Adult pet rabbits
don’t need the high energy rabbit food that baby rabbits need. However they do have specific nutrient requirements to maintain health throughout a long life. They need a lower carbohydrate diet that is higher in fiber
complemented with a moderate amount of natural oils and specific vitamins
for quality fur and overall health and digestive efficiency
. Proper rabbit nutrition
is vital at each life stage.
Before and after weaning baby rabbits benefit from a high energy
and high fiber
Baby rabbit nutritional needs change from birth throughout the first couple of weeks of nursing as reflected by the composition of a rabbit’s milk. As an example, the colostrum (first milk) will have a high fat content (greater than 17%) that, by the fourth day, drops to around 10% but steadily increases to over 15% by the eighteenth day. However it begins to taper off to less than 13% fat after the third week.
It is interesting to note that the lactose (carbohydrate) content of rabbit milk only varies between 1.1% and 1.7%. This means that baby rabbits are use to getting energy from fat and not from carbohydrates (although a small amount is important).
AVOID DIGESTIVE UPSET AND DIARRHEA:
By the third and fourth weeks baby rabbits are beginning to consume appreciable amounts of solid food. Most rabbit foods have low fat and high carbohydrate contents that make the switch from their mom’s milk difficult. In fact baby rabbits have been shown to far healthier on high fat diets
. Trading calories from carbohydrates for calories from fat leads to a more efficient use of protein and energy.
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