A baby rabbit
will be a lot healthier when fed a specially designed baby rabbit food
that is high in fat
(like "mamma's milk") and fiber
but low in starch (sugar). In fact, baby rabbits are accustomed to their mom's milk that is high in fat and low in sugar. Rabbit milk, depending upon the stage of lactation, will have a fat content between 17.7% and 10.2%, with protein content between 11.9% to 13.2%, and a very low lactose (sugar) content that is between 1.1% and 1.8% as shown in published research.
Read the food labels
Baby Bunnies need a high fat diet that is low in starch.
Baby rabbits don’t fully develop the enzymes needed to digest excess starch (sugar) until later in life. Feeding baby rabbits a diet with a lot of grain or grain by-products
makes them more likely to get diarrhea
A rabbit food higher in fat and lower in carbohydrates helps baby bunnies make the switch from their mom's milk at weaning and provides the energy they need for healthy growth (if you have a mom then she should eat the same food).
As baby bunnies get older they still naturally use fat as an energy source. In fact, rabbits need a high fiber diet because good bacteria ferment fiber in the caecum
to produce the healthy fats that rabbits use as an energy source.
Scientific studies show that increasing the fat
content of rabbit food will improve the health of baby bunnies and their mom's.
Most rabbit food brands don’t have near enough fat and fall short of the needs of baby bunnies. Generally, they have less than 3% crude fat when research shows that they should have around 8% fat when balanced with high quality protein
Instead of making a specially designed food for baby rabbits most brands simply make a cheap rabbit food for “rabbits of all ages.” Again, this type of rabbit food has a high starch content caused by using excess grains and grain by-products and it usually causes baby rabbits to have diarrhea. Below is a chart comparing Sherwood Forest Natural Rabbit
("like mamma's milk" made especially for baby rabbits) to the common rabbit food.
If you choose a healthy rabbit food that has a higher fat content for your growing bunny rabbits then make sure it is using oil from natural sources and not simply refined vegetable oil (especially not vegetable "oleins") or worse, rendered animal fat . This is because when adding fat to their diet you should also be adding vitamin E
, which whole oil seeds from plants naturally have.
- Whole oil seeds are naturally high in vitamin E.
- Rendered animal fat or refined vegetable oils ARE NOT!
Sherwood Forest Natural Rabbit Food uses only whole oil seeds and is the only brand that offers a premium baby rabbit food
that is "like mamma's milk" made especially for baby bunnies.