Rabbits are not just adorable pets; they’re complex creatures with specific dietary needs that change as they grow. Understanding these needs is crucial for their health and happiness. This guide dives into the world of rabbit nutrition, focusing on what to feed your bunny at different stages of their life.

Baby Rabbits: Starting Off Right

Mother’s Milk and Initial Diet

For the first few weeks of life, baby rabbits, or kits, rely solely on their mother’s milk. This milk is rich in nutrients and antibodies, providing kits with a strong start.

  • Transition to Solids: At about 3-4 weeks, kits start nibbling on solid foods. Introduce them to alfalfa hay and pellets gradually.
  • Weaning: By 7-8 weeks, kits are usually weaned off mother’s milk. This is a critical period where their diet shifts to solid food.

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Table: Nutritional Breakdown for Baby Rabbits

Age Diet Notes
0-3 Weeks Mother’s Milk Essential for immunity
3-4 Weeks Mother’s Milk, Alfalfa Hay Introduce hay
4-7 Weeks Mother’s Milk, Hay, Pellets Gradual introduction to pellets
7-8 Weeks Hay, Pellets Weaned off mother’s milk

Feeding Juvenile Rabbits: Growth and Development

Once weaned, juvenile rabbits require a balanced diet to support their rapid growth and development.

Balanced Diet Post-Weaning

  • Unlimited Hay: Provide unlimited access to mixed grass or Timothy hay. It’s lower in calories and calcium than alfalfa, which is crucial for their growth.
  • Pellets: Continue with pellets but monitor the quantity to avoid obesity.
  • Fresh Vegetables: Introduce fresh vegetables one at a time to check for any adverse reactions.

Monitoring Growth and Health

Regular check-ups with a vet are essential during this stage to ensure your rabbit is growing healthily and not developing any dietary issues.

Adult Rabbit Diet: Maintaining Health and Vitality

As rabbits reach adulthood, their dietary needs shift towards maintaining health rather than supporting growth.

Ideal Diet Composition

  • High Fiber: Adult rabbits thrive on a high-fiber diet. Unlimited hay should be the cornerstone of their diet.
  • Limited Pellets: Reduce the pellet portion as rabbits age. High-quality, fiber-rich pellets are still important but in moderation.
  • Fresh Vegetables: Continue with a variety of vegetables, ensuring they get all the necessary nutrients.

Table: Adult Rabbit Diet Components

Component Quantity Purpose
Hay Unlimited Provides essential fiber
Pellets Limited (based on weight) Nutritional supplement
Vegetables 1 cup per 4 lbs body weight Source of vitamins and minerals

Special Considerations for Adult Rabbits

Weight Management and Activity Level

Adult rabbits can easily become overweight, especially if they have a sedentary lifestyle. Monitor their weight and adjust their diet accordingly.

Dental Health

Rabbits’ teeth grow continuously. A diet high in hay helps wear down their teeth naturally, preventing dental issues.

Digestive Health

A balanced diet is crucial for preventing GI stasis, a common and serious condition in rabbits. Ensure they have a constant supply of hay to keep their digestive system moving.


Adjusting Diet for Older Rabbits

Managing Weight and Digestive Health

Senior rabbits may face weight loss or digestive issues. It’s important to monitor their health and adjust their diet accordingly.

  • Unrestricted Pellets: For underweight seniors, consider increasing pellet intake.
  • High Fiber Hay: Continue with unlimited hay to aid digestion and prevent obesity.
  • Supplements: Consult with a vet for any necessary supplements.

Table: Senior Rabbit Diet Adjustments

Age Diet Changes Health Considerations
Over 6 Years Adjust pellets, unlimited hay Monitor weight, digestive health

Common Dietary Problems and Solutions

Even with the best care, rabbits can encounter dietary issues. Here’s how to address some common problems.


  • Diet Adjustment: Reduce pellet intake and increase hay.
  • Exercise: Encourage more physical activity.

Dental Issues

  • Dietary Fiber: Ensure a hay-rich diet for natural teeth grinding.
  • Veterinary Care: Regular dental check-ups are essential.

Digestive Disorders

  • Balanced Diet: Maintain a diet high in fiber and low in sugar.
  • Veterinary Consultation: Seek advice for any persistent issues.

Frequently Asked Questions

Senior rabbits need a diet high in fiber with controlled pellet intake. Consult your vet for specific needs

Monitor their diet, reduce high-calorie foods, and encourage regular exercise.

It’s best to avoid human treats as they can cause digestive issues and obesity.