Are you wondering how old a store-bought bunny is? Or one that you caught in the wild? Before adopting a wild rabbit, you may wish to double-check that they are truly no longer with their mother. Sometimes, she is nearby, taking a few-hour break.
Newborn rabbits weigh 1-1.5 Ounces, at 2-3 weeks baby rabbits will still only weigh 3-5 ounces. Baby rabbits are also deaf and blind until the age of 3 weeks. This is a sign of their age. Newborn rabbits are also born without fur which will not start to grow until week 2-3.
Female rabbits, also called ‘does,’ can have multiple litters in just one season, with 3-6 rabbits, AKA ‘kittens’ per litter. When baby rabbits are born, they have no fur to speak of. They develop fur, eyesight, hearing, erect ears, and more as they get older.
In a couple of weeks, baby rabbits typically begin to wean, and in 3 weeks will begin to hop about outside of their nest on their own (although they may not be fully independent for a week or so longer). If you’re wondering how to tell how old a baby rabbit is, here are some indicators, below:
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Weigh Your Baby Rabbit to Tell How Old they Are
If you adopt a baby rabbit from the store or otherwise, you can have them weighed at the vet. A vet visit is strongly recommended, as they can tell whether everything with your delicate baby rabbit is in order.
If you need to, you can gently weigh a baby rabbit at home by yourself. Newborn rabbits are between 1 and 1 and ½ ounces… although, for infant rabbits, you will probably not require a scale to know they are truly young and small.
At 2-3 weeks, baby rabbits weigh between 3 and 5 ounces. This is usually when they will begin to venture from their nest to explore. They will look like adult rabbits, but mini (no larger than a chipmunk or gerbil).
Baby Rabbits Will Start Showing Interest in Solid Food at Week Two
Baby rabbits will nurse for about two weeks, and it will usually take this long for any interest in grass, greenery, or other food to show. This can be a clear age indicator. Does your baby rabbit show interest in solid food?
Unless they are fully-weaned -typically at 8 months- your baby rabbit will need to be bottle-fed, as well.
Baby Rabbits are Born Blind and Deaf
Did you know, baby rabbits are born both blind and deaf? It isn’t until 3 weeks of age that they can use those big ol’ ears to hear.
When a baby rabbit’s eyes are shut, it means that they are probably just 10 days old -or less! If adopting them is truly necessary (their mother is no longer available), they will need some intensive care to survive (bottle feeding, a blanket, a vet visit, etc.).
Look At the Baby Rabbit’s Fur
Newborn rabbits are born without any fur. It takes a few weeks for their first coat to entirely grow.
This means, if a baby rabbit’s fur is thin or downy, they are probably not even a couple of weeks old, yet! Perhaps their mother is close-by? If not, a rescue may be in order.
Are the Baby Rabbit’s Eyes Open?
Blind from birth, baby rabbits do not open their eyes until they’ve reached the age of 5 days to a week. Are your baby rabbit’s eyes open? Then you know they are a week or older!
Check Your Baby Rabbit’s Ears
Baby rabbits have closed ears during most of their first week. This is an indicator that what you have is an infant bunny, and if they have truly lost their mother, you will need to use great care -and visit the vet right away- if you want them to survive.
Baby rabbit ears remain mostly floppy until about 9 days to 2 weeks, at which point they will stand up, and become stronger.
How Old are Baby Rabbits When they Leave the Nest?
If you found a baby rabbit wandering outside of their nest, then it’s a safe bet that they are at least 3 weeks old. When they’re younger than this, they seldom wander out on their own (however, there are exceptions).
3-week-old baby rabbits are roughly the size of a gerbil or chipmunk. If you’ve discovered a fully-furred rabbit with erect ears, with the ability to hop, they can probably stay on their own OK.
Make Sure to Take Your Delicate Baby Rabbit to the Vet
Rabbits under 10 days seldom live when separated from their mother. No matter their age, any baby rabbit should visit the vet right off.
A nursing baby rabbit will need to be bottle or dropper-fed goat milk or Kitten Milk Replacer. They will need to be fed often, kept adequately warm, and will need a consistent and attentive caretaker.
The one thing all baby rabbits have in common? They are adorable! Learn how to tell how old a baby rabbit is, both for fun, and to know when a rescue is in order.