Indoor and wild rabbits almost look identical.
Especially when they’re young.
While they share some common characteristics…
Such as being cute and adorable.
Should they eat the same food, too?
Read on to learn more:
- What not to feed wild baby rabbits.
- When should wild baby rabbits drink water.
- 13 tummy-friendly things you can feed to a wild baby rabbit.
- And so much more…
What to feed a wild baby rabbit? 13 things
#1: Kitten milk replacers
When wild baby rabbits are abandoned…
Or separated from their mother at an early age (i.e. death, captivity).
They lose access to milk as their primary source of nutrition.
However, you can use kitten milk replacers (KMR) as an alternative.
KMRs are readily available in the market, especially in pet stores.
You may refer to this dosage guide when feeding KMRs to wild baby rabbits:
|Age||KMR dosage (twice a day)|
|Newborn to 1 week||0.06-0.08 fl oz (2-2.5 ml)|
|1 – 2 weeks||0.08-0.2 fl oz (5-7 ml)|
|2 – 3 weeks||0.2-0.4 fl oz (7-13 ml)|
|3 – 6 weeks||0.4-0.5 fl oz (13-15 ml)|
Relevant read: 7 Reasons Why Baby Rabbits Can’t Drink Cow Milk
Watch this video on feeding a wild baby rabbit with milk:
#2: Goat milk
If you don’t have KMRs or couldn’t find one in the market…
You can try making a milk formula using goat milk.
- Mix 8 fl oz (227 ml) of goat milk (liquid) with 2 oz (56 g) of goat milk powder.
- Add 1 tbsp (14 ml) of whipping cream (sugar-free) for more calorie content.
- Stir well. Then, transfer to a pan and heat the formula at 90-100°F (32-37°C).
- Remove from heat. Then, leave to cool off a little bit before feeding wild baby rabbits.
Note: Non or low-fat goat milk isn’t nutritious for newborn rabbits. So, choose the regular ones.
Moreover, the dosage and frequency of feeding are the same as the KMRs.
“Why do wild baby rabbits need probiotics?”
Young rabbits are prone to digestive problems caused by stress.
Especially if they’re separated from their mothers (weaning).
Or introduced to new solid foods.
On a positive note, probiotics can help regulate their digestion.
And balance the bacterial environment in their gut.
Especially before and after they’re weaned.
Trivia: Rabbit milk contains prebiotics.
They’re also found in fiber-rich foods, but work the same as probiotics.
However, adding prebiotics to baby rabbits’ diet doesn’t give significant health effects.
#4: Carrot tops
Wild baby rabbits can eat carrot greens or tops.
It’s rich in vitamins A and K.
Vitamin A helps promote healthy eyesight.
While vitamin K helps prevent the development of parasites in the rabbit’s tummy.
Carrot tops also contain minerals like iron for optimal growth.
Important: You can start feeding fresh greens to wild baby rabbits when they’re 3 weeks older.
Interesting read: 7 Surprising Facts About (White) Rabbits With Red Eyes
Parsley is rich in vitamins A and K, too.
And feeding wild baby bunnies with parsley helps the following:
- Immune system.
- Bone development.
- Optimal organ function.
- Healthy and sharp vision.
Moreover, parsley is soft to chew on.
So, it’s easier for wild baby rabbits to eat them.
#6: Dandelion leaves
Dandelion leaves are common greens in the wild.
And wild young rabbits love eating them.
That’s because dandelion greens are nutritious.
Even more than carrots, bananas, and spinach.
Moreover, dandelion leaves contain vitamins like E and D.
Vitamin E helps bunnies from cell damage.
While vitamin D strengthens their bones.
Commercial rabbit foods like pellets can be fed to the wild ones.
They’re rich in protein that helps keep muscles strong.
However, only minimal feeding is required.
You can give pellets to wild baby rabbits as occasional treats.
Reason: Wild baby rabbits rely on a plant-based diet.
So, it’s best to condition their tummy by feeding them more hay and some greens.
Especially before releasing them back into the wild.
Moreover, you can start feeding wild baby rabbits with pellets when they’re 3 weeks old.
Wild baby rabbits should start eating hay as soon as they can open their eyes.
That’s because this is a rabbit superfood.
You can feed wild baby rabbits with timothy, oat, or alfalfa hay.
And some fresh grass, too.
Moreover, hay and grass contain lots of fiber.
