Who can resist petting a furry little baby rabbit? But baby rabbits aren’t born with fur. If you own a pet baby rabbit, I suggest you learn about their fur. In fact, I get asked on a regular basis when a rabbit gets fur. So, when do baby rabbits get fur? Baby rabbits get fur around two weeks of age, but you can predict what color your pet’s fur will be even before he gets fur. Rabbits shed twice a year. Some breeds shed more than others, but there are a few things you can do to help the process along. Hairballs can be a problem for rabbits, so be sure to give him the proper care when he does shed. Keep an eye out for white, flaky patches on your pet rabbit because it could be “walking dandruff” or mites which is common in young rabbits.
What Do Baby Rabbits Look Like At Birth?
At birth a baby rabbit sor kits as they’re called, are born without any hair. But you can often predict what color the newborn’s fur will be even before his fur grows in. If the newborn rabbit will have a white or light colored fur, his hairless skin at birth will be pinkish. If the newborn is going to have dark fur, his newborn skin will be darker, almost purplish. And if the newborn baby rabbit’s skin has scattered dark patches on it, then he’ll probably have multicolored fur. Rabbit owners are surprised that newborn rabbits look more like rodent than a rabbit. Many people believe that rabbits are part of the rodent family, but in fact, they are in the family Leporidae. Surprisingly, rabbits are more closely related to horses than to small rodents like mice. This is mostly because rabbits and horses share a similar herbivore diet and digestive methods.
When Do Baby Rabbits Get Fur?
Baby rabbits are born without fur. Their fur begins to grow when they’re around a week old. By the time a baby rabbit is two weeks, his fur will be thick and cover their entire body. Between 3 months to 12 months depending upon the breed, a baby rabbit will lose his soft first fur. In place of his newborn fur, a baby rabbit gets his adult coat of fur. It might be a different color than his baby fur was, too.
Do Rabbits Shed Their Fur?
Rabbits usually shed every three months, or four times a year. The old coat gets replaced with another coat. Certain breeds of rabbit shed more than others. Here are a few things to help your rabbit through the shedding process.
- Brush rabbit-Brush your rabbit every day during when he’s shedding. Use a fine toothed flea comb or wire brush, both sold at the pet store. Comb or brush his entire length of the fur to grab extra loose fur.
- Wet hand rubdown-Another method of encouraging shedding for your rabbit is to wet your hand and then gently rub your hands backward and forward. The loose fur will stick to your hands.
- Clumps of fur-Sometimes rabbits lose big clumps of fur making bald patches on the skin. Usually fur will grow back in the bald areas over time.
Why Does My Bunny Rabbit Have A Hairball?
Rabbits lick themselves to stay clean much like a cat does. Because of this sometimes they ingest a bunch of fur which causes a hairballs to form. Hairballs are dangerous for rabbits. Unlike cats, rabbits don’t vomit up the hairball to get rid of it. Instead, it gets bigger and bigger in your rabbit’s stomach. This mass causes blockages and all kinds of digestive issues and even death if not treated. There are a couple of things you can do to help your rabbit avoid hairball problems.
- Fresh water-Be sure your pet rabbit always has an ample supply of water. Some rabbit owners suggest that rabbits drink more water from a heavy ceramic bowl than a water bottle. Keeping your rabbit hydrated will help him pass any fur he’s ingested.
- Hay-Hay is very essential for your rabbit’s good health. Hay trims your rabbit’s teeth down and also keeps his digestive system working well. Your rabbit should eat his weight in hay every day. Vets say timothy hay is a good grass hay for rabbits. Hay should be at least 80% of your rabbits diet. You can add hay to your rabbit’s cage, on the floor or in a hay box over the litter box. Some rabbits owners even put hay in their rabbit’s litter box. If you’re giving your rabbit lots of hay, he will easily pass any fur he ingests.
- Vegetables and fruits-Give your rabbit fresh, leafy greens and fresh fruits to help his digestive system healthy and strong.
What Is Walking Dandruff?
“Walking dandruff” is caused by fur mites. The mites are big, white crawling creatures that live in a rabbit’s fur and skin. They also cause flaky skin on your rabbit. If your rabbit has “walking dandruff” he’s very contagious to other rabbits who live around him. Rabbits of all ages can get walking dandruff. In fact, the mites show up in young rabbits or older rabbits especially if the can’t groom and lick themselves properly because of teeth problems or mobility issues. Long hair breeds of rabbits get walking dandruff more often than short haired rabbits do.
- Sometimes none, but usually white flaky patches of skin on the shoulders or over the tail area of the rabbit.
- Hair loss especially behind the neck or on the shoulder blades.
- Reddened skin
- Bumps on the skin
- Sneezing and scratching around the face
If you suspect your pet rabbit has “walking dandruff,” take him to your vet immediately for treatment. Your vet can scrape your pet rabbit’s skin to see if he has mites that cause “walking dandruff.”
How Do I Keep My Pet Rabbit’s Fur Clean?
Rabbits love to be clean. They lick their fur to stay clean, but you can also help the process along.
Brushing-Brush your rabbit regularly. Use a soft brush on his fur to pick up any loose fur, dirt or other debris. Brush him more often when he’s shedding, about three times a year.
Wet bath- Usually rabbits don’t need a bath. But sometimes your rabbits gets soiled around his bottom area. If this happens you can give him a quick wet bath.
- Put warm water in a sink. Put a towel in the bottom of the sink so your rabbit won’t slip around.
- Add some special shampoo for rabbits, one that isn’t harsh or causes burning eyes.
- Lower your rabbit’s bottom part into the water slowly and carefully so he won’t get scared.
- Pet your rabbit to calm him. Then slowly clean off the bottom parts of his body, especially his backside that’s gotten dirty.
- Rinse off the bottom area.
- Carefully lift your rabbit out of the water. Dry off the area that you washed.
- If necessary, clip off any matted dirty fur that remains.
Your baby rabbits will get his fur at a young age. Later on, he’ll shed this fur for grown up rabbit fur. Rabbits love to stay clean, but sometimes shedding causes excessive fur to get ingested. If this happens, give your pet lots of water and hay so hairballs won’t’ form. Mites sometimes infest young rabbits so be on the lookout for them in your pet. Help your rabbit stay clean by regular brushing and an occasional wet bath if he gets dirty.