Rabbit mums over the years have attracted a certain reputation about being aloof and not quite as caring as its other animal kingdom counterparts. This has led to us humans making generalizations that they either don’t care for their young or maybe they’re simply horrible creatures.
That’s why I’m here today to tell you why exactly that might be an unfair generalization and I’m also here to give you a few pointers on how rabbits feed for their young.
But wait, really do rabbits feed their young?
Yes, they do but we might not notice as we’ve already made unfair conclusions. They feed and care for their young after birth but this might not go on for too long before they let the young rein free.
They are reputed to be secret feeders and they have ways of going about their own bunny business. That’s the crux and I’ll show you exactly how they go about it.
I know you’re probably prejudiced and thinking that I’m just a bunny liver that will do anything to defend their noble race. However, I am fully equipped with facts, here are a few steps that rabbits take in feeding their young ones.
Step 1: Creating A Home
The first step in feeding a baby bunny is creating a home for the bunny. You might have a built-in home to harbor the new arrivals but to be honest, the best homes are created by the pregnant bunnies.
They’ll go to any length in preparing a suitable and comfortable home for their incoming arrivals. This involves them shredding newspapers, finding hay, and quite absurdly pulling their fur.
They’ll do this to ensure that the incoming arrivals are well nurtured and not devoid of any facility to promote good feeding.
Step 2: Planned Absence
Which mother will create a lovely home for their babies and then proceed to abandon them for long periods? Only a horrible parent I suppose, we humans might even call them deadbeats.
However, this is a well planned out strategy that’s done to prolong the existence of their lovely baby bunnies. They leave their dwellings for a while to ensure that they do not attract vicious predators to the habitats.
This is to protect the young ones from an attack and ensure that they gain vital survival instinct training. Don’t worry about the kids though, they will instinctively burrow into the nest to keep warm and remain out of sight.
Step 3: Secret Feedings
Due to the presence of potential predators and an in-built survival trait, bunny mothers would resort to secret feeding to protect their young. That’s why you think that they leave their babies in the lurch and don’t bother to feed them.
They feed their babies while you and potential predators are probably snoozing in the dead of the night. One good thing about baby rabbits is that they only need one feeding to last them the complete twenty-four hours.
As a result, the mother would waltz in and out, ensuring that the baby gets all the feeding it needs during that short period. Even if she sleeps, she might do it with her eyes open. If it senses danger, it would rather not feed the baby for the entire day to prevent a possible fatal attack.
While you might think the mother isn’t doing enough to feed its child (erroneously thought), it might be a bright idea to stock up on supplies for your baby bunny. There are a bunch of things you can get for this purpose. They are:
No matter how old a rabbit is, it needs hay for proper growth and development. So don’t hesitate to stock up on hay.
Like adults, hay plays a vital role in a young rabbit’s diet. Ensure you introduce grass hay to their diet as soon as possible.
Why? Because this is the gentlest food on the gut and will provide the fiber needed for the digestive process to function properly and consistently.
There’s something called alfalfa, it’s also a fantastic option for developing bunnies. It looks like chopped up hay but is made from lucerne rather than grass.
The major plus in this variation of hay is that it’s higher in calcium and protein than normal grass hay, making it ideal for baby rabbits.
2. Dry Food
Let’s get mathematical now, shall we? It’s a known bunny fact that baby rabbits have higher protein requirements to support their growth, so whilst an adult requires dry food consisting of around 12-14% protein, for a baby rabbit needs more like 16% protein to develop properly.
That’s why it’s super essential that you find a rabbit dry food plug as soon as possible. Oh, and by the way, It’s also possible to meet young rabbit’s protein needs simply by feeding a larger portion of adult pellets, but make sure that your budding rabbit doesn’t eat too many pellets and starts avoiding the all too important hay.
3. Fresh Foods
This is a concept that has elicited so many differing opinions and views over the years. However, contrary to what so many people think, there’s nothing wrong with feeding your baby bunny fresh foods.
It’s just a matter of strategy and proper enlightening. First things first you need to introduce these fresh foods slowly and gradually to your baby bunny.
That way you’ll be able to find out if it’s overly sensitive to any type of food and whether there’s one that happens to be it’s favorite. Also, there are a bunch of fresh foods that’ll be better for baby bunnies as compared to others.
These include dandelion leaves, carrot tops, kale, spinach, spring greens, raspberry/blackberry leaves, and herbs. You could even treat your baby bunny to a little meshed salad of all of the above.
However, ensure you introduce all these gradually and carefully monitor their droppings.
Rabbits do feed their young, it might not be in the usual way that other animals do, but they do. They’re quite unorthodox in it but very methodological in their doings.
One thing’s for sure, they get the job done as most rabbit babies grow up to become strong, independent, and super intuitive. As a human being and proud rabbit owner you could also contribute your quota, you could do this being following the advice I rendered in the above article, if you do all these you’d be fine and your baby bunnies would be super grateful too!