For the first week or two, before their eyes open, bunnies need milk. If Mom isn't around, caretakers can substitute with certain milk formulas. After a bunny's eyes open, he can slowly begin eating hay and other foods.
Recommended Options for Newborn Bunnies
Kitten milk replacer is a high-protein formula made from whey protein, milk, oils, eggs, vitamins and minerals. Natural rabbit milk is rich and caloric, and KMR offers a calorie-rich substitute. Meyenberg goat milk is another choice, and is generally used for orphaned wild rabbits, while KMR is generally fed to domestics.
How Much to Feed
Suggested serving amounts depend on the type of rabbit, however, general guidelines suggest giving 2 to 2.5 milliliters per feeding twice a day to newborn bunnies up to 1 week old. For bunnies 1 to 2 weeks old, that increases to 5 to 7 milliliters per feeding, twice a day.
Use an eye dropper or a sterile oral syringe to administer milk. Baby rabbits should eat only once to twice a day. More frequent feedings or overfeeding can cause gastrointestinal issues or death. Allow the bunny to drink at his own pace. Don't squirt milk in his mouth all at once, or he can choke.
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Sarah Whitman's work has been featured in newspapers, magazines, websites and informational booklets. She is currently pursuing a master's degree in nutrition, and her projects feature nutrition and cooking, whole foods, supplements and organics. She also specializes in companion animal health, encouraging the use of whole foods, supplements and other holistic approaches to pet care.