Baby bunnies are very cute. Of course, if you decide to raise a bunny, there’s a lot to learn. I recommend first of all that you get to know your bunny so you can give him the best care possible. One of the first thing that bunny owners ask me is how can they know the age of their bunny.
So, how do you tell how old a baby bunny is? If a bunny’s eyes are open, his body has no hair and he’s taking short little hops, in all likelihood, he’s between 10 to 14 days old. Secondly, if a bunny is exploring his area and his legs are growing, he’s probably 1 to 2 months old. At 3 months, a bunny starts chewing everything in sight and will exhibit bad behavior such as urinating around the house. This indicates the bunny is almost an adult.
As a bunny ages, what kind of changes will you see?
Here’s a list of the changes you will see as your bunny ages.
- Baby Bunnies age 0-3 months-Baby bunnies, or kits, are born without hair. Their eyes are closed. They drink milk from their mother usually once a day for at least 3 to 4 weeks. Around this time they start moving around the nest or “walking.” Baby bunnies need to stay with their mother at least until 8 weeks. During this time period, baby bunnies are very playful and energetic. Holding them helps socialize them.
- Adolescence bunnies, 3-6 months-Male rabbits reach sexual maturity around 3 to 4 months, females a bit later. There is a definite change in a bunny’s behavior when this happens. They may seem aggressive and have “bad” behaviors such as urinating or chewing. Female rabbits may become territorial or lunge at you. The best solution to help curb this hormonal behavior is to have them neutered and spayed when your bunny reaches this age. This will put an end the difficult behavior.
- Teenage bunnies, 6 months-1 year-After your rabbit is neutered or spayed, he will tend to gain weight. Limiting his food to help keep his weight down. Also, give him lots of hay to add fiber to his diet. Keep an eye on your teenage bunny’s teeth, this is the age when dental problems show up. Your “teen” rabbit might seem moody, not as social. He might be trying to figure out the household, other pets or just being a teenager.
- Young adult bunny, 1-3 years-Bunnies at this age are very active. They can roam freely around an enclosed yard or area. Young adult bunnies love to dig, chew and explore their areas. Your bunny will need lots of attention at this age so provide him with “bunny” toys, chew sticks and digging platforms.
- Middle Age Bunnies, 3-5 years-At this age, your bunny will slow down and sleep more. He will become more affectionate and stick close to you as his owner. Middle Age bunnies are relaxed and like to take it easy. It’s a peaceful time for your bunny and you.
- Old Age Bunny-7-9 years-At this age, rabbits are still active but have slowed down quite a bit. Your bunny might develop issues with his legs, back or have other chronic illness that requires medication and special care. Rabbits in old age are very trusting of their owners.
How many human years is a rabbit year? Rabbit experts say there’s not a real mathematical way to compare human years to rabbit years. But veterinarians have come up with a chart that correlates the human years to rabbit years.
|Rabbit years 6 mos. 1 yr 2yr. 3yr. 4yr. 5yr. 6yr. 7yr. 8yr.|
|Human years 16 20 28 36 44 52 60 68 76|
What was/is the oldest rabbit? For many years, it was recorded that the oldest rabbit was George, born in 1944. His owner claimed he was 18 years old. But later, vets determined that George was in fact only 14 years old.
But in February 2019, another rabbit claimed the title of the oldest rabbit in the world. Mick,16 years, was recognized by Guinness World Records as the oldest rabbit. His owner, Liz Rench, has raised rabbits for years but never seen anything like Mick.
What age will a bunny eat food?
After two months, a young bunny eats similar to an adult bunny. Hay should be the most important part of your young bunny’s diet. Grass hay or meadow hay can be introduced first. It’s good for the bunny’s gut and provides him with the fiber he needs. You can also give your bunny alfalfa. People confuse alfalfa with hay. It looks similar, but alfalfa is sometimes called purple medic or lucerne. It’s a perennial plant that is cloverlike and in the pea family. Always mix hay with the alfalfa otherwise your bunny will want to eat only alfalfa. It tastes that good to a bunny!
One unique difference between an adult bunny’s diet and a young bunny’s diet is that the younger rabbit needs more protein. Typically 16% of the bunny’s diet should be protein. It’s best to purchase food to be sure your bunny is getting the right amount of protein. Go easy on the pellets. Bunnies tend to get addicted to them. Eating too many pellets eventually cause your bunny to not want hay which is an important part of his diet. He can also get teeth problems from eating too many pellets.
At what age can a b bunny drink water?
Baby bunnies drink milk from their mother for up to 8 weeks. After two months, they will start to drink water from their mother’s water bottle. In general, rabbits drink a lot of water, typically 10% of their body weight. A four-pound bunny can drink as much water as a 22-pound dog! If your bunny isn’t drinking enough water, try these tips to entice him to drink:
- Keep the water fresh and clean-Rabbits love clean, fresh water. At least once a week, clean your bunny’s bowl or sipper bottle with warm water and dish detergent. Rinse well. Washing your bunny’s water bowl will prevent bacteria or fungus from growing which could cause your bunny to become sick.
- Bowls are better–Bunny rabbits tend to drink more from a bowl. They have a strange habit of tossing their water bowls, so be sure to purchase a heavy metal one. Check the bowl throughout the day to make sure there’s enough water to keep your thirsty bunny happy.
- Sipper bottles are okay, too–You’ll need to teach your bunny how to drink from a sipper bottle. Smear your bunny’s favorite food on the lip of the sipper bottle. He’ll eat the smeared food and get a drink at the same time. Eventually, he’ll automatically go to the bottle for water.
- Leafy greens help-Leafy greens are loaded with water. Provide your bunny with leafy green plants like romaine, bok choy, parsley or mustard greens to help with his intake of water.
We talked about how to tell how old a baby bunny is by observing his body, his preferences and watching his activity level. We also talked about the various stages and ages of a bunny’s life from baby bunny to old age bunny. Just for fun, we observed the chart created by vets that correlates how old a bunny is in comparison to human years so we looked at this for Plus, we met Mick, the oldest bunny in the world. We discussed how bunnies need lots of water and read tips on how to get your bunny to drink water.
Can you touch a baby bunny?
You may have heard that animal babies should not be touched by humans. Supposedly, this causes confusion for the mother and she’ll abandon the baby when she smells the human scent. Fortunately, this is only a myth. Typically, a mother rabbit has no problem carrying for her babies even if they’ve been handled by humans.
Domestic rabbits don’t mind a human smell. If you’re concerned the babies have been abandoned, check them out early in the morning. They should be warm and have a nice round belly. This proves they are being fed by the mother. If you’re still concerned, you can weigh the babies each day to see if they’re gaining weight.
Should I remove a wild baby bunny from its nest?
If you see a little baby bunny in its nest all by itself, it’s probably best to not remove it from its habitat. Mother rabbits tend to visit intermittently during the early morning or night. They stay a few minutes to nurse their young then head off again. For this reason, when people who stumble upon a baby bunny in its nests without a mother rabbit around, they assume the baby has been abandoned.
But a wild baby bunny is safest in its nest where it’s warm and dry. Plus, if you remove a bunny from the nest, you will cause undue stress. Young wild baby animals often die from the stress of being removed from their natural habitat. A baby bunny needs its mother’s care and the nutrition she provides it. Only if you are absolutely SURE the mother rabbit has abandoned the nest or is dead should you try to raise the bunny as a pet. Mother rabbits return at night, so you aren’t likely to see her. Raising wild bunnies often turns into a sad event, since they die so easily being removed from their habitats.