And wild rabbits need it the most for their tummy.
Plus, wild newborns nibbling on fiber foods help them regulate teeth growth.
Trivia: Wild rabbits can start growing their teeth as early as 2 weeks.
And they grow their front teeth up to 0.07-0.09 in (2-2.4 mm) every week.
Note: When giving greens to wild baby rabbits, hay should always be on top of your list.
Clovers are year-round treats for wild rabbits.
These plants aren’t just safe…
But they’re also nutritious.
They contain protein and other vitamins.
Moreover, these parts of the clover plant are safe for wild rabbits to eat:
However, be sure to give the young ones smaller portions.
This is to prevent them from choking.
Cilantros are herbs that wild rabbits also love to nibble on.
They’re rich in antioxidants that help the body function.
Especially for blood flow.
It also reduces their death rate and vitamin deficiencies.
However, wild baby rabbits must not be fed cilantro in large portions yet.
This may only cause tummy issues.
A 3.5 oz (100 g) of fresh basil contains 5,280 IU of vitamin A.
This vitamin is vital for wild baby rabbits’ eye health.
As prey animals…
A sharp night vision is vital for their survival.
Moreover, basil contains fatty acids that help boost their fertility as they mature.
Chamomile contains minerals that can make a rabbit’s coat healthy.
Thanks to its zinc and copper content.
Generally, rabbits produce natural oils to make their fur shiny.
But adding chamomile to their diet can make them look fluffier.
Note: Don’t take wild baby rabbits to bathe. This can be stressful and fatal to them.
Shampoo products can also make their fur brittle and dry.
Lavender is popular for its aroma.
Especially for commercial use.
The good thing is, wild baby rabbits can nibble on them, too.
Even if they’re fresh or dried.
That’s because lavender contains properties that promote good reflexes.
Or involuntary movements in the body.
This helps wild rabbits to stay alert in their surroundings.
Especially when predators are nearby.
Note: Lavender can produce natural pesticides that can protect itself from pests.
Hence, be sure to wash greens and herbs before feeding wild baby rabbits.
When should wild baby rabbits drink water
Wild baby rabbits can drink water at 3-4 weeks old.
Especially when milk feeding is already limited.
They can start drinking water in minimal amounts.
However, more may be required as they grow older.
Or when they’re more dependent on a hay or fibrous diet.
“Does water cause diarrhea in wild baby rabbits?”
According to a study, the general causes of diarrhea in rabbits include the following:
- Plant poisoning.
- Bacterial infections.
- Pesticide poisoning.
- High-carbohydrate and a low-fiber diet.
- Stomach reactions due to first-time feeding.
Furthermore, rabbits have higher water intake than most mammals.
Proper hydration also helps them fight heat stress.
So, keep them refreshed by giving them access to fresh water from time to time.
What not to feed wild baby rabbits
Taking care of a wild baby rabbit can be challenging…
Especially if it’s your first time.
So, here’s a list of things that aren’t suitable for wild baby rabbits to eat:
High sugar foods
Commercial rabbit treats are getting so much hype.
Especially those you see on social media.
Treats like yogurt drops and other fruity mixes may sound like heaven for bunnies.
And while you can give these to your indoor fluff balls in moderation…
These aren’t the healthiest option for wild baby rabbits.
High levels of sugar may cause these little ones to suffer from tummy pain.
And parasite infections.
In general, seeds could be a choking hazard to young rabbits.
Especially when their teeth are yet to develop.
So, avoid feeding wild baby rabbits with these things.
Both indoor and wild rabbits have sensitive digestive tracts.
They have difficulty processing cooked food in their tummy.
This may only cause them painful bloating.
Plus, some vegetables and fruits lose their nutrients when cooked.
Cereals are a popular children’s breakfast food.
But rabbits shouldn’t go anywhere near them.
“Why aren’t cereals suitable for wild baby rabbits?”
Cereals contain high levels of starch, sugar, and carbohydrates.
This trio can totally upset a rabbit’s stomach.
Plus, these contents promote the growth of parasites in their intestines.
Moreover, other foods to avoid include:
- Granola bars.
Cat or dog food
Rabbits generally are plant-eating animals.
So, commercial animal foods that aren’t made for herbivores shouldn’t be eaten by rabbits.
Especially the young ones.
While rabbits are friendly and like to chew a lot…
It’s better to check what they’re munching on from time to time.