My rabbit is very young, 4 weeks-old. What to consider?

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Kirrrra

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Hello,

I was given a 4 weeks old rabbit. New Zealand White rabbit.


I try to read a lot about rabbits as pets, as this is the first rabbit for me.
I notice that recommendations are to get a 3 months old kit at least and, therefore, recommendations I read are for older rabbits.

What is the reason for that age recommendation, what problems may occur?


Since mine was with me since very little, she got used to me really quickly, and most issues I am having is misbehaving if I didn't spend enough time with her. I try to make up the time with her, we practice tricks, she is litter trained (but I still have to carefully watch out for accidents, newly learned behaviour, or her way of protesting), I make (and buy) toys for her, try to keep her entertained. She is quite adaptive, trusting, socialised (I also have a cat (a big strong male), who I think she will end up dominating).

Anything I need to consider in her upbringing due to her very young age?


Photo 4 weeks & 3 months old
 

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ISAC QUIN HOOER

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Hello,

I was given a 4 weeks old rabbit. New Zealand White rabbit.


I try to read a lot about rabbits as pets, as this is the first rabbit for me.
I notice that recommendations are to get a 3 months old kit at least and, therefore, recommendations I read are for older rabbits.

What is the reason for that age recommendation, what problems may occur?


Since mine was with me since very little, she got used to me really quickly, and most issues I am having is misbehaving if I didn't spend enough time with her. I try to make up the time with her, we practice tricks, she is litter trained (but I still have to carefully watch out for accidents, newly learned behaviour, or her way of protesting), I make (and buy) toys for her, try to keep her entertained. She is quite adaptive, trusting, socialised (I also have a cat (a big strong male), who I think she will end up dominating).

Anything I need to consider in her upbringing due to her very young age?


Photo 4 weeks & 3 months old
Also find her favorite treat. She will enjoy tasting different treats.
๐Ÿฐ๐ŸŽ๐Ÿ‰๐Ÿฅฆ๐Ÿฅฌ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ๐ŸŠ
 

zuppa

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Hello,

I was given a 4 weeks old rabbit. New Zealand White rabbit.


I try to read a lot about rabbits as pets, as this is the first rabbit for me.
I notice that recommendations are to get a 3 months old kit at least and, therefore, recommendations I read are for older rabbits.

What is the reason for that age recommendation, what problems may occur?


Since mine was with me since very little, she got used to me really quickly, and most issues I am having is misbehaving if I didn't spend enough time with her. I try to make up the time with her, we practice tricks, she is litter trained (but I still have to carefully watch out for accidents, newly learned behaviour, or her way of protesting), I make (and buy) toys for her, try to keep her entertained. She is quite adaptive, trusting, socialised (I also have a cat (a big strong male), who I think she will end up dominating).

Anything I need to consider in her upbringing due to her very young age?


Photo 4 weeks & 3 months old
Hi. The babies depend on their mother's milk until they are 6-8 weeks old, also she educates them so they should stay with their mother for the first at least 2 months, that is why in most countries it is illegal rehoming rabbits under 8 week old (in some states 6 weeks) and usually the babies are entirely on their mother's milk until they are 5-6 weeks old, then they start nibbling on her food and hay, as they grow they are able to eat solid food and little by little they are weaned of her milk, so usually they are fully weaned by 8 weeks and ready to go to their new homes.

In your photo I would say she looks more like 8 weeks not 4 weeks, maybe she was a bit older when you got her.

Can you give more details what you feed her and what you fed her from day one, how her diet has changed etc.

If she is now 3-4 months old you still have a sweet baby there, but she will be entering her teenage phase very soon and there will be some changes in her behaviour, she can get territorial because of her hormones and can start marking territory so many rabbits forget their good toilet habits during that time. What you call protesting sounds like being a bit hormonal to me.
Depending on breed and personal development hormonal stage for girls from about 5 months to 1 year or even longer for the larger breeds.

So in fact crucial times are ahead, not all rabbits are bad teenagers maybe you are lucky, but be warned.
 
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JBun

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Baby rabbits that are weaned prematurely(under 8 weeks of age) are very susceptible to developing serious enteric/digestive illness, particularly if too many carbs are fed or if sudden food changes are made, and not enough fiber from hay is being fed. And enteric illness can prove fatal. So that is the primary reason it's not good for baby rabbits to be separated from the mom rabbit before 8 weeks old minimum when at all possible.

