Many people often wonder at what age can rabbits leave their mothers? Newborn rabbits are pretty much born blind, deaf, and hairless. At this stage, they are quite helpless, and so, they depend on their mother’s milk to survive. However, kits grow at a fast rate and begin to pick at hay as early as when they are two weeks old. Before long, they will be able to live without their mothers.
You can separate your kits from their mother when they are eight weeks or two months old. Eight weeks is sufficient for them to get everything they need to survive on their own from their mother.
Once you separate your kits from their mother, they will be independent of her and will be able to eat adult rabbit foods. Separating a baby rabbit from its mother is not a straightforward process, though. There are steps to it, and you must carry out these steps to ensure that the kit survives.
Weaning Your Kits
The baby rabbits must be weaned  before you separate them from their mother. If you separate them before they are weaned, the kittens may not be able to survive the separation. This process takes about eight weeks.
The first two weeks after the kits are born, they are solely dependent on their mother’s milk. When they are about two weeks old, however, they will begin to nibble on solid food like hay, while still feeding on milk. During this period, the doe’s milk supply will start to dwindle, and by the sixth week to the eighth week, the kits should have developed enough to be separated from her.
The period in which they are dependent on their mother’s milk is vital as it helps them to build a healthy amount of gut flora. Besides, during that period, vital organs like intestines develop. So the kits will be able to feed on rabbit food without the risk of developing digestive problems after they are separated.
What Can You Feed Your Newly Weaned Kits?
By the time a baby bunny is weaned, it must have developed enough to be able to eat solid food. The difference between such a rabbit and a full-blown adult bunny is its protein intake. Bunnies that have just been weaned need more protein (about 18%) in their diet than adult ones, which require less (about 16%).
An ideal meal combination for your newly weaned rabbit is alfalfa mixed with hay. The alfalfa will provide the protein that the rabbit needs when it is weaned to when it is about four months old. After this period, you can reduce the amount of alfalfa in the rabbit’s diet.
Apart from hay and alfalfa, you can give some other things to your rabbit. They include vegetables like celery, cucumbers, clover, broccoli, basil, carrot, collard greens, etc. Also, you can give fruits like bananas, raspberries, strawberries, etc.
What should you do after you separate the rabbits from their mother?
Male rabbits can become sexually mature when they are ten weeks old. For this reason, you should separate the male rabbits from the female ones. You should also spay and neuter the rabbits because these animals reproduce at a fast rate, and before long, they will begin producing numerous offspring.
Once you notice that the males have testicles, you should neuter them. Do the same for the females about four months after you neuter the males.
Why Is It Necessary To Spay Or Neuter Rabbits After Separation From Their Mother?
- To prevent overpopulation: Rabbits from the same litter will mate once they become sexually mature. This could pose a big problem if you do not want to breed them. Rabbits have a short gestation period of about 31-33 days, and they can give birth to as many as 14 kits at once, although an average number is 7. Besides, female rabbits get pregnant often, so a doe might already be pregnant with her next litter while still nursing the current one. What this boils down to is that, if you do not spay or neuter your rabbits, they will multiply before long.
- To prevent aggression: Rabbits will often fight with one another if they are not spayed or neutered. Spayed or neutered rabbits are far more playful and friendly and will not be as aggressive.
- To ensure longevity: spayed and neutered rabbits usually have a longer life span and live a more healthy life than those that have not been desexed. Females who have not been spayed are also more prone to uterine cancer.
Like many other young mammals, baby rabbits need to be with their mother for some time after they are born. During this time, they will develop the vital organs that they need to increase their chances of survival when they have to be separated from their mother.
You can separate your rabbits from their mother when they are eight weeks old.
Once you have separated your kits from their mother, it will be best to spay them to avoid any aggressive behavior. It would be best if you also separated the males from the females to avoid overpopulation.
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