Rabbit offspring: development of rabbit babies

Perhaps you are expecting rabbit offspring and are wondering how the baby rabbits will develop? The first few weeks, which proceed as described below, are particularly exciting.

In the first few days, baby rabbits are completely helpless;  but then develop quickly – Shutterstock / papanum

In the first few days, baby rabbits are completely helpless; but then develop quickly – Shutterstock / papanum

Once the rabbit offspring is born, the development progresses at breakneck speed – the little furry bunnies change from week to week and quickly become a real long-eared rabbit, provided the rabbits have a lot of security and nest warmth after their birth.

Rabbit offspring: The first days

Immediately after birth, baby rabbits are completely dependent on their mother’s care. The little ones are born naked, blind and deaf and only have the instinct to feel their mother’s teats and suck milk. The first meal in particular is of crucial importance for the offspring, since the mother rabbit gives off a very special milk, the so-called colostrum, for the first sips. This contains important antibodies that are necessary for development, since the babies do not yet have a fully developed immune system.

In addition to drinking milk, it is important at the beginning of life that the mini long-eared ears are warm and cuddly and can snuggle up against each other. In the wild, the mother rabbit’s nest is usually stuffed with nesting material so that predators cannot find the young family.

The first week

Hairline can be seen after just three days. The baby rabbits grow a delicate first down. By the end of the first week of life, the little ones have already doubled their birth weight and have grown significantly larger. The color and markings of the fur can already be recognized. It still applies to the rabbit offspring: sleeping, drinking, growing.

The second week

In the second week, baby rabbits open their eyes for the first time and see the world. The ears, which were previously closed and laid back, open and stand up. The fur will continue to grow and become a fluffy pelt during this time. And the weight continues to increase rapidly – by the end of the second week, the birth weight of the little ones has quadrupled.

The third week

Most baby rabbits start their first exploratory trips and leave the warm nest in the third week. As soon as a little louder noises can be heard or the mother drums her hind paws in warning, the rabbit offspring usually scurries quickly back into the warm, safe hiding place. In general, the motor skills are now being trained – from walking attempts to cleaning attempts (grooming) to fine-tuning your balance, your own skills are tested and improved in the third week.

This baby rabbit is already a few weeks old;  baby rabbits are born blind and naked as nest stools – Shutterstock / Sue McDonald

07/12/2016 – 5:38 p.m

Baby Rabbits: How the baby rabbits are born

The baby rabbits are altricial, which means they are born blind, naked and defenseless…


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Fourth to sixth week

The tiny creatures are no longer tiny creatures and are curiously exploring their surroundings. Her motor skills are already working fine and things are getting better and better in terms of size and weight. Obstacles are overcome, twists and turns and games with the siblings are the order of the day. Less and less is now being drunk at the mother’s milk bar and solid food is taking up more and more space on the menu. By the end of the sixth week, most infant rabbits have fully transitioned to solid foods.

From the eighth week

It takes only eight weeks for the young rabbits to be old enough to be weaned. This means that they are looking for a new home, i.e. moving out into the world. From the 12th week the rabbits can already become sexually mature. The development of the Mümmler is therefore very fast.

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