WARNING: CONTAINS GRAPHIC MEDICAL RELATED PHOTOS
Medirabbit: weaning enteritis/diarrhea

The behavior stuff is mostly individual personality, sometimes hormones, natural instinctual rabbit behaviors, and boredom. A lot of times people misunderstand rabbit behavior as them being naughty, misbehaving, or being purposely vindictive, when all it comes down to is a rabbit being a rabbit, exhibiting natural behaviors. So it could be your bun isn't actually misbehaving, but is just being a normal rabbit or is just finding things to do out of boredom.
 

Lionlove

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I'm going through the same thing with a bun that turns 4 weeks tomorrow. Mom kicked him out a few days ago. Being very aggressive, pulling hair, chasing and biting him. She's getting spayed as this isn't her first aggressive outburst. I tried putting him in the cage with her yesterday. She licked his eyes and seemed a bit calmer. But when I came back he was out of the cage (it doesn't have a top) and sitting on his sleeping carrier. I doubt he fed. But he was an only and quite plump, so maybe he just weaned himself early? I tried again today and kept a better eye on him. Again she licked his face, he stole her food. I heard a rattle and turned to find him climbing his way out. I tried to get a picture but just ended up with side-eye from him until I picked him up. He's on alfalfa, some pellets, and oats. definitely active too. But he likes lounging around while I work on the corner of the couch. I've kept a close eye out for loose stools. but so far so good.
Hopefully, our little ones will just be extra bonded. I'm going to try and keep reintroducing him with mom under supervision. But she's definitely not going to allow me to force the issue. Please let me know if your vet has any recommendations. I've been having a hard time finding a specialty vet in Mexico. Finally found one that spays and neuters, but they had no advice on a bunny separated too early. He's eating? active? Great!
 

Kirrrra

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Hi. The babies depend on their mother's milk until they are 6-8 weeks old, also she educates them so they should stay with their mother for the first at least 2 months, that is why in most countries it is illegal rehoming rabbits under 8 week old (in some states 6 weeks) and usually the babies are entirely on their mother's milk until they are 5-6 weeks old, then they start nibbling on her food and hay, as they grow they are able to eat solid food and little by little they are weaned of her milk, so usually they are fully weaned by 8 weeks and ready to go to their new homes.

In your photo I would say she looks more like 8 weeks not 4 weeks, maybe she was a bit older when you got her.

Can you give more details what you feed her and what you fed her from day one, how her diet has changed etc.

If she is now 3-4 months old you still have a sweet baby there, but she will be entering her teenage phase very soon and there will be some changes in her behaviour, she can get territorial because of her hormones and can start marking territory so many rabbits forget their good toilet habits during that time. What you call protesting sounds like being a bit hormonal to me.
Depending on breed and personal development hormonal stage for girls from about 5 months to 1 year or even longer for the larger breeds.

So in fact crucial times are ahead, not all rabbits are bad teenagers maybe you are lucky, but be warned.
I got her from my aunt who breeds rabbits, she keeps the dates of birth - so I am quite sure on her age (born on 7th of June, I got her on 6th of July). Since it is a White New Zealand rabbit (meat breed) - it is considerably bigger than decorative breeds.

It is Russia where laws about animals are very.... not developed...
My aunt told me technically I could take her, she was already easting hay, pallets, greens. She seems healthy, eats and drinks well. I was introducing treats (some vegetables and fruits) slowly, she does love her greens, I even use greens as treats when training her, or hide in the digging box for scavenging.
I tried mixes from shops, but those are too sweet, so I got the plain pallets that my aunt uses + hay + greens and a bit of treats.

I am scared to give too many treats but may be I could give her more...

As to her behaviour, I can understand her, I had to travel a lot in the last 2 weeks due to family emergency, and now she is super needy... as always but more))))

Just hope to be doing well by her.
 

Kirrrra

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Baby rabbits that are weaned prematurely(under 8 weeks of age) are very susceptible to developing serious enteric/digestive illness, particularly if too many carbs are fed or if sudden food changes are made, and not enough fiber from hay is being fed. And enteric illness can prove fatal. So that is the primary reason it's not good for baby rabbits to be separated from the mom rabbit before 8 weeks old minimum when at all possible.

