a foster mom to 4 along with their mother. I wanted to feed them properly, not 'cause they belonged to the shelter, but because I cared about them.

Are you expecting to raise some bunnies soon, or are you curious to know what bunnies eat? It's important to understand the dietary needs of baby rabbits to help them grow and keep them healthy.

Baby rabbits are such until around 7-months of age. Up until this time, food is introduced to them in growth stages.

The terms rabbits and bunnies are often used interchangeably, but for the purpose of this site - bunnies refers to baby rabbits.

If you are looking for what to feed rabbits older than 7-months, you can click here for What To Feed Rabbits.

Important

Bunnies should have access to water at all times! - Easiest for them to drink out of a small, yet sturdy water bowl.

Birth to 3-weeks Old

  • Only Mom's Milk

Bunnies have different nutritional needs from adult rabbits.

From the time a bunny is born until it is 3-weeks of age, it just gets milk from its mother.

3 to 4 Weeks Old

  • Nibble of Hay & Pellets
  • Mom's Milk

At around 3-4 weeks of age, bunny can be given nibbles of alfalfa hay and pellets. There is a different formula of pellets for baby rabbits compared to adult rabbits. The bag should indicate young rabbits.

It still continues getting milk from its mother.

4 to 7 Weeks Old

  • Alfalfa Hay & Pellets
  • Mom's Milk

From 4-weeks until 7-weeks of age, a bunny should have access to the alfalfa hay and pellets.

It still continues receiving milk from its mother.

7-Weeks Old

  • Unlimited Alfalfa Hay
  • Unlimited Pellets

At approximately 7-weeks of age, the bunny should receive unlimited amounts of alfalfa hay and pellets.

Around this time is when the baby will naturally wean itself off of its mothers milk.

12-Weeks Old

  • Introduce Veggies
  • Unlimited Alfalfa Hay
  • Unlimited Pellets

Once bunny gets to 12-weeks of age, veggies can be introduced.

You will want to give bunny 1 veggie at a time, a 1/2 ounce each.

Eliminate a veggie if it gives diarrhea.

A bunny's digestive system is very sensitive, so new foods must be introduced slowly.

12-Weeks to 7-Months Old

  • Unlimited Alfalfa Hay
  • Unlimited Pellets
  • 3 Veggies daily

From 12-weeks until 7-months of age, bunny should get unlimited alfalfa hay, unlimited pellets, and 3 different kinds of veggies daily

Hay for Baby Rabbits

Hay is vital to a bunny's good health. While wild bunnies have access to fresh grass, pet bunnies must be given hay (dried grass).

Hay provides roughage which reduces the danger of hairballs (rabbits cannot vomit hair balls like cats can, so they are at risk for blockage), and other blockages.

Hay prevents overgrown teeth (a rabbit's teeth never stop growing), obesity, dental disease, diarrhea, and boredom.

Alfalfa is very nutritious, full of fiber, energy, protein, calcium and other nutrients. It is the wonder food of the hay world.

Pellets for Baby Rabbits

Good quality pellets consist of high fiber (18-25%), no more than 12-14% protein in the pelleted feed, with less than 1% calcium.

Avoid brands with seeds, nuts, corn, and dried fruit. Plain pellets will do.

Bunnies need lots of fiber, as well as a good balance of protein and amino acids to keep them healthy and growing properly.

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Veggie List

Up to 3 a day

Introduce 1 veggie at a time, 1/2 ounce each, working up to 3 veggies a day, from the age of 12-weeks until 7-months.

Select 2 veggies from this list daily:

  • Alfalfa, Radish & Clover Sprouts
  • Basil
  • Bok Choy
  • Brussel Sprouts
  • Cabbage
  • Celery
  • Cilantro
  • Clover
  • Escarole
  • Green Peppers
  • Mint
  • Peppermint Leaves
  • Radicchio
  • Radish Tops
  • Raspberry Leaves
  • Wheat Grass

Add 1 veggie from this list daily, for its source of Vitamin A:

  • Beet Greens (Tops)
  • Broccoli (Mostly leaves/stems)
  • Carrot & Carrot Tops
  • Collared Greens
  • Dandelion Greens & Flowers (No pesticides)
  • Endives
  • Parsley
  • Pea Pods (the flat edible kind)
  • Romaine Lettuce (No iceberg or light-colored leaf)
  • Watercress
  • *Kale
  • *Mustard Greens
  • *Spinach

* max. 1-3 times per week due to toxicity over time

Treats should not be fed to bunnies. Fruit can be given at 7-months of age.

7-Months +

For young adult rabbits, adult rabbits, and senior rabbits, you will then go here:

--- What Do Pet Rabbits Eat? ---

Caution

Never change a bunny's diet suddenly! Introduce new foods slowly and observe. Rabbits, young and old, have a sensitive digestive system. Watch for diarrhea when giving new foods. If your bunny stops eating, it's an emergency! See a Vet immediately.

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    • peachpurple profile image

      peachy 2 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      in the past my mom bought 3 bunnies, gave them vegetables to eat

    • bizgrrl profile image
      Author

      bizgrrl 2 years ago from Vancouver, Canada

      Thank you for stopping by.

    • MichalWrotter profile image

      Michal 2 years ago from Czech Republic

      Hello, very cool and interesting article. I never had rabbit. Your hub is very imformative. Thank you for sharing.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      i love bumnnies

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      haha good to know:) I lOVE bunnies!!! I have two!!!

    • profile image

      taytay552238 4 years ago

      i love bunnies

    • pinkrenegade lm profile image

      pinkrenegade lm 4 years ago

      Cute pictures of bunnies. Thanks for the information.

    • profile image

      fullofshoes 5 years ago

      this lens is informative but its also really cute :)