There are many signs that indicate a rabbit is young. If they are only a couple days old, bunnies will not have opened their eyes and will be mostly hairless. They won't move, and when they are first born, they are completely dependent on their mother for everything. A rabbit age size chart can be helpful in figuring out how old your bunny is by looking at his weight and height. There are various charts available for rabbit breeds of all sizes.
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For wild bunnies, their young life makes up a majority of their time, while domesticated bunnies live longer. Wild baby bunnies found outside should generally be left alone unless they are injured or very young, but any domestic rabbit found needs to be rescued. If you spot a purebred rabbit, contact your humane society for tips on what to do.
Baby rabbit characteristics
Rabbits are considered babies until they are 3 months old. Newborn rabbits have no fur, and their eyes will not yet be open. They also cannot move on their own. As they grow older, their outer appearance and behavior begin to change. At 7 days old, some fur starts to come in. At 10 days old, they will open their eyes. In addition to getting bigger as they age, rabbits who look like they are attempting to hop are older babies.
Bunnies are considered young until they are 12 months old. A baby rabbit is an adolescent from 3 to 6 months. The teenage period for rabbits is 6 to 12 months. At this point, they'll have most of their fur and be comfortable venturing around on their own. When a rabbit reaches maturity, her growth will slow significantly. Between 12 months and 5 years old, a bunny is considered an adult and will be active and large. Anything beyond that age is a senior.
Domestic versus wild rabbit life span
On average, pet rabbits live to be 8 years old, but depending on the breed, they can live much longer, up to 12 years. The quality of food you feed your pet in addition to the amount of playtime, exercise, and attention you give will have a big impact on the age they reach. They also need a lot of space to move around when in captivity.
Contrary to some assumptions, rabbits are not low maintenance and need a lot of care to survive and thrive. Regular veterinarian visits are important since rabbits often hide symptoms of illness and injury. While wild rabbits have a better quality of life outdoors, they only live to be about 2 years old due to the risk of predators. They are able to get the exercise they need, but they face dangers from other animals as well as deforestation and development.
Finding a baby rabbit outside
Domestic baby rabbits should not be let outside, and releasing them outdoors is cruel. In many places, it is considered a criminal offense. If you find a nonwild rabbit outside, don't leave him alone since he is not meant to live in the wild. Domestic rabbits are not trained to defend themselves against the many predators they may encounter outdoors.
You can contact a rabbit rescue or humane society to help save the abandoned bunny or try to catch him yourself. The best time of day to do so is in the morning. You'll want to go slowly to build trust with the bunny and utilize an exercise pen rather than a live trap.
Most of the time, wild baby rabbits are fine outdoors even if you find them without their mother, unless they are not yet weaned. Mom rabbits leave during the day to forage and keep predators from noticing their scent at the nest. If the baby rabbit you find is furless with closed eyes, you can set leaves on top of the rabbit hole and see if they are moved overnight to determine whether mother has been with her baby. If the leaves remain unmoved, contact your local wildlife rescue for further advice. This is also a good move if a rabbit of any age is found injured or appears sick.
- Rabbit Care Tips: When Do Baby Rabbits Get Fur?
- Oxbow Animal Health: Rabbit Life Stages
- VCA Hospitals: Owning a Rabbit
- Rabbit Care Tips: What Age Do Rabbits Stop Growing?
- House Rabbit Society: Never Abandon a Rabbit Outside
- Rabbit Runaway: What To Do if You Find a Rabbit
- Ohio House Rabbit Rescue: Tips for Catching a Stray