WARNING: CONTAINS GRAPHIC MEDICAL RELATED PHOTOS
Medirabbit: weaning enteritis/diarrhea

The behavior stuff is mostly individual personality, sometimes hormones, natural instinctual rabbit behaviors, and boredom. A lot of times people misunderstand rabbit behavior as them being naughty, misbehaving, or being purposely vindictive, when all it comes down to is a rabbit being a rabbit, exhibiting natural behaviors. So it could be your bun isn't actually misbehaving, but is just being a normal rabbit or is just finding things to do out of boredom.
Her biggest way of protesting, is that she knows full well her litter box(es) (I have 1 in her cage and 2 outside. The second outside is to try to get her stop using the carpet at the door as a sort of toilet.) and sometimes does it in the wrong place, especially if I let her out to play and stop paying attention.

Otherwise she is a very smart, active, curious and cuddly (loves pets) little rabbit, and she was so from day 1.
Brave and is not afraid of the cat (who is jealous as hell)....

I try to make toys and do activities with her so she isn't too bored, and a lot of times will stop by to
 

zuppa

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I got her from my aunt who breeds rabbits, she keeps the dates of birth - so I am quite sure on her age (born on 7th of June, I got her on 6th of July). Since it is a White New Zealand rabbit (meat breed) - it is considerably bigger than decorative breeds.

It is Russia where laws about animals are very.... not developed...
My aunt told me technically I could take her, she was already easting hay, pallets, greens. She seems healthy, eats and drinks well. I was introducing treats (some vegetables and fruits) slowly, she does love her greens, I even use greens as treats when training her, or hide in the digging box for scavenging.
I tried mixes from shops, but those are too sweet, so I got the plain pallets that my aunt uses + hay + greens and a bit of treats.

I am scared to give too many treats but may be I could give her more...

As to her behaviour, I can understand her, I had to travel a lot in the last 2 weeks due to family emergency, and now she is super needy... as always but more))))

Just hope to be doing well by her.
In that case it would be best to stick to your aunt's advice I guess, she knows your rabbit, she knows her parents and her siblings, you did good that feeding her same pellets as she had before, actually plain pellets without any sweets or flakes in them are recommended and it is best when you control how much sweets she gets. Generally treats are like once or twice a week, just an inch of banana or a thumb-sized piece of a carrot or 2-3 berries, but usually they are introduced to sweets and greens slowly after 4-6 months of age. Because of your girl was weaned so early you just try introducing in small amounts, one type of fruit or veg at a time and watch her droppings and signs of discomfort, if her poos are perfect then you can give a little more same type greens next time but do not overfeed, her main food should be hay. Well, some breeders don't feed hay at all but they use profi pellets then so their rabbits get everything from them.

General rules for feeding and taking care of your rabbit you can find here


>>Rabbits Indoors: Feeding


Here's what suggested for an adult pet rabbit (older than 6 months), 80% hay, 10% greens, 5% pellets and 5% treats, as I said above greens/treats introduced from 4-6 months in small quantities. Your case is a bit different because your girl was weaned too early and her diet was different. Usually babies up to 4 months get alfalfa based pellets higher on protein and after 4-6 months they are slowly transferred to timothy based pellets with min 19% fibre and max 14 % protein. You can learn about nutrition here

>>Rabbit Food Comparision - Brand, Type, Nutritional Analysis


rabbit food pyramid opt.jpg

If your girl survived until now 3 months weaned so early and she is looking healthy, I think that it is not critical anymore and you just continue feeding what you feed now. As for behaviour changes expect them around 5-7 months, it is all different for different rabbits, some are calmer, some can get very hormonal so just watch and see how it goes.
 
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Preitler

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That Hay/pellets/vegetable diet is good and convenient, and works even for city dwellers, if you have access to fresh grass and weeds that would be fine too. You can keep feeding whatever greens she already had. Hay should always be available, even if you feed something else. Do any changes in diet slowly, like gradually over a week.

FEEDING PET RABBITS โ€” Frances Harcourt-Brown
 

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