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How to Care for Your Mother Rabbit and New Baby Bunnies

Whether you purposely bred your male and female bunnies or if it was an oopsie, this post will give you all the necessary details so you can successfully care for your mama and baby bunnies.


Chocolate Holland Lop Mother in Her Nesting Box

My Bunny Had Babies… How to Care For Your New Baby Bunnies


Congratulations! You are now a proud parent of baby bunnies. Don’t worry; your bunny's instincts have most likely kicked in, and you will see lots of fur, hear little grunts and squeaks, and see hairless little buns. Your bunny's babies are born dead and blind until around ten days old. But you can help your mama bun care for her new baby bunnies.


If you weren’t prepared for these bunnies, you would want to buy or build a rabbit nesting box. You will want to fill it with hay and carefully dig out a burrow to carefully place the baby bunnies and fur into. This way, they are safely contained and warm.


If you were prepared (and if you weren’t, and now you are), you would want to check for any babies that might not have made it. Baby bunnies die; this is very normal, so you would like to see how many bunnies your mama bun gave birth to. If you wish to keep or sell these bunnies to be pets, you will want to hold them every day to get them used to human touch.


Keep feeding your mama bunny as you would before her babies came. Be prepared that her pellet, hay, and water intake will increase, so ensure you keep all those filled. All her babies will be taking nutrients from her, so she must replace those needed nutrients with the food and water you give her.


10 Day Old Broken Black and Black Tort Holland Lop Kits

Is My Mama Bun Feeding Her Babies?!


Yes, she is. Mother rabbits only feed their kits once a day, usually in the wee hours of the morning. They will hop into their nesting box and stand over their babies, letting them suckle their sweet milk. They like to do this privately, so you will probably rarely see her doing it.


One way to know if the babies are getting milk is whenever you check your baby bunnies; you can look to see if their little bellies are full. The bellies will be round and not wrinkly. Holland Lops only have six teets; usually, they have 4-6 kits. We have a Holland Lop that has had 7-8 babies. Usually, one of those kits is considered a peanut, which is a kit that has a double dwarf gene. They will die shortly after birth. Our one mama who gives birth to these many miraculously keeps them alive, and I’ve seen her feeding her babies multiple times a day to get them all fed. She is a fantastic mom.


Chocolate Holland Lop Feeding Her Kits

Oh No. I think My Mama Bun Ate A Baby!


Sadly, this can happen. Bunnies will do this if the kit has died or is stillborn. They might also eat a baby who is the weakest and not likely to survive—this is instinctual. Mother rabbits can also eat their babies if they are stressed or lack nutrition. I check our nest box every day to check for this. I only have had one doe that would eat a baby now and then, but these kits were already deceased.


HELP! My Mama Bun is Aggressive Towards Me!


This can happen and is normal. Remember that these are the sweet babies she had growing in her for a month. She’s going to protect them at all costs if she feels threatened. This is natural. The best way I have found to help her not feel threatened is when her kits are young and brand new; when I check on the babies and fill mama’s food or water, I also bring a treat for mama bun. Our bunnies like celery, and I have found that if I give the mama bunny attention before digging into the nesting box and giving her a treat, she stops being aggressive and relaxes. I can then get in there, check for any kits that are deceased, and give all the kits attention. We sell our Holland Lops, which are well-socialized and used to loud noises and dogs. This helps their marketability, but we also want to make sure we are taking every chance we get to love on baby bunnies because they are THE cutest.


How to Potty Train Baby Bunnies


Read my post, How to Potty Train Your Bunny, for general potty training tips and tricks. Luckily, with baby bunnies that a mama bun is with, she will clean up after them, they will go in the nesting box, and for about a week, they will pee outside of the litter box. But because the mama is going in the litter box, the babies will naturally go in there. This makes it easy for you! To keep the enclosure clean, I use a mini sweeper and duster to clean up all the tiny poopies.


Remember: Your Babies Will Grow FAST


Your baby rabbits are born blind and deaf. They are naked and have the mothers pulled fur for their warmth, plus each other. Once they are 10-14 days old, their eyes will open, and they will begin to explore the world around them. This is when they will start hopping out of the nesting box and exploring their enclosure. Babies will need more room to explore and play as they grow. Once they have ventured out of nesting box and aren't sleeping in there anymore, I take the nesting box out to provide more room for them. The babies must be with their mom, ideally for eight weeks.


12 Day Old Broken Black Holland Lops

When to Separate Baby Bunnies From Their Mom


Ideally, your baby bunnies should stay with their mom until they are eight weeks old. I take cues from our mother rabbits if I need to separate the babies and the mom. One of those cues is if the mama bunny is starting to hump her babies. Her hormones are all over the place, so I will separate the babies from the mom in this case. Another cue I look for is their water intake and if they are still drinking their mother's milk. At around 3-4 weeks, your baby bunnies will start drinking water. Our baby bunnies start nibbling on hay and pellets around two weeks old.


Bottom Line


Your mama rabbit will take excellent care of her bunnies. It’s natural and instinctual. In some instances, mama rabbits have no clue what they are doing, so all kits will be lost. I always give my mama buns a second chance when this happens, and they have proven themselves a good mama every time.


Baby bunnies are a unique animal we have on our backyard farm. We give them love and attention for eight weeks and then find excellent homes for them to continue being loved.


If your bunny has gotten pregnant and had babies, it may be time to think about getting her spayed or the boy neutered. This can help with their hormones and make them even more chill. You won’t be responsible for caring for a mother bunny and her kits. We breed our mother rabbits only a couple of times a year. We don’t want to overload them, nor do we want to overload ourselves. Caring for babies takes a lot more work as they get older. But, if you have the space, money for food, and the time, I have found breeding Holland Lops a fun adventure.


12 Day Old Broken Black Holland Lop
I took this picture of Quinn cuddling this sweet Baby Bun. They like to crawl under her neck and cozy in.


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